Chipotle Steak Marinade

by The Enchanted Apron
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This chipotle marinade is a no muss, no fuss way to add flavor to a meal like steak tacos or fajitas. You don’t even need a blender–just a bowl and a whisk–to mix it. I don’t know why a blender seems like so much more work. Maybe it’s the cleanup time. I’d much rather wash a bowl and a whisk than the blender. I also store my blender in a cabinet, and I’m too lazy to lug it out all the time. The only time it’s worth it is when I make Tequila Lime Chicken.

What makes this chipotle marinade so delicious is the smoky spice from the chipotle peppers and zesty flavor from the lemon and lime juices. The marinade adds flavor and breaks down the steaks that need a little help like Sirloin Tip Steak or Flank Steak.

Raw Sirloin Tip Steak with ingredients for chipotle marinade

Sirloin Tip Steak is what I usually prefer for this recipe because it’s a lean and inexpensive option for tacos or fajitas. I like it better than some of the other steaks that come from the “Round” part of the cow. It might just be in my head, but I think it’s more tender than some of the other “Round” cuts. If you’re curious about cuts of meat, the National Cattleman’s Beef Association is a great resource. Here are several steaks recommended for marinating:

  • Flank Steak
  • Outside Skirt Steak
  • Inside Skirt Steak
  • Sirloin Tip Side Steak
  • Bottom Round Steak
  • Eye of Round Steak
  • Top Round Steak

the process

To make the marinade, mince the garlic cloves into a bowl or measuring cup/pitcher. Juice the lemon and lime and measure 60 mL. Add the juice to the garlic. Add the remaining marinade ingredients except for the oil and whisk to combine.

Lemon and lime juice in a bowl with chipotle peppers and pregano

Quickly whisk as you pour the oil into the mixture. Oil homogenizes better if it’s added separately by quickly whisking into the other ingredients. Since this isn’t a salad dressing, it doesn’t have to be perfectly homogenized. But it does help the oil disperse over the meat better if the oil assimilates with the other ingredients.

chipotle marinade great for steak or chicken tacos and fajitas

Pour over steaks in a plastic sealable bag or glass container. Cover or seal tightly and place in the fridge while you work on the next steps. I like to let the steak marinate for at least 30 minutes before grilling to get the flavor benefits from the marinade.

If you have time to work ahead, I’ve marinated steaks for up to 8 hours. Starting the steaks marinating in the morning shaves some time off your dinner prep. Marinating head of time can drop dinner meal prep by about 10-15 minutes.

sirloin tip steak in chipotle marinade
Chipotle Steak Marinade

When you’re ready to cook the steaks, heat your grill for about 5 minutes. Remove the steaks from the marinade and cook about 1 1/2-2 minutes on each side. Thin steaks like a Sirloin Tip Steak cook quickly. So if you’re a medium-rare eater like me, you’ll want to shoot for the 1.5-2 minute mark on each side. Depending on how hot your grill gets, it only takes about 30 seconds to change a steak from medium-rare to medium.

Chipotle marinated steak on the grill

Once the steaks reach the desired doneness, remove from heat and cover in aluminum foil. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting into the steak. Cut the steak into strips for steak tacos or fajitas, or serve with Mexican rice and Charro beans. It also works as a Mexican version of steak and eggs. Sometimes I like to just snack on the steak by itself. It’s just so good!

Bon Appétit!  

sirloin tip steak in chipotle marinade

Chipotle Steak Marinade

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Smoky, savory with a hint of spice. The chipotle marinade enhances the flavor of the grilled steak and is my favorite marinade for steak tacos or fajitas. The marinade also works well on chicken if you want to change things up.


  • 1.5 lbs Sirloin Tip Steak
  • 2 tablespoons diced Chipotle Peppers
  • 2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Hot Mexican Chili Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic
  • 60 mL of lemon & lime juice (usually 1/2 of a large lemon, 1 whole Lime)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Mince garlic into a glass bowl or measuring cup/pitcher.
  2. Juice lemon and lime (juices combined should equal 60mL) into bowl with garlic.
  3. Add Chipotle Peppers, seasonings and Worchestershire sauce to juice and whisk to combine.
  4. While quickly whisking, gradually add olive oil.
  5. Place steak in a plastic seal top bag or large glass container and pour marinade over top. Make sure steak is completely covered in marinade.
  6. Refrigerate steak for at least 30 minutes (feel free to prep early and let steak marinade for up to 8 hours).
  7. Remove steaks from marinade and grill about 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare to medium steaks.


Cook time depends on how thin/thick the meat and doneness preferred.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 431Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 468mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 41g

This calculation was completed using Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and I cannot promise the accuracy of the nutrition information. Please consult a nutrition specialist if you have any questions or concerns.

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