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Last Updated on January 3, 2021

Get ready to love this delicious chicken adobo recipe. It’s one of my favorite Filipino chicken adobo recipes that is loaded down with taste and flavor. This is a great recipe that combines chicken and a ton of other amazing ingredients to create a flavor that makes an authentic Filipino dish. My husband LOVES this dish and the flavor that the adobo sauce adds. It’s also an amazing Paleo Adobo Chicken dish.

Chicken Adobo recipe in a bowl

One of my favorite memories is sitting in the kitchen with my ma while she braided my ridiculously long hair and breathing in the tangy scent of vinegar and soy sauce. This is one of the reasons that I make sure to keep this recipe in our family. It’s a great recipe that brings me joy.

While I do try to avoid soy as much as possible, I have a small bottle of wheat-free Tamari that I pull out every couple of months to make my ma’s Filipino chicken adobo recipe.

Not only does it taste amazing but I get that nice warm homey feeling that I hope someday the Little experiences when he cooks up this adobo chicken recipe. 

If you want to make this but have to avoid soy you can try Coconut aminos but I can’t guarantee the flavor will be the same.

What does adobo taste like?

The garlic and vinegar create a salty and sweet flavor that is really quite addictive. I like to add a bit extra garlic sometimes to really enhance the recipe but that is just my own personal preference. You can’t go wrong with more garlic cloves, right?

Is Adobo Mexican or Filipino?

Adobo Chicken is going to be thought of as more of a Filipino Adobo recipe than a Mexican dish. Although, you can make this be more of a Mexican recipe by using other ingredients that are used in traditional Spanish dishes.

How long does chicken adobo last in the fridge?

As long as you store this chicken adobo recipe in the fridge once done, it should last you 3-4 days without worry.

If you think that you’re not going to be able to eat this Filipino adobo recipe in that amount of time, you can always freeze this for another family dinner later on down the road. Since you’re using chicken thighs and other simple ingredients, this is an easy recipe to freeze. Just make sure to use a freezer-safe containter to store this Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe.

Ingredients needed to make this Chicken Adobo Recipe

All the ingredients that you need to make this Filipino Adobo Chicken are listed below.

  • Cloves garlic, roughly crushed 
  • Bone in chicken thighs 
  • Water 
  • Apple cider vinegar 
  • Coconut aminos 
  • Whole peppercorns 
  • Black pepper

How to make this Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe

Basically you throw everything in a pot and come back in an hour and it’s done and ready to eat. 

 I don’t add include any additional salt as the Coconut aminos provide enough. 

You can increase the amount if you like and the chicken thighs will be a darker color than what you see in the photo. 

Can you believe that this chicken dish is so simple? This is why it’s one of my top family dishes to whip up!

Do I need to add in soy sauce?

This is up to you. Some people love to add in soy sauce (or low sodium soy sauce) to give this dish a little bit more flavor. I tend to think that if you marinate the chicken for a little bit longer, it brings out quite the flavor and saves you from having to pour in a cup soy sauce to try and add in more taste.

What do you marinate chicken thighs on the skin side?

This is done because the skin side of the chicken can hold a great number of seasonings and really hold the flavors of the garlic and other ingredients in place.

Tips and Tricks For Making This Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe

Be confident in making changes

I find that this chicken adobo recipe is really quite forgiving. Even though the recipe does call for chicken thighs as the main chicken pieces to use for meat, you can try to use chicken breasts or chicken legs, or other cuts of chicken as well. It might change the Filipino aspect of this chicken recipe but the flavor will still be the same. You can cook chicken up easily and use it however you see fit. (just be certain to marinate the chicken with all the other listed ingredients!)

Vary up the meat that you use

Changing the meat will not make this an authentic Filipino dish but it will give it a lot of great flavors. You can try to make this with pork belly or other meat options. Pork Adobo is a thing, too! The fat content and time to cook will change depending on how you change up the ingredients.

What side dishes pair well with this Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe?

This Filipino Chicken Adobo is pretty much a great meal in itself but you can always add white rice or a nice side salad to the dish. (You can also use your Instant Pot to cook up your rice to save on time, too!)

Is Adobo Chicken a sweet or a spicy dish?

Let’s just say that this is one of those recipes that can be a bit of both if you want it to be. The original flavor of this adobo chicken isn’t sweet or spicy but if you add in a bit of heat or a sprinkle of brown sugar, you can easily change up the flavor fast.

If you’re looking for a fast and simple dish that takes minimal cook time, check out this low-fat Filipino recipe that will have you loving every single bite.

Topping Ideas for Filipino Chicken Adobo

You can easily add so many toppings to this adobo chicken dish! I’m thinking that cooked chicken thighs go perfectly with freshly ground black pepper, soy sauce, extra cloves garlic, fresh cilantro, and even a little dash of hot sauce as well.

What toppings would you add to this Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe?

Chicken Adobo
Yield: 4

Chicken Adobo

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This authentic Filipino Chicken Adobo is worth every bite!



  1. Put the chicken pieces, garlic, water, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, peppercorn and black pepper in medium pan over medium heat.
  2. When the water comes to a boil lower the heat and simmer for one hour.
  3. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 415Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 218mgSodium: 570mgCarbohydrates: 12gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 41g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. This recipe sounds delish! My mom used to make a chicken adobo, but I never got the recipe before she passed away. I had a recipe book that was from her grandmother, all handwritten in Spanish and when my mom passed away, her sister stole the book from my mom’s closet. I lost all of my moms family recipes in that book. I’m trying to cook traditional Mexican food for my family once in awhile, but my boys don’t like the spice aspect.

  2. Wow – I’d never think to cook with vinegar but apple cider vinegar shouldn’t be too harsh, right? Will have to try this – I love cooking with chicken thighs & legs.

  3. If you eat soy, what is your interpretation of a paleo diet? A gluten free diet? I’m just browsing through chowstalker and I’m finding a lot of recipes under the whole30 category with surprising ingredients.

    1. I think at the core, the Paleo diet is a no grain diet that emphasizes meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and nuts/seed. I think that most people who are paleo aim for this as a goal but find that, like with most diets, you have to find a balance that works for you. I admittedly am more Primal than Paleo. I can live without sugar, grains and legumes but I have a crutch for heavy whipping cream and raw dairy. It’s a fat bomb of happiness for my brain that I’m not going to give up. Most people who follow the lifestyle are going to much healthier and happier than they were in their SAD days and are content with that.

      I really try to avoid soy as much as possible but, hey, sometimes I want this dish so I eat it πŸ™‚ Also, my recipes are safe for people who are gluten-free. I don’t follow a gluten-free diet which allows for low gluten grains so I can’t comment on it.

      You can make this recipe with coconut aminos and avoid the soy if you like.

  4. This sounds like the one I grew up with. Are you Filipino? I make this too, I use coconut aminos to replace the soy. I’m paleo as well. I’m looking into making soy sauce substitutes because the coconut aminos are so expensive.

    1. Yep! My Mother is Filipino πŸ™‚ I haven’t tried coconut aminos yet. Is the taste similar to soy? Please share when you come up with a substitute!

      1. Oh that’s great! Yeah adobo, well now that I saw your post now I want some. I grew up eating that with white rice. The coconut aminos taste very similar to soy but it’s like 7.99 for a small bottle! I’m going to experiment with using molasses(not really paleo isn’t it) and some apple cider vinegar as a soy sauce substitute. Maybe I should post all our Filipino recipes that can be turned into a paleo recipe :).

        1. Hrmm. .. please let me know if the taste is similar. I’ve made three filipino recipes that I grew up eating and shared them on my site. It’s crazy how many are Paleo. I can’t wait to see what you share!

          1. I just got a bottle of coconut aminos. It’s like lite soy sauce but sweet. I’ll be making adobo tonight with it. My family and I are trying to go on a low fat, low sodium and low sugar diet so I’m cureentry experimenting on low sodium substitute for soy sauce.

  5. Sounds amazing! We love filipino food. What do you make as a side for this, and your ginger chicken? We are new to paleo, but have no choice but to stick to it as my husband and youngest daughter have celiac and she has a major dairy allergy. I am so new to this, sides dishes are what I am struggling with as we obviously can’t get pansit with this, or my traditional pasta with anything.

    1. You could do fried rice using cauliflower, that’s pretty yum. We do pretty basic side dishes most of the time. Veggies lightly sauteed in coconut oil with garlic and salt are always a hit in our house. I hope that you like it πŸ™‚

  6. Just made this tonight because I needed something really easy after a long day. The chicken was falling off the bone and super tender. I love all the flavorful juice and the vinegar wasn’t overpowering at all. Definitely a keeper!