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Disclosure: Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls sponsored this post. Opinions are my own. 

pulled chicken with bbq sauce on potato roll with shredded lettuce with a side of tortilla chips

I always keep a few cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce on hand. Adding one to two peppers to sauces and dips transforms them into a smoky sweet delight.

What is a chipotle pepper and why is it in adobo sauce?

Chipotle peppers are simply ripe red jalapeno peppers that are dried and smoked. 

I know, the jalapenos you’re accustomed to are green, but think of them like tomatoes. They start out green, but when they’re allowed to fully ripen, they actually turn bright red. 

The red ones are harvested and then dried and smoked. You can find the dried chiles pulverized into chipotle powder, which is great for rubs. Or you can pick up a can of chipotles rehydrated in a rich, red adobo sauce. 

Adobo sauce is kind of like a Mexican barbecue sauce. It’s made with tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and spices, including chile powder and cumin. When the dried chipotles are canned in the sauce, they plump up and absorb all of those flavors.

three bowls - one has bbq sauce, one has chipotle crema, one has a rub.

You’re in control of the heat

This recipe for Southwest chicken sandwiches uses canned chipotles two ways. First, you’re going to add a chipotle to a bottle of traditional barbecue sauce. Just pulse them together in a blender, until the sauce is smooth. Start with one chipotle, and if you decide you want a bit more heat, toss in another one. 

The best way to balance out heat is with cream. So instead of smearing our Martin’s Famous Sandwich Potato Rolls with mayo, we’re going to make a chipotle crema by blending Mexican crema, vinegar, chipotles and salt. 

Mexican crema is kind of like a cross between sour cream and heavy cream. If you can’t find it in the store, you can just use sour cream and thin it out with a little milk. 

When adding the chipotles, again, start with one. Then add another if you like the extra punch of heat.

raw whole chicken covered with seasoning.

To add to the smoky flavor of the chipotles, we’re going to smoke a whole chicken.

Rub it down with a simple Southwest rub of salt, pepper, granulated garlic and cumin. 

I used my Big Green Egg set at 275F degrees with the convEGGtor for indirect heat. You can just go with straight charcoal, or add a couple chunks of pecan wood.

smoked chicken on a grill grate.

Cook the bird, until the internal temperature near the thigh reaches 165F degrees. 

Don’t worry about the skin. It doesn’t need to be golden or crispy. We won’t be using it for the final dish.

chicken pulled in an aluminum pan.

Place the whole bird in a pan, cover it with foil and let it rest for about 30 minutes. This will allow all of the juices to settle into the meat, making for a juicier Southwest chicken sandwich. 

Then, pull the chicken, discarding the bones, skin and excess cartilage and fat. 

Toss it with that bomb chipotle barbecue sauce you made. 

bag of Martin's potato rolls.

When it comes to sandwiches, bread matters

I’m kind of a bread snob when it comes to sandwiches. It’s really important to get the right filling to bun ratio.

If a bun is too dense, it overshadows the meat. If it’s too light, it can’t hold up to a killer sandwich.

I look for buns that are soft and fluffy, but hearty enough to hang on for the ride.

Martin’s is an American, family-owned and operated company that’s been using potato flour and wheat flour for decades to make rolls and bread. This blend creates that delicate balance I’m looking for when I build a sandwich. 

They also sweeten their potato rolls with a little sugar and dry milk, and that hint of sweetness goes great with barbecue. 

Watch the video above to learn more about this great American success story. 

potato rolls on grill grate cut side down.

After you pull your chicken, remove the convEGGtor to set the Big Green Egg for direct grilling. Add the Martin’s Potato Rolls straight to the grill grate. 

It will only take about 10-15 seconds for them to get toasted. You don’t need to add butter, because these buns already have a buttery flavor. We’re just looking for a little texture.

hand holding a toasted potato roll.

It’s sandwich building time

Pile that bottom bun with your chipotle barbecue chicken.

For texture, add some shredded lettuce and thinly sliced red onion.

Finish it off with a hefty smear of your homemade chipotle crema. 

Grab a bag of tortilla chips, and call in the crowd.

pulled chicken with bbq sauce on potato roll with shredded lettuce.

Where to find Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls.

5 from 1 vote

Southwest Chicken Sandwich with Chipotle Crema

Chipotle peppers are one of the easiest ingredients to use to turn ordinary food into something great. This Smoked Southwest chicken sandwich uses chipotle peppers two ways and is served on a toasted soft potato roll.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8


Southwest Rub

  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin

Chipotle BBQ Sauce

  • 1 bottle barbecue sauce
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Chipotle Crema

  • 1 cup Mexican crema
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Other Ingredients


Southwest Rub

  • Combine the rub ingredients in a bowl. 

Chipotle BBQ Sauce

  • Place the ingredients in a blender. Pulse until smooth. Set aside. 

Chipotle Crema

  • Combine the ingredients in a blender. Pulse until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Smoked Southwest Chicken

  • Pat the chicken dry. Rub all over with the Southwest Rub.
  • Heat the Big Green Egg to 275F degrees, using the plate setter to cook over indirect heat. 
  • Place the chicken on the rack, breast side up. Smoke for about 2 hours, until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165F degrees. 
  • Place in an aluminum pan and cover with foil. Rest for 30 minutes. 
  • While it’s resting, heat the BBQ sauce in a pot or microwave. 
  • Pull the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Toss in the warm sauce. 


  • Split the Martin’s Potato Rolls and grill cut side down, until slightly charred. 
  • Pile sauced pulled chicken on bottom bun. Top with shredded lettuce and sliced red onions.
  • Smear chipotle crema on top bun. Place on top. 


Calories: 526kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 30gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 2026mgPotassium: 380mgFiber: 2gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 645IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 236mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

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christie vanover standing against wood wall.

Hey BBQ Family

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

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  1. I’m wondering why I’m not allowed to enter the BGE sweeps – it only lets me enter every couple of days – not like the contest rules state – but I love your recipes!