Photo of Guatemalan Chicken Pepian (Pepian de Pollo) by WW

Guatemalan Chicken Pepian (Pepian de Pollo)

Points® value
Total Time
50 min
20 min
30 min
The sauce for this chicken dish is wonderfully creamy and flavourful. The creaminess comes from blended pepitas and sesame seeds, and the deeply savoury flavour from a combination of broiled onion, garlic, and tomatoes, plus chili powder and a smoky chipotle chile. The last two ingredients are our shortcut hack for the sauce, which is traditionally made with dried guajillo and pasilla chiles. Serve the saucy dish with rice or corn tortillas, or spoon it over cooked cauliflower rice.


No-salt-added chicken stock

3 cup(s)

Uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast

1 pound(s)


2 clove(s), large, unpeeled


1 medium, white, halved

Plum tomato

5 medium, halved lengthwise

Roasted salted pepitas

½ cup(s)

Sesame seeds

cup(s), toasted

Chili powder

2 tbsp(s)

Kosher salt

1 tsp(s)

Ground cinnamon

¼ tsp(s)

Canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1 item(s)


1 tbsp(s), chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat the broiler to high. In a large sauté pan or skillet, bring the stock to a boil. Add the chicken to the pan, and reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer, medium-low to low. Cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, on a sheet pan lined with foil, arrange the garlic and onion, cut side down. Broil 5 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven, turn the garlic and onion over, and add the tomato halves, cut side down. Broil until the tomato skins are slightly blackened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and peel the garlic.
  3. When the chicken is done, remove it from the pan to a cutting board, reserving the chicken stock. In a blender, combine the broiled onion, tomatoes, and garlic, pepitas, sesame seeds, chili powder, salt, cinnamon, chipotle, and 1 cup chicken stock. Blend on high speed until creamy and very smooth, about 1 minute. Add more chicken stock if needed; discard the remaining stock or reserve it for another use.
  4. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Combine the chicken and the sauce in the sauté pan or skillet. Heat over medium until thoroughly heated, 3 to 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
  5. Serving size: 1¼ cups