Allow me to guide you through the creation of our family’s favorite chicken fajitas. They are delectably easy, bursting with flavor, and all prepared in one pan. There’s no doubt that these fajitas will leave your taste buds craving for more.
How To Make Chicken Fajitas Recipe
Crafting the Perfect Chicken Marinade
Embarking on this culinary journey, we begin with the chicken marinade. Letting the chicken marinate while prepping the veggies ensures that it is thoroughly infused with flavor. Squeeze 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice into a large mixing bowl. This citrus squeezer is my favorite and has proven to be resilient.
To the bowl, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and, of course, some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir until the mixture is combined. The aroma of this marinade is intoxicating and contributes significantly to the flavor of these fajitas.
Preparing the Chicken
Now, take 2 large chicken breasts, approximately 1.5 pounds total. Cut them in half lengthwise to facilitate faster and more even cooking. Transfer your chicken cutlets to the marinade, turning them to ensure an even and generous coating of the sauce. Set this aside to rest at room temperature while you advance to the veggie prep.
Veggie Prep for a Burst of Color
The process of preparing the veggies is fairly quick, so there’s no need to refrigerate the chicken. After a quick hand wash, cut your bell peppers in half, then scrape out the seeds and remove the tops. Cut them into 1/4 inch slices. You can use bell peppers of any color; using a variety adds a splash of color and makes the recipe more fun.
Onion Prep: The Tearful Task
Thinly slice one medium onion. For fajitas, it’s best to cut the onion in half, trim off both ends, and peel off the outer skin. Thinly slice your onions, cutting from the root to the stem. Be prepared for the onion tears!
Cooking the Fajita Filling
With the prep out of the way, it’s time to start cooking. Set a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Cast iron pans are preferable as they are non-reactive. Remember, there’s lime juice in the chicken marinade.
Cooking the Chicken
Once the skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil, then place your chicken in a single layer. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your chicken. Cook until it’s browned on both sides and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer.
Cooking the Veggies
Once the chicken is done, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes while you start cooking your veggies. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet, then add your onion and sliced bell peppers. Continue sautéing the veggies over medium heat, stirring frequently until the veggies are softened and golden in spots. This takes about 5 to 6 minutes.
Assembling the Fajitas
When the veggies are almost done, thinly slice your chicken against the grain and add it back to the pan. Once the ingredients are combined, take your skillet off the heat. To keep it warm before serving, cover it with a lid and toast your tortillas.
Toasting the Tortillas
Toasting tortillas is quick and there are many ways to do it. You can toast tortillas on a cast iron skillet, on a griddle, or even an outdoor grill, but my favorite is to do it over a gas burner on my stove. It takes just seconds per side. You should see some light charring on each side before you flip. As you take them off the heat, wrap them in a dry kitchen towel to keep them warm and prevent them from drying out.
The Final Touches: Building the Fajitas
With the components prepared, we’re now set to build these mouth-watering fajitas. Load up your tortilla with an abundance of veggies and chicken. It is truly a meal in one, loaded with veggies, and a satisfying, feel-good dinner.
Don’t forget to squeeze some fresh lime juice over your fajita – it adds an extra tanginess that works wonders. Don’t hold back on the cilantro either. And now, onto the toppings.
Avocado and Cheese Toppings
We’ve got our avocado, which could be substituted with guacamole, adding a creamy deliciousness to the fajitas. And then, there’s the cheese. Whether it’s Monterey Jack, cheddar, or mozzarella, choose what you love most. You could also add fresh iceberg lettuce, a classic accompaniment when serving chicken fajitas.
Saucy and Creamy Toppings
In the realm of sauces, salsa is a must-have. Whether it’s homemade or store-bought, or even fresh pico de gallo, it adds a saucy and flavor-packed dimension to the fajitas. A dollop or two of sour cream contributes a creamy balance to the heat and spices.
The Taste Test: Savoring the Fajita
Everything we love about chicken fajitas is wrapped in this tortilla. It’s epic and delicious. You will taste the spices on the chicken, giving it a kick of flavor. It’s a recipe that you’ll find yourself making over and over again because your family will request it.
Required Kitchen Tools or Equipment
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Citrus Squeezer
- Cutting Board
- Heavy Skillet (Preferably coated Cast Iron)
- Spatula or Cooking Spoon
- Instant-Read Thermometer
- Dry Kitchen Towel
- Gas Burner (Optional for toasting tortillas)
Tips and Variations
- You can marinate the chicken in the fridge overnight for a more intense flavor.
- Try using different types of meat like beef or shrimp for a different flavor profile.
- If you want a vegetarian version, substitute the chicken with portobello mushrooms or tofu.
- If you don’t have tortillas, you can also serve the chicken and vegetables over rice for a fajita bowl.
- For a spicier version, you can add some jalapenos or hot sauce to the mix.
- Customize your toppings based on your preference. You can add fresh tomatoes, beans, corn, or even grilled pineapple for a sweet touch.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make this recipe ahead of time? Yes, you can make the chicken and vegetables ahead of time and reheat them when you’re ready to eat. However, the tortillas are best when freshly toasted.
- Can I use other types of meat? Yes, this recipe works well with other meats like beef or shrimp. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Can I freeze the leftovers? Yes, you can freeze the cooked chicken and vegetables in an airtight container. However, it’s best to consume them within a month for optimal taste.
- Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes, this recipe is gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free tortillas. However, always check the labels of your ingredients to make sure.
- What can I use instead of a gas burner to toast the tortillas? You can use a cast-iron skillet, a griddle, an oven, or even an outdoor grill. Just make sure to watch them closely to prevent them from burning.
- What can I do to make the chicken juicier? Avoid overcooking the chicken, and always use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature. Letting the chicken rest after cooking also helps in retaining its juices.
These Chicken Fajitas are a family favorite! Packed with flavor, and simple to prepare, they make for an excellent meal. Juicy chicken, sautéed veggies, and a delicious homemade marinade make this recipe truly stand out. Try it once, and you’ll find yourself making it over and over again!
For the marinade:
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the fajitas:
2 large chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds total), cut in half lengthwise
3 bell peppers of varying colors, halved, seeded, and sliced into 1/4-inch strips
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Flour tortillas for serving
For the toppings:
Fresh lime wedges
Sliced avocado or guacamole
Monterey Jack cheese (or cheddar, mozzarella)
Fresh iceberg lettuce
Salsa or pico de gallo
- Start by preparing the marinade. In a large mixing bowl, combine the fresh lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stir until well combined.
- Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise and add them to the marinade, turning to ensure they’re evenly coated. Allow the chicken to rest at room temperature while you prep your veggies.
- Prepare the bell peppers and onion as described above.
- Preheat a large, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and place the marinated chicken in a single layer in the pan. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is browned on both sides and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board and let it rest.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of oil, then add the sliced bell peppers and onions. Sauté the veggies over medium heat, stirring frequently until they are softened and golden in spots (about 5-6 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste.
- While the veggies are cooking, thinly slice the rested chicken against the grain. Once the veggies are nearly done, add the sliced chicken back to the skillet, stirring to combine.
- Take the skillet off the heat, cover it to keep warm, and toast your tortillas. You can do this on a cast iron skillet, griddle, outdoor grill, or over a gas burner on the stove. Be sure to watch them closely as they toast, flipping when you see light charring.
- Build your fajitas with the chicken and veggie mixture, then top with your favorite toppings like fresh lime juice, cilantro, avocado or guacamole, cheese, lettuce, salsa or pico de gallo, and sour cream. Serve warm and enjoy!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Sauté
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Serving Size: 1 fajita
- Calories: Mexican
- Sugar: 7g
- Sodium: 800mg
- Fat: 20g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Unsaturated Fat: 10g
- Carbohydrates: 10g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 30g
- Cholesterol: 80mg
Keywords: Chicken Fajitas Recipe