November 29, 2022

Canadiannpizza

Cooking Is My World

Chicken Fajitas – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Chicken Fajitas are an easy, flavor-packed weeknight meal the whole family will love! We’ve got juicy seasoned chicken with sautéed onions and bell peppers. Pile the meat and veggies in warm tortillas or atop rice and add all your favorite toppings like cheese, guacamole, and sour cream.

We love fajitas! Try some other favorite variations on this recipe like this Chicken Fajita Marinade (for grilled chicken fajitas), Steak Fajitas, Shrimp Fajitas, or Vegetarian Fajitas.

Overhead image of Chicken Fajitas

The Best Chicken Fajita Recipe!

We are obsessed with these Chicken Fajitas; they’re a frequent go-to dinner at my home.

These healthy fajitas combine lean protein with loads of veggies to deliver a protein-loaded, nourishing, and satiating meal that is also packed with flavor.

It’s a meal the whole family loves and it truly tastes restaurant quality with all the fun toppings and additions piled atop the chicken and veggies.

Overhead image of the recipe in a tortilla

What’s In Chicken Fajitas?

All you’ll need is chicken, bell peppers, onions, lime juice, plus a few spices to make the bulk of this recipe. Then it’s all about how you’d like to serve it — grab your favorite toppings plus some tortillas. 

What Toppings Go On Fajitas?

Chicken Fajitas are tasty on their own, but the toppings and sides are the “secret” to outstanding flavors and textures! For restaurant-style Chicken Fajitas, it’s all about having plenty of toppings and good flour tortillas.

  • Try our favorite Guacamole recipe straight from a Hawaiian native. Or fresh ripe avocados (diced or thinly sliced). No access to ripe avocados? Try this product.
  • This quick food processor Salsa recipe is made from canned tomatoes. Or try a scoop of Pico de Gallo or Avocado Salsa.
  • This practically famous Cilantro Lime Sauce
  • Fresh lime wedges and/or fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream (fat-free, lite, or regular)
  • A handful of shredded lettuce
  • Freshly grated or shredded cheese (Mexican blend, sharp Cheddar, queso fresco, or cotija cheese)
  • For some heat, add in some sliced jalapeños

Serve Chicken And Peppers In Or Alongside:

  • Warmed tortillas with your favorite toppings (ideas listed directly above).
  • Cilantro lime rice or quinoa (or cauliflower rice/bed of lettuce for low carb).
  • Black beans as a side.
  • Elote or plain grilled corn as a side.

Process shots of Chicken Fajitas-- images of the chicken being prepped

How Do You Cut Chicken For Fajitas?

The key to keeping this recipe quick and easy is preparing the chicken before cooking. Adding a whole chicken breast to a skillet is more time intensive and more prone to burning before the interior is cooked. This is why we cut the breasts in half. 

Once halved, we then pound chicken breasts into evenly thick pieces (don’t pound to flatten, just to ensure pieces are even thickness throughout to ensure even cooking). I really like this meat mallet, and here’s a good YouTube video that illustrates the pounding process. No meat mallet? Use the base of a frying pan or even your fist to even out the chicken!

Once the chicken is cooked and has rested, cut into strips perpendicular to (across) the grain of meat to ensure the most tender slices. 

Process shots--making the chicken marinade

What Is Chicken Fajita Seasoning Made Of?

While seasoning packets are convenient, nothing beats the flavor of quickly assembling your own fajita seasoning. It’s also economical and you’re avoiding filler and artificial ingredients!

Here’s a breakdown of this chicken fajita seasoning blend:

  • chili powder
  • paprika
  • cumin 
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper

QUICK TIP

Try making your own DIY fajita seasoning packets. When I make this recipe, I’ll typically make 5 or 6 more packets of the seasoning. Since all the spices are out and I’m measuring anyways, it takes just a few extra minutes. Measure out the spices, put them in labeled individual snack-size bags, and store those packets with your spices. Next time you make chicken fajitas it will be that much easier and quicker!

Process shots-- grilling and slicing the Chicken Fajitas

How To Make Chicken Fajitas

Here are our top tips for preparing this easy Chicken Fajitas recipe:

  • Use a digital meat thermometer to remove the guesswork of grilling!
    • Cooking times will vary, depending on several factors, so I always recommend using a thermometer to test your chicken as it cooks. Aim to hit 160 degrees Fahrenheit. (Under-cooked = unsafe; Over-cooked = dry chicken). Carry-over heat will take the chicken to a safe 165 degrees.
  • Let the chicken rest. After it’s cooked, tent chicken with foil and let stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute inside the chicken; this means juicier meat!
  • Use two skillets. Yes, it uses more dishes, but dinner is ready quicker and everything is hot! Cook the peppers in one pan while cooking the chicken in the other.

Do I Need A Cast Iron Skillet?

A cast iron skillet will give your chicken and veggies a nice char and sear. That said, a nonstick or stainless steel skillet can also be used just fine! If using a cast iron skillet, be sure it is properly seasoned so the food doesn’t stick and burn.

Process shots-- images of the peppers and onions being chopped and cooked

Let’s Chat Veggies

The peppers and onions we add to these chicken fajitas cook quickly but do require some babysitting at the stovetop while cooking. We aren’t looking to get them super soft or caramelized, but rather we want them crisp-tender with a nice char (char = flavor!).

To get this nice char:

  • Add in a single layer (so we cook in batches). If the peppers and onions are overlapping they won’t char.
  • Toss every 45 seconds or so to get all sides nicely charred and to the perfect crisp-tenderness.
  • Repeat until all the peppers and onions are nicely charred.

Overhead image of the Chicken Fajitas

STORAGE

Storing Chicken Fajitas

These Chicken Fajitas are great for weekly meal prep. I’ll often make a double batch and store the chicken in a container, veggies in a container, and toppings separately– and then re-warm for quick lunches or an easy dinner. Then serve either in tortillas or in a salad (with this Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette!). The chicken and veggies will keep 3-5 days in the fridge in an airtight container

More Mexican Favorites:

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas are a flavor-packed and easy weeknight meal the whole family will love! We’ve got juicy seasoned chicken with sautéed onions and bell peppers. Pile the meat and veggies in warm tortillas or atop rice and add all your favorite toppings like cheese, guacamole, and sour cream.

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas are a flavor-packed and easy weeknight meal the whole family will love! We’ve got juicy seasoned chicken with sautéed onions and bell peppers. Pile the meat and veggies in warm tortillas or atop rice and add all your favorite toppings like cheese, guacamole, and sour cream.

Instructions

  • CHICKEN: Prep chicken (Note 1). In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients listed under “chicken” except the chicken. Whisk until smooth. Add chicken to a large resealable plastic bag. Pour sauce over the chicken, seal the bag and then knead with your hands to ensure all of the chicken is well coated. Place in the fridge and marinate for at least 30 minutes and preferably 3-4 hours. Don’t marinate longer than 8-10 hours (acid from citrus will start to dry out chicken).

  • PEPPERS AND ONIONS: Thinly slice peppers and onion. We’re going to cook these in stages to get a nice char! Place your largest skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and once shimmering, add a handful of the veggies to cover the entire base of the pan without overlapping. Spread out and let stand (no mixing/stirring) for 45 seconds. Toss quickly and spread out again, cooking for another 45 seconds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then stir once more, spreading out and letting stand for another 30 seconds to a minute or until nicely charred. Remove, set aside, and repeat until all veggies are done. (I like to cook the chicken in a second pan while these are browning!)

  • CHICKEN: Add 1 tbsp oil to a large skillet. Set to medium-high heat. Using tongs, pick up chicken from the bag, allowing excess marinade to drip off (we don’t want this liquid in the pan). Place chicken flat in pan in an even layer (no overlapping). Let stand (don’t move it) and char/cook for about 3-4 minutes before flipping to the other side and cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Chicken should be nicely charred and cooked through (165 degrees F). Add chicken to a plate, cover with foil. Let rest 5-10 minutes before thinly slicing.

  • ASSEMBLY: Prepare tortillas if using (Note 3). Pile peppers and onions on top tortilla then top with chicken. Add your favorite toppings, fold up, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Chicken: No prep for thighs, but here’s how to prep chicken breasts: before marinating, slice breasts in half horizontally (so you have 4 thinner pieces from 2 breasts). Then, pound chicken breasts into evenly thick pieces (don’t pound to flatten, just to ensure pieces are even thickness throughout to ensure even cooking). I really like this meat mallet, and here’s a good YouTube video that illustrates the pounding process. No meat mallet? Use the base of a frying pan or even your fist to even out the chicken!
Note 2: Topping Ideas: Use whatever toppings you like best. There is a fairly extensive list in the blog post to go consider for more inspiration!
Note 3: Tortillas: We love these unbaked tortillas by TortillaLand® (not sponsored). They are generally found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near the cheese and have the best flavor. That said, any flour tortillas will work, but we do recommend warming or charring them first!

  • Here’s how we char the tortillas: Spray both sides of the tortillas with cooking spray. I use an olive oil-based spray (canola works as well) and give each side a good spritz. Very lightly char each side of the tortilla over an open flame on the stovetop. If you don’t have an open flame, warm for 10-15 seconds in a skillet. Immediately remove the tortilla from the heat and fold in half. Place under a towel (keeps them warm and soft!) and repeat until all the tortillas are warmed/charred.

Nutrition information is only for the fajita filling as the tortillas and additional toppings will vary.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.4g | Protein: 26.7g | Fat: 3.3g | Cholesterol: 87.2mg | Sodium: 55.9mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 5.2g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.