Chicken Fajitas

With Steak and Shrimp Variations

Chicken Fajitas

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 22 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
517 Calories
15g Fat
51g Carbs
43g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 517
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 604mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 19%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 43g
Vitamin C 30mg 149%
Calcium 71mg 5%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 529mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These easy chicken fajitas are a classic combination of seasoned chicken strips, onions, and peppers. The homemade fajita seasoning flavors the chicken and pepper mixture perfectly, and prep takes less than 15 minutes. You'll likely have most of the fajita seasonings in your pantry, and if you don't, they're all easy to find. Or you might choose to use a ready-made packet of fajita seasoning instead.

The word fajita didn't appear in print until the 1970s, but the dish dates back to the early 1900s. Mexican vaqueros working in Texas probably made the first fajitas with grilled skirt steak. Still, the dish didn't gain popularity until 1969, when Austin meat manager Sonny Falcon served them at his concession stand in Kyle, Texas. Later that same year, fajitas were introduced by Otilia Garza on the menu of his Round-Up Restaurant in Pharr, Texas. The restaurant's fajitas were served on the signature sizzling platter with flour tortillas, cheese, and various condiments. As fajitas gained popularity, several variations popped up, including versions featuring chicken, shrimp, and vegetables.

Serve fajitas with warm tortillas and your favorite toppings. Guacamole, sour cream, cheese, sliced green onions, tomato salsa, and cilantro are excellent choices. Make the fajitas a complete, well-balanced meal with hot cooked rice and refried beans on the side, or keep it light and simple with a tossed green salad.

"While these homemade fajitas don't come with the head-turning sizzle, they taste just as good as the restaurant version. Make extra of the spice mix so you can have fajitas at the drop of a hat." —Laurel Randolph

Chicken fajitas
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Fajita Seasoning:

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Fajitas and Assembly:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 3 medium bell peppers, multi-colored, sliced into thin strips

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 6 to 12 (6-inch) flour tortillas, warm, for serving

  • Guacamole, sour cream, cheese, salsa, cilantro, or lime wedges, optional, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chicken Fajitas ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix to blend thoroughly.

    combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips against the grain. Coat the chicken breast strips thoroughly with all of the seasoning mixture.

    chicken and seasoning in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

    oil in a cast iron skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Add the spice-coated chicken to the hot skillet. Sauté until cooked through and opaque, about 5 minutes.

    chicken cooking in a cast iron skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the sliced onions and pepper strips to the skillet. Cook the vegetables, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until just tender.

    onions and pepper in a skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Add the chicken strips back to the skillet, toss, and heat through.

    chicken and peppers in a cast iron skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Drizzle the fajitas with the lime juice and serve with warm tortillas and garnishes.

    Chicken Fajitas in a cast iron skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Make-Ahead Tips

  • Combine the spice mixture up to several days in advance; cover and store the mixture in a cool, dark place until it's time to make the fajitas.
  • Slice the bell peppers and onions the day before and store them in a covered container in the refrigerator until it's time to cook them.

Recipe Variations

  • To make the fajitas with beef, slice 1 1/2 pounds of sirloin or skirt steak into 1/4-inch strips and toss with the seasoning. Follow the recipe instructions, cooking the beef strips for 5 to 8 minutes, or until done as desired.
  • To make the fajitas with shrimp, toss one pound of large shrimp with the seasoning. Follow the recipe instructions, cooking the shrimp for about about 4 minutes, or until opaque and pink.
  • For vegetarian fajitas, replace the chicken with sliced portobello mushrooms and add black beans or pinto beans just before serving. Heat through, drizzle with the lime juice, and serve the fajitas in warm tortillas.
  • If you don't have the various seasonings on hand, season the chicken with about 2 1/2 tablespoons of ready-made fajita seasoning.

How to Serve Fajitas

How to Store and Freeze

  • If you have leftover fajitas, transfer them to a shallow covered container and refrigerate them within two hours—eat them within four days.
  • You may freeze fajita filling for longer storage. Put the fajitas in an airtight freezer container or zip-close freezer bag and freeze them for up to three months.
  • Reheat defrosted fajitas in a lightly oiled skillet on the stovetop until hot.

Can You Eat Fajitas Without Tortillas?

Instead of serving fajitas with tortillas, serve them on greens for a tasty salad or simply serve them over rice with your favorite toppings.

What Is the Difference Between a Taco and Fajita?

A taco is a tortilla filled with meat or another protein along with toppings, while fajita refers to the meat—originally skirt steak—and the tortillas and garnishes are served on the side.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Thought JR-D Food for. History of fajitas is short, flavor is not. Corvallis Gazette Times.

  2. Wood VB, Fri., March 4, 2005. Fajita history.