|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 15g||19%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||15%|
|Total Carbohydrate 51g||19%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||15%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 30mg||149%|
|*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.|
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
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
Gather the ingredients.
In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix to blend thoroughly.
Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips against the grain. Coat the chicken breast strips thoroughly with all of the seasoning mixture.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the spice-coated chicken to the hot skillet. Sauté until cooked through and opaque, about 5 minutes.
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.
Add the chicken strips back to the skillet, toss, and heat through.
Drizzle the fajitas with the lime juice and serve with warm tortillas and garnishes.
- 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.
- 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
- For garnishes, serve the fajitas with diced tomatoes or pico de gallo, chopped cilantro, guacamole or sliced avocado, sour cream, pickled red onions, or sliced green onions.
- For sides, serve them with rice, refried beans, or a tossed salad. Fajitas go well with coleslaw as well or serve them with seasoned black beans or pinto beans.
- If you aren't a fan of flour tortillas or need a gluten-free option, serve the fajitas in gluten-free corn tortillas or taco shells.
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.
Thought JR-D Food for. History of fajitas is short, flavor is not. Corvallis Gazette Times.
Wood VB, Fri., March 4, 2005. Fajita history.