Quick Stove-Top Beef Fajitas

Quick Stove-Top Beef Fajitas

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
742 Calories
35g Fat
68g Carbs
39g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 742
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 10g 49%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 1063mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 58mg 289%
Calcium 91mg 7%
Iron 7mg 41%
Potassium 1083mg 23%
*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.)

A traditional Tex-Mex dish that dates back to the 1930s, fajitas are grilled strips of beef that are typically served with onions, bell peppers, and tortillas. The term fajita technically refers only to the beef version of this dish, since the name comes from faja, the cut of meat from which they are traditionally made. Although many variations have derived from the original dish of skirt or flank steak strips, the beef fajita is still king, even if chicken, pork, seafood, and all-veggie fajitas have conquered millions of palates around the world.

Our delicious recipe for beef fajita is a shortcut from the usual version that requires the meat to sit in a marinade, so this pan-fried recipe will serve you well when you don’t have enough time or equipment for grilling. Naturally gluten free, this dish will suit such dietary needs when served with 100 percent corn tortillas—remember to always check the labels.

Our fajitas are juicy and have a marvelous all-around flavor. They are easy to make and come together fast. You can customize them to your needs, likes, and dietary preferences. At this point, purists aside, all is fair in the fajita game. Use lamb, shrimp, tofu, tempeh, or seitan and add different veggies or seasonings.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450 grams) skirt steak, or flank steak

  • 4 bell peppers, assorted colors; stemmed and seeded

  • 1 large white or yellow onion

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For Serving:

  • 10 to 12 medium corn or wheat tortillas

  • 1 cup guacamole

  • 1 cup pico de gallo

  • 1 cup shredded lettuce

  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Quick stove-top beef fajitas ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Slice the steak into 1/2-inch strips, cutting against the grain of the meat.

    Steak cut into strips

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Slice the peppers and onion into 1/4-inch strips.

    Peppers and onions cut into pieces

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat into the skillet and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the meat juices cook off for the most part.

    Steak cooked in a pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Add the sliced peppers and onion. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Meat cooking with the peppers and onions in a pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Uncover and continue to cook until the juices have reduced, the beef is cooked, and the peppers and onion are limp and translucent.

    Cooked meat and vegetables in a pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Serve immediately alongside the tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, and chopped fresh tomatoes. Allow each guest to build their own to taste.

    Quick stove-top beef fajitas

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Enjoy.

Should I Marinate the Beef If I Have the Time?

Absolutely, yes. If you can spare a little more time, a quick marinade will soften the connective tissue in the skirt or flank steak and make it softer, juicier, and a lot more flavorful. Cut the meat in strips against the grain and place them in a zip-top bag with 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 minced clove of garlic, and 1 teaspoon of adobo or fajita seasoning. Place the meat in the fridge for 20 to 40 minutes. Drain the marinade and cook on a hot skillet as instructed by the method.

Fajita Salad, Fajita Bowl, and Fajita Spud

Our basic beef fajita gives you a great template to work with. Use chicken, pork, or fish to make your own version, but adjust the cooking time to the protein you're using.

Add any veggies you like to the mix—broccoli, cauliflower, chopped kale, and asparagus are great. Add salsa, freshly chopped cilantro, hot sauce, sour cream, and crumbled queso fresco to the sides.

Here are a few ideas on how else you can present the dish:

  • Fajita salad: For those who want to keep low-carb, serve more shredded lettuce and other green alternatives like baby spinach or arugula. Add some lime wedges and olive oil for them to make a salad. Or use lettuce cups to fill with the beef strips instead of wheat or corn tortillas.
  • Fajita bowl: Make enough of any grain you like, such as rice, quinoa, or barley. Guests can make a bed of gran in their bowls, top it with the beef strips and veggies, and complement it with avocado slices or some pico de gallo.
  • Fajita spud: Bake some big russet potatoes—one per person—and present the beef like a topping for the potato, alongside all the sides you prefer. Sour cream and cheese are excellent choices for this alternative.