Chicken and Steak Fajitas

Chicken and Steak Fajitas

These chicken and steak fajitas make a great go-to weeknight dinner that tastes like restaurant quality. They’re quick to assemble, easily customized to your taste preferences, and a meal that all ages enjoy. 

vertical shot of steak and chicken fajitas lined up on a tray with salsa, lime, and guacamole on the side

What Is a Fajita?

Let’s start with the basics: what exactly IS a fajita? It may surprise you to know that the word “fajita” according to dictionary.com simply means “a thin strip of marinated and grilled meat”. So, the dish we refer to as “fajitas” uses this kind of meat in a warm tortilla with various Tex Mex toppings like sautéed onions and peppers, salsa, and more.

What Makes These Chicken and Steak Fajitas the BEST

Now that the proper definition of “fajita” out of the way, you must know why this particular fajita recipe may be the BEST.

Thanks to an easy, yet complex-tasting marinade, the strips of chicken and steak turn out smokey, lime-infused, with a hint of heat in the background. They are perfectly seasoned and moist. The onions and bell peppers (thanks to a secret ingredient) turn out a little sweet which balances out the acid from the lime juice.

vertical overhead shot of a serving platter with fajita veggies, steak, and chicken

When served on warm tortillas, these chicken and steak fajitas taste like restaurant quality…especially if you squeeze some lime and add a little chopped cilantro over the top! 

vertical shot of chicken fajitas lined up on a tray with salsa and guacamole in small bowls on the side

Ingredients for Chicken and Steak Fajitas

Ok, I know this may look like a lot of ingredients, but a) it’s WORTH IT, and b) I bet you have a lot of them in your pantry already. You are going to be SO proud of this meal when you’re done, friends.

Ingredients for chicken and steak fajitas

For the Fajita Marinade:

  • Avocado oil or olive oil
  • Lime zest of 2 limes
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder (sub: 1 ½ teaspoon minced garlic)
  • Red pepper flakes

Other Fajita Ingredients:

  • Steak (recommended: ribeye, sirloin, culotte) (sub: chicken breasts)
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (sub: steak)Bell peppers (your choice of colors)
  • Yellow or red onion
  • Sugar (secret ingredient!)
  • Fajita-size flour tortillas (GF option: corn tortillas or gluten-free tortillas)
  • Optional Toppings:  lime wedges, chopped cilantro, salsa, guacamole or avocado chunks, sour cream (DF option: omit sour cream)

How to Make Chicken and Steak Fajitas

Take a look at how fast this delicious meal comes together…

Step-by-Step Directions

I’ll give you a bird’s eye view of how this recipe is going to go down, but you can find the exact measurements in the recipe below.

Step 1: Make the Marinade

Slice your meat thinly. Then, add all the marinade ingredients to two gallon-sized storage bags. Use your hands to massage the bags from the bottom and combine the marinade. Then, add the steak to one bag and the chicken to the other, seal, and toss until the meat is evenly coated.

process shot of thinly sliced steak and thinly sliced chicken in separate bowls along with two freezer bags of the fajita marinade

Step 2: Marinate the Chicken and Steak

Place the steak and chicken bags in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours, turning and/or massaging occasionally.

overhead shot of fajita steak and fajita chicken in freezer bags with marinade

Step 3: Saute the Peppers and Onions

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat until shimmery. Carefully add the peppers and onions to the hot pan and saute until softened and charred, 5-7 minutes for fresh veggies or 7-9 minutes for frozen veggies. Season lightly with salt and pepper and the sugar (this is a key ingredient!) as they cook. Remove to a serving platter.

fajita veggies in a cast iron skillet with wooden spoon for serving

Step 4: Saute the Chicken and Steak

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Once it’s shimmery, saute the steak in one batch until brown on all sides, about 3 minutes.

sautéed steak in a cast iron skillet

Then, saute the chicken in second batch, about 4-5 minutes (make sure there’s no more pink on any of the chicken!). Remove to the serving platter with the veggies.

sautéed chicken in a cast iron skillet

Step 5: Serve and enjoy!

Squeeze half a lime over all the meat and veggies. Top with chopped cilantro, if desired. Warm the tortillas according to package directions. Serve the meat and veggies on the tortillas with lime wedges and your favorite Tex-Mex toppings.

steak and chicken fajitas lined up on a tray with salsa, lime, and guacamole on the side

Tips for Making Restaurant Quality Fajitas

While developing and researching this recipe, I learned several tips to pass along for making outstanding fajitas.

Tip 1: How to Cut Onions for Fajitas

Cut the top and bottom off of the onion and slice it in half lengthwise. Remove the papery skin and lay each half flat. Then, slice very thinly across the grain. Pull apart the pieces.

Tip 2: How to Cut Peppers for Fajitas

Stand the pepper on end. Slice around the core from the top to the bottom in about 3 or 4 pieces. Lay those pieces inside up and slice into ¼ inch pieces.

Tip 3: What Kind of Steak to Use for Fajitas

While developing this recipe, I picked the brain of Jeff, the long-time head butcher at my local Hy-Vee grocery store. He told me that for pre-sliced, marinated steak fajitas, the best beef is a tender steak that has marbling in it. He recommended rib eye, sirloin, and culotte cuts and said to absolutely ask your local butcher to slice them fajita thin for you! 

Jeff mentioned that a tougher cut of meat like flank, skirt, or flat iron steak will work if you marinate it for a while and then grill or pan-sear it, slicing it against the grain only after it’s cooked and rested. Try using this cooking method if you decided to use one of those steaks, instead of slicing it before cooking.

Jeff the Butcher also said beef is really expensive right now. That’s why I provided a chicken fajita version, as well!

Tip 4: Add Sugar to the Veggies

I was shocked at how much this made a difference in the flavor of this recipe. Just a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, in addition a little salt and pepper, helped the sauteed bell peppers and onions caramelize and accentuated their natural sweetness. Delicious!

Tip 5: Use a Cast Iron Pan

If you have one, I highly recommend using a cast iron skillet like this one for this recipe. It maintains even heat and helps to char the meat and veggies as they quickly saute in a little oil.

How to Serve Chicken and Steak Fajitas

Add the cooked meat and veggies to a serving platter and top with a good squeeze of lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro. Warm flour or corn tortillas according to the package directions and set them out on a plate wrapped in a tea towel to keep them warm. Place various Tex-Mex toppings (see below) in individual bowls.

overhead shot of a serving platter with fajita veggies, steak, and chicken

To build the perfect fajita, add some warm steak or chicken and veggies to a flour or corn tortilla and top with your favorite Tex-Mex toppings. Eat right away and keep a napkin handy!

Fajita Toppings

One of the best parts of fajitas is the wide array of topping options. Everyone can truly customize their own fajitas using these ideas.

  • Lime wedges
  • Chopped cilantro (or fresh parsley)
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Queso fresco – A soft, moist, crumbly Mexican cheese like feta.
  • Cotija cheese – A harder Mexican cheese that’s similar to Parmesan.
  • Shredded lettuce – A crisp variety like iceburg is best.
  • Chopped tomatoes or pico de gallo

Sides for Fajitas

While fajitas are a “one plate wonder”, in my opinion, it can’t hurt to have a side dish or two along with it. This is especially true if you’re serving a crowd. Here are a few favorites:

How to Freeze Fajitas as a Meal Kit

As with so many of our recipes, we’ve figured out the best way to freeze this meal. That way you can use your time wisely in the kitchen. Simply double the meal, so you can eat one fresh and freeze another for later. Here’s how to make this a meal kit to throw in the freezer.

freezer meal kit of chicken, steak, and peppers and onions for fajitas

Freeze For Later: Freeze the marinated steak and chicken bags, alongside frozen peppers and onions. Two options for the frozen peppers and onions: 1) Buy a 20-22 ounce bag of frozen sliced peppers and onions, or 2) line up the fresh onion and pepper slices in a single layer on a sheet pan. Place in the freezer until solid and then toss the frozen veggies in a freezer bag. You can also freeze flour tortillas (not corn or gluten-free tortillas, though), along with this meal kit.

overhead shot showing how to flash freeze peppers and onions for fajitas

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw the bags of steak and chicken using one of these safe methods, but do NOT thaw the peppers and onions. Follow Steps 3-5 in the recipe.

What to Do with the Leftovers

I’m not sure you’ll have any leftovers because these are so dang good, but just in case, try one of these ideas:

You now know almost everything I know about fajitas. Only one thing left…get cooking!

vertical shot of steak fajitas lined up on a tray with guacamole and lime wedges in the background
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vertical shot of steak and chicken fajitas lined up on a tray with salsa, lime, and guacamole on the side

Chicken and Steak Fajitas

  • Author: Rachel Tiemeyer
  • Total Time: 25 minutes (+ marinating time)
  • Yield: 5-6 servings (about 2 per person)
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These chicken and steak fajitas make a great go-to weeknight dinner that tastes like restaurant quality. They’re quick to assemble, easily customized to your taste preferences, and a meal that all ages enjoy.


Ingredients

Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (sub: olive oil)
  • Zest of 2 limes (reserve the limes for juicing at the end)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, crushed in hand
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (sub: 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Other Fajita Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lbs tender steak, sliced across the grain into thin strips* (recommended: ribeye, sirloin, culotte) (sub: chicken breasts)
  • 3/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise and sliced across the grain into thin strips (sub: steak)
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 23 bell peppers, sliced 1/4 inch thick** (your choice of colors)
  • 1 large yellow or red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick**
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1012 fajita-size flour tortillas (GF option: corn tortillas or gluten-free tortillas)
  • Optional Toppings: lime wedges, chopped cilantro, salsa, guacamole or avocado chunks, sour cream (DF option: omit sour cream)

*Don’t hesitate to ask your butcher to slice the meat for the fajitas to save you time!

**Shortcut: Replace with 20-22 ounces of frozen pepper and onion blend from the freezer section.


Instructions

Make It Now:

1. Make the Marinade: Open 2 gallon-sized freezer bags. To each one, add the following:

  • 2 tablespoons oil 
  • Zest of 1 lime (about 1 ½ teaspoons)
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano, crushed in hand
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Small pinch of red pepper flakes

Use your hands to massage the bags from the bottom and combine the marinade. Then, add the steak to one bag and the chicken to the other (DO NOT ADD THEM TO THE SAME BAG), seal, and toss until the meat is evenly coated. (Freezing instructions begin here.) 

2. Marinate the Chicken and Steak: Place the steak and chicken bags in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours, turning and/or massaging occasionally.

3. Stir Fry the Veggies: In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat until shimmery. Carefully add the peppers and onions to the hot pan and saute until softened and charred, 5-7 minutes for fresh veggies or 7-9 minutes for frozen veggies. Season lightly with salt and pepper and the sugar (a key ingredient!) as they cook. Remove to a serving platter.

4. Stir Fry the Chicken and Steak: Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Once it’s shimmery, saute the steak in one batch until brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Then, saute the chicken in second batch, about 4-5 minutes (make sure there’s no more pink on any of the chicken!). Remove to the serving platter with the veggies.

5. Serve: Squeeze half a lime over all the meat and veggies. Top with chopped cilantro, if desired. Warm the tortillas according to package directions. Serve the meat and veggies on the tortillas with lime wedges and your favorite Tex-Mex toppings.

Freeze For Later:

Follow Step 1. Freeze the marinated steak and chicken bags, alongside frozen peppers and onions. Two options for the frozen peppers and onions: 1) Buy a 20-22 ounce bag of frozen sliced peppers and onions, or 2) line up the fresh onion and pepper slices in a single layer on a sheet pan. Place in the freezer until solid and then toss the frozen veggies in a freezer bag.

Prepare From Frozen:

Thaw the bags of steak and chicken using one of these safe methods, but do NOT thaw the peppers and onions. Follow Steps 3-5.



Notes

What’s the Heat Level of This Recipe? Overall this recipe isn’t very spicy at all, so all ages can enjoy these. If you’d like more heat, simply add in more red pepper flakes to the marinade. 

Where We Get Our Meat: We get our meat from ButcherBox. The chicken is organic and curated from small, trusted farms. The steak is grass-fed and grass-finished. Read about how this service works and our honest review here

6 Freezer Meals in 1 Hour: Find this Fajitas recipe in Prep Session #16 of our 1 Hour Freezer Prep.

2 fajitas3943.6 g483.2 mg18.7 g27.5 g4.7 g29.2 g82.7 mg

The post Chicken and Steak Fajitas appeared first on Thriving Home.

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