Chicken Fajitas are a crowd-pleasing dinner recipe that’s just as perfect for busy weeknights as larger parties and get-togethers. It’s such a flavorful meal!
Besides the fact that Chicken Fajitas are wildly delicious, I love how they’re so customizable and friendly to all sorts of dietary preferences.
The flavors and textures are fresh and vibrant, and you get hearty helpings of protein and vegetables to make it a very complete meal.
All with the ease of using the same marinade for both the chicken and the fajita vegetables.
In addition to flavoring the meat, the marinade makes for the most crazy juicy chicken ever. Chicken breast is my favorite cut of chicken to eat, and in all the years I’ve been making these marinated chicken fajitas, it never turns out dry.
Even though it looks like there’s a lot going on with this dish, it’s actually really easy.
The only “real work” you’re doing is mixing together the marinade for the peppers, onions, and chicken breast, then later cooking it on the grill or stove (I cover the various cooking methods below).
Then it’s really easy to fill things in with the accompaniments, and make the table look really full and festive.
How to Make Chicken Fajitas:
To make great chicken fajitas, you need to start with a marinade.
For mine, I use orange juice, lime juice, oil (usually olive oil or avocado oil), soy sauce (you may substitute coconut aminos), salt, fajita seasoning, and lots of smashed garlic:
I use my homemade fajita seasoning, which I love because it’s better quality than any pre-mixed packet I can buy at the store, and it’s really fragrant and flavorful.
Mix the marinade ingredients together, then divide it between two bowls or plastic bags.
In one bag, add all the fajita vegetables. I like to do one red, one orange, and one yellow bell pepper, as well as one red onion, and one sweet yellow onion:
In the other bag, add boneless, skinless chicken breast:
As far as marinade times go, the chicken and vegetables are surprisingly flavorful even after 2 hours, though my sweet spot is 6-8 hours.
Also, I have accidentally let this go for as much as a full day, and it’s still fantastic. The vegetables still have good texture, and the chicken’s texture holds up nicely as well.
How to Cook Chicken Fajitas:
Unless I’m cooking on the outdoor grill, I grill the ingredients separately.
I usually start with the chicken, so the chicken has time to rest after cooking.
I think fajitas are always best on a real outdoor grill, but most of the year I have to make it on this indoor grill (affiliate) because it’s too cold to be outside.
My father-in-law got me the grill for Christmas one year and it actually gives a shocking amount of that wonderful char grill flavor.
If you don’t have a grill of any kind, you can cook the chicken in a large cast-iron skillet. Make sure to get it smoking hot, to caramelize the outsides of the chicken (further instructions are in the recipe box below).
When the chicken is cooked through, it’s time to grill the peppers and onions:
When the weather is nice, I cook the fajita vegetables fully on the outdoor grill, but indoors I give it a good char on the electric grill, and finish it in a skillet to soften further:
Once the chicken has rested, slice it as desired and serve on a platter (or in the same skillet you cooked with), with your desired accompaniments.
Tortillas are a must, and I also love having cilantro, avocado or fresh Guacamole, fresh lime, and radish.
My husband also loves adding dairy, and shredded Mexican cheese and sour cream are perfect for that.
More Mexican and Tex-Mex Dinner Ideas:
- Carnitas – The simplest and most delicious carnitas I’ve ever had
- Tex-Mex Chicken Casserole – Great big batch dish
- Steak Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing – So ridiculously delicious
- Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Beef – Easy, big batch for the week ahead
For the Marinade:
- 1/2 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed, about 1 large orange)
- 1/4 cup lime juice (freshly squeezed, 1-2 limes)
- 3 tbsp oil (any neutral oil, but I like avocado or olive)
- 2 tbsp fajita seasoning
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
- 5 cloves garlic smashed
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt
For the Chicken Fajitas:
- 2 to 3* lbs chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
- 3 large bell peppers sliced into strips
- 2 large onions sliced (red or yellow onion)
- Mix together all marinade ingredients, then divide evenly between two plastic bags or bowls.
- Place the chicken in one bag, and the sliced peppers and onions in the other. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours, and up to 24. I find the sweet spot is 6-8 hours.
- To cook the chicken and fajita vegetables, the best option is an outdoor grill, the second best is an indoor grill, and the next best is a cast-iron skillet on the stove.
- OUTDOOR GRILL: I like using a charcoal grill when cooking outside, and usually cook the chicken for about 10 minutes to get it at an internal temperature of 165F (time will vary depending on heat of grill and size of the chicken breasts). To keep the peppers and onions from falling through, you will likely need to put them in a wire basket. I find they are crisp-tender when cooked for about 12-15 minutes.
- INDOOR GRILL: The nice thing about an indoor grill is it gives the food a nice char and flavor, however you don't get the hot heat through the surrounding air like you do with a real grill, so you may need to supplement with other types of heat. I sear the chicken until caramelized on both sides, about 4-5 minutes on each side, but if the chicken starts to get too dark and isn't cooked through, put the chicken into the oven to get it to 165F. With the vegetables, I often will start it on the indoor grill to char, then soften it further in a skillet on the stove. After grilling, it usually only needs about 5 minutes in the skillet.
- CAST-IRON SKILLET ON STOVE: Sear the chicken over medium high heat for about 5 minutes on each side, until caramelized and cook through to 165F. If the chicken gets too dark on the outsides before cooking through to the middle, you may finish cooking in the oven. Cook the peppers and onions in the skillet, about 10 minutes total, over medium high heat, until crisp-tender and slightly softened.
- Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes after cooking, then slice and serve with the peppers, onions, and accompaniments.
- My favorite way to eat the fajitas is to tear off small pieces of flour tortilla, and wrap up the chicken, vegetables, and ingredients to be enjoyed in small bites. Enjoy!