Skillet Chicken Fajitas
Chicken Fajitas to rival any restaurant with the best chicken fajita marinade that does all the work! These Chicken Fajitas can be on your table in less than 15 minutes after marinating - perfect for all those busy nights! They are a delicious, satisfy dinner that tastes better than any restaurant at a fraction of the cost. These easy Chicken Fajitas are bursting with juicy marinated chicken, charred bell peppers and onions all wrapped in a warm tortilla and piled with your favorite toppings OR you can make chicken fajita salads, chicken fajita burritos, chicken fajita burrito bowls, etc. This Chicken Fajita Recipe is great for crowds and to create your very own fajita/topping bar!
Servings 8 -12 fajitas
- 2 large chicken breasts sliced horizontally to create 4 fillets (1 1/2 pounds)
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 bell peppers, thinly sliced (any mix of colors)
- 8-12 flour tortillas
Chipotle Lime Crema (optional)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1-2 tablespoons lime juice, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/4 cup packed cilantro, finely chopped
MARINADE: In a large freezer bag, whisk together all of the Chicken Fajita Marinade ingredients. Remove 2 tablespoons to use later for vegetables. Add chicken to freezer bag and toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 6 hours up to overnight (longer the better).
CHIPOTLE LIME CREMA (optional): Whisk together all of the ingredients. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.
CHICKEN: When ready to cook, let chicken sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once very hot, dab excess marinade off chicken and add to skillet. Cook chicken undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, or until nicely browned (or blackened if you prefer) on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 2-4 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes before slicing across the grain into strips.
VEGETABLES: Meanwhile, Add 1 tablespoon oil to the leftover juices in the skillet along with reserved 2 tablespoons marinade. Heat over medium high heat. Add onions and saute 1 minute. Add bell peppers and saute for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add sliced chicken and toss to coat.
ASSEMBLE: Layer tortillas with Chicken Fajita mixture and desired toppings. Top with Chipotle Lime Crema.
*Total time does not including maintaining as this will vary between individuals
Don't miss the "how to make" recipe video at the top of the post!
HOW TO WARM OR CHAR TORTILLAS
I HIGHLY recommend warming the tortillas first using any of the following methods:
- Open Flame (gas stove or grill): add the tortillas directly to the burner of your gas stove then flip with tongs once they are charred on one side. You can also accomplish this on the grill as well. If you are using lower quality tortillas, you will want to take special care not to over-char or they will become brittle and break. You still want the tortillas soft and pliable.
- Skillet: heat a skillet (or griddle if you have one) to medium high heat (do not grease). Working with one tortilla at a time (more for a griddle), heat each side of the tortilla for approximately 20-30 seconds until warm and soft. You are not looking for char marks with this method.
- Microwave: working with about 5 tortillas at a time, stack tortillas on a microwave safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 20 seconds on high, then repeat at 10 second intervals if needed until warmed through.
- Oven: create separate stacks of about 5 tortillas each, then wrap each stack in foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until heated through (you can bake all stacks at once).
HOW TO KEEP TORTILLAS WARM
Once your tortillas are warmed (with any method), keep them warm and pliable by stacking on a plate and covering with a slightly dampened, paper towel or kitchen towel.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Quality tortillas. Try and purchaser QUALITY corn tortillas – you can taste the difference! I’ve discussed this in greater detail above.
- Pound chicken to an even thickness. This not only helps the chicken cook more evenly but tenderizes it as well. If you don’t have a meat mallet, you can use the side of a can. I place my chicken in the Ziploc bag I’m going to marinate it in for convenience.
- Don’t over-marinate. The Chicken Fajita marinade is highly acidic which means you don’t want to marinate the chicken as long as you would in a marinade without as much citrus. Don’t marinate much longer than 18 hours or the muscle fibers can break down and become mushy.
- Marinate long enough. I recommend marinating the chicken for at least 6 hours. This will infuse the chicken with TONS of flavor and optimal juiciness.
- Bring chicken to room temperature before cooking. You always want to let any protein sit at room temperature before cooking in order for it to cook evenly so you aren’t left with an overcooked exterior and cold interior. This also relaxes the cold fibers for juicier results.
- Use a cast iron skillet. A cast iron skillet will give you the best sear for authentic tasting, Chicken Fajitas. If you don't own a cast iron skillet, make sure your pan is sizzling hot before you add your chicken.
- Don’t overcook. For the juiciest Chicken Fajitas, don’t overcook the chicken. Use a meat thermometer and cook just to 165 degrees F.
- Let chicken rest. After the chicken is cooked, it is important to let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. While the chicken cooks, the juices are forced away from the heat to the middle of the protein. The resting time allows for the redistribution and reabsorption of the juices throughout the breast.
- Add something creamy. You will want to add something creamy to the Chicken Fajitas to marry all of the textures together. I love the Chipotle Lime Crema included in the recipe, but you can also use easy sour cream, Greek yogurt or avocado crema.
- Lime juice to taste. Don’t forget the lime! The lime brightens and enlivens the earthy fajita flavors.
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT
- Storage: store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Microwave: transfer chicken and bell peppers to a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 60 seconds then at 20 second intervals as needed.
- Skillet: warm chicken in a skillet on the stove top over medium heat, stirring often until warmed through.
- Oven: Transfer chicken and bell peppers to a baking sheet and reheat at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or just until warmed through.
CAN I FREEZE CHICKEN FAJITAS?
Yes, you may freeze either the chicken after it is cooked or the chicken when it is added to the chicken fajita marinade. I do not recommend freezing the bell peppers as they will become mushy when defrosted.
- Freeze Marinating Chicken: Add chicken to the marinade in a freezer bag, squeeze out excess air, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight then use immediately.
- Chicken: After you have cooked the chicken, let it cool completely then transfer it to an airtight container or plastic freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air. Freeze for 2 to 3 months.