Simple One-Pan Chicken Fajitas Recipe

The tantalizing aroma and delightful sizzle of a skillet full of fajitas is always a head-turner, and this recipe brings that experience into your kitchen with little enough effort to make it a weeknight favorite. A table set with a pan of marinated strips of chicken breast, onion, and bell peppers, a platter of warm flour tortillas, and a wide array of garnishes lets every member of the family personalize their dinner and take taco night to the next level.

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The key to bringing this Tex-Mex favorite into your weeknight rotation is what makes this recipe unique: the skillet preparation. While fajitas are originally a grilled dish, by preparing them in a skillet on the stovetop, you can take half the work out of cooking. All the prep can be done well ahead of time so that when you want to eat all you have to do is pull the marinated ingredients out of the refrigerator, toss them in a skillet, and, 15 minutes later, dinner is on the table.

Gather the chicken fajita ingredients

For this recipe, you will need chicken breast, onion, red and green bell peppers, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, olive oil, and lime. Once you have gotten all the ingredients together and chopped them into even slices, you are ready to start cooking.

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Step 1: Place the fajita ingredients in a large container

Add the chicken, onion, and peppers to a large container with a lid or a sealable plastic bag.

Step 2: Add the marinade

Pour over the salt, spices, and oil, then squeeze the lime over as well. Mix to ensure even coverage.

Step 3: Cover and marinate

Cover or seal the container, then place it in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.

Step 4: Add them to the skillet

Bring a large skillet or grill pan to high heat and add around one half of the fajitas.

Step 5: Cook the first half

Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Step 6: Cook the rest

Remove the cooked fajitas to a serving platter and then cook the second half.

Step 7: Garnish and serve

Serve hot with warm flour tortillas, salsa, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and refried beans, if desired.

Where were fajitas invented?

Fajitas are a Tex-Mex dish, which originated with the ranchers or vaqueros of Southern Texas and Northern Mexico. While fajitas are quite similar to tacos in many ways, they do have their own unique history and characteristics. The name fajita is actually a diminutive form of the Spanish word "faja," which means strip. These ranchers would take tougher, less expensive cuts of beef, such as skirt steak, marinate them, quickly grill them over open flame, and slice them into thin strips. These thin, tender strips would be eaten on tortillas with grilled vegetables.

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Since then, the name fajita has come to cover a broader variety of dishes. While fajitas are still most often made with thin strips of beef or chicken, it is not uncommon these days to see other proteins, such as shrimp or even tofu. Likewise, fajitas are no longer exclusively a grilled dish, often being prepared in a skillet, as in this recipe. The accompaniments to fajitas have also changed. Most modern fajita recipes include strips of onion and bell pepper, and they are typically served with flour tortillas and an array of toppings which often include such items as shredded lettuce, guacamole, refried beans, and salsa, among others.

How long should I marinate chicken fajitas?

Any time you are marinating food, it is important to ensure that you are both marinating for an appropriate amount of time and being careful with food safety (especially when it comes to marinating chicken). In this recipe, we call for a minimum of 2 hours time marinating to allow the chicken and vegetables to take on the flavor of the spices and lime. But you certainly can prep this dish the night before, allowing it to marinate in the refrigerator for a full day before cooking.

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Marinades are typically made with three primary components: spices, oil, and acid. The oil keeps the protein juicy, while the spices add flavor, and the acid both adds flavor and helps to tenderize the protein. But this is where you need to be careful with marinating: the acid in the marinade, when properly applied, softens the meat slightly and gives the final dish a little pop of sour flavor. However, if you marinate your meat for too long, the acid will begin to break down the protein and leave you with a plate of mushy fajitas. The general rule is to marinate meat for no longer than 2 days. Up to 2 days and your fajitas will be delightfully flavorful without losing the desired texture.

Simple One-Pan Chicken Fajitas Recipe

5 (19 ratings)

This recipe features the aroma and delightful sizzle of a skillet full of chicken breast, onion, and bell peppers, alongside a platter of warm flour tortillas.

Prep Time
2
hours
Cook Time
15
minutes
servings
6
Servings
plated chicken fajitas
Total time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken breast, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lime

Optional Ingredients

  • Flour tortillas
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Refried Beans

Directions

  1. Add the chicken, onion, and peppers to a large container with a lid or a sealable plastic bag.
  2. Pour over the salt, spices, and oil, then squeeze the lime over as well. Mix to ensure even coverage.
  3. Cover or seal the container, then place it in the refrigerator to marinate for at least two hours.
  4. Bring a large skillet or grill pan to high heat and add around one half of the fajitas.
  5. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
  6. Remove the cooked fajitas to a serving platter and then cook the second half.
  7. Serve hot with warm flour tortillas, salsa, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and refried beans, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 253
Total Fat 9.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 110.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 7.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Total Sugars 2.7 g
Sodium 544.0 mg
Protein 35.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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