How to Make The Best Fajitas
How to make the ultimate, tastiest fajitas with steak, chicken, and shrimp. Our versatile and flavorful seasoning works on everything. Use our recipe to make chicken, steak or a combination, it’s easy! Jump to the Ultimate Fajitas Recipe or read on to see our tips for making them.
Whenever we order fajitas, we always order the combination. Seeing a big sizzling plate of chicken, steak, and shrimp come to the table doesn’t get much better. We love it so much that we were determined to replicate it at home. I know cooking three proteins for dinner seems like a lot, but it’s not as difficult as you may think. With our smart recipe, you can get these on the table in no time.
We’ve shared fajitas on Inspired Taste before, thanks to a garlic citrus marinade, these easy chicken fajitas are juicy and ultra-flavorful.
How to make them
Fajitas cook quickly. It’s because of the quick cooking time that we’re okay with taking a bit of time to marinate the meat.
We don’t use a wet marinade and instead use a simple spice rub. Our homemade chili powder inspired our fajita seasoning mix. In it, we mix ancho chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and smoked paprika. It’s strong in flavor and works beautifully with chicken, steak, and even the shrimp.
For the steak fajitas, we use flank or skirt steak. They cook quickly but can be a bit tough. To get around this, rub the steak with fajita seasoning and salt in advance. By adding the salt 30 minutes before cooking, it has a chance to improve the flavor and texture of the meat. The steak tastes terrific, and it’s extra tender.
We use the same seasoning for the chicken, which turns into a flavorful crust after cooking. The same goes for the shrimp. Merely dust them with the fajita seasoning before cooking.
When it comes to cooking, start with chicken. It takes the longest. You can use chicken breast (like we do) or chicken thighs. For the juiciest chicken, we use our go-to method for cooking chicken breast. Brown one side of the chicken in a pan, flip it, turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid. The low heat and lid help to keep the chicken moist and tender inside. We do this for juicy pork chops, too! Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and cover with foil while you prepare the steak and shrimp.
Use the same pan you used to cook the chicken in to cook the steak. Strip steak or flank steak is straight-forward to cook. Cook it on both sides until brown on the outside and slightly pink on the inside. We cook our steak to medium, which means an internal thermometer will read close to 135 degrees F. Transfer the steak to the plate with chicken and cover with foil to rest.
Now it’s time for the veggies and shrimp. Both cook quickly. We start with the vegetables. Sliced onions and peppers are a must. Just throw them into the same pan and cook until they begin to soften.
You’ll notice that as the veggies cook, they release a bit of moisture, which mixes with all the flavor stuck on the bottom of the pan left over from cooking the chicken and steak. Just as the peppers and onions are finishing, move them to one side of the pan and add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp until the shrimp are firm and opaque throughout.
For the last step, we enhance the sauce in the pan with some extra liquid. Here’s where you can have some fun. If you have some in the house, adding a splash of tequila or a light beer work wonders. Otherwise, use a splash of chicken stock.
To serve, slice the steak and chicken then add to the pan with shrimp and vegetables. Adding the sliced chicken and steak directly into the skillet will reheat them. Then all you need to do is enjoy it! Grab your favorite fajita toppings — we always have avocado or fresh guacamole, one or more salsas like pico de gallo or tomatillo salsa and some lettuce, sour cream, and cheese.
If you enjoyed our this recipe, you might want to look at these recipes:
- Our simple shredded chicken tacos are full of flavor thanks to well-seasoned chicken and a bright and creamy cilantro sauce.
- Try our vegetarian tacos packed full of spice-roasted vegetables and black beans for a bit of protein.
- Thanks to ground pork, these easy pork tacos come together fast. You can even make the filling in advance.
How to Make The Best Fajitas
Fajitas cook quickly so taking a bit of time to season steak, chicken or shrimp with our simple fajita seasoning is a good idea. Use our recipe as a guide; you can make all three proteins or make one. Use 2 1/2 pounds of protein for six people. Even though it is only the two of us, we still make the whole batch. The leftovers are fabulous.
You Will NeedFor the Fajitas
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and fajita seasoning, recipe below
1 pound flank or strip steak
1 pound chicken breast (2 medium)
1/2 pound shrimp, deveined with tails left on
1 pound bell peppers or poblano peppers, sliced (3 medium)
1 large onion, sliced into half moons
1 tablespoon minced garlic, about 3 cloves
3 tablespoons tequila, light beer or chicken stock
2 limesFajita Seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprikaWhat to Serve with Fajitas
Beans and rice
Avocado or homemade guacamole
Shredded cheese or crumbled queso fresco
- Prepare Seasoning
- Cook Chicken
- Cook Steak
- Cook Vegetables and Shrimp
- To Finish
Mix chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and the smoked paprika in a small bowl.
Season the steak, chicken, and shrimp with salt and a generous dusting of fajita seasoning. We use 1/2 teaspoon of salt for the steak, 1/2 teaspoon for the chicken, and a 1/4 teaspoon for the shrimp. Set the steak and shrimp aside while you cook the chicken.
Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a wide skillet (with a lid or you can use foil) over medium-high heat. As soon as the oil is hot and looks shimmery, add the chicken. Cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the chicken so that the seared side is facing up.
Reduce the heat to low then cover the skillet with a lid or use foil. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the breast. Transfer chicken to a plate then cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Note: Use the time while the chicken is cooking to chop the onions, peppers, and garlic.
Pour any liquid left in the pan out and use a paper towel to wipe the bottom of the skillet. It is okay if there are bits of chicken or spices stuck to the bottom. (If you want to, you can save the liquid to add back to the pan later on.)
Put the skillet back onto the heat, increase to medium-high heat, and then add another two teaspoons of oil. As soon as the oil is hot and looks shimmery, add the steak. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until brown, and then flip to the other side and let cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Check the internal temperature. If it is not ready, turn the heat to low and continue to cook until it reaches your preferred doneness. For medium, cook to 135 degrees F. Transfer steak to the plate with chicken and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Put the skillet back onto the heat, increase to medium-high heat, and then add another two teaspoons of oil. Add the onions, peppers, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring until they start to soften and brown a bit; about 5 minutes. As the veggies cook, use tongs or a wooden spoon to scrape up bits of chicken, steak or spices stuck to the bottom of the pan.
When the peppers and onions are ready, pile them up on one side of the pan. Place the shrimp into the pan and cook, stirring, until the shrimp are firm and opaque throughout; 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer cooked shrimp to a plate.
To finish, turn the heat to low, arrange the vegetables on the bottom of the skillet then stir in tequila, beer or stock and cook for 1 minute. Take the pan off of the heat. Slice the chicken and steak then arrange the chicken, steak, and shrimp on top of the peppers and onions. Finish with a generous squeeze of lime.
Serve the fajitas family style with more lime on the side as well as your favorite side dishes.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- We use all of the spice seasoning, but if you have some leftover, store it in a resealable container or plastic bag for next time.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.