This easy skillet chicken fajita recipe delivers perfectly seasoned, juicy chicken with sweet, tender onions and bell peppers every time! Taco Tuesday just got a whole lot better!
Why You’ll Love This Classic Chicken Fajita Recipe
So what’s this recipe got going for it? Well, just about everything! Here are a few reasons you’ll love making these juicy chicken fajitas:
- Ultra-Flavorful: Chicken fajitas are a mouthwatering blend of marinated chicken that is cooked with bell peppers and tender, caramelized onions. Wrap them up in a tortilla, with all your favorite toppings, and each bite will be exploding with flavor!
- Customizable: As with any tacos, you can personalize your fajitas with toppings like salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and cheese. Keep it simple or make it fancy – it’s up to you.
- Healthy: Lean chicken and lots of veggies make a balanced meal that’s loaded with protein, fiber, and nutrients. If you need to keep them low carb, try swapping out your tortillas for lettuce wraps.
- Quick: This chicken fajita recipe is actually pretty quick and easy to prepare, making them a perfect choice for busy weeknights. If you add your chicken to marinade in the morning, it’s ready for a quick dinner whenever you are!
What Are Chicken Fajitas Made Of?
So what will you need to get this dish on the table? Here’s the list of healthy, wholesome ingredients:
For the Fajitas
- Fajita Marinade: I use one batch of this chicken fajita marinade.
- Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or thighs if you prefer.
- Butter: Or oil, like avocado oil.
- Bell Peppers: Seeds removed and cut into strips.
- Onion: I like to use a yellow onion, but any color is fine. Cut it into strips.
- Tortillas: Flour tortillas or corn tortillas, whichever you like.
- Pico de Gallo: Or your favorite salsa.
- Sour Cream: Mexican crema is also great if you have it!
- Cheese: Shredded cheese, queso, or crumbled Mexican cheese like queso fresco.
- Guacamole: Or sliced fresh avocado.
How Should You Cut Chicken for Fajitas?
Essentially, you want the chicken cut into thin strips. To do this, I butterfly chicken breasts so that each one is thin, and then marinate and cook them. After they are cooked, I use a sharp, clean knife to cut the cooked chicken into thin strips and then toss them back into the skillet with the onions and peppers.
How to Make Chicken Fajitas
The process here is oh-so-simple, but make sure to set aside at least 20 minutes for marinating. It really adds a ton of flavor.
- Marinate the Chicken: Butterfly the chicken breasts horizontally to make them thinner. Poke holes in both sides with a knife, and marinate in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for at least 20 minutes or up to 12 hours.
- Sear the Chicken: Melt some butter in a skillet, and cook chicken for 4 minutes on each side until well seared. Finally, add two tablespoons of the reserved marinade to the skillet, and cook for 6 more minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Set the chicken aside.
- Cook the Vegetables: In the same skillet, cook the onions in a couple of tablespoons of butter, until they are translucent. Add the bell peppers, and cook for 8 more minutes, or until tender.
- Finish the Dish: Slice the cooked chicken into strips, return it to the skillet, and mix with peppers and onions. Turn off the heat.
- Enjoy: Serve the chicken fajitas in tortillas, with all of your favorite toppings.
Helpful Tips and Variations
These chicken fajitas are super simple to make, but here are a few tips and variations to help guarantee success!
- Dark Meat: You can also use chicken thighs for this recipe. Thighs may take a minute or two longer to become tender in the skillet, and they may release more liquid. For the ultimate juicy and tender chicken thighs, aim for an internal temp between 175°F and 185°F.
- Bell Peppers: I like to use red, yellow, or orange bell peppers in my fajitas. Green bell peppers have a stronger, more peppery, savory flavor to them. Red, orange, and yellow bell peppers tend to be sweeter and milder.
- Rice Bowl: This dish is also great served over hot rice, for a tasty burrito-bowl-style meal try serving these fajitas over my cilantro lime rice or Mexican rice. A little drizzle of cilantro lime crema will take them to the next level!
- Don’t Over Marinate: Since the marinade used in this recipe has fresh citrus juice, be careful not to over marinate your chicken. If left in acidic citrus juice too long, chicken can start to break down and become tough, rubbery and sometimes even mushy. 2 to 3 hours is the perfect amount of marinating time, but just don’t go over 12 hours!
How to Store and Reheat Chicken Fajitas
To store, let the chicken fajitas cool, and then store the chicken in an airtight container. (Store any toppings and tortillas separately.) Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
To reheat, place the chicken in a skillet over medium heat and cook until just heated through. Don’t overcook it, or the chicken will dry out.
Can I Freeze This?
Yes! You can cook and freeze the chicken and veggies in freezer bags for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Want an easy dinner again next month? Double this recipe, and freeze the second batch of raw chicken in the fajita marinade in a ziplock bag for up to 3 months! Thaw the chicken in the refrigerator the day before you’re ready to cook, and be sure to cook it within 24 hours after defrosting.
More Bold Chicken Dinners
- Chicken Taquitos (Taquitos de Pollo)
- Salsa Verde Chicken
- Achiote Chicken
- Chicken Tinga (Tinga de Pollo)
- Crockpot Chicken Tacos
- Pollo Asado
For the Fajitas:
- 1 recipe chicken fajita marinade
- 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, or thighs
- 4 tablespoons butter, or oil, divided
- 2 bell peppers, large, seeded and cut into strips
- 1 yellow onion, large, cut into strips
- Butterfly the chicken breasts in half so that they’re thinner, they will cook quickly and more evenly this way. (Slice the chicken breast in half from the side of the breast as if you’re cutting open a bagel, so that the chicken is about 1/2 an inch thick. If you have 3 breasts you should now have 6 thin chicken breasts.)
- Take a steak knife and poke several holes through the chicken on both sides, this will allow your marinade to get into the chicken so that it’s extra flavorful. Place chicken breasts in marinade in an airtight container and refrigerate for 20 minutes minimum, or 2 to 3 hours for best results. (Chicken can be marinated for up to 12 hours.)
- Once chicken has marinated, remove from the refrigerator and remove chicken from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and let chicken sit out for 15 minutes before cooking to warm up.
- In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons butter and let melt. Add chicken, cooking for about 4 minutes on each side. Let the chicken cook undisturbed for the first few minutes, until you have a good sear. Once seared well on one side, turn the pieces over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until well seared on the second side.
- Add 2 tablespoons of reserved marinade and continue cooking for about 6 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant-read meat thermometer. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm on a plate wrapped with foil.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and onions to the same skillet and cook for 6 minutes, until they become translucent.
- Add bell pepper, and sauté until bell peppers are tender, but still have texture, about 8 minutes.
- Slice chicken breasts into strips and add chicken back to skillet and toss to combine with bell peppers and onions. Turn off heat.
- Serve chicken fajitas immediately, as desired, or in tortillas with all your favorite toppings!
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