Packed full of Mexican flavor, these Authentic Chicken Fajitas are just like the restaurant, but even better! Loaded with spices, fresh garlic, and plenty of lime, this healthy chicken recipe is perfect for dinner for the whole family. Kids will love to create their own plates!
Chicken Fajitas, or “fajitas de pollo” is one of my favorite fajita recipes! This Authentic Restaurant Chicken Fajita Recipe tastes just like it came from my favorite Mexican restaurant, and what’s more, it’s such an easy recipe to make!
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- Easy: This chicken fajita recipe can be made from start to finish in about 20 minutes, and only uses pantry staples that I had on hand. It is SO simple. Perfect for a quick and easy meal.
- Healthy: This is an easy and tasty way to add extra veggies to your plate. This time I used classic fajita veggies like cooked peppers and onions, however, you could also bulk it up with other vegetables like zucchini/courgette, corn, and carrots. It would no longer be an authentic chicken fajita recipe, but it would still taste amazing!
- Delicious Mexican spices: The seasoning is absolutely on point and making your own homemade fajita seasoning mix is much better than using a premade packet of Old El Paso fajita seasoning. The main difference between the two is the taste. Although they use similar ingredients, nothing beats the fresh taste of a homemade spice mix. You also skip any “extra” unnecessary ingredients and control the level of salt. Always a plus in my book!
- Variety: I love that you can serve this chicken fajita meat recipe with whichever sweet peppers you like (you can skip the green peppers as I did!), serve it on warm tortillas or as a chicken fajita salad or burrito bowls, and top it with any of your favorite toppings desired like sour cream, pico de Gallo, guacamole, refried black beans, and hot sauce.
- Family-friendly: Everybody loves this recipe! When I was a kid I always looked forward to fajita night. It was definitely one of our family’s favorite recipes back then, and still is today! Kids really love to get creative and make their own fajita and let’s face it, that’s one less thing for you to prepare!
- Diet-friendly: This easy chicken fajita meat recipe is perfect for many diets including Whole30, paleo, keto, low carb, and gluten-free.
- Meal prep: The best thing about these flavorful chicken fajitas is that they are perfect for meal prep! Make a double batch and serve them over salads or in wraps all week long, or add the marinade ingredients and chicken to a freezer bag and pop it in the freezer for later.
- Make it for a crowd: I’ve included the amounts of how much fajita meat needed per person below. From 4 to 100 people, I’ve got you covered. Great for feeding many mouths!
🗝️ Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Chicken: The type of meat I opted for was boneless skinless chicken breast, which I always have on hand. Lean boneless raw meat takes on the flavor so well. Chicken thighs would be a great idea too! If you’d prefer a completely different cut of meat, try flank steak or beef skirt steak to make steak fajitas. Make sure to cut the steak thinly against the grain as it tends to be a tough cut of meat.
- Spices: I added chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon, and salt. These different spices combined have a great Mexican flavor. I love using my own seasonings because I can guarantee there are no strange ingredients.
- Lime: I added both the lime juice and the rind from one lime to this recipe. It is zesty and the acidity is perfect.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is added to the marinade instead of garlic powder as it has more flavor, and in the raw form it is so good for you!
- Oil: Simple olive oil. It’s one of the healthiest oils around and holds up really well to high temperatures.
- Peppers: Bell peppers of any variety, according to your personal preference. I added yellow and red peppers this time, however, orange or green peppers would also work beautifully.
- Onion: Thinly sliced red onions join the peppers. They’re a little sweet and taste delicious.
🥣 How to make this easy Chicken Fajitas recipe
1. Prepare the chicken fajita meat marinade by adding the juice plus the rind of 1 lime, fresh garlic, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, cinnamon, chili powder, olive oil, and salt to a large bowl or zip-top bag.
2. If the boneless skinless chicken breast is extra thick in some parts, butterfly it in half or pound it until it is about 1/2 an inch thick. You can also cut it into chicken strips if that’s easier for you!
3. Add the chicken breasts to the saucy fajita mix and let it sit for 30 minutes.
4. Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat with olive oil. You can also use a large skillet but I prefer this heavy skillet because it distributes the heat evenly so that the meat can cook as perfectly as possible. It also chars the fajita meat slightly, leaving some browned bits.
5. Add the marinated fajita meat to the hot skillet. It will sizzle and get a good sear, locking in the juices. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes per side, until it is cooked through. I check the internal temperature has reached 165°F/32°C with a meat thermometer.
6. Remove the fajita meat from the large cast iron skillet and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. This is the key to juicy chicken!
7. While the fajita meat cooks, thinly slice the bell peppers and onions on a cutting board.
8. While the fajita meat rests, add the peppers and onions to the large cast iron along with about a tablespoon of oil, keeping it over medium-high heat.
9. Cook them, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften and char, and then turn off the heat.
10. Slice the fajita meat across the grain into 1/2-1″ thick slices.
11. If you want to serve the Mexican food in the skillet, add the sliced fajita meat back into the pan, along with some sliced avocado and lime wedges.
12. Place the fajita skillet on your dinner table along with corn tortillas or soft flour tortillas, salad leaves, and toppings. See below for my favorite ways to serve fajitas!
🔪 How to cut the chicken for fajitas
I recommend butterflying the chicken breasts in half for fajitas. This turns the breasts into chicken cutlets. I found that when I tried to cook the chicken breast whole without slicing, it took forever to cook! To do this you:
- Lay the raw chicken breast flat on a cutting board.
- Place your hand on top of the chicken.
- Slice horizontally through the chicken. You can either leave the two halves attached to each other or slice it right through. I prefer it right through as I’ll be slicing it later anyway.
- It’s a good idea to lean down so that the chicken is at eye level. This allows you to see what you’re doing and keep the cut more even.
Alternatively, you can also cut the chicken into thin strips, kind of like chicken tenders, if that’s easier for you to cook. Make sure you slice the meat against the grain of the meat. This makes the homemade fajita meat more tender.
🍽️ How to serve fajitas
I usually serve this fajita filling with:
- Corn tortillas (they’re usually gluten-free, just check the ingredients)
- Soft flour tortilla
- Over greens like lettuce, rocket/arugula, or spinach.
- As fajita bowls with rice or cauliflower rice and your favorite toppings.
- Guacamole or avocado slices
- Pico de Gallo (pico recipe is in the vegan queso dip recipe card)
- Chunky salsa
- Creamy Green Salsa
- Refried beans or refried black beans (refried black beans recipe is in the vegan queso dip recipe card)
- Cheese like queso fresco or shredded cheese
- Diced fresh cilantro/coriander
- A squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice.
- Cilantro Lime Rice or Cauliflower Rice
- Tortilla chips
- Margaritas =]
🪄 Tips for Success
- Make sure you slice the chicken in half or into strips or pound it so that it’s flatter. When I tried cooking homemade fajitas without doing this, it took FOREVER to cook.
- This is an excellent recipe for meal prep! Store the cooked chicken and peppers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To reheat this classic Mexican recipe, either heat it in the microwave or in the oven with a little water in a separate small bowl to steam the oven and retain the moisture in the chicken. You can also cover your oven-safe dish with aluminum foil and add a little water to the dish to create steam.
- This is also a great recipe to freeze! I like to add the chicken and marinade ingredients to a freezer bag, and pop it in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, thaw it in the fridge overnight or at room temperature during the day, and cook as directed, slicing fresh peppers and onions as well. This is one of the easiest recipes for no-fuss easy dinners, and it tastes amazing as well!
🌮 Can you use taco seasoning for fajitas?
Yes! My homemade taco seasoning mix is perfect for this recipe and much better than a seasoning packet! It consists of basic spices like chile powder, oregano (preferably Mexican oregano!), smoky paprika, cumin, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and ground black pepper. I just add everything to a mason jar and shake it up! This easy spice blend is a little spicier than my fajita marinade ingredients, but it works just as well. Add 1.5 tbsp of the taco seasoning plus the lime juice and rind, and marinate the chicken following this recipe.
#️⃣ How many pounds of fajita meat per person?
If you’re making fajita meat for a big family event or a large crowd (we all love a good taco bar!) it’s useful to know how many pounds of fajita meat to serve per person. The usual estimate for a fajita serving size is 1/2 pound of lean boneless raw meat per adult and 1/4lb of raw meat per child. This allows for two fajitas per person, plus a little extra. If there is a large crowd, I usually will add a couple of extra pounds on at the end as well, just to make sure I have some bigger appetites covered, and any leftovers really don’t hurt! This rule of thumb counts for all kinds of meats, whether it’s skinless chicken breast, chicken cutlets, beef fajita, or even mixed meats. The meat is the main feature of the meal, however, keep in mind that you can also serve the usual sides of rice, beans, and tortilla chips, as well as tortillas and toppings (see above for ideas) along with the main dish.
Here are some examples of how much fajita meat per person for a crowd:
How much fajita meat for 4 people
2lbs of meat + 1/2lb for extras = 2.5 pounds of fajitas
How much fajita meat for 8 people
How many pounds of fajita meat for 16 people
How much fajita meat for 20 people
How much fajita meat for 25 people
How much fajita meat for 30 people
How much fajita meat for 40 people
How many pounds of fajita meat for 50 people
How many pounds of fajita meat for 75 people
How many pounds of fajita meat for 100 people
😋 More quick dinner recipes to try
- Chinese Tomato, Beef, and Egg Stir Fry
- Sugar-Free Sloppy Joes
- Healthy Chicken Salad
- Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
- Crack Chicken Chili
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast
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Authentic Mexican Chicken Fajitas Recipe
- 1 kg/2.2lbs chicken breasts or thighs 4-5 chicken breasts
- 3 bell peppers sliced thinly (any colour)
- 1 onion sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 lime juiced + rind
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Begin by butterflying the chicken in half right through the middle, or pounding it until it is 1/2 an inch thick.
- Add the marinade ingredients to a bowl or freezer ziplock bag along with the chicken. Mix well and allow it to marinate for 30 minutes. *see note 1
- Heat a cast-iron skillet or large frying pan over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- When the pan is hot, add the chicken and cook it for about 4-5 minutes on each side until it is cooked through. It will turn slightly brown and even black in some parts. That is perfect! *see notes
- When it has finished cooking, allow the chicken to rest on a plate for 5 minutes before slicing.
- While the chicken is resting, add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the skillet, keeping it hot over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and peppers and sautée for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until they become slightly charred and a little softer.
- Serve immediately with tortillas or over a bed of salad with all of your favourite Mexican toppings.
- Marinating the chicken: if you want to, you can do this step a day or so before. It really only needs 30 minutes, but for convenience, I often do this step in the morning before cooking in the evening.
- Cooking the chicken: Cooked chicken is 165°F/32°C when it is cooked. You can use a meat thermometer to check if you have one handy.