This sheet pan chicken fajitas recipe is a delicious twist on classic Tex-Mex Fajitas – made with chicken breast and roasted in the oven. It’s a very easy and quick to make sheet pan dinner, that the whole family will love!
What are Fajitas?
Fajitas is a popular Tex-Mex dish. The name is referring to a piece of skirt steak that is cut into thin strips – the real fajitas are made from beef. Chicken Fajitas (Fajitas de Pollo) is a popular variation of this dish. It’s most often served with flour tortillas, sauteed/grilled bell peppers and onions, and condiments such as guacamole or pico de gallo.
The traditional preparation method is grilling or pan-frying. The recipe below uses an oven to prepare the dish, as it’s quicker and more convenient.
Where the Fajitas come from?
The name Fajitas originated from the Spanish word ‘faja’ meaning belt or a strip. Skirt steak used to be given to Mexican cowboys, working on ranch lands in South and West Texas, as part of their pay. They needed to find a way to cook this flavorful but tough piece of meat, so it was either quickly grilled or cooked over a campfire, then cut into strips against the grain. The dish became more and more popular in 1970′ – 1980′ in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. In Mexico, a similar dish (grilled skirt steak) is called arracheras (source).
Nowadays fajitas are usually made with beef, chicken, or shrimp. In restaurants, they are often served in a sizzling hot pan.
- Meat: I used boneless and skinless chicken breast but boneless and skinless chicken thighs can also be used (thighs need to be cooked a little bit longer).
- Veggies: 3 colorful bell peppers and 1 red onion.
- Fajitas seasoning: I love my homemade Fajita seasoning, it’s so much better than store-bought and you only need 6 spices that you probably already have in your pantry to make it. It’s so flavorful, I’m using it all the time. Store-bought seasonings are usually stuffed with salt, corn starch, sugar, and other weird ingredients, instead of just spices. You can also use taco seasoning instead of fajita seasoning, these two seasonings are very similar.
- Cheese – is optional, but what doesn’t taste better with cheese?
- Lime – it’s drizzled over the chicken after it has been baked to make it more flavorful.
Oven vs Stovetop (preparation method)
As mentioned above, the oven is not an authentic preparation method for fajitas. I chose to make this recipe in the oven because it is super convenient, easy, and quick.
All you need to do is to throw the chicken, veggies, and spices on a sheet pan, give it a good stir and bake! It’s so easy and makes a perfect weeknight dinner!
The important thing about this method is broiling the chicken and not roasting it. Broiling (or grilling in the oven, if you’re not in the US) means to cook food on the top rack of the oven directly under the broiler (grill) heating element (which is set to a very high temperature).
Chicken cut into thin slices bakes really quickly so broiling it for a short time is enough to cook it and you can get some browning on the chicken.
You won’t get those char lines and crispy crust that you will get when you pan-fry or grill the chicken but it comes out really tender and flavorful.
The advantage of baking this dish is that you can cook all the ingredients at the same time instead of in batches in a pan.
Step by step instructions
Position an oven rack about 4 inches (10cm) below the upper heating element and preheat your broiler on high (or turn on the grill setting).
STEP 1: Whisk the Fajita seasoning with lime zest and olive oil in a large baking pan.
STEP 2: Prepare all the ingredients: Cut the chicken into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick strips. Cut the peppers into 1/4-inch (5mm) thin strips, cut the onion in half, and slice slightly thicker than bell peppers.
STEP 3: Add the chicken, bell pepper, and onions to the baking sheet. Toss until evenly coated in the seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer on the sheet pan.
STEP 4: Broil for about 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and browned. Keep an eye on the chicken to prevent it from burning.
Take the baking sheet out of the oven and drizzle the chicken with lime juice.
Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake again for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Serve them with avocado slices, cilantro, and tortillas.
- You can serve them as tacos or burritos.
- You can make creamy cilantro lime sauce: mix in a food processor/blender 1/2 cup of roasted bell peppers and onions + 2 tablespoons yogurt + 1/2 avocado + small bunch of cilantro + 1 tablespoon sour cream + 2 teaspoons lime juice + salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve it with this creamy avocado sauce.
- To make it low-carb and less calorie-rich you could make lettuce wraps!
- As chicken fajita bowls (the recipe is coming soon) – with cilantro lime rice or cilantro lime cauliflower rice.
- Other condiments that would work great: guacamole, pico de gallo, yogurt and sour cream herb dip, easy blender salsa (mix all the ingredients in a blender/food processor until just a little chunky: 1 can crushed tomatoes (14 oz/400ml), 1 handful fresh cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1 large clove garlic, 1 deseeded jalapeno or some hot pepper flakes to taste, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 small white or yellow onion, salt, and pepper to taste).
Chicken Fajitas Series
Yes, we love it that much!
- Fajita Seasoning Recipe (with basic chicken fajitas recipe)
- Chicken Fajita Nachos
- Chicken Fajita Pasta
- Chicken Fajita Quesadillas
- Chicken Fajita Salad
- Chicken Fajita Soup
- Chicken Fajita Bowls
- Chicken Fajita Wraps
Storage / how to make it ahead
This dish is perfect to make ahead – marinating the chicken and vegetables in the spices makes them more flavorful. Just chop the chicken and veggies and stir with all the spices and aromatics. Place in a tightly closed container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Take out of the fridge 30 minutes before you plan on baking the dish (optional).
Store cooked chicken and vegetables in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
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- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Fajita seasoning
- zest from 1 lime
- 1 lb (450g) chicken breast
- 3 bell peppers preferably red, yellow, and green
- 1 red onion
- juice from 1 lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup (50g) shredded cheddar optional
- Position an oven rack about 4 inches (10cm) below the upper heating element and preheat your broiler on high (or turn on the grill setting).
- Whisk the Fajita seasoning with lime zest and olive oil in a large baking pan.
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick strips. Cut the peppers into 1/4-inch (5mm) thin strips, cut onion in half, and slice slightly thicker than bell peppers.
- Add the chicken, bell pepper, and onions to the baking sheet. Toss until evenly coated in the seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer on the sheet pan.
- Broil for about 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and browned. Keep an eye on the chicken to prevent it from burning.
- Take the baking sheet out of the oven and drizzle the chicken with lime juice.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake again for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- I like to serve this dish with avocado slices, cilantro, tortillas or cilantro lime rice and this creamy cilantro lime sauce: mix in a food processor/blender 1/2 cup of roasted bell peppers and onions + 2 tablespoons yogurt + 1/2 avocado + small bunch of cilantro + 1 tablespoon sour cream + 2 teaspoons lime juice + salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fajita seasoning: 2 tablespoons chili powder (this is a spice mix not pure chili pepper) + 1 tablespoon cumin + 1 tablespoon oregano + 1 tablespoon paprika + 1 tablespoon garlic powder + 1 tablespoon onion powder. You will need 2 tablespoons of this spice mix for this recipe.
- Calories = 1 serving (1/3 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!