A delicious twist on classic Tex-Mex Fajitas – with chicken breast and roasted in the oven.
It’s very easy and quick to make 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, as the real fajitas are made from beef meat. Chicken Fajitas (Fajitas de Pollo) is a popular variation of the dish. It’s most often served with flour tortillas, sauteed/grilled bell peppers and onion and such condiments like 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.
Mexican chicken Fajitas ingredients:
- meat: I used boneless and skinless chicken breast but boneless and skinless chicken thighs can also be used
- veggies: 3 colorful bell paprika and 1 red onion
- fajitas seasoning: I used a combination of spices (oregano, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika powder) but you could also use your favorite ready-made taco seasoning (just make sure that you buy a spice mix that contains only spices and no preservatives or flavor enhancers). I’m using the spices along with lime juice and zest and olive oil to make the chicken fajitas marinade. Overnight-marinated chicken is far more tender and flavorful.
- sauce: I used roasted veggies to make a delicious sauce to spoon over the chicken. I combined veggies with avocado, yogurt, fresh coriander, and lime juice to make a naturally creamy and thick sauce.
What do you serve with chicken fajitas:
- I serve them as tacos, wrapped in flour/corn tortillas. As an alternative, rice would be a good option.
- To make it low-carb and less calorie-rich you could make lettuce wraps!
- Other condiments that would work great: guacamole, pico de gallo, yogurt and sour cream herb dip
Oven vs stovetop preparation method:
As mentioned above, the oven is not an authentic preparation method for fajitas. I chose it to make this recipe 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/baking tray, give it a good stir and bake! It’s so easy, perfect weeknight dinner!
In terms of flavor, preparing the dish on a pan would be a better idea. I roast the chicken and veggies over high temperature in the oven but that still won’t get them a wonderful browned crust, when you’d pan-fry in a pan. To make this in a pan you would need to pan-fry the chicken and veggies in batches, making sure they’re not overcrowded, which would take much more time. My recipe requires only 15 mins prep time and 15 mins baking time and yields 4 servings.
More Mexican / Tex-Mex recipes you may like:
- chicken quesadillas
- churros with chocolate sauce
- crispy chicken wrap with spicy tomato salsa
- fish tacos with mango salsa
- broccoli cheddar quesadillas
- breakfast tacos
How to make chicken fajitas on a sheet pan – step by step instructions:
- Prepare all the ingredients.
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch/2.5 cm thick strips. Cut the peppers and onion into thin, 1/4-inch/5mm thin slices.
3. Mix all the spices with olive oil, lime juice, and zest together.
4. Toss with the chicken pieces, peppers, and onion until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper. Leave to marinate, for a couple of hours or overnight (in the fridge), or bake right away. Spread in an even layer on a sheet pan/baking tray. Choose the biggest pan you have. The vegetables and chicken will be more nicely browned if they are not overcrowded. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Storage / how to make it ahead:
This dish is perfect to may ahead as marinating the chicken and vegetables in the spices makes more flavorful dish. 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 3 days. Take out of the fridge 30 minutes before you plan on baking the dish (optional).
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
chicken and vegetables:
- 18 oz chicken breast 500g, 2 very big breasts or 3 small
- 3 bell peppers preferably red, yellow and green
- 1 red onion
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- juice and zest of 1/2 lime
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons paprika powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or more, to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup roasted bell peppers and onions 4 oz/120g
- 2 heaped tablespoons yogurt or sour cream, 2oz/60g
- 1/2 avocado
- juice from 1 lime
- a couple coriander leaves cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
additionally (to serve):
- 7 small tortillas
- 1/2 avocado
- fresh coriander
- pickled jalapeno peppers from the jar, optional
- grated cheddar optional
- Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C /Gas Mark 7, no fan OR 400°F/200°C with fan/convection.
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch/2.5 cm thick strips.
- Cut the peppers and onion into thin, 1/4-inch/5mm thin slices.
- Mix all the spices with olive oil, lime juice, and zest together, toss with the chicken pieces, peppers, and onion until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper.
- Leave to marinate, for a couple of hours or overnight (in the fridge), or bake right away. Spread in an even layer on a sheet pan/baking tray. Choose the biggest pan you have. The vegetables and chicken will be more nicely browned if they are not overcrowded.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. If you’re using a fan oven it could take less time. If you’re using chicken thighs instead of breasts, it could take a little longer.
- Make the sauce: measure 1 cup of roasted vegetables, transfer to a food processor bowl, add the yogurt, avocado, lime juice, and coriander leaves, season to taste with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.
- Grill the tortillas or toast them on a dry/lightly oiled pan. Top with chicken pieces, peppers, onions, spoon the sauce over, optionally some yogurt. Sprinkle with lime juice, grated cheddar, and coriander leaves.
- Recipe substitutions:
- Instead of chicken breasts, you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Instead of the spices listed above, you can use your favorite store-bought taco seasoning. Make sure to read the ingredients list and only buy one that contains only spices and no preservatives or flavor enhancers.
- Instead of tortillas, you can serve the fajitas with rice.
- Other condiments that would go well with it: guacamole, pico de Gallo.
- You can also make the recipe using a traditional method – either grill the ingredients or pan-fry. Make sure that they are not overcrowded on a pan so that they can be nicely browned. Cook them in batches until browned and cooked through. Vegetables should be slightly crunchy.
- Storage / how to make it ahead: This dish is perfect to may ahead as marinating the chicken and vegetables in the spices makes more flavorful dish. 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 3 days. Take out of the fridge 30 minutes before you plan on baking the dish (optional).
- Calories = 1 serving (1/4 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!