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Our Favorite Chicken Fajitas

Grab your cast iron skillet – these chicken fajitas are a one pan meal that are so good they’ll outshine your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant!

I’m not saying that these chicken fajitas are the reason I married my husband… but I will say that every time he makes them, I’m reminded all over again of what a catch he is.

And ever since we started using my homemade fajita seasoning blend, they’re even better!

A cast iron skillet filled with chicken fajitas with tortillas and garnishes alongside.

Chicken fajitas were always my go-to dinner order whenever we’d go out to a Tex-Mex restaurant. Even as a kid, my mom and I would order a platter of sizzling hot fajitas and go to town making our own perfectly stuffed tortillas.

There’s just something about the perfect ratio of chicken to peppers and onions, piled atop a tortilla slathered with a healthy dose of sour cream that makes my heart sing.

But once a local restaurant started going downhill with their fajita quality, my husband made it his mission to perfect this dish for me.

And I couldn’t be more pleased with the results!

A cast iron skillet filled with chicken fajitas with tortillas and garnishes alongside.

Chicken Fajita Recipe Tips

A few fajita tips from my husband:

  • For timing purposes, I like to cut the onions while the skillet preheats, and then cut the peppers while the onions are cooking.
  • It’s worth the extra time to really caramelize the onions, but if you’re short on time, just put them in with the peppers.
  • You want the peppers to caramelize and blister while you’re cooking them – make sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet while you’re stirring to ensure even cooking without burning.
  • The acid from tomatoes can be rough on cast iron, so that’s why I add the tomato paste at the end.
  • Be sure to clean your cast iron skillet well! Ashley got The Ringer for me one Christmas and it’s a great tool for removing stuck on gunk from the bottom of the pan. We also use scrapers like these.

A plate of assembled chicken fajitas with margaritas in the background.

My additional tips would be to serve these up with some tortilla chips and homemade guacamole (the recipe for our current favorite is coming soon!) and a margarita or 3.

I also have been using whole milk plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for the past several years. It started because I’m the only person at home who can tolerate lactose, but yogurt is OK for everyone.

I got so used to it that I actually prefer it to sour cream for things like fajitas and tacos now. The contrast of the cool yogurt or sour cream to the piping hot fajita meat and veggies is one of the things I love most about this meal.

A cast iron skillet filled with chicken fajitas with tortillas and garnishes alongside.

How to Get Restaurant Quality Fajitas at Home

A few small things really make these fajitas taste like they came straight from a restaurant (and are even better, in my opinion!).

If at all possible, use a large cast iron skillet. The seasoning on the skillet and the way it retains heat and chars the ingredients isn’t something that’s easily done on a standard skillet.

A wok would work, too, but cast iron is just perfect here. There are plenty of reasons to add a cast iron skillet to your kitchen arsenal, and fajitas are a prime example!

Close up of chicken fajitas in a cast iron skillet.

Take the time to really caramelize your onions. Many recipes claim to yield caramelized onions in like… 20 minutes. NOPE. This is a labor of love, mostly unattended, but it’ll take a good 45 minutes to an hour to really caramelize them well.

The flavor you get from caramelized onions is so much richer than rushing them, but if you’re short on time you can just add them in when you add the peppers to get a nice char.

If you want to get that nice smoking sizzle that restaurant fajitas are known for, add a little soy sauce right at the end and march ’em on out to the dinner table.

A cast iron skillet filled with chicken fajitas with tortillas and garnishes alongside.

These are seriously one of my all-time favorite dishes. We tend to alternate between chicken and steak fajitas, based on our mood and what type of meat is on sale.

The only problem with this recipe is that my family loves them so much that there isn’t often a ton of leftovers! These are absolutely delicious reheated for lunches, but my 6-year-old can sometimes take out 3 in one sitting.

He’s definitely mine!

Some of our favorite cast iron recipes:

Recipe for Our Favorite Chicken Fajitas

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A cast iron skillet filled with chicken fajitas with tortillas and garnishes alongside.

Our Favorite Chicken Fajitas

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Dino & Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: about 6 servings (2 fajitas per serving) 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex


Grab your cast iron skillet – these chicken fajitas are a one pan meal that are so good they’ll outshine your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant!


Units Scale

For Fajitas:

  • 1 tablespoon fajita seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 bell peppers, seeded and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce (optional)*

For Serving:


  1. Combine fajita seasoning and water in gallon-sized ziptop bag and set aside.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and trim off any large pieces of fat. Cut meat against the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices and add to the bag of seasoning. Add olive oil and lime juice and seal bag, squeezing out as much air as you can. Transfer to refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot (this takes a few minutes), add peanut oil and turn to coat bottom of the skillet. Add onions and break them up w a wooden spoon. Lower heat to medium-low and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Constantly stir until it stops sizzling.
  4. When the pan cools down, add butter. Stir every 10 min or so until caramelized, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer to a bowl, scraping out all the browned bits, and cover. DO NOT CLEAN THE PAN.
  5. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Pan should be smoking.
  6. Drain the marinade from the bag of chicken and put the meat in the hot skillet. Spread over the bottom of the pan using metal tongs, cooking until browned and the chicken is cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Once browned, place into the bowl with onions and cover.
  7. Add peppers to pan and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly. When they start to stick to the bottom of the pan, lower the heat to medium and stir in garlic.
  8. Add onions and meat back into the skillet, then add tomato paste, turn off heat and stir in until well combined. At this point, you can pour in soy sauce to get that sizzling sound and smoke for when you bring it to the table.
  9. Serve fajitas with warmed flour tortillas, Greek yogurt, and lime wedges alongside.


If using larger chicken breasts, cut them in half horizontally or pound them to make thinner pieces of chicken to work with.

Feel free to use any pre-made fajita seasoning blend that you like, or make your own!

If you don’t have time to caramelize onions, put them in with the peppers.

(*) optional: use gluten-free


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 270
  • Sugar: 4.6 g
  • Sodium: 367.7 mg
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Fiber: 2.2 g
  • Protein: 18.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 60.2 mg

Keywords: Tex-Mex, chicken fajitas, cast iron

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Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


    • Claire Addlestone

      For some reason I’ve never looked at your fajita recipe until it was in the newsletter yesterday. I have been making them at home with pretty much the same ingredients as you for years. Carmelizing the onions, though, is a GAME CHANGER! I will be doing that from now on!

      • Ashley

        Great minds think alike!! I’m glad you agree on caramelizing the onions. It’s torture smelling them for an hour but the end result makes it SO worth the wait!

    • Dino

      Aww shucks!

      Hey don’t forget the “secret” ingredient: A heaping tablespoon of extra-concentrated tomato paste from the tube. It helps bind it all, turns everything a nice color and happens to taste great.

  • Donna-FFW

    How lucky of you to have someone cook for you when you need it. And I hope your mood has improved and that ou feel better. These sound great! Look even better!!

  • Katy ~

    Yummm….fajitas! I make them infrequently but we enjoy them. I never thought of adding tomato paste and V8. I’ll have to try that. Maybe that’s the ingredient I’m missing?!

    • Ashley

      It really is great – it has so much flavor! He uses a big splash, and then drinks the rest of the can 🙂

  • Chris

    Wow, these look exactly like the chicken fajitas we had for lunch today at Flick. They must be reading your blog…..

  • Penny

    I love chicken fajitas and these sound just yummy to me! I think I will whip some up tonight and serve them with my favorite drink – my made at home cafe latte – my husband will thank me@

  • Gloria

    You can never go wrong with a fun and delicious chicken dish for dinner. Our family loves Mexican. Tacos and fajitas happen a lot around here. I know this would be a crowd pleaser for sure.

  • Gina

    What an amazing post thank you so much and to your husband for the amazing tips the cast iron has always intimidated me but I know that it would bring out the most flavor and thank you again for the tips on the caramelized onions I always thought that they could be done in 20 minutes and that was long enough 45 minutes to an hour geez LOL but you right it is worth the wait again thank you for the recipe and in-depth post!

    • Ashley

      I’m so glad this post was helpful for you, Gina! And YES – the caramelized onions take quite a while, and you can do it without going that far with them, but the flavor pay off is HUGE if you’re able to wait it out. Recipes that say that you can properly caramelize onions in like 20 minutes drive me batty! Hope you enjoy the fajitas 🙂

  • Dominique | Perchance to Cook

    I feel like I can taste these fajitas through the screen!! YUMMM. It looks just perfect! I love all the colors and all the flavor here. Homemade fajitas are the best!

  • Jyothi (Jo)

    my family loves Mexican food and fajitas can’t wrong you. This skillet pan chicken fajitas can easily be our dinner any weeknight

  • Whitney Bond

    It’s the worst when you go to a Mexican restaurant and order something other than fajitas and then smell someone else’s walking by! These look like a wonderful way to make my house smell that amazing! Thanks for the tip about caramelizing the onions, for the perfect flavors!

    • Ashley

      Ha – right?! It’s like total order envy. Though with this recipe, I’m spoiled with awesome fajitas at home, so I often order other dishes when I’m at a Mexican restaurant now.

  • Kathryn | FoodieGirlChicago

    I’m a big fan of fajitas and these sound super tasty! Love that you added caramelized onion to these – they are the best!

      • Callum

        Trying this right now! Although I don’t own a skillet so doing it in a normal pan 🙁 onions have a further 40 mins to go! Lol hopefully it works

        • Ashley

          A normal pan is just fine! Let the onions cook as long as you’re able to get them nice and golden. Your patience will be rewarded (and they’ll still be delicious even if you don’t let them get super caramelized). Let me know how it goes!

    • Ashley

      Aren’t they the best?! We usually alternate between chicken and steak, but I’m looking to add some other options to the mix soon, too!

      • Christina

        I didn’t have any lime juice so I used pineapple juice instead. Followed the rest of the recipe as is (maybe not proportions tho). It is absolutely delicious! I love it and I’m sure my man will too! Thanks!!!

        • Ashley

          I’m so glad these were a hit, Christina! The pineapple juice sounds like a fantastic addition. I love the sweet/savory combo. Thanks for sharing!

  • Amanda Mason

    Excellent tips for these fajitas!! I agree – caramelizing the onions is so worth the time!! I love how you wrote this to say, “make restaurant quality fajitas at home”…I’m so sold on that! I love fajitas at the Mexican restaurant but if I can make them at home…even better! And we all know…anything made in a cast iron skillet is delish!

    • Ashley

      I hope you love these as much (if not more!) than the ones you get out at a restaurant! Years ago, I would have never thought I could make fajitas this good at home, but shoutout to my hubby for his dedication to the cause 😉

  • Kitty

    My hubby is a HUGE fajita fan. But I don’t make them at home much. I’m gonna try this because we also love Penzeys!!!! I could eat a shoe covered in their spices!!! hahaha

  • Heather

    Cast iron pans are definitely the way to go and great tip about carmelizing the onions .. beautiful recipe and what a happy, healthy dish to serve.

    • Ashley

      Cast iron is such a gamechanger! I love using it for one pan dishes like this, and for things like frittata and steak.

        • Ashley

          I hope you love this one as much as we do, Jessica! The garlic gets added in during step 7 of the recipe – after the peppers have been cooking and you lower the heat before the onions go back in. Hope that helps!

  • Melissa Jones

    We had this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! My husband and I both said this meal is going in our regular rotation (and probably tomorrow too, I wish I wasn’t full so I could eat more now!) Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

    • Ashley

      I’m so glad to hear this, Melissa! It’s one of our favorites and I’m glad you and your husband enjoyed it. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Ashley

      I’m so glad this was a hit for you, Sonji! It’s incredible how much flavor you get from giving the onions extra time, right?

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