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Overhead of cast iron skillet with chicken fajitas and blue towel.
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5 from 2 votes

Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Fajitas

Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Fajitas are truly restaurant-worthy! Soak the chicken in a super flavorful marinade, then cook in a cast iron skillet to create that signature seared chicken that’s still perfectly tender and juicy. Mix with charred bell peppers and onions, then pile it high on a soft tortilla for the ultimate Mexican dinner. After marinating, it can all be done in under 20 minutes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6
Calories: 249kcal

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika or regular
  • ½ tsp chipotle powder
  • ½ tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke

Chicken Fajitas

  • 4 chicken breasts (about 2 lbs) cut in ½ horizontally, then cut in ½ inch slices
  • 3 bell peppers various colors, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 1 yellow onion or purple or white, cut into ½ inch slices
  • tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • corn or flour tortillas

Toppings (optional)

  • shredded cheese
  • avocado
  • salsa or pico de gallo
  • chopped cilantro
  • fresh lime juice
  • sour cream
  • shredded lettuce

Instructions

  • Whisking all the marinade ingredients together. Place sliced chicken in a bag, then pour the marinade on top. Seal the bag and agitate to coat chicken in marinade. Marinate for at least 6 hours - overnight, or freeze it.
  • Once marinated, drain chicken in a strainer, allowing to drain thoroughly.
  • While chicken is draining, add ½ tablespoon of oil to a cast iron skillet and heat over high heat until very hot. Add the onions, bell peppers, salt, and pepper to the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes. Once tender and charred, remove from skillet.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the hot skillet and allow to get hot. Still over high heat, add half of the drained chicken and sear, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the skillet and repeat with second half of chicken.
  • Add the veggies back into the skillet with the chicken and toss with tongs. Then serve with tortillas and toppings.

Notes

Tips & Tricks
  • Don’t skimp on the marinade. I know it’s a lot of ingredients and you might be tempted to skip a few…. But don’t. It’s worth it, I promise. 
  • Drain the meat very well before cooking. To get that signature sear, you want to eliminate as much liquid as possible. 
  • Use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet for best results. It gives you the best char while maintaining the juiciness of the meat. 
  • If liquid accumulates while cooking the chicken, remove the chicken and drain off the extra liquid. This extra step helps keep the outside crispy instead of soggy. 
  • Cook the meat in batches for best results. Overcrowding the pan causes the chicken to steam instead of sear.
 
Prep ahead: Marinade the chicken the day before or freeze in advance. Slice the bell peppers and onions the day before and store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Prep the toppings the day before. 
 
Freezing: Make the marinade. Freeze the chicken in the marinade for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for several hours. Then drain and cook according to directions.  

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 1068mg | Potassium: 517mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 2439IU | Vitamin C: 83mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg