These easy chicken fajitas with garlic lime marinade are a staple around here weekly. It’s like “trash night” or “shower night”, “fajita night” is something we don’t get sick of!
Marinading chicken fajitas
Ideally, you want to marinade for as long as possible however I had minimal time so the chicken only sat in this marinade for 45 minutes. Thankfully, the flavor still came through with every bite!
It helps to cut the chicken breasts thin which I always do. Depending on the size, sometimes I can slice 3 times horizontally. Obviously, the thinner they are, the quicker they cook on each side. I gave a cooking time of 3-5 mins./side because it really does vary. Also, after you remove the chicken from the skillet (or grill, broiler), put it on a plate and tent tin foil over it for another 5 minutes.
Pan frying chicken fajitas
If you are going to pan fry the chicken, it’s important to to understand the best way to do it. You want to cook the chicken all the way through while forming a nice crust on the outside. Getting the right temperature is the key. If the temperature isn’t right, your food could be burnt on the outside or it could stick to the pan.
Most of my skillets are non-stick however the same rule applies to stainless steel. Once the pan is on the stove top, turn the heat to medium – medium-high heat. It’s important to not go too high at first because you want to heat evenly and gradually. There’s a whole “molecule thing” that happens as it heats so if you put food down before the pan is hot enough, the pan latches on to the food which is why food can stick or tear.
When is the temperature right?
Do a water test to know when the pan is ready. Place the pan on medium to medium-high heat. After a minute or 2, pour an 1/8 teaspoon of water into the pan. If the water forms balls and sizzles until they all go out, it’s not hot enough. The pan will be hot enough when you pour the water in and it breaks into little balls only to go back together into one big ball and jumps around the pan. Now you’re ready for oil!
Lower the temperature slightly so the pan doesn’t smoke when you put your oil in. It’s best to use an oil with a higher heating point like avocado or grape-seed oil. When the oil shimmers and creates lines and starts to give off small wisps of smoke, you’re ready to start cooking!
Have your mise en place (all ingredients) ready to go because once the pan gets to the right temperature, you want to move quickly.
Back to the chicken fajitas
You’ll want to pan fry the chicken in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. If so, you will lower the perfect temperature you just created! After you finish cooking all of the chicken and it’s resting on the side with tented tin foil, you can sauté the veggies.
Let’s talk tortillas
I try to keep my carb intake on the lower side and fortunately, there are more and more options available to do that with tortillas. Of course, this recipe would be perfect in a bowl with brown rice. Or, you could simply have the chicken and veggies and my bacon guacamole or spicy mango salsa – all delicious!
If you want a healthier tortilla option, check out Ezekial sprouted grain, Udi’s spelt grain or Food for life brown rice tortillas. Most of these options will be found in organic freezer section of grocery store.
easy chicken fajitas with garlic lime marinadeCourse: Dinner
These chicken fajitas are an easy, healthy weeknight meal that the whole family will love! The chicken marinade has the perfect balance of spice and zing! Pan-fry, broil or grill the chicken!
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil)
5 cloves garlic (pressed or minced)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
1 jalapeño, sliced (optional, if you like heat!)
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 bell peppers (any color)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
- Serve with
tortillas, homemade guacamole, salsa, sour cream, cilantro lime rice, sautéed corn and whatever else you like!
- MARINADE: Use a whisk to combine ingredients before adding the jalapeño slices and the chicken breast. Marinate covered in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
- Heat up a large cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet over high heat. Drizzle a teaspoon of oil and add half of the chicken to the pan. Cook on each side for about 3-5 minutes or longer depending on the thickness of the chicken. If the pan becomes too hot, reduce the heat to medium-high. Remove the chicken from the pan and allow to rest with tented tin foil over it for several minutes. Slice the chicken into thin slices.
- FAJITA VEGGIES: Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan over high heat, add half the onions and bell peppers. Let the veggies begin to sizzle and toss as necessary. You can drizzle in some of that chicken marinade if you want to flavor the veggies but be sure to cook them well. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove the veggies to a plate and cook the remaining veggies the same way
- ASSEMBLY: Serve the chicken fajitas in tortillas or on rice bowls topped with your favorite toppings!
- My favorite healthier tortilla shells include Ezekial sprouted grain, Udi’s spelt grain or Food for life brown rice tortillas (all found in organic freezer section of grocery store)