platter of chicken fajitas

For years I didn’t “get” fajitas. Go all the way to a restaurant so I can assemble my own food? Nah. Furthermore, they’re filled with bell peppers which, up until my 30s, I couldn’t even look at in the grocery store.

Thankfully, I’ve seen the light (and the fact that you can order your own fajita skillets on Amazon — can you even?!) and restaurant-style chicken fajitas are one of my favorite things to cook at home.

Impressive yet easy and just like hearing then smelling those sizzling platters before they hit your table at a restaurant, this easy chicken fajitas recipe will make your mouth water!

Watch How to Make Them

Skip the Marinade!

The first time I attempted to make Chicken Fajitas at home was a disaster. After mixing up a chili powder-based marinade then searing everything over high heat, the marinade burned and the resulting dish tasted nothing like the fajitas we order from our favorite Mexican restaurant.

Fajitas are simply stripped grilled meat and vegetables, and what I quickly learned is that a marinade covers up the craveable, smoky flavor of seared chicken and caramelized veggies. It’s complicating something that’s inherently simple.

Easy Fajita Seasoning Mix

That said, all you need to achieve chicken fajitas that taste like a restaurant’s is a basic seasoning mix including everyday spices and ingredients:

  1. Homemade seasoned salt (i.e. salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika)
  2. Cumin
  3. Smoked paprika
  4. Fresh lemon juice

This simple seasoning mix lets you taste the fajita ingredients — chicken, peppers, onions, and mushrooms — and not the marinade. So easy, and so good!

seared chicken fajitas on a platter

Tips for The Best Chicken Fajitas

Fajitas are quick-cooking and straight forward. That said there are a few things to keep in mind when whipping them up:

  1. Don’t overcrowd the pan. The key to really good, flavorful fajitas is searing the meat and vegetables over high heat so they get a smoky, charred flavor. That said, be certain to not overcrowd the pan so the ingredients sear vs steam. Work in batches and make sure the oil is smoking hot before searing each batch of chicken and vegetables.
  2. Cast iron is best. A large, 12″+ cast iron pan is preferred for optimal searing and browning. Here’s my favorite enameled cast iron skillet, and a budget-friendly non-enameled cast iron skillet.
  3. Prep ahead. Because this recipe is so quick-cooking, it’s important to have all the meat and vegetables sliced and ready to go before turning on the heat. Both the chicken and vegetables can be prepped up to 3 days ahead of time.

Craving shrimp fajitas instead? Swap the chicken for a pound of shrimp. Or, try my recipe for Steak Fajitas, if you’re in the mood for beef!

close up photo of the best chicken fajitas

How to Make Chicken Fajitas

Step 1: Prep the vegetables.

Start by thinly slicing bell peppers, a large onion, and mushrooms. My favorite restaurant’s fajitas contain tomatoes, but I swapped them for mushrooms since tomatoes can easily turn to mush when seared over high heat.

bowl of chopped fajita vegetables

Step 2: Slice and season the chicken breasts.

Next, thinly slice chicken breasts. The best way to cut chicken breasts for fajitas is to slice each breast in half widthwise to create cutlets, then thinly slice each cutlet into strips. This way, the chicken is the same width and size as the bell peppers and onions which makes for a nice eating experience.

Season the chicken strips with homemade seasoned salt, and a dash each of cumin and smoked paprika then mix to coat.

container of sliced fajita chicken

Step 3: Sear the vegetables.

In a large, 12+ cast iron skillet, heat high heat cooking oil like vegetable or canola oil until it begins to smoke — turn on the hood vent! Add 1/3 of the vegetables then season with homemade seasoned salt, a dash of cumin, and a drizzle of fresh lemon juice.

Let the vegetables sit undisturbed in the skillet until the bottoms have seared, then mix with tongs and continue to saute until they’re crisp-tender.

Remove the veggies to a plate then sear the remaining vegetables in two batches, heating the oil first before adding then seasoning with seasoned salt, cumin, and lemon juice.

fajita vegetables searing in a skillet

Step 4: Sear the chicken.

Last step is to heat more oil in the skillet then add the seasoned chicken. Add a drizzle of lemon juice then saute until the chicken is cooked through, 3-4 minutes.

fajita chicken searing in a skillet

Step 5: Mix then serve.

Lastly, add the seared vegetables back into the skillet then toss to heat through. That’s all she wrote — so easy, right?

fajita chicken and vegetables searing in a skillet

What to Serve With Chicken Fajitas

Like most Tex-Mex meals, what makes fajitas even more satisfying is that they’re surrounded on a platter with goodies. Here are some ideas for garnishes and sides.

Serve the chicken fajitas + fixins with warmed corn tortillas, or your favorite flour-style tortillas. I like Mission Gluten Free Tortillas.

Chicken fajitas with sides

However you serve them, I hope you love every last drop of this easy chicken fajitas recipe — enjoy!

More Tex-Mex Favorites

forkful of chicken fajitas and vegetables

Chicken Fajitas Recipe


Craving sizzling, restaurant-style fajitas? This Chicken Fajitas recipe is a dead-ringer! No marinating needed — just chop then sizzle.


serves 4-5

  • 1lb chicken breasts, sliced into cutlets, then into thin strips
  • 2 bell peppers, any color, thinly sliced
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 8oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 Tablespoons high-heat cooking oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, etc.), divided
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • homemade seasoned salt (see notes)
  • cumin
  • smoked paprika
  • Toppings: sour cream, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole


  1. Season the chicken strips with seasoned salt and a pinch of both cumin and smoked paprika then mix to coat and set aside. Add the vegetables to a large bowl then toss with your hands to mix.
  2. Add 1-1/2 Tablespoons oil to a large, 12"+ heavy-bottomed skillet — preferably cast iron — over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add 1/3 of the vegetables in an even layer in the bottom. Season with seasoned salt, a pinch of cumin, and a drizzle of fresh lemon juice (~1/2 teaspoon — not too much!) then let the vegetables sit undisturbed until seared on the bottom. Toss with tongs then continue to saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes, turning the heat down slightly if they begin to burn. Remove the vegetables to a plate. Repeat the process of heating 1-1/2 Tablespoons oil then searing and seasoning the vegetables with seasoned salt, cumin, and lemon juice in two more batches.
  3. Heat the remaining 1-1/2 Tablespoons oil in the skillet then add the chicken, drizzle over a little lemon juice, and then saute until the chicken is cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Add the seared vegetables back into the skillet then toss to heat everything through. Serve immediately.


  • Click here for my Homemade Seasoned Salt recipe >
  • Meal prep: feel free to slice the chicken and vegetables up to 3 days ahead of time. Store the vegetables and chicken separately.
Sides to serve with Chicken Fajitas:

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


Photo collage of Best Chicken Fajitas