Fajitas are the quintessential Tex-Mex food everyone loves! Now you can have restaurant-quality fajitas in your own kitchen in less than 30-minutes!
Tender strips of seasoned steak or chicken, grilled onions and peppers, all nicely tucked into a warm flour tortilla and garnished with guacamole, pico de gallo, salsa, avocado and sour cream!
It's 1984 and the Dallas-based Brinker restaurant chain Chili's® introduces this sizzling steak entree to its customers and folks go wild! Little do they know, steak fajitas have been around since the 30's and 40's.
Yep. Mexican ranchers living along the border of West Texas and the Rio Grande River were making fajitas long before the restaurant chain!
Here's what you'll need:
How to make Tex Mex fajitas:
The secret to making restaurant-quality Tex Mex is the seasoning of the meat and vegetables, along with the hickory smoke marinade.
Season the steak or chicken with ground cumin, chile powder, smoky paprika, salt, pepper and a hint of garlic powder (optional); then, place the meat in a plastic bag, add a little oil, lime juice and hickory smoke meat marinade. Massage it all together, refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Slice vegetables, place in skillet; season with cumin, chile powder and hickory smoke marinade
Place the beef or chicken in a cast-iron skillet and cook until done; beef takes about 4 minutes on each side; chicken takes about 10 minutes on each side
Remove meat from skillet; allow to rest for 3-5 minutes; slice flank steak against the grain
What kind of steak do I use for fajitas?
You have a few choices of beef that work really well: flank, flap or skirt. These thin cuts of meat come from the flank and plate area, or the lower area of the cow.
Can I make fajitas on the stove?
Yes! Stove top fajitas are ready in minutes!
After the steak marinates, place the whole steak in a blazing hot dry cast iron skillet and cook it 4 minutes on each side for medium rare.
(No need to add any oil to the skillet since the meat is marinated in oil.) Place the cooked fajita meat in a foil tent and let it rest for 5 minutes.
How to slice flank, flap or skirt steak
After the steak rests, slice flank, flap or skirt steak against the grain to ensure a tender bite. If you cut the fajita meat with the grain, it's harder to chew.
Serve Tex Mex fajitas with any of these delicious sides!
Tex Mex Fajitas
- 2 lbs. flank or flap steak
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 4 tablespoons hickory smoke marinade , divided; 2 T for marinade; 2 T for veggies
- 2 tablespoons cumin ground
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 3 tablespoons smoky paprika
- 2 large onions sliced
- 1 large, of each red, green, yellow bell pepper cut into slices
- 8 flour tortillas
- salt, pepper, sour cream, guacamole, shredded cheese optional
- Season meat with cumin, chili powder, paprika and about 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1 tablespoon black pepper; place meat in plastic bag
- In a mixing bowl, combine oil, lime juice, hickory smoke marinade; pour marinade into plastic bag; massage meat and liquid to distribute evenly; place bag in refrigerator
- Marinate at least 30 minutes; rotate bag or flip meat occasionally
- Slice onions and peppers
- In a heavy bottom skillet, heat oil on medium-high; add onions, peppers and remaining tablespoon of liquid smoke
- Once vegetables are tender, remove from skillet and set aside
- In the same skillet you cooked the onions and peppers, turn the heat to medium high; add the steak; cook 4 minutes on each side for medium rare
- Remove steak from skillet and cover with foil; allow meat to rest for 5-10 minutes
- Slice meat against the grain; plate
- Place a few slices of steak, onions and peppers on a flour tortilla; garnish with sour cream, salsa, guacamole and/or shredded cheese; roll tortilla and enjoy!
- Steak fajitas are often made with skirt, flank, or flap meat. These thin cuts of meat come from the flank and plate area, or the lower area of the cow.