This recipe for sheet pan chicken fajitas is super easy!
Almost everyone loves chicken fajitas, brought to the table on a sizzling cast iron platter. But did you know you can get equally delicious fajitas at home? Sheet pan chicken fajitas can be prepared and cooked in less than 30 minutes with only a couple of dishes to wash at the end. So what are you waiting for? Try these sheet pan chicken fajitas today!
Getting this recipe right…
There really isn’t much to consider to get these sheet pan chicken fajitas spot on! All you have to do is marinate the chicken and a few fresh vegetables and you’re on your way to fajita heaven.
Of course we all have a few toppings that we like to put on our fajitas. Fresh salsa, sour cream, perhaps some grated or crumbled cheese. You can add whatever you like to this recipe to make it perfect for you.
Can you really create restaurant quality fajitas at home this way?
You sure can! One thing I like to do is add a little smoked paprika to the marinade. This gets you that smoky flavour that fajitas are famous for without having to wash up a greasy cast iron skillet at the end of it all.
Which cut of chicken should I use?
You can use breast or thigh meat for these sheet pan chicken fajitas. The whiter breast meat is of course prettier but thigh meat is cheaper and has more flavour. I use thigh meat but you can use whichever you prefer.
Can you freeze the any leftovers?
Yes you can! In fact they freeze quite well though I rarely need to do this. Everything goes at my house.
You can also keep any leftovers, covered in the fridge for up to three days.
Can these fajitas be made vegetarian?
No problem! Just leave the chicken out. You might also like to add other veggies or pan fry some mushrooms in garlic and butter. I’m not vegetarian but I do love that.
The interesting history of chicken fajitas…
Although many people think that fajitas originated in Mexico, they were actually first prepared in 1930s Texas. So this is a Tex-Mex recipe made in a sheet pan for ease.
Back in the 1930s and 40s, Mexican ranch workers in Texas were often paid in cheap cuts of meat rather than actual cash. This often meant they received the cuts no one else wanted but they got creative with their earnings.
Cuts such as skirt steak, which is now hugely popular, were part of the payment because no one wanted that tough cut of meat. So over time they developed tasty marinades for skirt steak and other cuts like chicken thighs and even the odd cow head that they received.
This meat was all wrapped up in tortillas and served with salsa.
But how did fajitas become so mainstream?
In 1969, a meat market manager at Guajardo’s Cash Grocery by the name of Sonny Falcon started trying to perfect the food that was already popular in the Mexican community. He experimented with the ingredients and then started selling fajitas at a local festival. They sold like crazy!
About the same time, local restaurants started placing fajitas on the menu and the idea spread nationwide. As most fajitas are quite similar in flavour and appearance, his chicken fajitas were probably very much like these sheet pan chicken fajitas.
- Go for chicken thighs when you make this recipe. They have a lot more flavour.
- Don’t overcook the chicken! Watch it the first time. Ovens vary so be sure the chicken is nice and juicy.
- This is not essential but if you want a nice charred appearance, place these under a hot grill (broiler) for the last 3 minutes of cooking.
- Either toast the tortillas in a hot pan or wet them slightly and heat in the microwave before serving.
Should I use corn or flour tortillas?
That’s completely up to you and which tortillas you prefer. I do love corn tortillas but flour tortillas are what people normally use.
Do these fajitas have to be cooked in a sheet pan?
Nope! The marinade is a fajita marinade like many others.
Feel free to cook the chicken and vegetables in other ways. I like to pan fry everything in a hot, cast iron pan with a generous amount of cooking oil. This achieve a deliciously charred exterior similar to what you find at most restaurants.
You could also place it all on a flaming hot barbecue.
That said, I sure hope you try this much easier and also less fussy way to prepare fajitas. Sheet pan chicken fajitas are perfect for after work meals. The recipe is also very popular with my daughter and her friends in her university dorm.
Sheet pan chicken fajitas in pictures…
Here are a few other Mexican style recipes you might like to try.
- FOR THE FAJITA SEASONING
- 1 tsp cayenne chilli powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- FOR THE FAJITAS
- 3 tbsp light olive oil
- Juice of one lime
- 1 kg (2 ¼ lbs.) Chicken breast or thighs, cut into thin slices ( I prefer thigh meat)
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 20 baby plum tomatoes
- Mix the fajita seasoning ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and stir in the olive oil and lime juice.
- Add the chicken and vegetable and mix well so that everything is nicely coated. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Any longer and the meat will turn a bit mushy because of the lime juice.
- When ready to cook, pre-heat your oven to 200f/400c. Pour the marinated meat and veggies onto a large baking pan and spread them out so everything is in one layer.
- Place the tray in the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. The cooked temperature of chicken is 75c/165f. If you want a charred appearance, place the tray under a high grill (broiler) for the last few minutes.
- Wrap in flour tortillas. You can warm them if you like in a microwave. Fajitas can be served with salsa such as the pico de gallo. You might also like to add guacamole, sour cream, cheese and coriander (cilantro).
If you want to try a gluten free version, wrap everything in large iceberg lettuce leaves to make fajita lettuce wraps. That or use corn tortillas that are gluten free.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 1201mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 19g