Chicken Fajita Marinade


This easy chicken fajita marinade uses pantry staples and takes only 30 minutes to infuse your chicken with incredible fajita flavor!

Fajitas are one of my favorite weeknight meals, and since this marinade takes only 30 minutes to infuse the chicken with fresh fajita flavor, it’s perfect for any busy night. While chicken fajitas are a classic, this marinade is also perfect for steak or shrimp fajitas!

Cooked fajitas in a skillet.

Any good marinade uses simple ingredients – just oil, acid, and flavor. Adding soy sauce to this marinade gives it the perfect savory umami flavor, and the spices heat things up for a fajita flair.

Make your weeknight meal even easier by prepping everything ahead of time – marinade, meat, and vegetables – and stashing it in the freezer for a simple thaw and cook meal. Just wrap them up with this tortilla recipe for a tasty fajita dinner everyone in the family will love!

How to make chicken fajita marinade

  1. Make the marinade – Whisk all ingredients for the chicken marinade together in a small bowl.
  2. Add 3 pounds of sliced chicken thighs or breast and let soak for at least 30 minutes (however 1-12 hours or overnight if ideal).
  3. Cook the chicken by adding chicken and marinade to a hot skillet. Bring to a boil and sauté for 3-4 minutes until chicken is almost cooked through.
  4. Add veggies – Stir in sliced bell pepper and onions and cook until tender.

A bowl with raw chicken marinating in a fajita seasoning next to a plate of sliced bell pepper and onions.

Key ingredients & substitutions

  • Avocado oil – or any light flavored oil – canola and light olive also work well.
  • Soy sauce – coconut aminos or liquid aminos can be used if avoiding soy. Tamari can be used if gluten free.
  • Lime juice – substitute lemon juice if needed.
  • Apple cider vinegar – White vinegar can be used as a substitute.
  • Garlic – While I often use fresh minced garlic, you can use jarred garlic or even garlic powder if needed. Just substitute ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder for every garlic clove.
  • Seasonings – Chili powder, cumin, and oregano.

Chicken Fajita Marinade Recipe Video

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Chicken Fajita Marinade Ingredients

  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 pounds diced or slice chicken thighs or breast

Chicken Fajitas Ingredients

  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow, purple or white onion, sliced

Chicken Fajita Marinade Directions

  • Chicken Fajita Marinade
  • A close up of sliced chicken soaking in a marinade.

    How long do you marinade chicken

    The best length for marinating chicken is anywhere from 30 minutes to 120 minutes. For this fajita marinade, chicken will have the most flavor the longer you let it marinade. Chicken can be marinated for up to two days for a stronger infusion of flavor. Any longer than two days, the chicken will become mushy as the acids in the marinade break down the proteins.

    Tips for cutting thin slices of chicken

    Ever tried to thinly slice raw chicken, only to have it fall apart or end up uneven? Here’s a simple trick to make it easy! The key to easily cutting thin, even slices of chicken breast is to par freeze the chicken for 30 minutes first.

    After 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the freezer and cut it against the grain. This way, you can put slight pressure on the chicken without squishing the meat and get even slices as thin as you’d like. For fajitas, you can keep the strips long or short, whatever your preference.

    A skillet filled with chicken fajitas next to shredded cheese and garlic.

    Ways to cook fajitas

    While cooking this fajita recipe on the stove is simple, it’s not the only way you can make your fajitas. Try these other easy and delicious ways to cook them.

    On the grill:

    Preheat a grill and grill basket over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken and sliced vegetables to the grill basket and grill for 15 minutes or until everything is cooked through, shaking and turning the basket occasionally.

    In the air fryer:

    Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. Add the meat and vegetables to the basket and air fry for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through.

    Baked in the oven:

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the marinated chicken and vegetables to a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

    Under the broiler:

    Heat the broiler on high. Add the vegetables to a sheet pan and broil for 10 minutes. Add the chicken to the pan and broil another 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender and blistered.

    What goes in fajitas

    Fajitas are such a great family dinner since they’re so versatile. You can change up the protein, vegetables, and toppings to suit anyone’s preferences. Try these ideas.

    • Protein: Use chicken breast, boneless skinless thighs, flank steak, shrimp or pork loin. If using shrimp or any fish or seafood, only marinade for up to 1 hour.
    • Vegetables: Sweet bell peppers, green peppers, jalapenos, yellow onions, red onions, Portobello mushrooms, white mushrooms.
    • Toppings: Sour cream, greek yogurt, sliced jalapenos, cilantro, salsa, hot sauce, lettuce, cheese, guacamole.

    Storage information & meal prep instructions

    You can make this marinade up to 3 days before marinating the meat. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

    Marinated chicken fajitas is perfect for freezer meal prep. Add the raw chicken, sliced peppers, and onions to a freezer bag with the marinade and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to use it, remove the bag from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then cook as directed.

    Chicken Fajita Marinade: FAQS

    What is the best onion to use in fajitas?

    White onions add a sharper, robust flavor to fajitas, but yellow or red onions can be used for a milder taste.

    Why is soy sauce used in some fajita marinades?

    Soy sauce adds a savory umami element to fajita marinades without actually tasting like soy sauce.

    Which is better, fajita marinade or fajita seasoning?

    A fajita marinade will infuse your meat with flavor and help tenderize it as well, while seasonings only coat the surface and don’t add any extra tenderness to the meat.

    Nutritional information & Macros

    Nutrition Information

    Chicken Fajita Marinade

    Servings: 8

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 295
    Fat 19.4g
    Protein 28.1g
    Total Carbs 4.5g
    Net Carbs 3.6g

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