Make a sizzling skillet of chicken fajitas for your next weeknight meal. This crowd-pleasing dinner comes together in a single pan, made with chicken thighs, onion, bell pepper, and a simple homemade seasoning blend.
Fajitas are the star of any Tex-Mex restaurant visit. You can hear that hot skillet sizzling from across the room. Why not recreate that experience in your own kitchen? These skillet chicken fajitas are surprisingly easy to make at home, and come together in a single cast iron skillet.
These chicken fajitas are made with chicken thighs for extra flavor and juiciness (but can also be made with chicken breasts). Onion and bell pepper are sautéed with minced garlic and a simple blend of spices. All you need is a stack of warm flour tortillas and you're ready to dig in.
Serve these skillet chicken fajitas for a quick weeknight family meal. They can be served on their own or with your favorite taco toppings, like sliced avocado, guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, and sour cream.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Chicken thighs - For this recipe, you'll need one pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Can be substituted with chicken breasts if desired.
- Olive oil - Can be substituted with your favorite cooking oil you have on hand.
- Bell pepper - Any color of bell pepper works in this recipe (green, red, yellow, or orange). I suggest choosing two colors for added visual appeal.
- Onion - White or yellow onions work well in this recipe.
- Garlic - I highly suggest mincing your garlic fresh for best flavor.
- Seasoning - Cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and red pepper flakes. Spices can be substituted with store bought fajita seasoning or taco seasoning if needed (the two are very similar, but taco seasoning is generally spicier, containing more chili powder. Fajita seasoning usually contains more cumin).
- Cilantro - If you dislike cilantro, it can be omitted or substituted with parsley.
- Lime - One lime is squeezed over your fajitas just before serving.
- Tortillas - Use your favorite brand and style. I suggest 6-inch flour tortillas for fajitas.
What pan is best for fajitas?
I recommend using a large, 12-inch cast iron skillet for fajitas. This size has plenty of surface area for cooking your chicken and veggies separately, giving them a nice char.
Plus, using a cast iron pan adds that restaurant quality flavor and feel. Cast iron retains heat well, ensuring your fajita ingredients don't get cold before your skillet makes it to the dinner table.
Here's the pan I use in the photos:
If you don't have a cast iron pan on hand, a stainless steel sauté pan will work just fine.
Can I use chicken breasts?
Yes, this recipe will work using chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs. Keep a close eye on your chicken as it cooks, and remove it from the pan as soon as it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Chicken breasts are low in fat and can quickly dry out when overcooked, so it's important to keep an eye on them while cooking.
Why are chicken thighs better?
I like to use chicken thighs because they're a little fattier, which adds more flavor. Chicken thighs are also more forgiving when cooking, meaning they don't dry out quite as fast as chicken breasts do. They're also generally a little cheaper and budget-friendly when compared to boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
What to serve with fajitas
Looking for side dishes to serve with your chicken thigh fajitas? Here are a few great ideas:
- Creamy jalapeño corn
- Avocado black bean salad
- Chopped kale avocado salad
- Refried beans
- Black beans and rice
- Pineapple pico de gallo
Skillet Chicken Fajitas
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, sliced into thin strips
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 bell peppers, thin sliced
- 1 large onion, thin sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 8 flour tortillas, warmed
- In a small bowl, add cumin, chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir to combine.
- In a large bowl, add chicken thigh strips. Top with half of your prepared seasoning from step one, reserving the remainder for a later step. Toss chicken to evenly coat.
- In a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, add two tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add seasoned chicken in a single layer. Cook, flipping once halfway through, for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until cooked through to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove chicken from pan and cover to keep warm.
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil to pan. When hot, add sliced peppers and onion in an even layer. Sprinkle with reserved seasoning and toss to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are lightly browned and onions turn translucent. Add minced garlic, stir to incorporate, and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
- Slice lime in half, squeeze over chicken, and toss to coat. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve immediately with warmed tortillas and your favorite toppings (like salsa, guacamole, and sour cream).
- Leftover fajitas will keep for 3 or more days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
- Chicken thighs can be substituted with chicken breasts - keep a close eye on chicken breasts while cooking, they can dry out quickly once cooked through.