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A dinner fit for any Tex Mex fan, Grilled Chicken Fajitas are marinated, seasoned, and served with authentic Mexican flavors. Fill your plate with moist, flavorful chicken slices and juicy onions and peppers for a satisfying dish simply made for summer!
Grilled chicken fajitas are a delicious and simple summer meal that I never get tired of eating – or making! A true rain-or-shine dish, you can make this recipe either indoors or out on the grill like my pollo asado.
Served with crisp and sweet bell peppers, red onions, and a healthy scoop of pico de gallo, grilled chicken fajitas are refreshing and filling.
The chicken itself is incredibly moist and flavorful, thanks to a lime and orange juice chicken fajita marinade full of hearty Mexican seasonings. I use my own Chicken Fajita Seasoning Blend in this recipe: it features spicy chili seasoning and cayenne pepper, as well as bright and citrusy Mexican oregano. It’s the perfect complement to this marinade, so I really recommend you check it out and use it for your fajitas!
For a full Tex Mex menu, try out this cornbread casserole and arroz rojo, or Mexican red rice.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
See recipe card for full list of ingredients.
- Chicken – I prefer using chicken thighs, as I find they have more flavor. Breast meat works as well. Be sure to use the appropriate cooking directions below for the cut of meat that you’ve chosen.
- Chicken Fajita Marinade – A sweet and spicy mix of:
- Lime Juice – I recommend juicing a couple of juicy Mexican limes, also known as key limes.
- Orange Juice – A popular marinade ingredient because of its sticky sweetness and high acidity.
- Olive Oil – This ingredient helps add moisture to the meat.
- Minced Garlic Cloves – For sharp, pungent flavor.
- Chicken Fajitas Seasoning Blend – Buy a grocery store blend, or try out my curated fajita seasoning that’s less expensive and more flavorful than anything you’d grab off the shelf!
- For Construction – Serve your grilled chicken fajitas with:
- Bell Peppers & Red Onions – Any pepper variety fits right in. Red onions are preferred for their sweetness and body, but any other onion would work as well. In fact, feel free to mix and match with the vegetables you like best.
- Tortillas – I recommend serving corn tortillas with your fajitas.
- Pico de Gallo – A vibrant mix of tomatoes, onions, chiles, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
- Sliced Limes – To serve on the side for a spritz of acidity.
HOW TO MAKE GRILLED CHICKEN FAJITAS
- Marinate the Meat. Add all of the marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk together. Add the chicken and toss well for a thorough coating. Cover, move to the fridge, and marinate for at least 2 hours.
- Cook the Chicken. Heat your skillet on medium high and add the meat. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Once browned, flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board once a safe internal temperature of 165°F is reached. (For grilling instructions, see below). Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing into strips.
- Saute the Veggies. Meanwhile, add some olive oil to a pan and saute the bell peppers and onions over high heat. Once charred but still somewhat crisp, remove from the heat.
- Serve & Enjoy! Serve the sliced meat and veggies with tortillas with pico de gallo and limes on the side.
GRILLING INSTRUCTIONS FOR GRILLED CHICKEN FAJITAS
For all grilling methods, ensure that the meat reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F before serving.
- Bone-In Thighs on a Gas Grill: Grill for 10 minutes on direct heat, skin-down. With the lid on and on indirect heat, grill for 10-12 minutes on each side.
- Bone-In Thighs on a Charcoal Grill: Grill for 10 minutes on direct heat, skin-down. Grill for 8-10 minutes on indirect heat on each side.
- Boneless Thighs: Grill for 5-6 minutes on each side.
- Breasts: Cut into horizontal strips if using a large cut. Grill for 5-6 minutes per side.
Grilling: Direct Heat and/or Indirect Heat
To grill using Direct Heat: have all burners on for a gas grill, or with charcoal, completely spread out on bottom of grill with no areas open.
To grill using Indirect Heat: for gas grill do what’s known as the 2 Zone set up, which is either half the grill is lit to achieve desired temperature and the meat is placed on opposite side, or have sides lit leaving the center NOT on or lowest temperature. To grill using indirect heat on a charcoal BBQ or smoker, ignite charcoal and place it to one side of the grill, creating a space for the food or the center with meat you’re cooking not directly over those lit coals. Typically use a drip pan under the meat to avoid any flareups.
Do you cut chicken before or after cooking for fajitas?
Wait until after cooking for maximum moisture in the meat. However, if using large chicken breasts, you can slice horizontally before cooking.
It’s also crucial to allow the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into the meat – otherwise, all of the juice will leak right out and leave you with dry, rubbery strips.
How long does it take to grill fajitas?
It depends on the cut of meat that you choose. It takes between 20-25 minutes for bone-in thighs to cook on the grilling, depending on whether you’re gas or charcoal grilling, 10 or so minutes for boneless, and 10-12 minutes for breast meat to cook through.
It’s all about the internal temperature: be sure that the meat reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F before removing from the grill.
How long should I marinate chicken?
I recommend marinating in the chicken fajita marinade for at least 2 hours before grilling. 24 hours is the max – any longer won’t really do anything to the flavor, and will only start to break down the meat and make it turn mushy.
Grilled Chicken Fajitas
- 2 lbs chicken (See Note 1)
- Mix together the marinade ingredients and add the chicken. Toss to coat, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours.
- In a large grill skillet over medium high heat add chicken and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until browned and caramelized. Turn and cook for 4 minutes, or until internal temperature is 165°F (See Note 1 for outdoor grilling). Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest 3-5 minutes. Slice into thin strips.
- While chicken is cooking: In a large sauté pan over high heat roast the bell peppers and onions in the oil until slightly limp and charred. Set aside.
- Serve sliced chicken and vegetables with warm tortillas. Top with pico de gallo (optional) and sliced limes.
- I prefer thighs which have more flavor or use breast meat. Gas-grilling time for Chicken Thigh, Bone-In: 10 minutes, skin down, direct heat, then 10 to 12 minutes per side, indirect heat, lid on, or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Charcoal-grilling time: 10 minutes, skin down, direct heat, then 8 to 10 minutes per side, indirect heat, lid on, or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
For Boneless thighs: 5 minutes per side.
For chicken breasts, if too large, slice horizontally. Grill 5-6 minutes each side or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Mexican Limes are preferred, and also go by the name of Key Limes. They are small, round and very juicy (Luckily I have a tree).
- I prefer using Mexican oregano in my seasoning blend. Mexican oregano is a relative of Lemon Verbena and is native to Mexico. Similar in that it’s pungent like Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano has notes of mild licorice and citrus. Mediterranean oregano is a member of the mint family and most often is used in Greek and Italian recipes. Mediterranean oregano is the one most found in spice racks and supermarkets.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.