I’ve been crazy about fajitas since my first taste back in the early ’80s when fajitas were all the rage. I love this recipe, Best Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas, not only for the fabulous flavor but for how simple and how fast they are to turn out, especially for a crowd.
I guess you might have already gotten the idea that I love fajitas if you’ve come across my Classic Grilled Fajitas, my Shortcut Chicken Fajitas or have seen the post for my Homemade Fajita Seasoning.
About Best Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas:
Honestly, it’s taken me a while to post a recipe for Sheet Pan Fajitas, mostly because I wasn’t crazy over the top in love with any of the ones I made. Until now. See, I thought the key to this sheet pan recipe was to keep everything as dry as possible, flavor with spices and powders & roast at a high temperature to get some browning. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
When I took a look at my other Fajita recipes, I had an aha moment. Marinade for flavor and basically “braise” the chicken in the juices that form on the sheet tray. Put all the veggies on a second tray and when the chicken is done, pour off the excess juices, toss everything together on one tray and turn on the broiler.
The real magic happens when you take them out of the oven, chicken perfectly done, moist, lightly browned and the whole works slightly charred in spots – and toss some of the reserved marinade over the whole works while everything on the sheet tray is still piping hot. The limey, garlicky deliciousness comes through when you bring it to the table. You’ll swear your Best Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas came from a restaurant – or maybe your grill.
Making Best Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas:
I guess I basically already told ya how to make these! The one important step is to make sure your chicken strips are pretty much the same size so the cook evenly and at about the same time. I’d urge you to try the liquid smoke if you haven’t ever. A little bottle is spendy for it’s size but keeps literally forever even after it’s opened. Just make sure the lid is clean and dry when capped or you’ll never get it off again.
I might also emphasize that when you add the reserved marinade, you can go by taste, adding in a little more or less, but do add it when everything is right out of the oven so the garlic and lime in the marinade get enough heat that it doesn’t taste raw. If it does and you think it’s too much, you can toss the sheet tray back in the oven for a minute or two.
If there is one step that elevates this meal, it’s tossing your tortillas (unless you choose to make a bowl) on the burner to warm and pick up a little smoky flavor. You can do this with a gas or electric burner. If you have an induction or just a flat top, use a dry skillet, preheated, and preferably cast iron.
Saving Money on Best Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas:
Fajitas are actually pretty inexpensive to make, and so are the sides. It’s seriously all the accompaniments that start adding up! Watch for your chicken on sale; it usually comes in larger family packs so break it down to convenient sizes and freeze.
Bell peppers go on sale regularly and last a week or two in the fridge. Buy them when you see them, and buy a few extras for the following week. You might notice that green bells are almost always much cheaper than yellow, orange, or red. Sneak one it with the rest to lower the overall cost.
Cheese is regularly on sale, and so is sour cream, so get in the habit of picking items like this up before you need them, when you see them on sale, if you use them regularly. As far as the tortillas, I rarely see them on sale. Look for them in endcaps, in the refrigerator section, and in the Mexican food aisle and compare the prices.Print
Best Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Prep Time: 15 minutes + marinating time
- Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes + marinating time
- Yield: 6 to 8 1x
- Category: main dish
- Cuisine: Mexican
- zest of 2 limes
- 1/3 cup juice from 2 to 3 limes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (mesquite preferred)
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1½ to 2 pounds), pounded to 1/2 inch thickness and sliced into 1/2″ strips or chicken tenders, tendon removed cut to be even in size (see note)
- 1 large red onion or 2 white, cut pole to pole in 1/2″ strips
- 3 bell peppers, any color, cut into 1/2” strips 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 to 12 (6-inch or fajita size) flour tortillas
- Garnishes: Choice of minced fresh cilantro, lime wedges, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, pickled jalapenos, cheese of choice: Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, queso fresco, or feta
When ready to cook, if using oven, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the top rack three to four inches from broiler and the bottom rack about 4 to 5 inches below, if oven allows.
Whisk together all marinade ingredients. Set aside and reserve about 1/4 cup. Place the chicken and the remaining marinade in Ziploc set aside for 1/2 hour; may marinade for up to four hours but if doing so refrigerate.
Drain chicken and spread across one sheet tray. Add the vegetables to another sheet tray and toss with oil, salt, and pepper.
Place the sheet tray with the chicken on the top rack of the preheated oven and the sheet tray with the vegetables on the bottom rack. Roast for 12 minutes, stirring once until chicken is almost done and with no to very little pink when several strips are tested. The chicken will not be browned at this point.
Remove the chicken, drain of any excess juices, then add the vegetables from the second tray, toss together, and spread out across the sheet pan. Turn on broiler (to high if that option is available) and broil until the chicken has picked up some color and vegetables are lightly charred in spots, stirring once if necessary. Remove from oven and while still piping hot, drizzle with the reserved marinade and toss.
In the meantime, heat a burner to medium-high. Place each tortilla on burner for several seconds, turning as soon as the first side has picked up a little color. Remove tortillas as each is done, stacking on a clean kitchen towel; fold half the towel back over the tortillas as each is added.
Serve fajitas on tortillas with desired garnishes.
- On chicken; if the breasts are the super thick monsters so often found these days, they may be cut in 1/2 horizontally before pounding.
- On heat level; the heat level is very mild. Up the heat level by increasing the cayenne and adding minced jalapeno (include ribs for a little additional spice) to the marinade ingredients.
Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Bell Peppers, Chicken, Chicken Breast, Fajitas, Lime, liquid smoke, Red onion, tortillas