This authentic chicken fajita marinade recipe results in juicy and flavorful chicken and charred vegetables with minimal effort. Make it easy on yourself and buy the pico de gallo and guacamole from your favorite local taco shop to bring the whole meal together.
I’m just going to say it. If you loved the traditional Texas recipe for Beef Fajitas I shared with you, you’re going to love this recipe for authentic chicken fajita marinade. I mean you’re going to LUHVE them. There, I said it.
We eat a lot of chicken at my house. And, it isn’t because we don’t like pork (you gotta try this awesome Green Chile Stew) or that I don’t think that beef is KING, because I totally do! (OMG try this Texas Seasoned Rib Eye) But I always ordered chicken at restaurants when I was a kid, and my husband kept me fed one Summer in college by fixing his famous CVR (chicken vegetable rice) dinners. So, I have special feelings for chicken. Wait! Did I say that out loud? I’m so cheesy. But it’s true.
But we’re talking about fajitas here!
This is an authentic chicken fajita marinade recipe all the way from San Antonio, Texas — all the way back from the 1970’s. Yep! Travel back in time with me. (Cue the “doodly – doo’s” from Wyane’s World…)
This original recipe is how most people made chicken fajitas back in the day. It’s a wet marinade and the fajitas taste better when marinated over-night. Unlike the marinade for beef fajitas, there is no garlic in the marinade for these authentic chicken fajitas. It simply overpowers, but add garlic if you like. Also, lemon juice is a little nicer on the chicken than lime juice, which can sometimes be harsh or bitter. I typically use lime for beef and lemon for chicken, but use what you like best.
Just look at allll that yummy chicken fajita goodness in that cast iron skillet right there – marinated and grilled chicken with its BFF’s charred veggies, guacamole, and pico de gallo. But don’t forget the limes because chicken and beef fajitas always taste better with lime (or lemon) squeezed over the top. And, tortillas! You can’t forget the tortillas. What’s that? You’re on a low carb diet and don’t eat tortillas? I got you covered!
Put these chicken fajitas in these low carb tortillas – Almost Zero Carb Wraps or Zucchini Tortillas, or wrap them in leaf lettuce, or place them on top of a salad. A creamy avocado-lime dressing would be so good on a chicken fajita salad. We enjoyed our leftovers in a chicken fajita hero bowl. They were great!
[TIP] Make it easy on yourself… You’re grilling the chicken and charring the vegetables so it’s okay to pick up the pico de gallo, some guacamole, and your favorite salsa from your local taco shop to pull the whole dinner together.
Each Serving of These Authentic Chicken Fajita Marinade is 4 net carbs.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless-skinless chicken breasts (24 oz/ 680 g)
- 1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (6 oz/ 170 g)
- 1/2 cup of roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (2 oz/ 56 ml)
- 1/4 cup oil of choice (2 oz/ 56 ml)
- 1/4 cup water (2 oz/ 56 ml)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips (6 oz / 170 g)
- 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into strips (6 oz / 170g)
- 6 oz sliced onion reserved from the marinade*** (see note)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil 15 ml
Preparation: Slice the bell peppers and refrigerate.
Slice the onions and place in a large zip-loc bag. Add the rest of the ingredients for the marinade and squish around to distribute. Place the bag into a 9x9 inch baking dish (or something similar) and add the chicken, making sure to distribute the ingredients so they are dispersed evenly. I use my fingers and toss a few onions around and move a few clumps of cilantro so each piece of chicken has some of each. Refrigerate over-night.
Chicken: Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then, remove from the marinade. Grill the chicken and let it rest while you cook the vegetables.
Charred Vegetables: Remove the onions from the marinade and add them to the sliced bell peppers. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and toss to coat. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat and turn on the ventilation. When the skillet begins to smoke, add half of the onions and peppers. Stir occasionally and remove when charred in parts and the onions are cooked through. You may need to lower the heat on the pan to reduce smoking. Add the remaining vegetables and repeat. If you opted for more veggies, you may need to do three batches so that the vegetables char and don't steam.
Serve: Cut the chicken into strips and serve alongside the vegetables. If using tortillas, place a few pieces of the vegetables and a few pieces of chicken in each tortilla. I like to add pico de gallo and guacamole, too. Enjoy!
***NOTE: The onions from the marinade are cooked at a high temperature until cooked through and there shouldn't be a problem with cross-contamination. If you are worried about it, discard the onions from the marinade and cut a new onion to cook with the peppers.
The nutrition is for the chicken and vegetables only and does not take in to account the nutritional information from any tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo, or salsa.