All of the taste, none of the cast iron skillet burns!
I’ve said it before (in my world-famous fire-roasted salsa post): I love Mexican food. Specifically Tex-Mex, actually. Tacos, chimichangas, enchiladas… Despite being a born-and-raised Indiana boy, this is some of the best comfort food I can think of. I have noticed that every time we go to a Mexican restaurant, when the server walks through the dining room with the sizzling cast iron skillet of fajitas, every head turns and watches them go by, most saying, “ooooh, that looks good.”
With small kids in the house, a sizzling cast iron skillet isn’t always the wisest choice. So we find another way. These fajitas are simple and made in the oven, but will definitely pass the test.
One of the best things about fajitas is the veggies. Sliced fresh bell peppers (or poblanos, if you are feeling a little extra chile-y) and onions add a lot to the meal. Plus, they are great for introducing young, aspiring cooks in your house to knife safety and how to properly slice veggies.
Slice up the bell peppers into thin strips (about 1/2 inch). Technically, this is called julienne, but there’s no need for technicality. Slice the onions up the same way.
We went with chicken for our fajitas. You could do steak, but I prefer that to be grilled. Chicken bakes really well. If you find a good deal on chicken tenderloin or breast strips, go for it – it will save some prep time. If not, though, just slice up some boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (depending on your preference – both make delicious fajitas).
Place the sliced veggies and chicken on a sheet pan. Be sure to use one with a rim, or you’ll have a big mess on the floor of your oven. Sprinkle your seasoning all over the veggies and chicken. What seasoning, you ask? THIS seasoning. Sure you can buy a packet of fajita seasoning, but this is super simple and uses stuff you probably already have on hand.
Cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper combine to make a great fajita seasoning. I almost always prefer smoked paprika to regular (sweet or hot), and it helps make up for this not being a grilled version. Combine them all together in a bowl and sprinkle it over the top of the veggies and chicken, along with a drizzle of oil.
Mix it up until well combined. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Do your best to not drool all over yourself while the smell of fajitas fills the house. Wipe your chin when you fail at this.
Fajitas are best served piping hot, and a warm tortilla helps. Whether you use corn or flour tortillas, warm them in a hot skillet for about 10-15 seconds per side. I prefer flour tortillas for fajitas, but if you can’t do wheat, go for the corn – it will still be very good!
You can stop here, or you can add some additional toppings, like a squeeze of fresh lime juice and some chopped cilantro. I am one of those that thinks cilantro tastes like soap, so I pass on that, but lime juice really finishes these nicely. And if you don’t have a dairy issue, a bit of sour cream is a nice touch, too.
This recipe is easily doubled for a group. It’s a perfect dish for a Tex-Mex get together, or even that big football match that I hear happens at the beginning of February. Go sports!
Easy Oven Fajitas
- 1-1½ lbs chicken (boneless skinless breasts or thighs – your prefence)
- 3 bell peppers (any color, but red, yellow, and green are a great combo)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp paprika (smoked optional, but a good option)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- juice from one lime
Also: tortillas (flour or corn – your choice), more lime juice, chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream, any other additional toppings you would like
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut chicken into strips of 2-3 inches.
- Slice peppers and onions into thin strips.
- Place onion, peppers, and chicken on a large baking sheet.
- In a separate bowl, combine cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir until well-mixed.
- Sprinkle seasoning mixture all over the veggies and chicken, then drizzle with oil and lime juice. Toss all ingredients to coat evenly.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring about halfway through.
- Remove from oven and squeeze more fresh lime on top.
- Optionally, warm tortillas in a hot skillet for 10-15 seconds per side.
- Top tortillas with fajita filling and any additional toppings you like.
***Modified from a recipe from TipBuzz.com***