Easy fajita tacos made with juicy steak that's been marinated in chilies, herbs, and lime, is grilled and served with vibrant veggies and all your favorite toppings for a classic Tex-Mex dinner. Serve up in a bowl of cilantro lime rice, and top with guacamole, and a yummy pico de gallo!
Beef Fajita Tacos- Easy Tex-Mex Recipe!
Taco night is a big love in our house. Sometimes it's quick and easy like chicken fajita tacos, sometimes it's a rich, slow cooked birria tacos kind of day.
But either way, we are all about a good taco recipe.
So this easy steak fajitas recipe is no different! Steak fajitas are one of my favorite taco dishes on my meal rotation.
It soaks up the chipotle lime marinade so it gets nice and tender, then that sizzle on the pan with the smell of those fajita veggies cooking? It's going to call the entire family down on it's own!
Serve this up on Taco Tuesday or for Cinco de Mayo party for a fun, casual entertaining and yummy meal.
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- Beef Fajita Tacos- Easy Tex-Mex Recipe!
- Why You'll Love this Homemade Fajita Taco Recipe
- History of Fajitas in Tex-Mex Cuisine
- Equipment Needed
- What cut of meat is best for fajitas?
- Key Fajita Ingredients
- How to Make Steak Fajita Tacos
- Talk Toppings - More than Peppers and Onion!
- Variations and Substitutions
- What to Eat With Fajita Tacos
- Pro Tips
- Make Ahead, Storage, and Reheating Instructions
- More Recipes for Taco Tuesday
- 📖 Recipe
Why You'll Love this Homemade Fajita Taco Recipe
- Bold, Flavor-Packed Marinade - my marinade is packed made with chipotles, classic Tex-Mex flavors, and lime juice to really tenderize and flavor that steak.
- Easy, Healthy Recipe - beef fajitas are packed with protein and easily customizable with plenty of veggies for your taco tuesday fix.
- Can be Used with Other Proteins - marinate shrimp, boneless skinless chicken thighs, fish, you name it! Slice them up and cook them for a tasty meal.
- Perfect Weeknight Dinner - the cooking process is quick and easy, after you marinate dinner is on the table in 15 minutes!
History of Fajitas in Tex-Mex Cuisine
Even though so much of it is blurred, the history of fajitas start in the Rio Grande Valley of southern Texas. Oftentimes the vaqueros, Mexican cowboys, would receive payment with cuts of meat from the cows that weren't mainstream/popular and wouldn't sell in the butcher shops.
The style of cooking is considered a carne asada, a barbeque, but the term fajita actually means 'little girdle' or 'little belt/band', most likely because of the cut of meat they were using.
The skirt steak is a tough, long, ribbony, chewy piece of meat with a thick membrane and is best well-seasoned and cooked hot and fast, then sliced up into thin strips.
Fajitas didn't become a mainstream hit until the 1970's-1990's, when Mexican restaurants began using the term in marketing and showcasing the meat sizzling on metal or cast iron platters with aromatics and classic Tex-Mex sides.
Ever since, it's been a popular type of Mexican food and restaurant fajitas are thought of as a must have menu item!
Mixing Bowls for marinating.
Tongs - how else will we move that big ole steak around?
Plancha or Cast Iron Skillet - absolutely love my plancha, it's perfect for this!
Sharp Chef Knife and Cutting Board.
What cut of meat is best for fajitas?
Any steak cut can be used for fajitas, but there are two classic cuts: skirt steak and flank steak.
So we've talked about skirt steak above: it's long with a loose, thick grain. It's tough so it needs fast cooking but it also absorbs flavors from marinades extremely well because those muscle fibers are so loose!
Flank steak is a leaner, thicker cut, with a good, beefy flavor. It's tough, just like the skirt steak, but it takes well to marinating, too. It is best cooked fast and hot, too.
With all of these similarities, it's no wonder flank and skirt steak are used interchangeably for fajitas!
Key Fajita Ingredients
- Corn Tortillas - you can use flour tortillas if you prefer, but my husband makes some really good corn tortillas so it's my fave to use in tacos. It's also gluten free!
- Beef Steak - for fajitas, the classic is skirt steak or flank steak. Remember to cut them against the grain!
Chipotle Lime Marinade
- Southwest Fajita Seasoning - this is a simple blend of tex-mex spices including ground cumin, chili powder, etc.
- Chipotle in Adobo - these are smoked ripe jalapeños, they bring that smoky, spicy flavor that puts this fajita tacos recipe above the rest!
- Plenty of Garlic - you can swap garlic powder for the fresh garlic, but I love that zest punch of the fresh stuff.
- Fresh Lime Juice and Zest - the lime juice is going to work on tenderizing our steak while the lime zest has the oils of the actual lime and gives the marinade that classic límon flavor!
- Vegetable Oil - while I use vegetable oil, you can use a different one! You want to use an oil that can handle high heat, like grapeseed oil, avocado oil, or canola oil.
- Yellow Onions - swap them for red onions if that's what you got, but I love the sweet-savory flavor of yellow onions.
- Bell Peppers - You can use whatever color you want, just know that red and orange bell pepper are sweeter while green bell peppers are more vegetal in taste. Slice them into thin strips so they cook at the same time as the onions.
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper - season your vegetables well. We want flavor, y'all!
How to Make Steak Fajita Tacos
Step 1 | blend the marinade ingredients together in a blender or food processor. Pour onto the flank steak in a large bowl and coat it completely. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
Step 2 | set your cast iron over medium-high heat with a hearty drizzle of oil and spread the fajita veggies in a single layer. Get a good char on the bell peppers and onions before removing them from the heat.
Step 3 | Use tongs to carefully place the marinated beef onto the hot cast iron and sear each side for 4 minutes.
Step 4 | Let fajita meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain of the meat on a sturdy cutting board. Serve the beef and veggies in warm tortillas with other toppings.
Talk Toppings - More than Peppers and Onion!
These are tacos, y'all! Get creative and pull out all your favorite toppings. Here are a few of mine:
- Avocado lime crema - made with sour cream, cilantro, and avos! Easy, creamy, and especially good if you are also serving a spicy salsa.
- Experiment with different salsas, such as salsa verde, to complement the steak. Taquera salsa is my favorite taco sauce. It's spicy, it's flavorful, it's that classic orange salsa at every authentic Mexican taco spot.
- Decide if you want to top it with Mexican queso fresco or American style with cheddar cheese.
- You can't go wrong with rice, salsa rojo, pico de gallo, sour cream, and pickled jalapeños or pickled red onions.
Variations and Substitutions
- Use a Cajun spice blend for a robust and slightly spicy taste.
- Add sliced mushrooms, like portobello or cremini, to the peppers and onion mix. They play so well together.
- Marinate the steak in a teriyaki marinade for a sweet and savory twist.
- Use store-bought fajita seasonings for a quick and easy dinner if you aren't going to marinate your flank steak tacos.
- If you love the nostalgia of crunchy taco shells, I say go for it!
- Use tortilla chips to make awesome steak fajitas nachos or sprinkled into fajita taco salads.
What to Eat With Fajita Tacos
- Eat like Chipotle by creating your own burrito bowls. Top with Cuban black beans, guacamole, and plenty of fajita veg. Don't forget the lime wedges!
- Add your favorite seasonal produce - Mix in some squash, grilled corn, confit cherry tomatoes, whatever you like. Tacos are made for versatility!
- Try with different salsas - fresh and tangy mango salsa, or smoky and charred corn-chili salsa are all fantastic additions to add vivid, fresh flavors.
- Add a variety of chiles - take your spice to new levels! Try adding guajillo peppers, fresh fresno chiles, or jalapeños to the marinade.
- All the Sides - make refried beans, top with avocado slices, serve with mexican rice, it's all so delish.
Use a cast iron grill pan! This is the plancha I use, which gets ripping hot easily and holds that heat evenly!
Always, ALWAYS cut against the grain in your steak! That means perpendicular to the lines running down the meat, so it stays tender and not chewy.
Corn tortillas are gluten-free, so keep that in mind for anyone with a gluten intolerance.
The fajita veggies can be served tender-crisp or softened, depending on how you like to eat them!
Make Ahead, Storage, and Reheating Instructions
To make ahead: blend up the marinade and keep in the fridge for up to a week in advance. Slice up the vegetables up to 3 days in advance. Marinate and cook the day of!
Store the leftover fajita meat and veggies in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Reheat the beef and vegetables in a microwave safe dish or on the stove top in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.
The marinade is what gives the steak fajitas all that flavor! Even if you only have maybe 15 minutes, make the marinade and give the beef a quick dip, it's well worth it.
I would suggest not freezing the cooked fajita meat, the texture changes to something unpleasant.
The best way to know the steak is at medium rare is by using a meat thermometer. Do not cook a flank or skirt steak above medium rare, it's the best for texture, flavor, and juiciness!
I stand by warmed up corn tortillas for tacos. Place them on a hot plancha or cast iron skillet for about 20-30 seconds on each side and let them get super puffed up!
More Recipes for Taco Tuesday
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Beef Fajita Tacos
Chili Lime Marinade
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- Zest of 1 lime peeled in strips
- Juice of 1 lime
- 5 garlic cloves smashed
- ½ medium yellow onion peeled and quartered
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 chipotles in adobo
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1.5 lbs flank steak
- 1 large yellow onion sliced into thin strips
- 1 or 2 bell peppers sliced into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Make the Fajita Marinade
- Place the vegetable oil, lime zest and juice, garlic cloves, peeled yellow onion, chipotle peppers, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper into a blender or food processor. Blend the marinade up until smooth.
- Pour the marinade over the flank steak in a mixing bowl or in a zip top plastic bag. Use tongs in the bowl to coat the entire piece of beef and marinate for at least one hour up to overnight.
- Make the Fajita Veggies
- In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat pour in oil and once shimmering hot, put the thin strips of bell peppers and onions in one single layer in the skillet.
- Cook the vegetables without moving for about 2 minutes to gain some char, then sprinkle in the salt and pepper and then toss to get color on the other side. Cook the veg until they are slightly softened, but still have a little crunch and bright color.
- Take the fajita veggies out of the pan and set aside on a plate.
- Cook the Marinated Fajita Meat
- About 30 minutes before cooking, take the flank steak out to rest to room temperature.
- Use the same skillet as earlier over medium-high heat to give the steak a nice sear. We want some char and a nice crust, it'll take around 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Cook the flank steak for about 6 minutes on each side for medium rare. A meat thermometer should read about 128º F to 130º F for med-rare.
- After cooking, let the steak rest for about 10 minutes on a cutting board. Slice against the grain and serve with the veggies, warmed corn or flour tortillas, and your choice of toppings.