This Chicken Fajita Marinade only takes a few minutes to throw together! Make this simple marinade with fresh citrus juices and the perfect combination of seasonings. Flavorful chicken fajitas are just around the corner!
Chicken Fajita Marinade Recipe
Mexican food has a special place in my heart, and I have loved perfecting my recipes for it over the years. After so many attempts at making chicken fajitas at home, I realized that marinating the chicken was the key to success.
This easy recipe produces the best fajita marinade ever! The orange juice and lime juice helps tenderize the chicken and all of the spices gives it lots of flavor.
While I typically use this recipe for delicious chicken fajitas, you can marinate steak fajitas in it too. You can use chicken thighs for dark meat or lean chicken breasts for a lower fat content.
Marinating meat before you grill it locks in flavor and helps keep the meat juicy and tender. It's the easiest technique to make fajitas that are restaurant quality!
I've got a wonderful grilled shrimp marinade recipe that I use to make shrimp fajitas too. My marinades are some of my favorite go-to recipes. If it's not shrimp or fajitas, I'm making lemon chicken marinade for a tangy and flavorful grilled chicken dish!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- Homemade marinade for this easy chicken fajitas recipe always produces juicy chicken every time!
- This simple marinade is far better than anything you can buy in stores and has fresher ingredients.
- You can make chicken fajita marinade ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you need it.
Before you go to the grocery store, check this ingredient list so you know what you'll need to grab:
- avocado oil or olive oil
- orange juice
- lime juice
- lime zest
- dried oregano
- garlic powder
- ground cumin
- chili powder
Substitutions and Variations
You can use lemon juice and and lemon zest in place of fresh lime juice and lime zest. The flavor will be different, but it will still give it the nice tang the acidic ingredient is supposed to!
Give these fajitas a little kick by adding red pepper or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the marinade.
Bell peppers and onions are my favorite fajita veggies, but you could also use sliced jalapeño peppers for more flavor and some extra spice!
How to Make Chicken Fajita Marinade
Whisk together all of the ingredients for this easy chicken fajita marinade in small bowl or glass measuring cup. You can also place ingredients into a mason jar and shake well.
Place chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken breasts into a plastic bag or large bowl. Then slice up red bell pepper, green bell peppers, and onions and place them into the bag or bowl of chicken.
Pour the easy marinade over the chicken and vegetables and allow it marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Hot Tip: The longer your chicken marinates, the more flavor it will have! However, don't let your chicken marinate more than 24 hours.
Essential grilling tools
Truthfully, you don’t need more than a good pair of tongs and a grill that works. Whether it’s charcoal, pellet or gas is up to you.
However, if you’re willing to invest in a few tools, you’re setting yourself up for grilling success. Here’s what I recommend:
- No-stick spray: Weber Grill Spray is the perfect spray to coat the grates and makes it easy to clean.
- A meat thermometer: Any meat thermometer will work. We have a simple handheld meat thermometer, but I’ve been eyeing the wireless, Bluetooth thermometers.
- A grill brush: A good-quality grill brush will help you clean off any burnt-on residue without scratching the grates.
- Kitchen shears: I don’t go a day in my kitchen without using my kitchen scissors, and that goes for grilling too. They are handy for snipping off fatty parts of meat.
- Utensils: A great pair of tongs and a turner will go a long way in helping you flip anything you cook, from burgers to chicken wings to corn on the cob.
- Grill basket: Use a metal basket for kebabs, veggies like carrots or cut squash or small cuts of meat that might fall through the grill grates.
How to Cook Marinated Chicken Fajitas
Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat, and once preheated clean the grates with a grill brush.
Then, spray the grill grates with grill spray or use half an onion to prevent food from sticking.
Using tongs, remove the marinated chicken from the bag and place it onto the prepared grill. Let the chicken cook for 7-8 minutes and then flip. Continue cooking until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165° Fahrenheit.
Remove the chicken and allow it to rest for 5-6 minutes. Then, slice the chicken on a cutting board into thin slices and serve on tortillas with fajita veggies and your favorite toppings.
How to Store Leftover Chicken Fajita Marinade
Store leftover marinade in a mason jar or cup with an airtight lid. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Give the marinade a good shake to incorporate the ingredients before using.
What to Serve with Marinated Chicken Fajitas
After perfectly marinating and cooking your grilled chicken fajitas, serve them on flour tortillas or corn tortillas. Don't forget all of the toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, salsa, and even an extra squeeze of lime juice. Warm tortillas before building the fajita for best results!
Side dishes like traditional Mexican rice and refried beans are perfect to go alongside fajitas. Corn and tomato salad and grilled zucchini and squash would also pair wonderfully with fresh chicken fajitas.
You can also serve this best chicken fajita recipe over rice as a fajita bowl, or lettuce as a fajita salad.
Check out my post on what to eat with fajitas for more ideas!
Tips for Success
- Squeeze fresh orange juice to give this citrus marinade an extra fresh flavor.
- Use an instant read thermometer so that you can quickly get an accurate read on the internal temperature of your chicken.
- You can cook the peppers and onions on the grill alongside the chicken. Just use a grill basket or aluminum foil to hold the strips. You can also leave the veggies cut in halves to cook directly on the grill. Instead of grilling, you can broil the veggies on low in the oven while you are grilling.
375-400 degrees Fahrenheit is the perfect temperature range to grill fajitas. Use an infrared thermometer to read the temp before adding the chicken to the grill grates.
Yes! Use a big skillet on the stove top and cook the chicken to a safe internal temperature. For best results, use a large cast iron skillet! Additionally, you can use a rimmed baking sheet in the oven. Slice the chicken before adding it to the pan and cook at 425° Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
More Chicken and Marinade Recipes
- Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies
- BBQ Chicken Rub
- Italian Marinade for Pork Chops
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.
- ½ cup avocado or olive oil
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ½ cup lime juice (freshly squeezed from 4 limes)
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 pounds chicken
- Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a small bowl or measuring glass, or add to a mason jar and shake well.
- Pour the marinade over chicken and veggies and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat grill and clean the grill grates.
- Place marinated chicken onto the grill and cook for 7-8 minutes on either side until it reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: ¼ lb chicken
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 294Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 484mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 28g