Chicken Fajita Tacos

Make dinner restaurant-style with homemade Grilled Chicken Fajita Tacos. Delicious, flavorful and succulent chicken is the star of these

Grilled chicken fajitas recipe

We celebrate Taco Tuesday pretty regularly. In the summertime, I like to make tacos out of chicken fajitas on the grill. You can't go wrong with marinated chicken and veggies on warm tortillas!

The chicken is great in a salad or over a burrito bowl of rice and refried beans, but it also makes a wonderful taco filling.

These grilled chicken fajitas are based on my grilled chicken thighs, but they are first soaked in a flavorful Tex-Mex marinade and grilled alongside marinated veggies, perfect for taco night.

What are fajitas?

Technically fajitas and tacos are different. Fajitas get their name from the sizzling strips of steak, a word meaning "little sash" in Spanish. However, chicken and shrimp can also be used in modern-day fajitas.

This fajita chicken is so juicy and tender, thanks to the succulent fajita marinade. We tend to enjoy it on tortillas most often, but you can easily cut them up to eat on a salad, in wraps, or on a bed of Mexican rice.

If you love Mexican-inspired recipes, check out these Salsa Verde Pulled Pork Tacos and these Beef Taco Lettuce Wraps.

Essential grilling tools

Here's what you need to make these chicken fajitas:

  • No-stick spray: Grill spray coats the grates and makes them easier to clean afterward.
  • A meat thermometer: Insert a meat thermometer to check the temperature of any meat you cook.
  • A grill brush: Use a grill brush to clean off any burnt-on residue without scratching the grates.
  • Kitchen shears: Use kitchen scissors to snip off fatty parts of the chicken thighs.
  • Utensils: Invest in a pair of tongs and a turner for flipping and turning food on the grill.
  • Grill basket:metal basket is great for fajita veggies or small cuts of meat that might fall through the grill grates.
  • Aluminum foil: Foil is a great alternative to grill baskets! Fold it up into a packet for veggies.

Ingredients

Here's what you will need to pick up at the store for your chicken fajita tacos:

Fajita marinade

  • Fajita marinade
  • Avocado or olive oil
  • Orange juice
  • Lime juice
  • Lime zest
  • Salt
  • Dried oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika

For the tacos

  • Chicken thighs
  • Red bell peppers
  • Green bell peppers
  • White onion or red onion
  • Tortillas (flour or corn)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Guacamole
  • Lettuce
  • Salsa

For tortillas, you can use corn or flour, or even hard taco shells. We love these sourdough tortillas but sometimes we make tostadas. The point is to have fun, so serve these tacos your favorite way!

You can even enjoy them as a taco bowl over brown rice or salad greens.

Fajita toppings

The best fajitas have all your favorite toppings! Here are a few ideas for fajita toppings:

  • grated cheese (Mexican cheese blend, cheddar cheese)
  • sour cream
  • pico de gallo
  • sliced avocado or guacamole
  • diced tomatoes
  • tomato salsa
  • fresh cilantro
  • shredded lettuce

Instructions

The chicken for these tacos seems to have a lot of steps, but I promise they're not difficult to make! Whether you know how to grill anything or are a newbie, I know you can do it!

First things first: Timing. The longer you marinate it, the better the flavor. I totally get that it seems like an unnecessary step, but trust me — it is so worth it! I like to do this in the morning or the night before I plan to make it (just not more than 24 hours). If you don't have a day, then try to give it at least 30 minutes so you can get some of the flavor benefit.

Okay, now to get started! First, prepare the chicken thighs by trimming excess fat with kitchen scissors or a shark knife. Halve the bell pepper, remove the seeds and slice them into strips. Peel and slice the onion.

NOTE: If you prefer to cook the peppers and onions ON the grill, you'll need to use a grill basket to hold the strips or leave the veggies cut in half to cook directly on the grill. You can also wrap the veggies in a big piece of foil (to form a packet) and heat the packet on the grill.

Alternatively, you can broil the veggies on low in the oven while you are grilling if you don't have enough room on your grill for both.

Then, place chicken thighs, peppers and onions in a plastic bag or large bowl to marinate.

Mix together all of the marinade ingredients in a small bowl or measuring glass.

Pour over chicken and veggies and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The longer it marinates the more the flavors will soak in! Do not marinate for longer than 24 hours.

Once you're ready to cook the chicken, preheat the grill to medium-high heat, around 375°F (190°C) to 400°F (20°C). Once the grill is preheated, clean the grates with a grill brush.

Prepare grill grates by spraying with grill spray or using half an onion to naturally season the grates to prevent sticking.

Use grill tongs to remove chicken thighs from the marinade and place them on the grill. Cook for 7-8 minutes before flipping. Continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) with a meat thermometer, about 20-25 minutes total.

Let them rest on a plate for 5 minutes to let the juices settle.

Then, slice or dice chicken on a cutting board. Serve the chicken strips and veggies on your favorite corn or flour tortillas and other desired toppings! I like to add a squeeze of lime.

Use leftover chicken fajitas on a salad, burrito or burrito bowl.

Tips for success

Here are my best tips for making this recipe:

Do not marinade chicken longer than 24 hours because the acid in the citrus juices will start to break down the chicken.

You can choose to grill the veggies as well if you have room for them. You will need a grill basket or foil packet to hold the strips. You can also grill the veggies cut in half instead of in strips. Alternatively, you can use your oven to broil the veggies on low while you are grilling if you don't have enough room on your grill for both. (This is what I prefer for the size of my grill!)

Don't flip the chicken before it's ready. If it sticks to the grate, it's not ready to flip. Give it a few more minutes and I promise it will break free when it's ready to turn over.

Chicken thighs have a good amount of fat already and combined with the citrus from the marinade, this can cause grill flare-ups. Be sure to clean your grill grates once the grill is preheated and monitor the grill while cooking. (Keeping the lid close but looking for spikes on the grill thermometer).

If you have a three-burner grill, it's helpful to place smaller thighs on the outside of the grill, leaving the larger ones in the middle to help them cook evenly. Be sure to check smaller pieces a few minutes early as they may cook faster.

More grilled recipes: Grilled Pork Chops | Grilled Turkey Burgers | Grilled Chili Lime Chicken

What to serve with chicken fajitas

Tortilla chips with queso, guac and/or salsa are always a hit for an appetizer!

We almost always make this Instant Pot Mexican rice or cilantro lime cauliflower rice to go with our fajitas. A side like corn & tomato salad or Mexican fruit salad would add a lot of flavor to your plate.

Margaritas are my go-to drinks to enjoy with Mexican food like fajitas. I also love this strawberry lemonade for the kiddos (and adults!).

For dessert, these fruity watermelon popsicles will be a hit for a hot day.

Did you make this recipe?

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.

Overhead view of a fajita platter with salsa, guacamole, shredded cheese, and sides on a light background.

Grilled Chicken Fajita Tacos

Grill up tasty chicken fajita tacos for dinner! Pair this marinated chicken with your preferred sides and toppings for a satisfying taco night meal.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Marinade Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12 tacos
Author: Madison | A Joyfully Mad Kitchen

Ingredients

Fajita marinade

  • ½ cup avocado oil 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

Fajita Tacos

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • fajita marinade
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 12 tortillas flour or corn, or hard taco shells
  • toppings such as sour cream, cheese, lettuce or salsa

Instructions

  • Prepare chicken thighs by trimming excess fat with kitchen scissors.
  • Remove bell pepper seeds and slice them into strips. Peel, halve and slice the onion into strips. (See note.)
  • Place chicken thighs, peppers and onions in a plastic bag or large bowl for marinade.
  • Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a small bowl or measuring glass.
  • Pour over chicken and veggies and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The longer it marinates the more the flavors will soak in! Do not marinate for longer than 24 hours.
  • Once you're ready to cook the chicken, preheat the grill to medium-high heat (375°F-400ºF). Once the grill is preheated, clean the grates with grill brush.
  • Prepare grill grates by spraying with grill spray or using half an onion to naturally season the grates to prevent sticking.
  • Use grill tongs to remove chicken thighs from the marinade and place on the grill. Cook for 7-8 minutes before flipping. Continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 165°F with meat thermometer (about 20-25 minutes total). Let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Once cooked, slice or dice chicken on a cutting board and serve with tortillas and other desired toppings!

Notes

Veggie tips: If you prefer, you may cook the peppers and onions ON the grill alongside the chicken. You can use a grill basket or foil packet to hold the strips or you can leave the veggies cut in halves to cook directly on the grill. Alternatively, you can broil the veggies on low in the oven while you are grilling if you don't have enough room on your grill for both.
Marinade tips: Do not marinade chicken longer than 24 hours because the acid in the citrus juices will start to break down the chicken.
Chicken tips: Chicken thighs have a good amount of fat already and combined with the citrus from the marinade, this can cause grill flare-ups. Be sure to clean your grill grates once the grill is preheated and monitor the grill while cooking (keeping the lid close but looking for spikes on the grill thermometer).
If you have a three-burner grill, it's helpful to place smaller thighs on the outside of the grill, leaving the larger ones in the middle to help them cook evenly. Be sure to check smaller pieces a few minutes early as they may cook faster.
Serving suggestions: Serve with or without flour or corn tortilla (or taco shells), or on a salad or burrito bowl. For sides, consider rice and beans or refried beans. For toppings, cheese, salsa, tomatoes sour cream, guacamole and/or lettuce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1taco | Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 556mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 435IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg

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