Easy Fajita Tacos that can be made with chicken, steak, shrimp, or tofu! All the delicious flavor of classic fajitas in ready-to-eat, tasty tacos that only take 20 minutes to make!
If you love fajitas, today we are sharing an easy 20-minute recipe for Fajita Tacos that you can make with chicken, steak, shrimp, or tofu! This dinner is healthy, easy to make, and even works for meal prep!
But I was shocked when I went to a friend's last week for Taco Tuesday and she served what she called "Fajita Tacos." This was a new one for me.
I'll be honest, to me there isn't much difference between a classic fajita and a fajita taco, but she insisted that due to the way they are served, fajitas and fajitas tacos are indeed two different dishes. One served with all the tasty fajita toppings and flour tortillas on the side and one served ready-to-eat in warm corn tortillas or crispy taco shells.
So here goes! My very own version of Fajita Tacos that you can make with any protein you choose!
Why You’ll Love These Fajita Tacos
This recipe is always a huge hit in our house!
- Quick and healthy dinner: In less than 20 minutes, you can make this nutritious, crowd-pleasing dinner with just 7 ingredients.
- Versatile: Make these tasty fajita tacos with chicken, steak, shrimp, or tofu. Add all your favorite toppings for a meal that works for everyone.
- Great for meal prep: This recipe works great for meal prep and can be served in so many different ways that you will never get bored.
Ingredients and Easy Swaps
Here is everything you need to make these tasty tacos packed with fajita meat and veggies.
- Fajita meat: Just like traditional fajitas, these tacos can be made with chicken (chicken breasts or chicken thighs), beef (sirloin, flank, or skirt steak), shrimp, or veggies. Just adjust the cooking time for the protein.
- Fajita veggies: Classic fajitas always contain sliced bell peppers and onions. Use red, green, and yellow peppers to add color to the tacos, or swap in some poblano peppers for a touch of spice. Use white, yellow, or red onions, or try green onions for a milder flavor. For extra veggies, consider adding some sliced zucchini or mushrooms.
- Seasoning: Use store-bought seasoning or make your own homemade fajita seasoning with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Or use taco seasoning if you prefer.
- Lime juice: Adding lime juice to the fajita meat is a great trick to add tons of flavor without needing tons of time to marinate. It also tenderizes chicken and steak.
- Tortillas: The main difference between typical fajitas and fajita tacos is the tortilla! Fajita tacos are usually made with corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas. With that said, use any tortillas you like.
- Cilantro: Cilantro adds freshness to these tacos. Leave it out or swap in another herb if you prefer.
- Toppings: Like any tacos, it’s all about the toppings. Add shredded cheddar cheese, avocado, salsa, guacamole, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, and any other toppings you like. See the list below for even more ideas.
- Shortcuts: If you have limited time, consider using rotisserie chicken instead of cooking it from scratch. You can also speed things up with frozen peppers and onions since they are already sliced.
How to Make Fajita Tacos (Chicken, Beef, Shrimp, or Vegetarian)
These tacos are so easy to make! If you are limited on time, skip the marinating and they can be cooked in less than 20 minutes.
1. Marinate the Protein
Start by adding flavor to your protein of choice. If you don’t have time for this step, skip it and simply season the protein and cook it immediately.
- Chicken fajita tacos and steak fajita tacos: Slice the chicken breast or sirloin steak (or flank steak) into thin slices. Toss it with fajita seasoning and lime juice. Marinate for 15-30 minutes, no longer, or the texture of the meat will change.
- Shrimp fajita tacos: Make sure to devein the shrimp and remove the tail. Toss with lime juice and fajita seasoning. Marinate for 10-20 minutes. Any longer and the shrimp will begin to cook in the lime juice (like in ceviche)
- Vegetarian fajita tacos: Start by pressing tofu to remove excess liquid. Then cut into thin strips. Toss with lime juice and fajita seasoning. Marinate for 15 minutes.
2. Cook the Protein
No matter what protein you choose, make sure to start with a hot pan so that the meat caramelizes on the outside and browns for that classic fajita flavor. Cook the meat in batches if needed.
- Chicken: Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or heavy skillet) over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it is browned. Flip and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes until the chicken is just cooked through.
- Beef/Steak: Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or heavy skillet) over high heat. Add the steak in a single layer. Cook for 1-2 minutes until it is nicely seared and browned. Flip and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes until the steak is cooked to your liking. Remember it will continue to cook after you remove it from the skillet, so don’t overcook the steak.
- Shrimp: Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or heavy skillet) over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the shrimp begins to curl and lightly brown. Flip and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Tofu: Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or heavy skillet) over medium-high heat. Add the tofu in a single layer. Cook for 3-4 minutes until it is browned and crispy. Flip and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the tofu is crispy and browned on both sides.
Once the protein is cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside.
3. Cook the Peppers and Onions
Add the peppers and onions to the pan with olive oil. Cook on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp and have caramelized edges. If the vegetables begin to burn, add a few splashes of water.
If you prefer softer vegetables, then add 3-4 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cook for 7-10 minutes until they are cooked to your liking.
Add your protein back to the pan and stir together. Season if needed.
4. Assemble the Tacos
For the best flavor, toast the corn tortillas so they are warm and slightly browned. Then layer in the protein, peppers, onions, and add any toppings you like.
Best Fajita Taco Toppings
There are so many different ways to top your fajitas. Here are some of our favorites:
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Shredded cheese
- Shredded lettuce or cabbage
- Diced tomatoes or pico de gallo
- Guacamole or diced avocado
- Red salsa, green salsa, or creamy avocado salsa verde
- Pickled red onions
- Sliced jalapenos
- Cilantro lime sauce
- Corn salsa
- Mexican coleslaw
Side Dish and Serving Ideas
Fajita tacos are a complete meal on their own, especially with lots of toppings. They are also delicious with classic or creative side dishes like:
- Beans: Serve these tacos with refried beans, black beans, or Frijoles charros.
- Rice: Serve this with steamed rice, cilantro lime cauliflower rice, Mexican cauliflower rice, or quinoa.
- Salads: Serve this with a Mexican street corn salad, Mexican chopped salad, or avocado, cucumber, and tomato salad.
- Serving Ideas: Although tacos are the obvious choice, this recipe also works great for quesadillas, nachos, lettuce wraps, fajita bowls, and crispy tacos dorados.
Meal Prep and Storing
The filling of these tacos is great for meal prep since it keeps well in the fridge and freezer.
- Fridge: Let the fajita filling fully cool and store it in an airtight container for 4-5 days in the fridge.
- Freezer: Once the fajitas have fully cooled, store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let defrost overnight in the fridge. Note that the protein and veggies won’t have the same crunch as when they are cooked fresh.
- Reheating: For best results, reheat the fajita filling in a hot skillet or the air fryer. The protein can get soggy and rubbery in the microwave.
What is the difference between fajitas and fajita tacos?
The main difference between fajitas and fajita tacos is how they are served. Fajitas are traditionally served on a sizzling skillet with flour tortillas, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream on the side. The person assembles the tacos as they are eating the fajitas.
On the other hand, fajita tacos are served assembled as ready-to-eat tacos and are normally served in corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about this fajita taco recipe?
Classic Mexican fajita recipes do not use salsa to cook the chicken since it can make it harder to get that crispy, golden brown sear on the chicken when it is cooked with salsa.
With that said, if you want more of a stewed taco filling, consider adding 1/2 cup of salsa to the chicken after searing it. Any salsa will work, but this type of recipe usually uses thick and chunky red salsa.
Traditional fajitas are served with soft flour tortillas. However you can also serve them with soft corn tortillas or cripsy taco shells.
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- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced (or sirloin/fajita steak, shrimp, or tofu)
- 3 bell peppers, sliced thin (green and red)
- 1 onion, sliced thin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp fajita seasoning (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 lime, juice (plus more for serving)
- 8 corn tortillas (or small flour tortillas)
- 1/4 cup cilantro
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- Nutritional Information
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
Find instructions for steak, shrimp, and tofu in the post.
For serving: Pico de gallo, shredded cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, jalapenos, and more.
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