Steak Fajitas

4.83 from 23 votes
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Grab your skillet. It’s time to make sizzling hot steak fajitas! I have a flavorful marinade that pairs nicely with the colorful mix of sauteed vegetables. This is a protein-packed meal filled with healthy fiber that the whole family will love.

Like fajitas? Then be sure to also try my chicken fajitas and shrimp fajitas.

Steak fajitas served in a cast iron skillet.

This easy steak fajitas recipe will make you feel like you’re dining at a Mexican restaurant. The sizzling sights and sounds combine fresh, vibrant vegetables with savory beef marinated in spicy seasonings. The bold flavors make this meal a delight to all the senses.

To elevate the flavor of the steak, I marinate the meat with cumin, garlic, soy sauce, jalapenos, salt, and pepper. Just a brief soak for 30 minutes before searing makes a noticeable flavor impact on the surface. The tender beef is paired with crisp-tender bell peppers, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms. An easy gourmet meal made all in one pan!

Best steak for fajitas

The best cuts of beef for fajitas are the ones that are tender when quickly cooked. Skirt steak, flank steak, sirloin, flat iron, or hanger steak are all good options. These are leaner cuts with some marbling to keep them moist and flavorful.

Avoid varieties with a lot of connective tissue, like chuck and brisket. Otherwise, the beef will be tough to chew. Adjust the searing time depending on the steak’s size and the meat’s desired doneness temperature.

A quick steak fajita marinade

Piece of beef marinating in a baking dish.

A marinade has many benefits, like improving texture and moisture in the meat, but certain ingredients only flavor the surface. I look to salt and soy sauce to make a steak marinade that rapidly transfers flavors to meat. The sodium in the ingredients can penetrate deeper into the interior of the muscle.

It uses osmosis to act as a brine for more savory notes while bringing in water-soluble flavor molecules like garlic and hot peppers to make each piece tastier. I add olive oil to help draw out the fat-soluble flavors from the cumin, black pepper, and lime zest to taste the exterior of the beef.

How long to marinate the meat

Let the meat soak for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. The shorter time is all you need, but I like to give some flexibility if you’re meal-prepping the day before.

Make sure to scrape off any pieces of garlic and jalapeno peppers before cooking the beef. The super hot pan will burn those aromatics. Pat dry the meat with a paper towel to remove excess moisture for better browning in the pan.

How to cook steak fajitas

Searing a steak in a cast iron pan.

This dish cooks quickly, so ensure everything is pre-cut, measured, and ready to add in. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, remove the excess marinade from the steak, then sear until browned and cooked to medium-rare or desired doneness, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Let the beef rest for 10 minutes before cutting it into thin strips. Add more olive oil to the pan, then cook the onions, zucchini, mushrooms, and bell peppers. You want them to be crisp-tender. Add the sliced beef and reserved marinade on top. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Crunchy colorful vegetables

Bell pepper and onions are a classic addition to a sizzling fajita platter. I use green, red, and yellow because they provide contrasting bitter and sweet flavors. To make the dish spicier, add minced jalapenos or sprinkle chili powder.

The onions caramelize in the hot pan when sauteed for extra sweetness. I add sliced zucchini and quartered brown mushrooms to make the vegetables more substantial. The fungi enhance the meaty flavor of the steak.

Allow the beef to rest

Skirt steak on a cutting board sliced into strips to wrap in tortillas.

It’s essential to let the beef rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. This allows carryover cooking to reach the center and helps the proteins relax and redistribute the moisture throughout the beef. Slice the steak across the grain into thin pieces, about 1/4-inch thick.

I hold my knife at a 45-degree angle to create a bias cut. This makes more surface area between the muscle fibers, so the proteins are not stacked on top of each other. When chewing, it makes the texture more tender.

What to serve this with

Wrap the steak strips and vegetables in homemade flour tortillas or corn tortillas for a handheld meal. Have fun customizing toppings and serve with sour cream, guacamole, homemade salsa, and lime wedges on the side.

Platter of sizzling hot steak fajita served with bell peppers and onions.

Add lime juice after cooking

I like to reserve ¼ cup of the marinade, add it to a small bowl and mix in freshly-squeezed lime juice. This savory sauce is going to add a tangy flavor after cooking to complement the richness of the meat. It’s better to add highly acidic ingredients later so that the steak doesn’t dry out and become mushy.

Steak Fajitas

Grab your skillet, it's time to make sizzling hot steak fajitas! I have a flavorful marinade that pairs nicely with the colorful mix of sauteed vegetables.
4.83 from 23 votes
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican

Ingredients 
 

Steak Marinade

  • 1 pound skirt steak, or flank steak, sirloin, flat iron, or hanger steak
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Steak Fajitas

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 ½ cups sliced white onion, ¼" thick
  • 1 ½ cup sliced zucchini, ¼" thick
  • 8 ounces brown mushrooms, rinsed, dried, and quartered
  • 3 cups sliced bell pepper, ¼" thick, red, green, and yellow
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 8 tortillas, flour or corn, 6" in size

Instructions 

  • Make the Marinade – In a medium bowl whisk together olive oil, soy sauce, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and lime zest. Remove ¼ cup and transfer it to a small bowl. Whisk in lime juice to the reserved marinade and set aside.
  • Marinate the Steak – Add the steak to a large plastic bag or casserole dish. From the medium bowl, pour the remaining marinade over the meat, and flip several times to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Sear the Meat – Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Shake off the excess marinade from the steak, and scrape off any garlic and jalapeno to prevent burning. Pat dry with a paper towel. Carefully add steak to the hot pan.
    Sear without moving until the surface browns, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the internal temperature reaches 120 to 125ºF (49 to 52ºC) for medium-rare, about 2 to 4 minutes depending on the thickness. Transfer to a cutting board, and cover with foil. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Cook the Vegetables – Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Once hot, add the onions and saute for 1 minute. Add the zucchini, and saute for 1 minute. Add mushrooms, and saute for 1 minute. Add bell peppers, and saute for 2 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and stir to combine. The vegetables should be crisp-tender.
  • Slice the Meat – Slice the steak across the grain, on a bias, into thin ¼-inch thick strips.
  • To Serve – Add the slices on top of the vegetables. Add the ¼ cup of reserved marinade over the fajitas. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Serve immediately with warmed tortillas and desired toppings.

Notes

  • Serving Size: 1 tortilla plus steak fajitas filling. 
  • Marinating Duration: The steak can be refrigerated and marinated for up to 24 hours.
  • MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE AND WHOLE 30: Use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. For gluten-free use corn tortillas, or wrap in lettuce for Whole30.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 8 servings
Calories 374kcal (19%)Carbohydrates 25g (8%)Protein 17g (34%)Fat 24g (37%)Saturated Fat 4g (20%)Cholesterol 36mg (12%)Sodium 939mg (39%)Potassium 580mg (17%)Fiber 3g (12%)Sugar 6g (7%)Vitamin A 1850IU (37%)Vitamin C 82mg (99%)Calcium 59mg (6%)Iron 3mg (17%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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14 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Patti says

    Just had to say thank you for the recipe. My husband usually makes them on the grill. He truly love the flavor and texture of these thank you again

  2. Barb says

    These were so darn good….thanks so much for this delicious recipe! All my other fajita recipes will be ditched, this is the only one I need.

  3. Patricia Stone says

    Hello Jessica:
    Do you have a video of the Steak Fajitas? I’m a beginner in the kitchen, so I would like to ask also if this recipe can be made, refrigerated overnight and then warmed up. If yes, would it taste as good as the cook and immediately eat method?

    Thank you,
    I’m enjoying your recipes.

    Patsy

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Patricia- I unfortunately only have a video for chicken fajitas, but it would help to check out that video. The steak will taste the best the day it was made as reheating will continue to cook the meat. However, it can be reheated for leftovers.

      • Patsy Stone says

        Thank you, Jessica, for your prompt response. You make sense on the answer. I asked only because I was going to use this recipe for a dinner at our house and I didn’t want to leave our guests alone while cooking. And, given our open floor plan, I’d have to cook in plain sight of everyone and I’m REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE with that thought. Perhaps when I’m a bit more seasoned as a cook, I can pull this off. It looks so great.

  4. Sheri says

    Hi,
    Can I leave out the bell peppers? I am highly allergic to them.
    I like what you add onion, mushrooms and zucchini. Can I just use them without the bell pepper?

  5. Maria T. says

    I modified the fajita ingredient list, using red bells, yellow onions, backyard grown mild peppers, avocado and some cheese. I used the marinade as is. It was really delicious, added so much flavor to the meat. We used flap meat because it’s so good for this dish. I was eating a piece of the beef thought I could use this marinade on chicken too. I will!