The Best Steak Fajitas
The absolute BEST Steak Fajitas you’ve ever had! This is my take on the Tex-Mex steak fajitas. Marinated for hours in lime juice, garlic, and cumin — so good you’ll never use another recipe again!
And I’m not just saying that because steak fajitas NEED guacamole. I’m saying it because you need these homemade fajitas. And I actually can’t believe it took me this long to make them for us. I mean, beef fajitas are a classic, and quite possibly the most delicious thing we’ve eaten around here. Hands down. Like EVER. So it’s totally my food blogging responsibility to bring these to you right now because they couldn’t possibly taste better than they do right now.
These fajitas were gobbled up quicker than anything I’ve ever made before – that’s saying a lot because I feel like I’m ALWAYS cooking. And these make A LOT, enough to feed 4-5 people! We enjoyed them in tortillas the first day and turned them into Chipotle-style fajitas bowls for lunch the next day, and we still had some leftovers! And nope, I’m not even complaining about them. I’ll definitely be making these over and over again on repeat.
Watch how to make the best steak fajitas video (57 sec.):
You’ve probably made steak fajitas with store-bought fajitas seasoning a million times before. But I’m kind of reinventing this a little because my recipe is less focused on spices and more focused on overall ingredients that marinate, tenderize, and flavor the fajita meat. Because no one likes fajitas that are bland. What’s the point in that?
But this marinade! Oh my Lanta! It is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before. I was never convinced you could make restaurant-style steak fajitas at home and make them taste better, but this totally does it. They are absolutely are the BEST steak fajitas of your life. The ingredients are simple and straight forward. Also, this isn’t a Harry Potter potions class – you don’t need anything super fancy to make the best fajitas of your life. There is one ingredient in particular that I use that isn’t a typical ingredient one sees in a fajita recipe but give it a try, I promise you, it’s a GAME CHANGER.
I like to use a colorful array of veggies for my fajitas.
You can do with the regular red and green peppers if you’d like, but I love the color and the flavor that yellow and orange peppers add to this recipe. I’m one of those people that eat with my eyes first. I also like to add in a BIG poblano pepper. Remove all the ribs and seeds, so the spice is gone. We just want the nice smokiness of the poblano sizzled with the onions and bell peppers — the flavor is out of this world. I can’t believe I had been making fajitas without poblanos for so long before this. I almost feel like I cheated myself out of the best fajitas.
And the secret ingredient in my steak fajitas is…
Okay, let’s do a quick walkthrough on the ingredients and how you’re going to make the marinade for the fajitas. Without any further suspense let me share with you the ONE ingredient that makes my steak fajitas better than the rest — PINEAPPLE JUICE. Um, yup. You read that right. Pineapple juice, the stuff that comes in a small/large cans in the juice aisle. I use the stuff that is 100% juice with no additional sugars added.
If you’re wondering what the function of pineapple juice is for fajitas, allow me to explain. Store-bought fajita seasonings usually contain enzymes that help tenderize the meat. So to mimic that same tenderization without any weird ingredients, we use pineapple juice. There are people that argue that fresh pineapple juice (that hasn’t been heated) works best. But honestly, for our recipe, canned pineapple juice works just fine! No need to grab a fresh pineapple and make fresh juice, unless you’d like to that is.
What else do you need to make the best steak fajitas:
The other ingredients are simple! A little lime juice, some Worcestershire sauce (this is Tex-Mex style fajitas after all!), garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, a little olive oil, chopped cilantro, and a little salt and pepper. That is it! No cornstarch or sugar or a million other ingredients. These are simple, flavorful steak fajitas that shine on their own. You don’t need to put a million ingredients in them to taste good.
How to make the best steak fajitas:
Now the instructions – combine the ingredients for the marinade and let marinate. It’s that simple. I like to let fajita meat marinate for at least 4 hours and ideally sometimes, overnight. The longer you let them sit, the tastier they are.
I made these indoors on a large cast iron skillet. You can grill the meat out on the grill in the summertime if you’d like. I know we definitely will once it stops raining here EVERY SINGLE DAY and once we purchase a grill. In the meantime, the cast iron skillet is making them just perfectly. ?? I use one large skillet to sear the meat, and while the meat is resting, I add in another tablespoon of oil and allow the veggies to sauté. I love the little bits of the charred marinade to coat the peppers and onions. If you don’t want that, use a separate skillet to make the veggies. Make sure to season them with a hint of salt and pepper.
Be prepared to make this meal on a weekly rotation, served both inside warm homemade flour tortillas and over a bed of cilantro lime rice.
Make it a Sunday tradition, because I have a feeling that this recipe is going to get ten thumbs up.
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Cheesy Steak Quesadillas
- Homemade Carne Asada
- The Best Chicken Fajitas
- Shrimp Enchiladas in Poblano Cream Sauce
- Crispy Cheesy Chicken Taquitos
The BEST Steak Fajitas
The absolute BEST Steak Fajitas you've ever had! This is my take on the tex-mex steak fajitas. Marinated for hours in lime juice, garlic, and cumin -- so good you'll never use another recipe again!
- ⅓ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup pineapple juice (no sugar added)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoon EACH: ground cumin AND chili powder (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon EACH: kosher salt AND smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon EACH: black pepper AND red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 ½ - 2 pounds skirt or flank steak
- 1 tablespoon oil (high heat)
- 2 medium white onions, sliced
- 1 large poblano, ribs and seeds removed then sliced
- 2-3 bell peppers, thinly sliced (any color you please!)
- guacamole, salsa, cilantro leaves, salsa verde, sour cream, black beans, rice, tortillas, cilantro-lime rice, sautéed corn, tomatoes, lettuce, shredded cheese, etc.
- STEAK MARINADE: Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a large shallow bowl. Give it a taste and check for seasonings, adjust to preference. Coat the steak with the marinade and let sit covered in the refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours and ideally overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minute prior to cooking.
- Set a large cast iron skillet or pan over high heat and let heat up for a couple of minutes. Add the steak to the pan and fry on each side for about 3-5 minutes or longer if you'd like it more done. Feel for desired firmness. The 3 minutes/side will yield a medium rare doneness. If the pan becomes too hot, reduce the heat to medium high. Remove the steak from the pan and allow to rest for several minutes tented with a piece of foil. Slice the meat against the grain into thin slices. I like to do so on an angle so the meat slices are tender and thin.
- FAJITA VEGGIES: Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan over high heat, add in the onions, poblano, and bell peppers. Let the veggies begin to sizzle and toss as necessary, cook for a total of 2-3 minutes or longer if you prefer them softer, season with a pinch of salt and pepper. If your pan is small, cook the veggies in a few batches so they don't steam.
- ASSEMBLY: Serve them in tortillas or on rice bowls topped with your favorite toppings!
Delicious! I made cilantro lime rice and guacamole to complete the meal. I also used NY stip steaks and sliced them then before marinating.
I want to know if I can marinate the meat and portion in zip lock bags?
I plan on cutting the meat before cooking.
Will I have to cook it before I freeze it or could I freeze it raw?
Does it taste like pineapple?
Nope, it doesn’t!
I’m excited by this one. Have sodium issues, but LOVE fajitas. This looks low in sodium, but just in case, how would I modify this to keep the flavor but lose the salty (if it is)? Will this work for other meats? Fish? Pork? Chicken? Deer? Lamb? Suggestions?
I made these today and OMG, best ever! I used carne picada meat and I also grilled pineapple chunks, then added pepper flakes! The sweet n Spicey combo was so good my family ate every last bit!!!! Thanks for sharing recipe!!
What cut of steak did you use?
This fajita marinade is the only you need! Sooooo delicious. I only used the juice of one decent lemon and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Definitely printing this recipe!
can i usepetite sirloin steak ?
The perfect marinade! Used on beef and chicken. Grilled the meat and sautéed the vegetables in cast iron skillet snd deglazed with the leftover marinade. Delicious!
We made this tonight and it was delicious!
Delicious! Used the meat I had (sirloin tip roast cut into steaks). Will def make again! Thank you!
How would this work with chicken instead of beef? Made it with beef and it was Fantastic! Thanks
Hi Amy! Here’s a recipe for the chicken version of this 🙂
Thank you so much! I’m making the steak ones again for tomorrow night – so deicious!!
Needed way more than 3 min per side to get to medium rare and was I supposed to put oil in the pan before the meat? The directions say add the remaining oil (before the veggies) but it never said to add any to begin with aside from the marinade. Also doesn’t say to slice the peppers or onion. Good but kinda incomplete recipe.
Tip for the first comment, preheat cast iron for at least 10 minutes….dont add oil. You will get great color and flavor on the steak. Plus the steak is thin so 3 mins per side should come out perfect.
This marinade recipe was outstanding! We used elk and will definitely be making this again. Thanks for a great recipe.
The absolute best fajitas I have ever made! I marinated overnight….and it made the flank steak fork tender!
Hey there! We meal prepped this for the week and we are so excited to eat it! I sampled a bit beforehand.
I was searching for nutritional info on the marinade. Do you have that info available?
I love this recipe! We use it on the regular at our house. I never have fresh pineapple juice so I just take a spoon of frozen concentrate and some water to make 1/4 cup instead. Thanks for the great recipe! NUTRITIONAL INFO: I figured this out using My Fitness Pal. Makes 6 servings Amount Per Serving Calories 534 Total Fat 36 g Cholesterol 107 mg Sodium 374 mg Total Carbohydrate 14 g Dietary Fiber 3 g Sugars 5 g Protein 43 g
My boyfriend gave me the biggest compliment by saying they were the best steak fajitas he has had, including at restaurants. This is significant since we do live in Tucson, AZ.
Great marinade! Cut it in half for a smaller portion, worked great!
Will make it again.
I’ve tried so many different marinades and finally found the ONE. The flank steak was so tender and delicious!
Making it again for Super Bowl Sunday. This time on the grill….I smoked the house out doing it on the cast iron on the stove..lol
Thank you for an awesome recipe.
I’ve made these fajitas a number of times and have not disappointed. But I do have one question: do I add some of the leftover marinade to the veggies as they’re cooking to add flavor or is the burnt portions on the bottom of the cast iron pan enough?
It’s totally your call, Cora! Sometimes I let the veggies sit in the marinade while I’m cooking the steak. Other times, I drizzle a bit of the marinade over the veggies as they cook. No wrong answer here! 🙂
Just found this. Now my husband wants this or your chicken fajitas 3 x a week. I make my own flour tortillas and guacamole. I will be making this again tonight.
My sons Birthday today so made this for him at his house, I used skirt steak and all the ingredients as written including the poblano pepper, i had to cook this on a glass top in a cast iron pan, he only had a fan under the microwave above the stove, i knew this was gona be smoky as hell, had to open all the windows and doors to get the smoke out but it was well worth it the meat was so tender, and the fajitas were delicious, i did preheat the cast iron pan for 15 minutes, DID NOTadd any oil to the pan before i put the meat in, the marinade has oil in it , also while cooking the meat added the marinade to the vegetables, this was delicious and im definitely going to make again but probably on my blackstone grill at my house or a regular charcoal grill, for dinner tonight i give this a 5 star rating, best recipe ive tried in a long time, thank you
I’ve made this a few times, and it’s really good! Does anyone have a suggestion about how long to marinate if the steak is cut up before cooking? I was thinking maybe just the 2 hours, but I wasn’t sure if that would be too long?
I made it exactly according to the recipe except I used a round steak that the butcher had run through his tenderizer machine. I let it marinate for 2 1/2 hrs. It tasted wonderful. It was the best fajitas that I’ve ever cooked. And so EASY.
This is the only way I prepare steak fajitas for my family since finding the recipe.
Although, on occasion I add two pounds of shrimp to the leftover marinade, cook and serve along side the steak.. EVEN BETTER
Thank you for the great recipe.
Do you have any substitute ideas for pineapple juice?
I honestly don’t usually write comments for cooking posts like these, I’ll usually just read the recipes, make the dish and move on. But, this recipe…is…too amazing to just move past! I made steak fajitas before and was always dissatisfied with how dry the meat turned out so I felt like I just couldn’t do it, but this was a game changer! First I want to say that using the pineapple juice is genius, it has created some of the most tender pieces of steak I’ve ever made, and I cooked the steak well done! I was making a giant batch so I cut up about four pounds of steak and marinated overnight. (I also doubled the recipe in general for the marinade except I only used 1.5 times the pineapple juice). The steak that came out was absolutely delicious! It reminded me of a more tender version of Chipotle’s carne asada. I served it up with guacamole, corn salsa and other fixins and my family really loved it. They were especially hyping up how tender the steak was. Absolutely 1000% would recommend making!
These were so good! I used striploin but otherwise followed the recipe and they were a big hit! Had a nice black bean salad on the side.
This is an excellent fajita recipe
Absolute best fajita marinade I have ever tried, and I’ve tried plenty.