Texas Fajita Marinade Recipe

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There is nothing like the sizzling zesty kick of Texas fajitas, and this Texas fajita marinade recipe is an easy way to satisfy your craving for Mexican food any night of the week. Enjoy delicious fajitas texanas right at home.

texas fajita marinade recipe in a large cast iron wok next to torillas filled with fajita meat and peppers and onions

Don’t you just love that sizzle and delicious smell when you order fajitas at a restaurant? The sound and smell are part of the experience, you just can’t beat delicious marinated steak combined with fresh peppers and onions.

But have you been to a restaurant lately? Wow, food has gotten expensive. I love to eat out, but I try and limit those trips to things that are harder to make at home. Fajitas are one of those things that look hard but they are not! And when you make them at home you can feed the entire family for 1/4 of the cost of eating out.

This recipe is a Dined and Dashed Level 3 Recipe which means it takes 45 minutes or less to prepare and starts to push the boundaries for many busy people to prepare on an average weekday. With some smart planning and pre-prep, however, these recipes can often be tackled successfully in less time.

I classified this Texas fajita marinade recipe as a Level 3 recipe, but it may actually qualify as a Level 2 recipe. However, it’s right on the cusp and I didn’t want to underpromise the time it may take.

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In a previous fajita recipe, I showed you how easy it is to make air fryer steak fajitas. I also answered some questions about the best meat for fajitas and how to get the fajita meat tender. So if you have any questions about the basics of fajitas, check that one out first. The marinade recipes are similar but slightly different.

If you are ready for the Texas fajita marinade recipe, click the link above to jump directly to it down below. If you still want to learn more about homemade fajitas before cooking them, I’ve answered a few more frequently asked questions below.

When cooking fajitas do you cook meat or veggies first?

The question of whether to cook the meat or veggies first for fajitas is somewhat of a matter of taste. Some people say to cook them first and transfer them to a plate while you cook the meat. This method will keep the veggies from getting too soggy. Once the meat is cooked, you add the veggies back into the mix and serve. Alternatively, you can cook the meat first, then add the veggies in towards the end. The veggies won’t be super soggy but will be more tender than the first method because the meat will somewhat steam them. If you like tender veggies, you can cook the meat and the vegetables at the same time. This will result in very tender veggies.

What kind of onions are best for fajitas?

The best onions for fajitas are the ones you like best. Traditionally white or yellow onions are used, but really, I think trying different types of onions and finding the ones that are your favorite is the best answer to that question.

What do they put on fajitas to make them sizzle?

So remember earlier when I mentioned how amazing the sound and smell of sizzling fajitas are? Well, what if I told you that it was all fakery? Did you know they use water on a hot skillet to make it appear as if the fajitas themselves are sizzling? I can’t say for sure that your favorite Mexican restaurants do that, but it sounds like many of them do. That is a Barnum hoodwink for sure!

How do you cut peppers for fajitas?

It’s not super complicated to cut peppers for fajitas, but if you do need a tutorial, check out the video below to learn how to cut peppers for fajitas.

What you need to make this Texas fajita marinade recipe

So this marinade needs quite a few ingredients, but it’s totally worth it. And it’s nothing weird or difficult to find at the grocery store so don’t worry about that. You likely have all or most of it at home already!

For the meat, like in my air fryer recipe, I used already-cut strips of meat from Wild Pastures, but this time I cut them down even more before cooking. I used beef and pork but if you like chicken fajitas you can cut up chicken breasts. 

For the marinade:

  • fajita cut of meat of choice
  • olive oil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • fresh lime juice (alternatively you can use orange juice or pineapple juice)
  • minced garlic (or garlic powder)
  • chili powder
  • red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • sugar or brown sugar
  • minced onion
  • cumin
  • smoked paprika

For the cooking:

  • 2-3 peppers (green bell peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers, poblano peppers – whatever you prefer)
  • one medium onion
  • your favorite cooking oil or beef tallow

Optional items include sour cream, warm tortillas, fresh cilantro, fresh pico de Gallo, lime wedges, or whatever you prefer to pair with fajitas.

TEXAS FAJITA MARINADE STEPS

How to make this Texas fajita marinade recipe

  1. Gather all of your marinade ingredients
  2. Slice the meat into thin strips on a cutting board (you don’t have to cut the meat before you marinade, I like to do it because it saves me time when I am ready to cook)
  3. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl or large airtight container
  4. Add meat strips to the marinade and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, but ideally, until the next day, mixing the meat up a few times during the process
  5. Cut veggies into strips
  6. Remove the meat from the fridge and let it come to room temperature
  7. Heat a large skillet (I used a large cast iron skillet/wok) over medium-high heat with some oil or beef tallow
  8. Cook the meat for 3-4 minutes in the hot frying pan, and then add the veggies and cook for another 4-6 minutes (as mentioned earlier, you can change the cooking order depending on how tender you want your veggies). You probably want to cook this in batches, if you cook it all together, the cooking time may increase. Overall the total time for cooking will be the same, you will just do it in smaller, quicker batches.

The pan I used to cook this Texas fajita marinade recipe is a Lodge cast iron wok. We are loyal to Lodge because they make their products in the United States.

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Texas Fajita Marinade Recipe

There is nothing like the sizzling zesty kick of Texas fajitas, and this Texas fajita marinade recipe is an easy way to satisfy your craving for Mexican food any night of the week.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 9 people
Calories 464 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 cast iron wok or large skillet

Ingredients
  

For the Marinade

  • 3 lbs skirt steak (or flank steak)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp minced onion
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

For the Fajitas

  • 1 red pepper (or whatever kind you prefer)
  • 1 yellow pepper (or whatever kind you prefer)
  • 1 white onion (or whatever kind you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil or beef tallow

Instructions
 

For the Marinade

  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Cut the meat into strips.
  • Add the meat to the marinade and combine fully until all of the meat is covered by the marinade.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight.

For the Fajitas

  • Cut up the veggies into strips.
  • Remove the meat from the marinade and let as much of the marinade drip off as possible.
  • Het a cast iron skillet or wok over medium-high heat with the cooking oil or beef tallow.
  • Add about 1/3 of the meat to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes moving the meat around as it cooks.
  • Add 1/3 of the veggies and stir into the meat until the veggies reach the desired tenderness.
  • Remove the fajita mixture to warm plate or bowl and cover.
  • Repeat for the next 2 batches.
  • Serve with warm tortillas and you favorite toppings.

Notes

Note, you can add all the meat to the pan (my wok was big enough) but it will likely take longer to cook than indicated above. It will also take a bit longer if you don’t drain enough of the marinade off. But your overall time vs doing it in batches probably ends up about the same.
The nutritional data provided here is only an estimate and is provided for information only. Verification using your own nutritional calculator is required to ensure accuracy. 
Extra note: For this recipe, the nutritional data includes the full marinade ingredients so I would definitely not rely on the values provided here for accuracy. Always check yourself. Tortillas and toppings are not included in the nutritional information shown.

Nutrition

Serving: 5ozCalories: 464kcalCarbohydrates: 9gFat: 29g
Keyword beef, chicken, fajitas, marinade, pork, tex-Mex

Overall this isn’t a complicated recipe to make, and the size of your pan impacts some of the complexity. The results are tasty, though, and the leftovers are even better.

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