Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Mess Level: Low
Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 12 min
- 3 lbs Chicken Breasts
- 3 Bell Peppers, assorted colors are best.
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 12 Flour Tortillas (Optional)
- 1 Tablespoon Spicy Mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Cumin
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (Optional)
- 2-3 Tablespoons Grapeseed or Canola Oil
- 1 Lime
- Preheat the oven to 450 Fahrenheit and place two sheet pans in while it preheats.
- Remove any large pieces of fat from the chicken breasts and slice them in half horizontally, like your going to butterfly the chicken, but instead slice all the way through it. Then cut them into strips.
- (Optional Step) Brine the chicken for 15 minutes or up to an hour following these instructions. Remove and rinse off the brine.
- Pat the chicken very dry and transfer to a large mixing bowl, set aside.
- Slice the onion and bell peppers into strips and toss with the chicken. Add the liquid smoke, mustard, and oil to the chicken mixture and toss until it’s evenly coated.
- Mix together your paprika, brown sugar, cumin, and cayenne and toss until it coats the mixture.
- Turn the oven down to 425 Fahrenheit. Pull out the hot sheet pans one at a time and very carefully spread half your mixture onto each hot pan. Don’t stir it once it’s spread, and return the pan to the oven immediately.
- Bake for 7 minutes and check the chicken temperature. Bake for an additional 5 minutes if necessary till your chicken is cooked through (165 F) and your veggies are browned.
- Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm in the oven or heat them on the stove. Serve with lime wedges and additional toppings like sour cream and guacamole if desired. Enjoy!
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What’s the benefit to brining the chicken?
- It is key for perfect chicken...
This quick brine will help ensure you have juicy, tender chicken for your fajitas. It’s really easy to overcook the chicken in this recipe and the brine just gives you a little extra wiggle room if that happens.
Why do I need to preheat the pan? Can I use foil?
- Caramelization is good!
Preheating the pan will give you a better chance at caramelizing your meat and veggies. It’s such a short cook time starting with a hot pan helps. But if you’d rather you can absolutely skip that step and line it with foil for an even easier cleanup.
Why are there sugar and mustard in the recipe?
- It's only weird if you make it weird...
The sugar will help add a little flavor and it will give you a deeper caramelization on the meat and veggies. The mustard really just rounds out the flavor, it’s kind of like the prop master in the background. Useful, but not in the spotlight.
Can I substitute steak?
- Just... No...
I wouldn’t recommend it with this method, your steak would cook a lot faster than your veggies. Try the Steak Fajita recipe instead!
Ramblings of a Line Cook
I love the idea of sheet pan dinners. For some reason I just get a kick out of dumping a bunch of stuff out of one bowl onto well, two pans because we’re big eaters, and then you pop the pans in the oven, stick the bowl in the dishwasher (Guys we have a dishwasher at this new place and it is changing my life), and have a beer while you wait.
However, what I do not like is trying to get items with different cook times, all perfectly cooked in one pan, at the same temperature for the same amount of time. Ergo the preheated pan method comes into play.
This trick along with slicing the chicken thinly and popping it in a quick brine will make your life so much easier. You know what else would be delicious? Subbing out some portabella mushrooms, cut into strips, and maybe adding a little balsamic vinegar to the mixture. Viola, you have a vegetarian delight!
Then you scoop and scrape, and wrap the juicy goodness up into a warm tortilla and close your eyes in pure bliss. Because you have made a hot and healthy dinner using minimal dishes and maximum flavor. And if that doesn’t deserve a high-five, another beer and an episode of your favorite show, I don’t know what does!