If you’ve only ever made fajitas with the store-bought seasoning packet, this homemade fajita marinade will knock your socks off. This is truly one of our favorite meals!
1–1 1/2 pounds chicken (boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs) or steak (sirloin or flank steak)
2–3 red, orange, and/or yellow bell peppers, halved (or use a few handfuls of baby peppers)
1 large onion, sliced into 1/2“-thick slices
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1–2 teaspoons liquid smoke (see note)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder or chipotle chili powder (chipotle chili powder will have heat and smoke)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Place meat in a Ziploc bag or shallow dish. Place vegetables in another. In a medium bowl, combine all marinade ingredients and whisk well. Reserve 3-4 tablespoons of marinade for later use.
With remaining marinade, add a splash to the vegetables (enough for a light coating) and the remaining to the meat. Marinate for 4-6 hours and up to overnight.
Preheat outdoor grill (our preference) to medium heat. When the grill is hot, place everything on at the same time in a single layer when the grill is hot. Cook until desired doneness is reached, flipping once (about 7 minutes per side for chicken breasts, 3-4 minutes per side for chicken thighs, or see this tutorial for steak.) You may need to remove the vegetables before the meat is done–just transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil. When the meat is done, transfer to a plate and allow to stand for a few minutes, then slice the meat.
Heat an indoor grill pan or large skillet to medium heat. If using a skillet, cook the peppers and onions first and then rem. Cook chicken for a few minutes on each side until cooked through and remove from pan. Cover with foil to keep warm. Add vegetables and heat through.
Remove vegetables from cooking surface and slice. Slice meat.
After you’ve sliced the meat, toss the meat and vegetables with reserved marinade and serve along side any or all of the following:
*If you’re not familiar with liquid smoke, you can find it near the BBQ sauces. Don’t make this without it! It’s definitely one of the key components. It makes things yummy and smoky and super flavorful. And if you’re wondering, it actually is real smoke in liquid form. Interesting, eh? Start with 1 teaspoon and add more if you’d like a smokier flavor.