Brimming with Tex-Mex flavor and a hearty dose of colorful vegetables, this recipe became an instant favorite in our house. And you’ll never believe how quickly it cooks!
When you go to the effort to cook dinner, it’s sort of nice to hear a rave or two. A little praise for the cook can also provide welcome motivation to do it all again the next day－and the day after that, and the day after that…
In our house, this fajita recipe is one of those rave-producing meals. So, sharing it feels like a small gift from me to you. For added value, the recipe is easy to pull together with advance prep options and it cooks quickly, too.
When I posted a photo of this meal in progress on my Instagram story recently, I received many requests for the recipe. The following day, I shared it with a friend who adores all things Tex-Mex, and he made the easy fajitas that very night. His feedback and that of the small group he cooked for was stellar. Dare I say they raved－and sent pictures! ⇩⇩
This recipe happens to be part of a side project I’ve been working on for several months. Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health has been developing a community-based, cultural cookbook for their Heart and Vascular Institute. I was originally asked to contribute recipes and was later asked to help with the photography. (We’re nearing the end, so be on the lookout!)
The fajitas are an adaptation of a recipe submitted by Chelsea Franciscus. Her original version will appear in the cookbook. My variation increases the ratio of veggies to meat and reduces the amount of salt, among a few other minor adjustments.
Fun to eat and a sure-fire crowdpleaser, the fajitas are as well suited to a weeknight dinner as they are to casual entertaining. The flavor and overall appeal truly bely their utter ease.
For added convenience, you may mix the spices and slice the vegetables ahead of time, so the components can be quickly assembled before popping the pan in the oven. And the cooking time is quick!
Prefer a low-carb option? You may absolutely enjoy this meal without the tortilla. In that case, you could serve the sliced steak and peppers with a side of cauliflower rice. You could also make a burrito bowl, starting with rice (regular or cauliflower), topping with the peppers and meat. When serving as a bowl meal, you may wish to chop the steak into bite-size pieces for easier eating and then top with extras like avocado, shredded cheese, etc.
Have leftovers? Leftovers taste equally delicious, and I’ve mentioned a reheating tip in the recipe notes. I’ve also warmed the leftover sliced steak and peppers, piled them into a sub roll, topped with a cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, and broiled just long enough to melt the cheese. It’s like a fajita sub (or hoagie, if you prefer), and my family loves them. Jack, the cook pictured above, told me he put the leftover fajita peppers on a pizza and described it as👌🏻!
However you serve this flavorful meal, I hope you receive the same praise that I hear from my family. If you don’t, send me a message and I will rave! ❤️
- 1½ pounds flank steak (could use a flat iron steak)
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon EACH garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free if needed)
- 3 bell peppers, seeded and sliced into strips (mix of red, yellow, orange, or green)
- 1 medium red or yellow onion, thinly sliced from root to tip
- For serving: flour or corn tortillas, warmed
- Optional toppings: lime wedges, chopped cilantro, avocado or guacamole, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, salsa verde
- Preheat oven to 450℉.
- In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and cumin. Set aside.
- To a large zip-top plastic bag, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lime juice, and soy sauce. Add half of the spice mixture (Helpful hint: this will be 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) and swoosh around to combine. Add the steak to the bag and turn to coat. Let the steak marinate for at least 10 minutes. (Tip: for added flavor, you may do this in advance and marinate several hours or even overnight.)
- Add the peppers and onions to a large bowl, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining spice mixture, tossing to coat. Spread the bell peppers and onions around the outer edges of a large, rimmed sheet pan (no need to grease), and place the steak in the middle.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes, then place the pan on the top rack and broil on high for an additional 2 minutes, watching carefully. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the meat (135-140℉ for medium rare, 145℉ for medium, 150℉ for medium well). Tip: if the steak is not done to your liking after broiling for 2 minutes, return to middle rack, draping a piece of foil overtop if sufficiently browned, and cook for another minute or two, or until the meat is cooked to your liking.
- Let the steak rest at least 10 minutes after you remove it from the oven, and then slice into thin strips against the grain.
- Serve the steak, peppers, and onions with tortillas and toppings of choice.
If you like the idea of preparing this meal completely in advance, I recommend undercooking the steak and then slicing thinly once it has cooled. When ready to eat, place the sliced steak and veggies in the oven just long enough to warm－the undercooked steak will go from pink to brown quickly－and enjoy.