MARINATED INSTANT POT CHICKEN FAJITAS

MARINATED INSTANT POT CHICKEN FAJITAS

MARINATED INSTANT POT CHICKEN FAJITAS

These Marinated Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas, or Fajitas De Pollo in Spanish, are spicy, smoky, sizzling hot strips of chicken breast served with sliced red and green bell peppers, and sautéed onions in flour tortillas.
Two Chicken Fajitas with onions and red and green bell peppers in flour tortillas on white plate with a bowl of pico de gallo in the background.
WHAT ARE CHICKEN FAJITAS?
The first sentence of this article accurately describes chicken fajitas. Chicken Fajitas are strips of chicken breast, served hot with sliced onions, and bell peppers in flour tortillas and fajita toppings, such as guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded cheese and more.
Find out what makes fajitas truly authentic?
Learn about Texas-style or Tex-Mex chicken fajitas.
Discover the difference between Chicken Fajitas and other types of chicken tacos or Mexican-inspired chicken.
Ascertain the advantages and disadvantages of various cooking methods for chicken fajitas.
Get a Recipe for a Chicken Fajita Marinade that can be used with all cooking methods.
Receive a recipe for how to make Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas, as well as for instructions for how to make them on the stove.
Pick up cooking tips to help you be successful every time you make Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas.
Find Ideas For Toppings For Chicken Fajitas
Learn what to serve as sides with chicken fajitas.
Discover ideas for how to serve Chicken Fajitas, other than in tacos.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Get more Instant Pot, Chicken, and Mexican recipes.

Platter with chicken fajita meat, flour tortillas, and sautéed onions, red and green bell peppers, with bowls of shredded cheese, pico de gallo and guacamole in the background.
ARE CHICKEN FAJITAS AUTHENTIC FAJITAS?
Technically, no. My friends from Mexico would tell me that there is no such thing as authentic fajitas. They would be correct in that Fajitas are NOT authentic Mexican food.

However, I would argue that Fajitas are authentic Tex-Mex food. Chicken fajitas would still technically not be authentic Tex Mex food because the only fajitas that could be considered authentic would be Beef or Steak Fajitas because the original fajitas were made only with skirt steak.

Any fajita made with any other protein other than skirt steak is technically not authentic. If you are interested in making beef or steak fajitas or want to learn more about the history of fajitas, check out my Tex-Mex Beef Fajitas recipe.

WHAT ARE TEXAS STYLE OR TEX MEX CHICKEN FAJITAS?
Learn what Texas-style or Tex-Mex chicken fajitas are, and what they are not. This will help people distinguish the difference between chicken fajitas and other types of chicken.

Grilled or sauteed marinated chicken strips.
Served sizzling hot – The chicken and vegetables are to be served sizzling hot. The vegetables are not to be cooked until they are limp, soggy, mushy, or soupy.
Served with Fajita Veggies, including sliced onions, red, green, and yellow bell peppers.
Served on a sizzling hot plate with flour tortillas and toppings on the side, such as pico de gallo and guacamole.
Flavorful and slightly Spicy.
See the next section below to learn which chicken dishes are often called fajitas, but are really not chicken fajitas.

CHICKEN FAJITAS VS. SHREDDED CHICKEN TACOS
I have seen people display a photo of shredded chicken tacos and call those chicken fajitas. Those are not fajitas. Fajitas are not shredded. If you are interested in making shredded chicken in the Instant Pot, check out my Instant Pot Chicken Tinga recipe. Here are some other chicken dishes that do not qualify as chicken fajitas.

Salsa Chicken – pouring a jar of salsa over chicken and serving it with onions and bell peppers does not make it a fajita.
Fajitas are not cubed, chunked, or any other shape other than chicken strips.
Fajitas are NOT boiled or soupy.
COMPARING COOKING METHODS
I see fajitas cooked in many different ways, including recipes for Skillet Chicken Fajitas, or Shrimp Fajitas, Baked Chicken Fajitas, Crockpot Chicken Fajitas, Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas, Grilled Chicken Fajitas, and Sheet Pan Fajitas.

Ideally, chicken fajitas should be cooked on a hot skillet or griddle on the grill or on the stove. This allows them to cook quickly and be served immediately while they are sizzling hot.

However, when you are traveling, camping, or RVing, you may not have access to a stove or grill. If that is the case, then I recommend taking your Instant Pot with you and using that to cook your fajitas. The wonderful thing about the Instant Pot is that it is multiple cooking appliances in one, including a saute pan. In this article, I’m focusing on how to make chicken fajitas in the Instant Pot.

For making these Marinated Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas, instead of pressure cooking like most Instant Pot Recipes, we will use the saute function of the Instant Pot only. I don’t use the pressure cooker function because I don’t want the fajitas to turn into chicken fajita soup with soggy, limp, mushy vegetables. As long as you slice the chicken breasts very thin, about the same size as the sliced onions and bell peppers, you can easily cook the chicken using the saute function.

Ingredients
Ingredients for the Chicken Fajita Marinade
1 tablespoon oil
2 pounds of chicken breast cutlets, sliced into thin 1/4″ strips
2 onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
8 flour tortillas
Your favorite fajita toppings (See “What Are Fajita Toppings” below.)
For the complete list of ingredients, with all specified amounts, scroll down to the bottom of this article, just above the comments, for the printable recipe card.

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT CHICKEN FAJITAS
Marinate the chicken overnight.
Saute the chicken using the saute function of the Instant Pot.
Saute the onions and bell peppers.
Serve hot with flour tortillas, onions, bell peppers, and your favorite fajita toppings.

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN FAJITA MARINADE
No matter which cooking method you choose to prepare the chicken fajitas, you can use this fajita marinade with all of them. I highly recommend marinating the chicken fajitas before cooking. It is the marinade that gives the fajitas all that wonderful flavor and helps to keep the chicken moist and tender.

In a large measuring cup or bowl, combine the ingredients below and stir.
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire (See note below)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Fajita Seasoning – (either homemade or store-bought. The link goes to the homemade recipe.)
Place 2 pounds of chicken breast in a plastic zip-top bag. Pour the fajita marinade over the chicken. Securely close the plastic bag and refrigerate several hours, preferably overnight. If you don’t have that much time, I recommend marinating at least for an hour, but preferably overnight.
The next day drain the chicken before starting to cook.
Photo collage with photo of measuring cup with marinade and then photo of chicken in marinade in plastic zip top bag.
HOW TO COOK CHICKEN FAJITAS IN AN INSTANT POT.
Marinate the Chicken. Follow the instructions above to marinate the chicken overnight.
Saute chicken.
Wait a minute for the oil to heat and then add the marinated thin chicken strips and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir, turning, and cook for about 3 minutes more.
Remove the chicken, cover with foil, and set aside.
Saute vegetables.
Add the sliced onions, green and red bell peppers, and stir, cooking for about 5 minutes or until the onions and bell peppers are softened and slightly charred. Remove and place on serving platter with chicken.
Serve hot with flour tortillas and fajita toppings.
How To Make Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas Photo Collage showing steps.
COOKING INSTRUCTIONS FOR STOVE TOP
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil.
When the oil is hot, add the sliced chicken and cook for about 5 or 6 minutes, stirring until all sides are browned and the chicken is no longer pink, and the juices run clear.
Then add the sliced onions and bell peppers and stir until they are softened and slightly charred about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve with flour tortillas and your favorite fajita toppings.
WHAT ARE FAJITA TOPPINGS?
Below are some of the more popular fajita toppings.

Chopped tomatoes and onions or Pico De Gallo
Salsa – Use your favorite red or green salsa.
Chopped Avocados or Guacamole
Shredded Cheese – I use a Mexican blend. However, shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or other cheese would work.
Sour Cream
Chopped Cilantro
Sliced limes

TIPS FOR PERFECT INSTANT POT CHICKEN FAJITAS
Be Sure your chicken slices are not too thick. For this recipe to cook quickly the chicken strips need to be very thin. If you use chicken tenders, you will need to slice those vertically into 1/4 inch strips.
For oil, I recommend using vegetable, avocado, or peanut oil. You need an oil that has a high smoke point and does not burn if used with high heat.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU MAKE WITH CHICKEN FAJITAS?
The filling for Chicken Fajitas can be used in Tacos, Salads, Soups, Pasta, Rice Bowls, Casseroles, Nachos, and Quesadillas. The list is only limited by your imagination.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS? (FAQS)
Can I Make Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas Ahead of time?
You will need to start marinating the chicken the day before, and you can slice the chicken and vegetables ahead of time and refrigerate until needed. However, since these Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas are served hot, and only take about 15 minutes to cook, I recommend cooking just before you are ready to serve.

Can I Cook The Chicken Breasts Whole And Then Slice Them?
If you want to keep the chicken breasts whole, I still recommend marinating them first and then browning them using the SAUTE function in the Instant Pot or browning in a skillet for about 3 or 4 minutes on each side.
Then pour 1/2 cup water or chicken broth in the Instant Pot.
Place a trivet in the Instant Pot and set the marinated whole chicken breasts on the trivet.
Press PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL for 6 minutes for smaller breasts or 8 minutes for larger breasts or 10 minutes for frozen breasts.
When finished pressure cooking, remove the chicken breasts and slice them into thin strips.
DO NOT pressure cook the onions and bell peppers!! They will turn to mush.
How Do I Store Leftover Chicken Fajitas?
If you have leftovers, you can place the chicken and vegetables together in an air-tight container and refrigerate. You will want to store the tortillas separately, in a plastic zip-top bag or airtight container and refrigerate. I recommend using a separate airtight container for each topping and store each separately.
Can I Freeze Chicken Fajitas?
You can freeze the leftover fajita chicken and vegetables but I don’t recommend freezing the tortillas. Store the fajita chicken and vegetables in freezer bags or freezer-safe air-tight containers in the freezer for up to 3 – 4 months.

How Do I Reheat Chicken Fajitas?
If the chicken fajitas are frozen, then let them thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Once thawed, you can reheat the chicken and vegetables in the microwave, or if reheating all of the chicken and vegetables, dump them all in a skillet and reheat on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Marinated Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas
These Marinated Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas, or Fajitas De Pollo in Spanish, are spicy, smoky, sizzling hot strips of chicken breast served with sliced red and green bell peppers, and sautéed onions in flour tortillas.

Ingredients
Chicken Fajita Marinade
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
2 Tablespoons fajita seasoning (Homemade or Store-Bought)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
Chicken Fajitas
2 pounds chicken breast cutlets, sliced into thin strips
2 onion sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
8 flour tortillas
Fajita Toppings (Optional)
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
pico de gallo
Guacamole
chopped cilantro
sliced limes
Instructions
Chicken Fajita Marinade
In a large measuring cup or bowl, combine the ingredients under Chicken Fajita Marinade above.
Place 2 pounds of chicken breast in a plastic zip-top bag. Pour the fajita marinade over the chicken. Securely close the plastic bag and refrigerate several hours, preferably overnight.
Just before starting to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade and drain.
Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas
Saute chicken. Press the SAUTE button on your Instant Pot, and select “More.” (IMPORTANT: You want to use the hottest setting of the Saute function, which is why you select More.) The Instant Pot will display “On” at first. Wait until the display changes to read “Hot” and then add oil.
Wait a minute for the oil to heat and then add the thin chicken strips and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir, turning, and cook for about 3 minutes more. Remove the chicken, cover with foil, and set aside until ready to serve.
Saute vegetables. Add the sliced onions, green and red bell peppers, and stir, cooking for about 5 minutes or until the onions and bell peppers are softened and slightly charred. Remove and place on serving platter with chicken. Serve hot with flour tortillas and your favorite fajita toppings.
Stove Top Chicken Fajitas
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. When the oil is hot, add the sliced chicken and cook for about 5 or 6 minutes, stirring until all sides are browned and the chicken is no longer pink, and the juices run clear.
Add the sliced onions and bell peppers and stir until they are softened and slightly charred about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with flour tortillas and your favorite fajita toppings.

Notes
To make this recipe, I used a 6 quart Instant Pot Duo.
Don’t have an Instant Pot, make the chicken fajitas on top of the stove. See the instructions in the Skillet Chicken Fajitas Recipe.
Tips For Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas
Marinade the chicken overnight, if possible. If you don’t have that much time, I recommend marinating at least for an hour.
Be Sure your chicken slices are not too thick. For this recipe to cook quickly the chicken strips need to be very thin. If you use chicken tenders, you will need to slice those vertically into 1/4 inch strips.
For oil, I recommend using vegetable, avocado, or peanut oil. You need an oil that has a high smoke point and does not burn if used with high heat.