Flank Steak Fajitas Recipe

5 from 6 votes
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Skillet flank steak fajitas are out of this world and will without a doubt, cause a sizzling scene when they’re placed on the table. With a cast iron skillet, you can make everything in one pan and it will stay hot as you eat.

Marinated flank steak fajitas served in a cast iron skillet with golden charred bell peppers and onions.

My fajita skillet is made with simple marinated flank steak tender peppers and onions that are seasoned with spices. The sliced steak is really flavorful and perfectly pairs with slightly charred peppers and onions.

Why I Love This Recipe

Steak, peppers, and onions are the perfect pairing to serve on a warm tortilla with sour cream, hot sauce, cilantro, and fresh lime juice. You can also make this recipe with skirt steak, NY strip, ribeye, or your favorite cut of grilling steak. Serve with cilantro lime rice if you’re looking for a fresh and delicious side!

If you’re looking for more delicious Mexican-inspired recipes, check out my carne asada tacos, chicken birria tacos, baked chicken chimichangas, and my chicken enchiladas recipe.

Ingredients

  • Flank or skirt steak: both of these cuts make great options for fajitas. Flank steak is easier to find and slightly tougher. Skirt steak is more tender and flavorful due to its higher fat content.
  • Flour or corn tortillas: I’m a huge fan of toasted corn tortillas for tacos. This eliminates the brittleness and brings out the delicious corn flavor.
  • Bell peppers: I like to use a combination of red and green peppers for variety. You can use whatever color you like best. Poblano peppers make a great addition to add as well for very subtle spice and better flavor.
  • white onion: both white and yellow onion work well in this recipe. White onion is probably the most widely used in Mexican recipes. It’s my favorite topping for carne asada tacos.
  • Paprika and cumin:
  • Lime: I highly recommend fresh limes for squeezing over the tacos. It adds to the overall freshness and flavor.
  • Fresh cilantro, sour cream, cheese, Mexican blend cheese, and hot sauce: these are my go-to toppings for fajitas. Cilantro is not a conventional topping but it ups the freshness of the tacos!

Flank steak marinade

  • Olive oil: olive oil is the base of the marinade. It adds flavor and helps carry the flavors into the meat. It also helps balance the acids responsible for tenderizing.
  • Soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce: these two ingredients are critical for the signature flavor in this marinade. It soaks into the meat and adds phenomenal flavor.
  • Honey: honey is optional but adds a touch of sweetness. I also like to use brown sugar.
  • Lime: acid helps to break down the meat and tenderize it. You can use lemon or lime juice.
  • Spices: I use a blend of garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. The dry spices are great for coating the meat and clinging on. It’s the best of both worlds as it mimics a dry rub while also marinating in a teriyaki blend.
  • Adobe sauce from canned chipotle peppers: the adobo sauce from the peppers is an optional ingredient for a smokey hot finish. If you like spicy, this is non-negotiable. You can alternatively finely chop a chipotle pepper and add that in as well. Just note, that they’re pretty spicy and should be used sparingly.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

How to Toast Tortillas

My favorite way to eat tacos or fajitas is with toasted corn tortillas. If you have a gas range, place the tortillas directly on the grates and fire up the burner. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 seconds per side, flipping with a metal spatula.

The edges of the tortilla will start to char and crisp and the center will be soft, warm, and pliable. If you’ve run into ripping or tearing corn tortillas, this will remedy the problem and make them much more sturdy and flavorful. This can also be done with flour tortillas.

Toasting a corn tortilla on gas range until charred and crispy around the edges.

How to Make Skillet Fajitas

Step 1.

Combine all marinade ingredients in a large measuring cup. Whisk and set aside.

Step 2.

Find the natural graining running through the flank steak and slice against the grain into 1/4-1/2 inch strips. This is critical for tenderness. Place the steak in a large plastic Ziploc bag or sealed container and pour the marinade over the steak. Marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Keep refrigerated and remove 30 minutes before cooking.

Quick Tip

Slicing strips with the grain will force you to bite through these tough fibers. If you slice against or perpendicular to the grain, the meat will effortlessly pull apart.

A raw uncooked flank steak on a wooden cutting board with two thin slices shaved off.

Step 3.

Combine peppers, onions, oil, paprika, and cumin in a large bowl. Toss to mix.

Step 4.

Heat a dash of oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Add peppers and onions and season all over with salt and pepper. Cook until tender and slightly charred on the edges, about 10-15 minutes. Toss every few minutes to mix and prevent burning.

Step 5.

Remove peppers and onions from the skillet and place on a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.

Step 6.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and add flank steak to the skillet, leaving behind as much of the marinade as possible. Discard and do not reuse. Cook steak, tossing frequently until cooked through and slightly pink in the center. The steak will fully cook in about 5-7 minutes.

Step 7.

Move the steak to one side of the skillet and return the peppers and onions to the skillet. Serve immediately with sour cream, cilantro, lime wedges, hot sauce, and warm/toasted tortillas. See the note below on toasting tortillas!

Skillet flank steak fajitas served in a cast iron skillet with bell peppers and onions alongside tortillas, cilantro, lime wedges, and shredded cheese.

Expert Tips

  • For best results, marinate the steak overnight so it has time to soak up the flavors and tenderize the beef. For this recipe, I opted to pre-slice the steak into strips before marinating. This ensures every fiber of meat is in direct contact with the sauce.
  • One critical tip when preparing steak fajitas is to properly (and thinly) slice the flank steak for maximum tenderness. Flank and skirt steak tend to be tougher cuts due to the dense muscle fibers. You will notice the steak has a very defined grain running through it. It may be more noticeable after you cook it.
  • Toasting corn tortillas on a grill or gas range will warm them and make them much stronger so they don’t crack and break when handling. They’re delicious slightly charred on the edges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make SKillet fajitas sizzle?

To achieve the signature smokey sizzle. Heat your skillet up hot just before serving and add a small splash of water to the skillet. The water will evaporate and sizzle, giving the appearance of smokey sizzling fajitas.

Can I make fajitas with chicken?

Yes. Follow the same recipe but substitute chicken for beef. You can follow the same steps and pre-slice the chicken into small bite-sized strips before marinating. I like to use chicken thighs or chicken breast.

Taco Recipes to Make

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this recipe, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
5 from 6 votes

Flank Steak Fajitas Recipe

Servings: 4
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
My skillet fajitas are made with simple marinated flank steak and seasoned peppers and onions.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound flank or skirt steak
  • 6 inch flour or corn tortillas
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and sliced
  • 2 green bell peppers, cored and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 lime, cut into small wedges
  • Mexican blend cheese, for topping
  • Fresh cilantro, for topping
  • Sour cream, for topping
  • Hot sauce, for topping

Flank steak marinade

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or dark brown sugar
  • 1 lime, juice squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons Adobe sauce from canned chipotle peppers, optional

Instructions 

  • Combine all marinade ingredients in a large measuring cup. Whisk and set aside.
  • Find the natural graining running through the flank steak and slice against the grain into 1/4-1/2 inch strips. This is critical for tenderness. Place the steak in a large plastic Ziploc bag or sealed container and pour the marinade over the steak. Marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Keep refrigerated and remove 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  • Combine peppers, onions, oil, paprika, and cumin in a large bowl. Toss to mix.
  • Heat a dash of oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Add peppers and onions and season all over with salt and pepper. Cook until tender and slightly charred on the edges, about 10-15 minutes. Toss every few minutes to mix and prevent burning.
  • Remove peppers and onions from the skillet and place on a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high and add flank steak to the skillet, leaving behind as much of the marinade as possible. Discard and do not reuse. Cook steak, tossing frequently until cooked through and slightly pink in the center. The steak will fully cook in about 5-7 minutes.
  • Move the steak to one side of the skillet and return the peppers and onions to the skillet. Serve immediately with sour cream, cilantro, lime wedges, hot sauce, and warm/toasted tortillas. See the note below on toasting tortillas!

Notes

My favorite way to eat tacos or fajitas is with toasted corn tortillas. If you have a gas range, place the tortillas directly on the grates and fire up the burner. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 seconds per side, flipping with a metal spatula. The edges of the tortilla will start to char and crisp and the center will be soft, warm, and pliable with irresistible flavor.
For best results, marinate the steak overnight so it has time to soak up the flavors and tenderize the beef. For this recipe, I opted to pre-slice the steak into strips before marinating. This ensures every fiber of meat is in direct contact with the sauce.
One critical tip when preparing steak fajitas is to properly (and thinly) slice the flank steak for maximum tenderness. Flank and skirt steak tend to be tougher cuts due to the dense muscle fibers. You will notice the steak has a very defined grain running through it. It may be more noticeable after you cook it.

Nutrition

Serving: 3fajitasCalories: 455kcalCarbohydrates: 30.4gProtein: 35.9gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 157mgFiber: 6.8gSugar: 4.9g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Shawn, this recipe turned out so good. It’s delicious and so fast. I forgot to add the hot sauce but did use the Adobo sauce. Next time I will do 2 tbsp of the adobo sauce. I also like the idea of cooking the tortilla on the gas stove. It gives it a different taste than warming it up in the oven or microwave. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this weekend for my family. Everyone loved. I used a chili lime seasoning and smoked sea salt to finish. It was definitely the best fajitas I’ve ever had!