Steak fajitas are a crowd favorite both at home and at restaurants. It’s an easy meal to make and can feed a large group of people if needed. It also makes for great leftovers and can give you something to reheat other days for lunch or dinner.
It can also be a casual meal to serve for a get-together. The best part is it doesn’t take much time or money. People can also customize their plates by adding sauces or other toppings. If you want to save even more time, you can prep the meat and vegetables the night before.
Which Type of Steak is Best for Fajitas?
This recipe is for grilled steak fajitas. “Steak” can mean a lot of things as there are quite a few different types of steak out there, and not all of them are well suited for fajitas.
Skirt steak is by far and away the most popular type of steak for fajitas. If you order steak fajitas at a restaurant, there is a 95% chance you’ll be served skirt steak. It’s a thin cut of meat that typically has nice fat content, is easy to handle and packs incredibly tasty beefy flavor.
If you don’t have access to skirt steak, flank steak will also do the trick. I’ve made flank steak fajitas quite a few times and they turn out just as well as skirt steak. Since flank is a little bit thicker than skirt, flank can just take a little more babysitting on the grill to get it cooked perfectly.
These cuts are similar enough that we’ve actually written a guide on the differences between skirt and flank steak, so check that out if you want more on the topic.
How to Slice Fajitas
This is IMPORTANT!!! As dramatic as it sounds, slicing fajitas the wrong way will diminish the end result by making your beef tough and chewy.
The key is to slice your fajitas against the grain. You want to slice across the long fibers that run down the length of the meat cut. Doing this will make your fajita bites way more tender compared to slicing with the grain.
After your meat is cooked and ready to slice, place it on a cutting board. I like to have my fajita pieces be about an inch and a half wide. Divide up your meat into inch and a half sections by slicing WITH the grain. Once you have all of your inch an a half wide rectangles of steak, next slice your pieces AGAINST the grain.
Tips for Perfect Grilled Steak Fajitas
There’s really no wrong way to make steak fajitas. In some ways, they are hard to mess up which means you are bound to always have an outstanding meal. With that being said, there are a few things you can do that will take your fajita night from good to great.
Marinate Your Meat and Veggies
Marinating your main ingredients is an optional step. It takes a little bit of time and planning ahead but if you can do it, marinating will pack a nice flavor punch to your fajitas.
Slice your peppers and onions first to start making your marinade. Place the vegetables in a large Ziploc bag and then place the steak in a separate Ziploc bag. Zip them both up very tight and shake them. This allows the sauce and marinade to easily mix with the veggies and meat.
You can then place it in the fridge and allow it to sit overnight. When you’re ready, you can pull it out and begin to follow the rest of the recipe instructions to make your steak fajitas quickly and efficiently.
Grill Your Tortillas
Grill your tortillas for about 15 seconds on each side. This will allow them to get a nice crisp flavor but not make them too stiff or chewy.
You can also heat them in the microwave quickly to make them warm – but we prefer to do this on the grill, especially if you already have it fired up. Overheating can make them very chewy though so be careful when microwaving.
Don’t Use Pre-made Seasoning, If Possible
There are many recipes and instances when using pre-made seasoning is the same as making your own. However, for steak fajitas, your own seasoning can be the thing that takes your beef to the next level. You can also add more spice or less spice depending on what your and your audience likes.
Our steak rub recipe below is a pretty traditional Tex-Mex style fajita seasoning. Of course, you should feel free to customize your seasoning based on what you like!
Use Fresh Vegetables
Fresh vegetables will cook better and be a great combination of crispy and soft. Older vegetables may get soggy or chewy ruining the flavor of your fajitas. Try not to use vegetables that have already been sitting in the fridge for a few days.
Use the Grill!
The grill is the perfect cooker for fajitas! Using a grill to make your steak fajitas can enhance their flavor and make the cooking process go faster. This will make sure your steak fajitas have optimal flavor.
The best thing to cook on the grill is the steak itself, which will pick up sear marks and develop a little bit of that incredible smokey flavor. Vegetables can still be cooked on your kitchen stove if you don’t have a grill basket.
If you don’t want to use the grill, the next best thing for cooking fajitas is a cast iron on the stove top!
Cook Veggies While the Meat is Resting
It’s best not to serve the meat right after it’s done. Letting steak rest for a few minutes after it comes off the grill will let it soak up the juices and make sure it does not get dry. While the meat is resting, you can cook the veggies since they only take about 5-10 minutes.
They may take less time if you preheat the stove or the pan. Add in just a little olive oil. Using too much olive oil can make the veggies soggy. You can also use cast iron on the stove to add flavor to the veggies.
Steak fajitas are great, but sometimes it’s nice to have a combination of steak and chicken fajitas – and it’s pretty easy to add them on if you’ve already got the grill fired up.
Just use the same seasoning on chicken and throw em on the grill. That’s it! Chicken is much more naturally tender so you do not need to worry about slicing against the grain.
What Sides Go With Steak Fajitas?
Steak fajitas have a protein, veggies, and carb component with the tortillas. Many people find this to be a meal by itself without added side dishes. However, make sure to add toppings so that people can use them.
Use sour cream, cheese, guacamole, and pico de gallo as add ons. Keep them in separate bowls so that people can choose what they want to add to them.
If you want to add in more Mexican flavors as you find at restaurants, you can also set out chips and salsa. You can also add some chile con queso, rice, and beans.
Grilled Steak Fajitas with Garlic Butter
- 1.5 lb skirt steak can substitute flank steak
- 8 flour tortillas can substitute corn
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper julienned
- 1/2 cup yellow onion julienned
- Optional toppings: shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, sliced jalapeños
- lime wedges to garnish
Tex Mex Rub Ingredients
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tbsp oregano
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
Garlic Butter Ingredients (Optional)
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic
- Mix rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Coat the skirt steak with the rub mixture evenly and thoroughly
- (Optional) Let the seasoned beef rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes
- Preheat your grill to 400ºF
- Sear both sides of the beef on your grill, about 4 minutes per side
- After searing, move your beef to an elevated rack to finish cooking to desired doneness. (I like medium doneness on steak fajitas so I finish on the rack only for about 2 minutes)
- Remove beef from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing
- Add onions and bell pepper to sauté pan with a splash of olive oil. Sauté veggies over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until they begin to soften
- In a small saucepan, melt butter and mince garlic into the butter after butter has liquified (you can also melt the butter in the microwave if you prefer)
- Alive the beef into thin slices, cutting against the grain
- Serve immediately on warm flour or corn tortillas. Add veggies and avocado slices
- Squeeze lime wedges over the steak and add garlic butter. Serve alongside optional toppings. Enjoy!
Grilled steak fajitas are a great meal for when you have guests or family over. It doesn’t take long to prep or cook, which means you can easily throw this meal together if you’re in a crunch for time. Make sure to follow all the tips and advice above to ensure that your fajitas stay flavorful and moist from grill to table.