Air fryer chicken fajitas are an easy and delicious weeknight dinner! Made with juicy chicken breasts, bell peppers and red onion seasoned with lime, cilantro and a homemade seasoning blend with chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika.
Making air fryer chicken fajitas is so easy! It’s one of the most satisfying quick weeknight meals you can possibly make. On their own or slathered in your favorite toppings, they’re a win every time. Plus, leftovers reheat well making them great for meal prep too!
Why You Will Love This Air Fryer Chicken Fajita Recipe
Making fajitas in a cast iron skillet has always been my go to. There’s something about that hot pan sizzle that seals the deal. BUT, hear me out! The air fryer delivers the same awesome results without all the splatter, mess and extra oil. It’s so fast and easy, perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.
Here are my favorite things about this easy meal that you’ll love too:
- Quick and easy – ready in 20 minutes!
- All made in the air fryer so minimal clean up.
- That sear baby! The peppers and chicken gets a nice char to it that adds another layer of flavor.
- Tortillas and fixings aside, it’s a one pot meal with protein and veggies, no need for side dishes.
- It’s lean and healthy.
- The end result is juicy succulent chicken with perfectly charred yet crisp veggies that are full of flavor.
Fajitas come together with just a few simple ingredients, mostly from the spice rack.
- bell peppers – three different colored bell peppers, either small whole ones or half of three large. I usually use a green pepper, red bell pepper, and either an orange or a yellow bell pepper.
- onion – I like using red onion for it’s vibrant color but white onion, yellow, or even sweet onion work fine here.
- boneless skinless chicken breasts – normally about 2 breasts will work here, but into thin chicken strips. You can substitute chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat.
- oil – I use avocado oil or olive oil and recommend either for this recipe.
- lime juice – fresh squeezed lime juice is best here. It brightens up the seasoned chicken and adds welcome acidity.
- cilantro – chopped fresh cilantro is a must for me and, as with the lime, adds fresh flair to the meal. If you don’t like cilantro or don’t have any, you can skip it.
Fajita seasoning ingredients
- cumin – cumin is necessary for fajita seasoning to turn out right.
- salt – I used pink Himalayan salt, per my usual, but sea salt or another good quality salt will work.
- chili powder – any Mexican chili powder variety will work.
- smoked paprika – paprika adds so much flavor to fajitas! Smoked is best but regular paprika works fine as well.
- dried oregano – the oregano flavor is subtle but adds a distinct underlying flavor. If you have to leave it out, the fajitas will still turn out fine.
- garlic powder – garlic powder is essential. If you need to substitute raw minced garlic, you can rub it directly onto the chicken breasts instead of including it in the rub.
- black pepper – these fajitas aren’t spicy at all so black pepper is the only hint of heat in the recipe. If you want something spicier, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper to kick it up a notch.
How to Make Air Fryer Fajitas
Prepare to be blown away by how easy this recipe is. As far as equipment goes, you’ll need an air fryer (basket style or oven style is fine), medium bowl, 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, sharp knife and a cutting board.
- Start by slicing the bell peppers and onion into thin strips. Separate the onion layers so each gets evenly cooked. Dry of any residual water and set the sliced peppers aside. I like to put them directly into the bowl I’ll be using to toss it all in seasoning later on.
- Trim the chicken of extra fat or hard pieces. Cut the chicken breasts into thin ½” (1cm) strips and pat dry with paper towels.
- Add chicken to the bowl with the sliced bell peppers and onion and drizzle oil over all of it. Toss to coat the veggies and chicken in oil.
- Use a small bowl to stir together the fajita seasoning ingredients.
- Add the fajita seasoning mix to the larger bowl with chicken and peppers and rub it on to evenly coat the meat and veggies.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F (205° C).
- Dump the chicken and vegetables into the air fryer tray or basket. There will inevitably be some overlap, but try to keep it in a single layer if you can. Air fry for 10-12 minutes until veggies are seared and chicken is tender and cooked through. Make sure to shake the air fryer basket or stir the fajitas half way through cook time, around the 5 minute mark so it cooks evenly.
- Squeeze lime juice and sprinkle cilantro onto those air fryer chicken fajitas and toss. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Making Homemade Fajita Seasoning
Making your own fajita seasoning is easy as can be. You simply toss the spices together in a small bowl and voila! Fajita spice mix is made from cumin, salt, chili powder, paprika or smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper. You can add in onion powder as well but I prefer to just pair a chopped onion alongside the bell peppers instead.
You can use this blend on anything too, not just air fryer chicken fajitas. It works for a taco seasoning or you can even add a sprinkle to scrambled eggs for a tasty southwestern flair.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Don’t over crowd the air fryer! If using a smaller air fryer or doubling the recipe, it’s better to cook in batches instead.
- Make sure the bell peppers, onion and chicken are dry before rubbing with oil and seasoning. This will ensure everything gets seared not steamed.
- While it’s perfectly fine to cook the chicken and veggies together, you don’t want to store them together uncooked. This can cause the vegetables to be contaminated by the chicken and, if not heated to a high enough temperature, this can make you sick.
- This recipe was tested in both a basket style and oven style air fryer and worked great in both. Every model is different though so make sure to shake or stir half way through and then check for doneness at 10 minutes.
- Don’t add the lime juice or cilantro until the very end. We want to minimize liquid in the air fryer so everything gets crisp. And cilantro is best fresh so save it for the end.
Preparing Ahead of Time
To make your weeknight meal prep even easier, you can prepare everything up to 2 days in advance so it’s ready for the air fryer. Here’s how to do it:
- Mix the fajita seasoning ingredients together.
- Chop the veggies and toss with half of the oil and about 1/3 of the seasoning mix. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Slice the chicken into strips and toss with remaining oil and seasoning. Place in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator.
- When you’re ready to air fry the fajitas, remove both from the refrigerator and toss into the preheated air fryer together, following the rest of the cooking instructions in the recipe.
For really quick meals, you can make a triple batch of the seasoned chicken and freeze it in freezer safe containers. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight the day before you plan to make it and toss with freshly chopped vegetables.
Variations and Substitutions
While the classic fajita combo is just multi-colored bell peppers and onions, you can definitely go rogue! Here are some ideas:
- Swap the white chicken breast for juicy thighs, steak strips, or pork. Shrimp works too but cooks faster so make sure the veggies get a good sear for about 4 minutes before adding them.
- Use beef, pork or shrimp instead
- Add thin sliced zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower or whatever you prefer.
- Use my homemade chicken taco seasoning instead for more chili powder dominant flavor.
- Add fresh shucked corn in to the last 4-5 minutes of cook time.
- Pair with a chimichurri cilantro or chimichurri roja for some next level flavor.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas
These chicken fajitas are delicious enough on their own that they don’t even need toppings! Stuff it into a warm tortilla or serve in a bowl over rice and you’re good to go. That being said, good fixings elevate anything.
Serve stuffed into flour tortillas, corn tortillas, or my personal new fav – cassava tortillas. I love using it over Mexican rice or cauliflower rice as fajita bowls too!
Here are some ideas:
- Fresh salsa made in the blender or pico de gallo
- Sour cream or swap with plain Greek yogurt (or CocoJune makes an awesome dairy free swap!)
- Avocado mango salsa for a fruity twist
- Pickled red onions
- Cotija or shredded cheddar cheese
- Refried beans or black beans
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheat in the microwave, air fryer at 400°, oven preheated to 350° or on a pan on the stovetop over medium heat. If reheating on the stovetop, add oil to the pan first to make sure the chicken doesn’t stick.
Uses for Chicken Fajita Leftovers
This is an awesome meal prep recipe! Leftovers are great reheated in a bowl over rice, brown rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice for lunch the next day. I often make a double batch just for this reason. If you do this, just make sure to split it between two batches so you don’t overcrowd the air fryer.
You can also chop up the leftover chicken and veggies and add them to airfryer quesadillas. Turn into a taco salad by adding to chopped lettuce with salsa and sour cream acting as the dressing or make a cilantro lime salad. Or if you’re craving something warm, chop up, add to Mexican seasoned rice, beans, and taco fixings and turn it into a taco casserole!
- 3 small bell peppers of different colors just use half of each if they’re large
- 1/2 onion red or white
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts about 2 medium-sized breasts
- 1 Tbsp. avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice about 1 juicy lime
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
- Slice bell peppers into thin strips, removing and discarding inner seeds and stem. Slice onion half from end to end and cut into similar sized thin strips, separating each of the layers after cutting. If vegetables are overly wet, roughly dry them with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
- Remove any excess fat and bone fragments from the chicken. Cut chicken into thin ½” (1cm) strips and dry with paper towels.
- Place chicken, bell peppers and onion into into a medium sized bowl. Add oil and toss with hands or a spoon to evenly coat.
- In another small bowl, combine the fajita seasoning ingredients and stir well.
- Sprinkle fajita seasoning onto chicken and veggies and work in with your hands (preferably) or a spoon.
- Preheat air fryer to 400° F (205° C).
- Once air fryer is preheated, place the chicken and vegetables into the air fryer tray or basket in a single layer. Air fry for 10-12 minutes at 400° F (205° C). Remove air fryer basket and shake half way through cook time. Flip or stir with spatula if using an oven style air fryer. Fajitas are done when peppers and onions are somewhat charred looking and chicken is done but not overcooked.
- Sprinkle with cilantro and lime juice and use tongs to toss. Serve right away with tortillas, guacamole, salsa, sour cream and/or whatever other fajita fixings you want.
- Over Crowding: If using a smaller air fryer or doubling the recipe, it’s better to cook in batches instead or vegetables and meat will steam instead of sear.
- Substitutions: Works for steak (flank steak) or large shrimp too.
- Leftover Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave, air fryer at 400°, oven preheated to 350° or on a pan on the stovetop over medium heat. If reheating on the stovetop, add oil to the pan first to make sure the chicken doesn’t stick.
- Nutrition facts are for ingredients in recipe and do not include tortillas or other toppings.