Chicken and Shrimp Fajitas w/Marta | Recipes in the Quarantine

Today on IG live I made fajitas with @martascooking. Thank you for another fun show 🤗🤗She usually teaches me Italian dishes but today she wanted to learn a “Mexican” dish.

Fajitas is more of a Tex-mex dish than a Mexican one but I’m okay with that. Had to mention it to the Mexican food purists out there.

Fajitas is a mix of peppers, onions, garlic and cumin sautéed quickly with beef traditionally. The word “faja” in Spanish means strips, so everything gets cut up into strips before cooking. This dish was most likely invented by the Mexican-American cowboys in Texas. When all they had was a few scraps of meat and peppers left, they mixed them up probably in a pan over an open fire and at them with tortillas instead of utensils.

You can use chicken or shrimp instead of beef. Marta made chicken Fajitas, while I made the shrimp version. Some people like to mix them together though.

The good news is that this is a one-pan meal. You cook your protein in the pan first, take it out, and then cook all your vegetables in same pan. Not only does it make clean up easy, but the flavors created from browning the protein will flavor the onions and peppers when they start to sweat. 

Serve with tortillas, rice, beans, guacamole and salsa if desired. It’s a great taco night dinner. (I was a big fan of ‘Make your own taco night’ as a kid)

Fajitas (Shrimp, Chicken or Beef)

(serves 3-4)


  • 1 1/2 lbs. (0.6 kg) shrimp or protein of choice (cut chicken and beef into strips before cooking)
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons garlic, minced or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 peppers, red, yellow, green or mixed
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika or chile powder (optional)
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced in wedges
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • tortillas for serving


1. Marinate your shrimp, chicken or beef strips in orange juice for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, slice all the peppers and onions into thin strips.

2. After 10-15 minutes, pat your protein dry. Dump the orange juice and discard. Season dry protein with a sprinkle of cumin, paprika, and chile powder, if using.

3. Get a nonstick pan or cast iron pan hot and add 1 Tbsp. oil. When shimmering, add your protein. Do not crowd pan to get a nice golden color on your protein. Once golden on one side, flip, and cook just a couple minutes until pieces are all golden brown. Then, turn off heat and remove pan from the heat. Take your cooked chicken, shrimp, or beef out of the pan and put them on a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.

4. Then, in the same pan, reheat the pan with another 1 Tbsp oil. Add the onion, peppers into the pan and toss. Sprinkle a little salt while cooking. When there is a little juice in the pan from the vegetables cooking, add the minced garlic and stir in (to prevent it from burning). At this time you can add another sprinkle of cumin, paprika, and chile powder if desired. Keep stirring as it cooks. You want to cook it until the peppers are softened a bit. The best way is to taste a pepper for doneness. If it is too crunchy, cook a little longer. This should take about 7-10 minutes on a medium high heat.

5. Once the peppers and onions are softened to your liking add your protein back into the pan. Toss together until everything is heated through. Then, add the tomato wedges on top. The residual heat will make the tomatoes a little soft but not break them down. The plate looks really nice this way.
6. Top with a little cilantro. Then serve with tortillas or rice.

Fajitas are often served with Guacamole, Mexican rice, and beans. Click for the recipes. 

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