Beef Fajita Recipe

Beef Fajita Marinade Important

As Is the Beef You Use

Texans cannot really claim they invented a Beef Fajita Recipe. They can certainly raise their hands if someone asks who made fajitas popular in the United States, though.

Just exactly what is a fajita? And where did fajitas come from?

A fajita is simply a meal with meat or poultry, vegetables, peppers and other ingredients cooked together and put into a flour tortilla. It is an easy meal to prepare and one of the tastiest meals you can make. The variety of fajitas you can make is limited only by your imagination!

Beef fajitas came first. Mexican laborers created the dish out of necessity while working along the border between Texas and Mexico. Seems like they were partially paid with beef - supposedly the worst cuts of beef - something we call skirt steak today. But these ingenious workers learned to make good use of a tough cut of beef. They invented what we now know as fajitas. Fajitas are marinated skirt steak, plain and simple.

Skirt steak at one time was one of the least desirable cuts of beef. Now, because so many people love fajitas and other dishes that use the cut, skirt steak is no longer as inexpensive as it once was. And since everyone wants delicious and memorial meals, you should consider using flank steak to make fajitas. You can also use sirloin or tenderized round steak in place of the skirt steak.

So the use of the word Fajita has evolved over time, and now Americans use the word to describe chicken fajitas, steak fajitas, shrimp fajitas, and so on. Today anything wrapped in a flour tortilla can be called a fajita.

Originally, and still today, the meat used for a fajita is usually cut into strips, and placed into the wrap with a selection of vegetables (Bell Peppers and Jalapenos are very popular).

Beef fajitas are made up of separate components and steps: the beef, the beef fajita marinade, chilies, onions, other vegetables, Pico de Gallo, salsa, and guacamole.

This beef fajita recipe includes the fajita marinade recipe you'll need. To access the other recipes you'll need with your beef fajita recipe, simply click on the links (underlined words).

The secret to tender fajitas is marinating the meat, especially if you are using skirt steak, and a high heat with a short cooking time. The meat should be no more than 1/2 inch thick.

First, the marinade -

Basic Beef Fajita Recipe Marinade

Makes enough to marinate 1 pound sirloin steak. Makes 4 servings.


  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed or minced
  • 3 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lite soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (Ancho chili powder if you have it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Dash of onion powder



  • Combine all ingredients and mix well
  • Put meat in a shallow glass or plastic container and cover the meat with the marinade (if you have a 1 gallon plastic zip-lock bag - that works perfectly)
  • Put meat in the refrigerator and keep it covered in the marinade for 12- 24 hours, turning meat occasionally

Beef Fajita Recipe

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients for Beef Fajita Recipe:

  • 1 pound sirloin steak (flank steak, tenderized round steak, skirt steak)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 red and / or green Bell pepper, sliced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lite soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • Dash ground black pepper
  • Sea salt, to taste

For This Beef Fajita Recipe - On The Side (all or some):


Instructions For This Beef Fajita Recipe:

  • Preheat your stove top grill (or barbecue) to high
  • Remove meat from marinade and drain (save the marinade)
  • Preheat a skillet over medium high heat
  • Saute' the onion slices (and Bell pepper slices if using) in the oil for 5 minutes
  • Combine the lite soy sauce, water, and lime juice in a small bowl and pour it over the onions in the skillet
  • Add the black pepper and continue to saute' until the onions are translucent and dark on the edges (4-5 minutes more) and salt to taste
  • While the onions are sauteing, grill the meat for 4-5 minutes per side or until done (check with a meat thermometer for doneness) and spoon some of the saved marinade over the meat occasionally
  • While the meat and onions are cooking, heat up another skillet (cast iron if you have one) over high heat (this is your sizzling-serving pan)
  • When the meat is done to your liking remove it from grill, place on cutting board and slice on the diagonal into thin strips
  • Remove the extra pan (cast iron skillet) from the heat and dump the onions and liquid into it (onions should sizzle if the pan is hot)
  • Add the meat to this pan for 15-20 seconds and then plate the meat - onions and serve with Pico de Gallo, Roasted Salsa, Black Bean Salsa, cheddar cheese, guacamole, sour cream on a separate plate or plates on a bed of shredded lettuce
  • Steam the tortillas in a moist towel in the microwave for 30 seconds and serve on the side
  • Assemble fajitas by putting the meat into a tortilla along with your choice of condiments

Roll the tortilla around your meal and enjoy!

TA-DA! That's the beef fajita recipe and process. Easier than it looks, believe me.

Enjoy your beef fajita recipe and the company of those you share it with!


Did you know? Sonny Falcon, an Austin meat market manager, operated the first commercial fajita taco concession stand in tiny Kyle, Texas in September of 1969. That same year, fajitas debuted on the menu at Otilia Garza's Round-Up Restaurant in the Rio Grande Valley community of Pharr, Texas.