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Alton Brown Fajitas Recipe

There’s something about Alton Brown’s fajitas that just gets me excited every time I fire up the grill (or my kitchen burner!).

I always make sure to marinate the meat for a full 24 hours – it’s the secret to that deep flavor captured in the moisture of the meat.

Slicing the veggies just right ensures they get that perfect char without losing their crispness.

And who doesn’t love the satisfying sizzle when the meat hits the hot surface?

Let’s make these babies!

How to Make Alton Brown Fajitas

alton brown fajitas recipe

Ingredients

  • Protein: 2 pounds of skirt steak or chicken breasts
  • Vegetables: 1 large onion, 3 bell peppers (a mix of colors)
  • Marinade: 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 limes, juiced, 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Seasoning: 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • For Grilling: Oil for the grill, additional lime wedges, and fresh cilantro for garnish

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Marinade

Combine olive oil, soy sauce, the juice of the limes, crushed garlic, salt, brown sugar, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a glass bowl or resealable bag.

Step 2: Marinate the Meat

Place your choice of protein into the marinade.

Make sure it’s fully coated.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight for more flavor.

Step 3: Prep Veggies and Grill

While your meat is soaking up all those delicious flavors, slice your onion and bell peppers into thin strips.

Get your grill nice and hot – whether it’s a stovetop grill pan, a traditional grill, or even a broiler.

Lightly oil the grill to prevent sticking.

Step 4: Cook the Protein

Remove the protein from the marinade and let any excess drip off; don’t worry if some of the marinade clings to it — that’s extra flavor!

Grill each side of the steak for about 7 minutes or until it reaches your desired level of doneness.

If using chicken, cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Let the meat rest on a cutting board, tented with foil, for about 10 minutes.

Step 5: Grill the Vegetables

While the meat is resting, grill the peppers and onions until they’re charred and tender.

This usually takes around 5-7 minutes.

Step 6: Assemble and Serve

Slice the meat against the grain to ensure tenderness.

I like to warm my tortillas on the grill for about 30 seconds on each side.

Pile the sliced protein and grilled veggies onto a tortilla.

Garnish with lime wedges and fresh cilantro.

Enjoy immediately!

Tips and Tricks to Making Alton Brown Fajitas

Tip: Maximizing Flavor

The longer you let the meat marinate, the more intense the flavors.

I suggest letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Trick: Achieving the Perfect Char

For that perfect char on your vegetables, get your grill or pan smoking hot before adding them.

A little char on the edges adds a fantastic smoky flavor.

Alternative Cooking Method

If you don’t have a grill, a cast-iron skillet is a great alternative.

Just cook the meat over medium-high heat and use the same method for the veggies!

Tip: Keeping It Juicy

Once cooked, let your meat rest before slicing to keep it juicy and flavorful.

Trust me, it’s worth the wait.

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to enjoying Alton Brown’s fajitas, the right sides can turn a simple meal into a feast.

What to Serve with These Tasty Fajitas

You’ve got your flavorful fajitas sizzling and ready.

Now, what should you pair with them for the ultimate experience?

Tortillas

You’ll need a sturdy base for all those juicy fajitas fillings.

Flour tortillas are classic, but if you prefer, corn tortillas can add a nice texture and taste.

Sides

A balance of sides complements the rich taste of the fajitas.

I love serving up some Mexican rice; it’s a hearty option that goes well with the spices.

Bell Peppers

Of course, you can’t forget the bell peppers.

Add a mix of red and green bell peppers for a vibrant, flavorful, and nutritious addition.

Pico de Gallo

Fresh pico de gallo adds brightness and a punch of fresh flavor.

It’s a low-calorie choice that doesn’t skimp on taste.

Veggies

Don’t hesitate to grill extra veggies like onions or even mushrooms alongside your meat.

They’ll add an extra layer of flavor and texture.

Mains

Beyond the fajitas themselves, consider including a bean dish like refried beans or black beans.

This boosts your fiber intake and adds creamy texture to the spread.

Dairy

A dollop of sour cream can offer a cool, tangy contrast to the heat of the fajitas.

Plus, it’s also a way to add some richness to each bite.

Remember, while you’re adding all these delicious sides, consider the balance of nutrients and flavors to give you a meal that’s satisfying and enjoyable.

Keep it as simple or as elaborate as you like, but most importantly, have fun with it!

Variations and Substitutions

Sizzling fajitas on a hot cast iron skillet, with colorful bell peppers and onions, surrounded by warm tortillas and bowls of toppings

When you’re making Alton Brown’s fajitas, you can still get creative with some swaps and changes.

Oils

If you’re out of olive oil, don’t sweat it!

I’ve used vegetable or canola oil, and they work like a charm.

Meat Choices

No skirt steak in the fridge?

An inside skirt steak or flank steak can fill in.

Even chicken or shrimp can be the star for your fajita night.

Veggie Twists

Onions are a classic, but why stop there?

You can toss in whatever veggies you’ve got lying around – zucchini, mushrooms, you name it.

Seasonings

No fajita seasoning handy?

Mix some chili powder, dark brown sugar, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a dash of salt.

You’ve got a homemade blend that’s just as tasty.

Summer Fixings

Summer screams for fresh toppings.

Load up your fajitas with some homemade pico de gallo or a dollop of guacamole.

Trust me, it’s a game-changer.

How to Store Your Leftovers

When you have leftover fajitas to reheat, you want them to taste just as good the next day.

Here’s what I do to keep my fajitas tasting fresh.

In the Fridge

You can store leftover fajitas in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Make sure you place them in airtight containers or wrap them tightly in aluminum foil.

Beef or Chicken

Whether you’re storing leftover beef or chicken fajitas, the process is the same.

The key is to separate the meat from the veggies before storing.

This helps maintain the texture and flavor of your ingredients.

Reheating

When it’s time to reheat, you can use a skillet over medium heat.

Add a little broth or water if your fajitas seem dry.

Just heat them until they’re warmed through—usually, this takes just a few minutes.

Freezing (Optional)

If you want to keep your fajitas for longer, you can freeze them.

Wrap the meat well in aluminum foil and place it in a freezer bag.

Label the bag with the date, and you’ll be set for a quick meal down the road.

Just thaw in the refrigerator overnight when you’re ready to eat.

Remember, you can freeze the fajitas for up to two months.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

sliced flank steak for fajitas

When preparing Alton Brown fajitas, it’s easy to let enthusiasm lead to common errors.

Overcooking

One of the biggest mistakes is overcooking your meat.

Your steak should be juicy, not dry and tough.

Keep a close eye on your grill or skillet, and remove the meat when it reaches the ideal internal temperature.

Marinade

I can’t stress enough how vital the marinade is for flavor-packed fajitas.

Don’t skimp on the acid in your marinade; this helps tenderize the meat.

But be careful not to let it marinate for too long, or your meat can become mushy.

Slicing

Slice your onions and bell peppers uniformly to ensure they cook evenly.

Speaking of slicing, always cut your meat against the grain.

This will give you tender, easy-to-eat fajitas.

alton brown fajitas recipe

Alton Brown Fajitas Recipe

Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Ingredients
  
  • 2 lbs Skirt steak or chicken breasts
  • 1 large Onion
  • 3 Bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 tbs[ Brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Oil for the grill
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 2 Juiced limes
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
Instructions
 
  • Prepare the Marinade
  • Combine olive oil, soy sauce, the juice of the limes, crushed garlic, salt, brown sugar, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a glass bowl or resealable bag.
  • Marinate the Meat
  • Place your choice of protein into the marinade.
  • Make sure it's fully coated.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight for more flavor.
  • Prep Veggies and Grill
  • While your meat is soaking up all those delicious flavors, slice your onion and bell peppers into thin strips.
  • Get your grill nice and hot - whether it’s a stovetop grill pan, a traditional grill, or even a broiler.
  • Lightly oil the grill to prevent sticking.
  • Cook the Protein
  • Remove the protein from the marinade and let any excess drip off; don’t worry if some of the marinade clings to it — that’s extra flavor!
  • Grill each side of the steak for about 7 minutes or until it reaches your desired level of doneness.
  • If using chicken, cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Let the meat rest on a cutting board, tented with foil, for about 10 minutes.
  • Grill the Vegetables
  • While the meat is resting, grill the peppers and onions until they're charred and tender.
  • This usually takes around 5-7 minutes.
  • Assemble and Serve
  • Slice the meat against the grain to ensure tenderness.
  • I like to warm my tortillas on the grill for about 30 seconds on each side.
  • Pile the sliced protein and grilled veggies onto a tortilla.
  • Garnish with lime wedges and fresh cilantro.

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Passionate chef, in love with everything related to food and cooking it to perfection!
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