Steak Fajitas

Steak fajitas are a true celebration of Mexican flavors, combining tender marinated beef, sautéed vegetables, and an assortment of toppings all wrapped in warm tortillas.

Steak Fajitas
Rikki Snyder for The New York Times
1 hour, plus 4 hours’ marinating
Read 92 community notes

Skirt steak is the traditional cut used for fajitas. It used to be inexpensive, but now it’s not so cheap; oftentimes flank steak costs less. Either will be a good choice.

Featured in: Give Fajitas, a Tex-Mex Classic, the Treatment They Deserve

Learn:How to Make St


Yield:4 servings
  • 1tablespoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
  • 1teaspoon chipotle or ancho chile powder
  • 1teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • pounds flank or skirt steak
  • Zest of 1 lime (2 teaspoons)
  • ¼cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1large red or yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 2red bell peppers (or 1 red and 1 orange or yellow), seeded and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1green bell pepper, seeded and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1jalapeño or 2 serrano chiles, minced
  • ¼cup chopped cilantro
  • 4large flour or 8 corn tortillas
  • 1teaspoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1romaine heart, cut crosswise into 1-inch wide pieces
  • Salsa fresca, for serving (see recipe)
  • Queso fresco, for sprinkling

Ingredient Substitution Guide


  1. Step 1

    Combine 2 teaspoons ground cumin, the chile powder and 1 teaspoon salt. With a sharp knife, cut shallow crosshatched incisions across top and bottom surfaces of steak. Rub spice mix all over surface of steak. (It’s best to wear gloves as the chile powder is hot.) Place steak in a resealable freezer bag.

  2. Step 2

    In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice and zest, ¼ cup olive oil, the Worcestershire sauce and half the garlic. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade and pour the rest into the bag with steak. Seal and move steak around in bag to coat thoroughly. Place on a sheet pan and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Massage bag periodically to redistribute marinade. Refrigerate reserved marinade if cooking the next day.

  3. Step 3

    Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until they soften and begin to color, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in bell peppers and chile. Cook, stirring, until peppers begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Lower heat to medium, add remaining garlic and cumin, and salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, until peppers are nicely seared, softened and beginning to caramelize, 5 to 8 minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Pour in reserved 2 tablespoons marinade and scrape bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze. Stir in half the cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat but keep warm.

  6. Step 6

    Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in a low oven, or wrap in a towel and warm in a steamer or in the microwave.

  7. Step 7

    Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, or prepare a medium-hot grill. Remove meat from marinade and discard marinade. Pat meat dry with paper towels. If using a skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet. (If your skillet is not large enough for the steak, cut it in half and cook in batches.) Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Meat should be medium rare. Remove to a cutting board, cover with foil and let sit for 10 minutes. Cut across the grain into ½- to ¾-inch wide strips.

  8. Step 8

    Arrange lettuce on a platter, then place steak next to lettuce. Tip juices from cutting board over meat and sprinkle with remaining cilantro. Serve vegetables on the same platter or separately, along with warm tortillas, salsa and crumbled queso fresco.

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