Fajitas are an incredibly popular dish around the world, but did you know that the term "fajita" originally only referred to beef? According to What’s Cooking America, "fajita" refers to a skirt cut of steak, since the word comes from the Spanish word "faja," meaning "belt." As fajitas became more and more popular, the term began to take on a broader meaning, and today, fajitas can be made with chicken, seafood, tofu — the list goes on and on!
Nowadays, chicken fajitas are one of the most popular variations out there, and for good reason. Chicken is a delicious yet inexpensive protein, and you can easily cook it right at home. It only makes sense that you might incorporate chicken into a fajitas recipe! Recipe developer Hayley MacLean‘s slow cooker chicken fajitas recipe is both easy to make and incredibly delicious to eat. Moreover, this dish is loaded with nutrients, making it a great option for family dinner. "I think this is a very healthy dish," MacLean explains. "The chicken and vegetables on their own are great, and so many of the spices included are anti-inflammatory for the body." If you love chicken fajitas, you’ll definitely want to give this slow cooker recipe a try!
Gather the ingredients to make slow cooker chicken fajitas
These chicken fajitas start with a base of boneless, skinless chicken breasts along with bell peppers, a yellow onion, fresh garlic, and canned diced tomatoes with green chiles. You’ll also need a can of chicken broth and a variety of spices, including chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, cayenne, and ground coriander. "I love using ground coriander in dishes like this for the depth of flavor it provides, especially when part of a dry spice mix," MacLean raves about the tasty spice.
This chicken fajita recipe also includes two sweeteners: honey and brown sugar. As to why MacLean doubles down on sweeteners, she tells us that "both the honey and the brown sugar add a necessary sweetness to help balance the more spicy and savory flavors in this dish." "They bring out the flavor of the peppers and onion, and really help boost the other spices in the dish," she further explains.
Layer the ingredients in the slow cooker
Begin by draining the canned tomatoes and spreading half the contents of the can over the bottom of the slow cooker. Top the tomatoes with a layer of sliced peppers and onions (only use half of each ingredient), then sprinkle the chopped garlic over these veggies. On top of the garlic goes the chicken, but you’re not done with this meat quite yet. Stir the brown sugar and spices together with a teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper, then sprinkle half of the spice mixture over the chicken. Flip the chicken, then sprinkle the remaining spice mix over the other side. Now cover the chicken with the remaining tomatoes, peppers, and onions.
Cook the fajita filling low and slow until done
Pour the chicken broth over the chicken and veggies, then close the lid of the slow cooker. Set it to cook on high for 2 hours (it may take up to 3) or on low heat for 4 to 6 hours, until the vegetables are nice and tender. At this point, the chicken should also be thoroughly cooked. If you’re using a meat thermometer to check the chicken, it should read 165 F. If you’ll be cutting into the breast meat instead, there should be no visible pink. Take the cooked chicken out of the slow cooker and slice it into strips or shred it.
Whisk the lime juice and honey together, then mix these ingredients into the veggies in the slow cooker. Add the chicken back into the pot and stir until everything is thoroughly combined. Finally, taste the fajita filling and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the fajitas with your favorite toppings
MacLean suggests serving the chicken and veggie fajitas with warm tortillas, but this isn’t the only way to enjoy them. As she tells us, this filling "is super versatile," so you could also get creative and make fajita salads or bowls for a low-carb option.
Whether you serve these fajitas on tortillas, rice, lettuce, or just on their own, they taste even better with a few embellishments. "I love using sour cream, avocado slices, or guacamole, and some queso fresco to top these," MacLean suggests. Whichever way you enjoy these chicken fajitas, you can do so knowing that this dish is healthy, wholesome, and incredibly delicious for the whole family.
- 1 (14 ½ ounces) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 3 bell peppers, cored and sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Drain the canned tomatoes and spread half the tomatoes over the bottom of the slow cooker in an even layer.
- Top the tomatoes with half of the sliced bell peppers and onion, then add the garlic and finish off with the chicken breasts on top.
- Whisk together the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and coriander with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
- Sprinkle half of the seasoning mixture over the chicken breasts, then flip the chicken and repeat.
- Top the chicken with the remaining tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions.
- Add the chicken broth to the slow cooker and close the lid.
- Cook the chicken on high for 2 to 3 hours or low for 4 to 6 hours until the chicken has cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it or cut it into strips.
- Whisk together the lime juice and honey and add to the slow cooker along with the chicken.
- Salt and pepper the fajita filling to taste.
- Serve the chicken and vegetables with warmed tortillas and your choice of toppings.