With perfectly seasoned chicken breast strips, bell peppers and onions, these air fryer chicken fajitas cook through in under 10 minutes! An easy way to get dinner on the table quickly, and works great for meal prep.
In general, the air fryer is a great way to cook side dish options like air fryer brussels sprouts or crispy cauliflower. It's also a great way to cook sheet pan-style meals, like these chicken fajitas!
This recipe is a breeze to prep, and cooks through SO QUICKLY. I'm talking 10 minutes total! Let's discuss.
You'll ♡ air fryer chicken fajitas because
- they are super simple to prepare
- they cook through in under 10 minutes
- you can prep them ahead for meal prep (2 different ways!)
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What are fajitas?
Truly Tex-Mex, fajitas originated in Texas in the early 1930’s, when the less desirable cuts of beef were given to Mexican cowboys working on ranches as part of their pay (1). Traditionally involving strips of skirt steak cooked on a campfire or grill, modern fajitas usually include bell peppers and red onions, and can use a variety of meats (including chicken) as the protein.
Modern-day fajitas are frequently made with fajita seasoning, which is meant to replicate the traditional fajita marinade (2). These days, fajitas are often served in a sizzling skillet with warmed tortillas and toppings (guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded cheese and more).
These air fryer chicken fajitas are certainly different than the original fajitas, but I hope this slow cooker interpretation can bring delightful Tex-Mex flavors to your dinner table with minimal effort and clean up required.
- fajita seasoning- for the best flavor, I recommend taking the time to make a batch of homemade fajita seasoning. The flavors will blow store bought fajita seasoning out of the water!
- chicken breast- you're going to want to cut the chicken breast quite thin- into ¼ inch thick strips. This ensures that the chicken and bell peppers cook through in a similar amount of time.
- vegetables- we are using bell peppers and red onion in this recipe. Cut them into ¼ inch thick strips
- oil- olive oil works great in this recipe; avocado oil is another great oil to use in the air fryer
- lime juice- rather than toss in lime juice to cook, I recommend adding it just before serving. We want to limit the liquids we add to this recipe so it doesn't make a huge mess of the fryer.
Step by step directions
Scroll to the recipe card for ingredient quantities.
- Mix together ingredients- In a large bowl, toss the chicken breast strips, bell peppers and onions in olive oil. Add the fajita seasoning, then stir until everything is evenly coated in the spices.
- Arrange in air fryer- Spread the mixture out in a thin layer in the air fryer basket or trays. If you have a basket-style model, you might need to cook the fajitas in 2 batches. For oven-style models, you should be able to cook the whole batch in one go.
- Cook- Cook the chicken fajitas for 5 minutes at 400°F, then use tongs to separate chicken pieces and toss everything up. If you use an oven-style air fryer, you'll want to rotate the trays. Cook for 3-5 more minutes, until chicken is fully cooked through.
Make your own fajita seasoning
Homemade fajita seasoning is easy to prepare, cost effective, and much more flavorful than store-bought. Simply stir together salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and a bit of brown sugar, mix together, and you can store in the pantry for up to 1 year! Grab my homemade fajita seasoning here.
Basket vs oven air fryers
This recipe was tested and photographed in an Instant Pot vortex air fryer oven, which easily fit a whole batch. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook this recipe in 2 batches. It's OK for chicken to be touching (see above photos), but you do not want excessive overlap.
Adjust cook time as needed
All air fryers cook slightly differently, so use the cook time as an estimate, and add more time (or remove a few minutes) as needed. Test by cutting one of the larger pieces of chicken in half; there should not be any pink visible. Bell peppers should be softened but still have some crunch to them.
Add lime juice after cooking
When cooking sheet pan chicken fajitas, I normally add lime juice before cooking, but when cooking in the air fryer, we want to minimize the amount of liquid to keep our fryer from getting messy. Instead, squeeze some lime juice over the fajitas just before serving.
Meal prep and storage
I'm happy to report that these fajitas can be meal prepped in two different ways:
Prep ahead (but don't cook)
I love this method because when you cook them, you're cooking them for the first time and they taste fresh and delicious!
- Toss chicken strips, bell peppers and onions in oil and fajita seasoning, then store in the fridge for up to 4 days (check the dates on your chicken!). See* for notes on freezing.
- When you are ready to cook, heat air fryer to 400°F and cook as directed. You may want to spritz with some spray oil before cooking.
*I have tested this as a freezer meal (freezing the raw bell peppers, chicken, fajita seasoning and oil before cooking, then dumping onto the trays to cook). It worked fine, but was quite wet. I do recommend draining off as much liquid as you can (which also has the caveat of draining off some of the seasoning).
Storage and reheating
These chicken fajitas also work great as a reheat meal:
- Cool completely, then store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To reheat, set your air fryer to 350°F. Heat for 5 or so minutes, tossing beans up as needed, until they are warmed through.
Check out my favorite meal prep containers!
Chicken fajita toppings
When serving your chicken fajitas, don’t forget about the toppings! Here are some options:
- fresh avocado or guacamole
- shredded cheese
- shredded lettuce
- sour cream
- pico de gallo or salsa
- refried beans
- fresh chopped tomatoes
More air fryer recipes
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Bacon
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- Perfect Air Fryer Salmon
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- 1 lb chicken breasts sliced into ¼ inch thick strips; see note 1
- 2 bell peppers sliced into strips
- 1 red onion sliced into strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1.5 teaspoon cumin
- 1.5 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛-1/4 teaspoon cayenne optional
- lime juice
- sour cream
- Heat air fryer to 400°F or 200°C.
- Mix together ingredients- In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, bell peppers, onion and olive oil until evenly coated.
- Add all spices: sugar, salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne. Mix until chicken and vegetables are evenly seasoned.
- Arrange in the air fryer:Oven-style- spread evenly on the tray(s), making sure they are in a single layer. It's OK if the ingredients touch but you don't want multiple layers.Basket-style- you may need to work in multiple batches. Add in a single layer to the basket.
- Cooking- Cook for 5 minutes, then use tongs to flip and separate the chicken. If using an air fryer with trays, rotate the trays. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. When chicken is cooked through and bell peppers are slightly softened, remove and serve with suggested toppings.
- store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days (check the expiry date on chicken to be sure)
- store in a freezer bag or air tight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- thaw completely before cooking
- drain off any liquid
- spritz with spray oil before adding to the basket or air fryer trays
- cook as directed above in this recipe card
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