Mexican tacos filled with Grilled Steak Fajitas are about as good as it gets. The lime, beer, and garlic marinade is our classic family recipe.
Recipe first posted in September 22, 2013 and last updated August 18, 2022.
There is a reason we make family favorites so often—because they are good, comforting, and easy. These Grilled Steak Fajitas are definitely one of my family’s all time favorites: Steak Fajitas.
This is my husband’s recipe, so I can’t take much credit here. The man was born and raised in Texas, he knows a lot more about fajitas than I do, but I can guarantee you will be pleased with this one–it is a family gem.
The meat turns out so juicy and tender and the flavor is next level. The steak fajita marinade packs a punch with fresh lime juice, beer, garlic, and chili powder.
As far as the vegetables go, red onions are a must and then I use beautiful sweet bell peppers along with some fiery hot jalapeños. You can adjust this to whatever you like, whole spring onions would also be nice.
You’ll feel like you’re deep in the heart of Texas!
What Are Fajitas?
Fajitas are pure and true Tex-Mex food. They are traditionally made with skirt steak because that was the cut of beef that was given to feed the ranch hands after the cattle was butchered.
The word Faja means belt or strip and in Spanish anything ending in ita means a smaller version of that thing. Therefore, fajita, refers to what the strips of steak look like.
Fajitas are different from Carne Asada which is also grilled meat made with flank or skirt steak but is typically marinated in orange and lime juice and Mexican oregano.
The term fajitas has now come to mean anything marinated, grilled, sliced into thin strips and served with warm tortillas but its original meaning was grilled steak.
It also is synonymous with the sizzling pan of food making its way through the Tex-Mex restaurant.
Ingredients For These Steak Fajitas
There are many variations on Fajita seasoning. Most include things like garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and the like. I’m a personal fan of the combination below:
- Flank steak, skirt steak or even sirloin steak
- 5 cloves garlic
- Lager-style Mexican beer. We like Pacifico or Tecate or a Japanese beer like Sapporo like I did.
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning vegetables.
- Ground coriander
- Arbol chili powder if this is too spicy substitute a mild chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Black pepper
- Red onion or yellow onion
- Bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil or avocado oil
- Warm tortillas. Flour tortillas are traditional but you could use corn tortillas if you prefer.
- For serving: Pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, chopped cilantro, lime wedges
Let’s Make the Best Steak Fajitas!
The prep time on these fajitas is pretty low but the total time can be longer depending on how long you want to marinate it. Whisking together the marinade is quick and easy then all you have to do is wait for it to work its magic!
Tenderize the meat. First you need to find yourself a nice piece of flank steak and pound that sucker pretty thin with a meat mallet (I love this one). If you don’t have a mallet you can use a rolling pin or tequila bottle (I know you have one of those).
Flank steak is a tougher piece of meat so the goal here is to tenderize it and make it an even thickness so it cooks evenly.
Marinate. Then you want to marinate it in loads of garlic, spices, lime, and beer. Combine all the marinade ingredients in an airtight container large enough to hold the steak. Blend everything well with a whisk. Then add the steak.
Cover and refrigerate. You should marinate the meat at least 30 minutes, but the longer the better; overnight would be just fine.
Prep the vegetables. Cut the onion and peppers into large slices (you can cut them thinner after they grill). Place them in a large bowl and toss in a couple tablespoons of olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
Light the grill. Start a charcoal or gas grill and heat it to medium-high heat. Clean the grates well.
Grill the vegetables.Then it’s time to fire up the grill. First go on the veggies. I highly recommend one of these grilling baskets—no more sacrificial peppers falling into the flames. Remove the veggies to a plate, cover them with foil and keep them warm in a low oven while you grill the meat (alternatively you could grill everything at once if you have a super giant grill).
Slice peppers and onions into smaller pieces before serving if you’d like.
Grill steak. Add the steak to the grill and cover the grill, cooking the steak to your desired doneness—for fajitas we like to cook them a little more than your typical steak, they should have a bit of chew to them. The cooking time is going to vary depending on the thickness of your steak. For medium it should take anywhere from 4-6 minutes per side.
Slice. Remove to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes then slice the steak against the grain with a sharp knife into thin slices.
Serve. Serve with warmed tortillas, sour cream, pico de gallo, the grilled veggies, and ice cold beer.
What To Serve With It
- Mexican Rice is an obvious side to go with Fajitas. Try my foolproof oven method.
- Also, you can’t have Fajitas without beans. My Crockpot Borracho Beans are a crowd favorite.
- Roasted Green Hatch Chile salsa when Hatch chiles are in season!
- You can never go wrong with Pickled Red Onions, they go with everything. Even grilled onions.
- For something different try this Veracruz-Style Hominy.
- Should you make a pitcher of Super Creamy Horchata to go with these Fajitas? The answer is obviously yes!
Steak Fajita FAQ’s
Can I make these indoors on the stove?
Sure! If you have a cast iron skillet even better! Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and sear the steak to your desired doneness, about 5-7 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove to a plate, cover with foil. Add another tablespoon of oil and char the vegetables until soft and blackened in spots.
Can I use this same recipe but with chicken?
Absolutely! Or shrimp, or just use all veggies and marinate them in the lime-garlic marinade. Portobello mushrooms and eggplant make amazing vegetable fajitas (see the recipe on page 126 in my book Plant Powered Mexican).
How far in advance can I marinate the meat?
Up to 1 day in advance. You don’t want to do more than that or the lime juice will start to “cook” the meat and make it tough.
What does “cutting against the grain” mean?
If you look at a piece of flank steak it has lines in the meat that go in one direction, this is the “grain”. When you slice it you want to slice perpendicular to those lines so you are cutting through them not with them.
If you cut the steak along those lines the meat will be ridiculously tough and chewy.
More Grilling Recipes You’ll Love
- These Grilled Fish Tacos with Sweet Corn Salsa are our most popular grilling recipe
- Fresh and flavorful Mexican Cobb Salad with grilled chicken, peaches, and bacon is always a winner
- Looking for the best grilled chicken recipe? Try our Pollo Asado—it’s unbelievable!
- You will be hooked on these Grilled Veggie Skewers with Smoky Chile Vinaigrette
- Ever wonder how to grill the Perfect Pork Chop? We’ve got your answer.
- I’m obsessed with this Sticky Jalapeño and Cherry Grilled Chicken and I think you will be too.
- Grilled Salmon Al Pastor gets topped with a sensational Herb Guacamole—you’ve got to try it!
You Know You’ve Got To Make These Fajitas
Right? They are simply irresistible! Let me know when you try the recipe by snapping a pic and tagging me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so I can see or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating) ! Also, sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!
- 1/2 teaspoon arbol chili powder
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- The juice of 1 lime
- 1 (12-ounce) Mexican-style lager beer, like Pacifico or Tecate
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning vegetables
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning vegetables
- 1 large red onion cut into 1/2-inch thick rings and/or fresh spring onions
- 3 large bell peppers, seeded and quartered
- 2-3 jalapeños, left whole if you like spice, otherwise, halved and seeded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Tenderize the meat. Pound the steak very thin with a meat mallet you want it to be an even thickness.
- Marinate. Add garlic, lime, beer, salt, coriander, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper to a dish large enough to hold the steak. Whisk until everything is combined. Add meat and turn to coat in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (I like to give it 2 hours if possible) or overnight.
- Grill vegetables. Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Toss onion and peppers with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and tender. Remove to a plate, cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven.
- Grill meat, turning once, until lightly charred on the outside and cooked to desired doneness. About 5-7 minutes for medium rare but I like to cook it a bit longer to more of a medium. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest while you cook the tortillas.
- Warm the tortillas. Cook the tortillas one at a time in a dry cast iron skillet until toasted on one side, flip and toast the other side then remove to clean kitchen towel to keep warm.
- Slice and serve. Thinly slice the meat against the grain then slice the bell peppers into 1/2-inch thick strips and serve with the tortillas, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1074Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 180mgSodium: 1700mgCarbohydrates: 104gFiber: 9gSugar: 4gProtein: 79g
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