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Chicken Fajita Bowls

Chicken fajita bowls fill you up but don’t weigh you down. Stack up on tender spicy chicken for protein, black beans and corn for fiber and energy-sustaining rice with all the fixings for a fast meal anytime. This recipe uses simple spices to make homemade fajita seasoning too–see how much better it is than any packet from the store.

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a chicken fajita bowl on a table and piled high with avocado, salsa, corn, beans, cilantro and rice

Key Takeaways


  • Low carb without the rice; use cauliflower rice or leave it off if you want to.
  • Want a tortilla? Pile the components in one and go.
  • Great to meal prep. Assemble everything but the salsa and avocado and add those fresh.
  • Freeze the chicken and peppers for up to two months and thaw when needed.
  • Great for using up leftover vegetables in the fridge. Works great with leftover chicken, too.
  • Make fajita seasoning as listed here or buy some at the store instead.

Feeling strong and vibrant means eating well–not complicated. I find that I feel my best when I keep the bad carbs out and focus on fueling with good protein, fiber and healthy fats and these chicken fajita bowls are a great way to do that.

Keep them bare bones simple with just peppers onions and chicken or go all out. You have every possible option listed here to utilize.

Ingredients that make these bowls fabulous (pick what you like)

I know this looks like a boatload of ingredients but don’t let it sway you–many of these are optional based on preference. It’s just good to see your choices in one place.

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    Here are some details on ingredients and variation ideas to get you started:

    Chicken and Peppers Mixture

    • Chicken thighs (boneless, skinless): Chicken provides a protein-rich base for the fajita bowl. I like using chicken thighs because they are flavorful and juicy but you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken tenders instead. Shrimp, steak, or even tofu could be used.
    • Bell peppers (red, yellow, and green): The vibrant colors of the bell peppers give the bowl great visual appeal. You can use one type of bell pepper if you don’t have access to all three colors.
    • Onion and garlic: These aromatic ingredients give the fajita depth and flavor. You can use a teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder if you don’t have onion and garlic close by. I used a red onion for this recipe but you can use a yellow onion or a sweet onion.
    • Fajita seasoning: This homemade seasoning gives this dish a delightful blend of smoky, earthy, and slightly spicy flavors. Feel free to use taco or fajita seasoning from the grocery store. For a little extra heat, don’t hesitate to use cayenne pepper, diced poblano peppers, or red pepper flakes.

    Toppings

    • Cooked rice: Both whole grain white rice, brown rice, quinoa or cilantro lime cauliflower rice will work for this recipe. For this recipe, I mixed in some chopped cilantro leaves after the rice was done cooking.
    • Salsa: Adds a burst of freshness to the bowl. You can use your favorite salsa brand as well as your favorite spice level. Instead of salsa, you can also use a dollop of sour cream, chipotle lime crema, or pico de gallo. You can also top it with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese, a side of tortilla chips, with a squeeze of lime juice!
    • Shredded cheese: Feel free to use cheddar, Monterey Jack, queso fresco, or pepper jack.
    • Fresh cilantro: Cilantro gives the bowl a pop of freshness and aromatic touch. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can substitute it with parsley or not use it at all.
    • Salt and black pepper: Add these to taste. For this recipe I used sea salt, but you can use table salt or kosher salt.
    • Lime wedges: Lime juice adds a tangy citrus flavor to the fajita bowl.
    • Black beans: Feel free to use pinto beans or your favorite type of beans for this recipe.
    • Avocado: Sliced avocado adds a creamy butteriness to the bowl.
    • Corn: Corn adds a touch of sweetness and a slightly crisp texture to the fajita bowl.

    How to assemble chicken fajita bowls

    1. Mix your homemade fajita seasoning. The base spices are handy to have year round. Make a quadruple batch and store it in a jar.
    2. If you have time, let the chicken sit in the fridge for 30 minutes in the spices to the flavors can soak in.
    3. Sautee onions and peppers in butter or a healthy oil.
    4. Wipe out the pan, then cook the chicken until no pink remains, then assemble your bowls with cooked rice and your favorite toppings.

    Can I make this recipe in advance?

    Although this recipe is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the ingredients in advance and assemble the bowls just before serving.

    Can I use pre-cooked or leftover chicken?

    Absolutely! Leftover grilled or roasted chicken can be sliced and reheated in the skillet with peppers and onions for a more convenient option. You can sprinkle on the spice mixture when everything is cooking and add a teaspoon or two of butter to help it meld with the other ingredients.

    Batch cooking and shredding chicken is one of my tricks for faster dinners. See how I bake chicken in bulk to shred.

    What rice is best in chicken fajita bowls?

    Basmati is a light and fluffy rice that cooks in about 20 minutes on the stove. If that’s too long for you, you can use a quick cooking rice of your choice. I love to cook mine in homemade meat stock.

    Brown rice tends to take longer so just plan ahead. Remember to refrigerate cooked rice promptly after making it and only heat it one time or throw it away to prevent food borne illness.

    How spicy is fajita seasoning?

    It’s not going to burn your mouth. That said, you can adjust the heat level according to your personal preference by reducing or increasing the chili powder. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for more heat.

    Can I refrigerate the leftover chicken fajita components?

    The chicken and pepper mixture can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let the chicken and peppers cool, then transfer to an air tight container or zip-lock bag and freeze.

    a chicken fajita bowl with a fork in the corn and beans in the bowl

    Can I meal prep with this recipe?

    This is a great recipe for meal prep. I prefer to keep mine in glass containers and not those shoddy plastic things if they are going to be heated.

    How can I tell if my chicken is fully cooked?

    Chicken needs to be cooked to 165 degrees internally. You can check this with a thermometer and thhe juices should run clear without any signs of pink in the center. When in doubt, cut it open and check.

    Can these chicken fajita bowls be made with steak?

    Yes! I love skirt or flank steak for these but any steak you have is fine. Cook it to your desired degree of doneness on the grill or in the broiler and then pile it on top. See how I cook skirt or flank steak in the broiler here.

    Feeling bowl-ish? Try these others on for size

    I don’t even know what bowl-ish means. Eat it on a plate if you want to, but these other ideas are fabulous to try out as well:

    And if you’re craving a Mexican-inspired meal:

    a chicken fajita bowl on a table and piled high with avocado, salsa, corn, beans, cilantro and rice

    Chicken Fajita Bowls

    This flavorful chicken fajita bowl recipe features marinated chicken, sautéed peppers and onions, and a customizable rice base. A delicious and easy meal option!
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Marinating Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
    Servings 4 people
    Author Rachel Ballard

    Ingredients
      

    For the chicken and peppers

    • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into strips
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 bell peppers red, yellow, green, thinly sliced
    • 1 large red onion peeled and thinly sliced
    • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
    • salt and pepper to taste

    For the homemade taco seasoning

    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

    For serving (optional toppings)

    • 2 cups long grain rice cooked, then measured
    • salsa or pico de gallo
    • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded
    • cilantro leaves
    • lime wedges
    • 7 ounces black beans rinsed and drained
    • 1 avocado sliced
    • 1/2 cup corn kernels

    Instructions
     

    • In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. This will be your homemade taco fajita seasoning blend.
    • Place the sliced chicken thighs in a large bowl and sprinkle half of the seasoning over them. Combine and over with a lid or plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. If you're short on time, just go ahead and cook.
    • In a large skillet or cast-iron pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced red green and yellow bell peppers, onion, and minced garlic, and sprinkle a teaspoon or two of the remaining homemade fajita seasoning over the veggies.
    • Sauté the vegetables for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the peppers and onions are tender and slightly caramelized. Set the sauteed peppers and onions aside.
    • In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the marinated chicken into the pan in a single layer and cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until your chicken is cooked through and slightly charred. You might need to cook the chicken in batches. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and set it aside.
    • To assemble the chicken fajita rice bowl, divide the cooked white rice among four serving bowls. Top each bowl with the chicken and peppers and garnish it with a generous dollop of salsa, a sprinkle of shredded cheese (optional), and a pinch of fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges.
    • Enhance the fajita chicken burrito bowl further by adding black beans, avocado slices, corn, or your favorite toppings to each bowl.
      Serve immediately.

    Notes

    Marinating the chicken is optional but will yield the best flavor. You can marinate up to 24 hours in advance. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 912kcalCarbohydrates: 100gProtein: 50gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 176mgSodium: 275mgPotassium: 1234mgFiber: 12gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 3607IUVitamin C: 122mgCalcium: 190mgIron: 5mg
    Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine Mexican
    Keyword chicken fajita, chicken fajita bowl, low carb fajita bowl

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    About the Author

    Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.