The EASIEST and BEST steak fajitas – all thanks to this 5-ingredient steak fajita marinade! Sizzling steak that’s grilled or seared in a flash, along with perfectly tender veggies served in tortillas with fajita toppings galore. With just 5 minutes to prep the marinade, you’ve elevated fajitas from basic to brilliant!

Overhead shot of a cast iron skillet with cooked peppers, onions, and steak topped with lime wedges and cilantro. Skillet is surrounded by a striped towel, cilantro, and bowls of guacamole, sliced jalapenos, sour cream, lime wedges, and salsa.

5 star review

“So very good!! So easy and wonderfully flavorful. ”

– Cindy

Visual Guide: How to Make Steak Fajita Marinade

Jump to Recipe Instructions

Testing Notes from Robyn

Who doesn’t love fajitas?

Slices of meat, peppers, and onions all sautéed with a Mexican-inspired seasoning blend and served with tortillas and all the fajita fixings. It’s so quick and delicious!

I know it’s super easy to buy pre-made fajita seasoning packets at the store, but I promise that a simple marinade is just as easy and even better.

Just like my favorite taco chicken marinade, this 5-ingredient steak marinade gives you big flavor and texture payoff since it tenderizes the meat and infuses tons of smokey, spicy flavor that you wouldn’t get from a dry seasoning blend.

All you have to do is mix up the marinade ingredients (no chopping involved!) and let the marinade work its magic on the flank steak (or if you want chicken fajitas check out this equally easy and tasty recipe!).

Once it’s done marinating, you can either grill the steak for those beautiful charr marks or cook it in a cast iron skillet on the stove for a one-pot meal since you sautée the veggies in the skillet as well.

These are fajitas elevated to another level without a lot of effort, so you’ll for sure be coming back to this recipe!

And while we’re talking about easy ways to make flank steak, this dump-and-go slow cooker flank steak recipe yields the most delicious, tender, fall-apart flank steak that’s also great for tacos.

Overhead shot of a cast iron skillet with sliced peppers and onions.

Ingredients and Elaborations

Oil: Any neutral oil works here, such as canola or vegetable oil.

Lime Juice: Fresh lime juice is preferred.

Sugar: The small amount of sugar in the marinade does not make the steak sweet, instead it helps tenderize the meat and adds color during the cooking process. If you want to avoid added sugar, you can leave it out.

Smoked Paprika: The smoked paprika adds (you guessed it) some smokey flavor to this beef dish.

Granulated Garlic: I love the ease and convenience of using granulated garlic powder in this recipe, but you could also use fresh minced garlic in its place if you prefer.

Chili Powder: Adjust the spice level of this dish by using either mild or hot chili powder and/or by increasing or decreasing the amount of chili powder. It can be omitted if you’re sensitive to spice.

Steak: Flank steak (also called London broil) or skirt steak works equally well in this recipe. You can use chicken thighs or breasts but only marinate for 1 to 4 hours.

Bell Peppers: Any color of bell pepper works here.

Onion: Red or yellow onion work.

Overhead shot of a knife on a wooden cutting board with sliced, cooked steak.

How to Prepare Steak Fajitas Ahead

You have three options when it comes to preparing steak fajitas ahead of time.

First, you can make the marinade up to 4 days ahead – just store in the refrigerator in a sealed jar.

Then you’ll have fajita marinade ready for whenever you want to marinate the steak.

Since it’s a heartier meat, steak can also marinate overnight, so you can prepare the marinade and steak in advance.

That way, when you’re ready to cook, it just takes 15 minutes – talk about a quick and easy dinner!

Lastly, like so many of my other marinade recipes, you can freeze the steak (not the vegetables) in the marinade in a 1-gallon zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Simply take the steak and marinade out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge and use right away.

Looking for more quick & easy marinades?

Marinades are my secret to getting super flavorful high-protein meals on the table with minimal effort. They are a total win-win! Here are some of my all-time favorites that use a variety of proteins: sticky teriyaki chicken marinade, garlicky shrimp marinade, brown sugar pork tenderloin marinade, and Greek chicken marinade.

Close-up overhead shot of tongs in a cast iron skillet with cooked peppers, onions, and steak topped with lime wedges and cilantro. Skillet is surrounded by a striped towel and bowls of sliced jalapenos and lime wedges.

Serving Suggestions

The best thing about fajitas is toppings galore, so go crazy with the toppings!

Serve the fajita steak and vegetables in tortillas with 4-ingredient guacamole, homemade salsa, sour cream, sliced jalapenos, and any of your favorite fajita toppings.

Or, you could forgo the peppers and onions and just cook the steak and serve with one of these 10 easy side dishes that go with fajitas.

Overhead shot of a white plate with tortillas filled with cooked slices of peppers and steak topped with sour cream, cilantro, and sliced jalapenos. Plate is surrounded by a skillet with peppers, onions, and steak; cilantro; and bowls of guacamole, sour cream, lime wedges, and sliced jalapenos.

This Recipe Is…

Overhead shot of a cast iron skillet with cooked peppers, onions, and steak topped with lime wedges and cilantro. Skillet is surrounded by a striped towel, cilantro, and bowls of guacamole, sliced jalapenos, sour cream, lime wedges, and salsa.
5 stars (8 ratings)

5-Minute Steak Fajita Marinade

The EASIEST and BEST steak fajitas – all thanks to this 5-ingredient steak fajita marinade! Sizzling steak that's grilled or seared in a flash, along with perfectly tender veggies served in tortillas with fajita toppings galore. With just 5 minutes to prep the marinade, you've elevated fajitas from basic to brilliant!

Ingredients

For the Steak Fajita Marinade

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other neutral flavored oil such as canola or vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For Steak Fajitas

  • 1 ¼ – ½ pounds flank steak
  • 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 bell peppers (any color), thinly sliced

Optional Serving Suggestions

Instructions 

Make the Steak Fajita Marinade

  • Whisk the lime juice, oil, sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and salt in a small bowl until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Add the marinade and the steak to a 1-gallon zip-top bag or baking dish. Toss the steak to coat, then press as much air out of the bag (if using) as possible, or cover with plastic wrap (if using a baking dish). Refrigerate for 2-4 hours, or overnight.

Cook the Steak Option One: Grill

  • Preheat a grill or grill pan to high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Set the remaining marinade aside.
  • Grill the steak for 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from the grill, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the fajita veggies.

Cook the Steak Option Two: Stovetop

  • Preheat a large cast iron skillet to high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade, shaking off all excess. Set the remaining marinade aside.
  • Add 2 teaspoons neutral- flavored oil to the pan. Cook the steak for 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from the pan, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the fajita veggies.

Cook the Fajita Veggies

  • Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat – use the same skillet you cooked the steak if using the stovetop option. Add 2 teaspoons of oil, along with the veggies. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and begin to char, stirring frequently.
  • While the veggies cook, thinly slice the steak against the grain.
  • Add the remaining marinade to the veggies and cook for 1 minute until bubbling, stirring to coat. Add the sliced steak and stir to combine.
  • Serve immediately with toppings of your choice.

Notes

A note about the nutrition information on this recipe, since we discard the marinade before grilling or searing it can be a little difficult to calculate. Nutrition information does not include toppings. 
See the full blog post above for ingredient substitutions and shortcuts.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 (of 6), Calories: 222kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Sodium: 546mg, Potassium: 602mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 2753IU, Vitamin C: 109mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 2mg
Nutrition disclaimer
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