Get the most flavor out of your fajitas with this quick and easy Steak Fajita Marinade Recipe, perfect for both flank and skirt steak! Whether you're firing up the grill or preheating a pan, you'll be amazed at what fresh lime juice, a few chopped veggies, and a hint of cumin can do to amp up the Tex-Mex flavor.
The secret to a great Fajita Marinade doesn't lie in a long ingredient list, but rather, one that houses a select few ingredients with fresh, bold flavors. Squeeze the limes, chop a few veggies, and give it a stir -- in less than 10 minutes, you'll be well on your way to making restaurant-quality fajitas at home!
Love Mexican food? Add this simple recipe for steak or chicken fajita tacos to your recipe lineup! They cook quickly on the stovetop, are topped with peppers and onions, and are positively delicious!
HOW TO MAKE STEAK FAJITA MARINADE
- Prep - Squeeze the limes and roughly chop cilantro, jalapeño, and onion.
- Mix - Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl or large measuring pitcher and use a fork to whisk and combine.
- Add Steak and Refrigerate - Add the steak to a gallon-sized zip-top bag and pour the marinade into the bag. Press out as much air as possible and seal tightly. Refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours, turning the bag half-way through.
QUICK TIP: Even though it's best to use a zip-top bag over a rimmed pan (or dish) for marinating purposes, you might not want to ditch the pan altogether. Instead, use it to house the bag of marinating meat! This will help to prevent any unfortunate leaks from a faulty bag and could potentially keep any juices from seeping onto your refrigerator shelves.
WHAT MAKES A GREAT FAJITA MARINADE?
A great Steak Fajita Marinade is all about big (yet simple) flavors and lots of seasoning. For real-deal Tex-Mex vibes, lime, cumin, jalapeños, and cilantro are key.
Another important factor when it comes to a great steak marinade is how you marinate your flank or skirt steak. You'll get the most flavor onto your beef by marinating it in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. It's important that you squeeze out as much excess air as possible from the bag before sealing it, and that it gets flipped half-way through the marinating process.
By using a bag (rather than a rimmed pan or dish) and flipping it half-way through, every millimeter of beef comes into contact with the marinade. Yes, please.
HOW LONG DO YOU MARINATE STEAK FAJITAS?
Usually, 1 to 4 hours is ideal for marinating beef. Do your best not to exceed 8 hours...you'll see why below!
CAN YOU MARINATE TOO LONG?
While marinades add a great deal of flavor to meat, contrary to what many might believe, they don't penetrate flavor throughout the entire protein. In fact, a few millimeters of flavor under the surface is really all you're going to get. Now, this doesn't mean you shouldn't marinate the steak for steak fajitas, it just means you shouldn't marinate it for too long.
Here's why: Acid has the power to turn meat mushy, and marinating any type of protein for too long will make the exterior of your beef mealy and soft. No thank you. It's best to cut off the marinating time after 4 hours, but really, really try your best not to exceed 8 hours.
HOW TO TENDERIZE FAJITAS
As mentioned above, marinades only affect the surface of the protein. Therefore, you can't count on it to tenderize your meat. Tenderizing isn't the point of a marinade -- its purpose is to add flavor to the beef.
If you want tender bites of flank or skirt steak, the best thing you can do is buy quality beef and slice it properly. Cutting the meat into thin strips and cutting it against the grain (that part is important) is what will make for tender bites and a more pleasant chewing experience.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED FOR THE MARINADE
- Seasoning -- Salt, Pepper, and Cumin
- Oil -- Avocado, Canola, or Vegetable Oil
- Gallon-Sized Zip-Top Bag
CAN I USE THIS FAJITA MARINADE ON CHICKEN?
Yes! It will work beautifully on both chicken breasts and chicken thighs.
Keep in mind, you should not be mixing chicken and beef in the same bag of marinade. If you are making both, you'll either need to split the marinade into two bags or double up on the recipe. Which route you choose depends on how much meat you are cooking. This Fajita Marinade Recipe developed to cover about two pounds of meat.
PREVENT FLARE-UPS ON THE GRILL
You can use this Steak Fajita Marinade on fajitas cooked both indoors and out. However, if you're steak is going for a turn on the grill, it's important that you wipe off any dripping, excess marinade before cooking. If the oil content from the marinade comes into contact with fire from the grill, it could cause flare-ups.
5 MORE TEX-MEX RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Tacos al Carbon
- Beef Empanadas
- Steak Quesadillas
- Tacos de Camaron (Shrimp Tacos)
- Skillet Chicken Fajitas
Get the most flavor out of your flank or skirt steak with this quick and easy Steak Fajita Marinade Recipe! Made easy with fresh lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, and onions.
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice about 6-8 limes
- 2 cups roughly chopped cilantro leaves and stems (about 1 bunch of cilantro)
- 2 jalapeños roughly chopped (seeds intact)
- ½ white onion roughly chopped
- 5 large cloves of garlic roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup canola or avocado oil + 3 tablespoons, separated
- 2 pounds skirt steak or flank steak
Add the lime juice, cilantro, jalapeños, white onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin, as well as a ¼ cup of water to a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Slowly drizzle in a ¼ cup of oil, whisking with the tines of a fork to combine.
Place the skirt steak in a gallon-sized ziptop bag, pour over the marinade, and seal tightly. Refrigerate for at least 1-4 hours, but no more than 8 hours.