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These chicken fajitas can be on the table in 30 minutes

(Scott Suchman for The Washington Post/food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
Chicken Tender Fajitas
Total time:30 mins
Total time:30 mins

This skillet of chile-seasoned chicken with peppers and onions served in warm tortillas is a healthful, family-pleasing meal that can be on the table quickly and effortlessly thanks to two shortcuts: chicken tenders, which require no slicing, and a premade spice mix.

This dish was adapted from “Bare Minimum Dinners” by Jenna Helwig, who also is food director at Real Simple magazine. She encourages home cooks to “get over dinner guilt,” and embrace shortcuts that make everyday cooking more of a pleasure.

Even 1 small change can lead to healthier eating. Here are 6 to consider.

Storage Notes: Refrigerate leftover chicken and vegetables for up to 4 days.

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  • 2 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil, divided
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1 tablespoon fajita or taco seasoning
  • 2 large bell peppers (any color), seeded and sliced
  • 1 large red onion (12 ounces), cut into 16 wedges
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 small flour or corn tortillas, warmed
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, for serving (optional)
  • Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Step 1

In a large skillet (not nonstick) over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken and fajita seasoning. Cook, tossing with tongs, until the tenders are coated in the seasoning, then spread them out in a single layer in the pan. Cook until browned on one side, about 3 minutes, then flip and continue cooking until cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Step 2

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, the peppers, onion wedges and salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until well browned and tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon, scrape up and incorporate any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.

Step 3

Use two forks to tear each chicken tender into 3 to 4 pieces and return them to the pan, along with any accumulated juices. Toss to combine.

Taste and season with more salt, if desired. Serve with the tortillas, sour cream or yogurt and/or hot sauce, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (1 heaping cup chicken mixture and 2 tortillas)

Calories: 492; Total Fat: 16 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 86 mg; Sodium: 546 mg; Carbohydrates: 53 g; Dietary Fiber: 5 g; Sugar: 14 g; Protein: 34 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Adapted from “Bare Minimum Dinners” by Jenna Helwig (Mariner Books, 2021).

Tested by Ellie Krieger and Olga Massov; email questions to

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