Instant pot chicken fajitas are spicy, flavorful and tender! These easy chicken fajitas are made up of tender chicken breast combined with peppers and onions plus a perfect amount of Mexican seasoning for an easy and delicious meal. This meal takes less than 30 minutes to make!
Chicken Fajitas in the instant pot is a recipe that requires very effort! It's one of those meals that is perfect for when you want to eat a home cooked meal but don't feel like cooking. All you have to do is put the ingredients in the instant pot, push start and let it cook! So easy you won’t believe it till ya try it!
What Makes These The Best Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas?
These IP (Instant Pot) Chicken Fajitas are a bit different than most instant pot fajita recipes. One of the biggest differences is that the chicken is seasoned and cooked in the instant pot first, and then the peppers and onions are added to the instant pot for the last two minutes.
Adding the peppers and onions after the chicken cooks prevents them from becoming soggy and overly mushy, while still allowing the juices of the onions to saturate the chicken and create a delicious flavor profile . If you think about your typical fajitas served at Mexican Restaurant, most times the peppers and onions are tender, but still have a bit of a crunch to them. This recipe mimics that style of cooking.
Additionally, these are the best instant pot chicken fajitas due to the rich and bold flavor profile that is created with such minimal seasoning. The only seasoning needed is a packet of taco seasoning. This seasoning covers the raw chicken, and when cooked, creates the perfect flavor.
What Can I Serve With IP Chicken Fajitas?
Instant pot fajitas can be served on corn or white tortillas, eaten plain, or served on a bed of rice. IP chicken fajitas are considered a Mexican dish and pair well with side dishes from that flavor profile. Examples of side dishes to pair with the chicken fajitas are Mexcian rice, black beans, refried beans or a salad.
Best Toppings for Instant Pot Fajitas
- Sour Cream
- Pico de Galo
Should I use Fresh or Frozen Chicken?
Chicken can be cooked from the thawed or frozen state. The directions for this recipe are based on cooking chicken that has been entirely defrosted. If using frozen chicken, the cooking time of the instant pot will increase by a few minutes.
How To Cut Raw Chicken For Fajitas
The chicken should be cut into strips prior to cooking. This creates a more intense flavor, as the marinade will be covering all edges of the chicken strips. Slice the chicken into strips that are about ¾ inch wide by 2 inches long. It’s ok if not all strips are perfect or the same size!
Expert TIp: It is easier to slice chicken that is just slightly frozen. If using frozen chicken breast, allow it to defrost in the refrigerator for a day or two. When you notice that the chicken is thawed on the outside but still slightly frozen around the center, this is actually a great time to cut the chicken! Another solution to make slicing the chicken easier is to use a pair of kitchen scissors.
Are Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas Healthy?
Here’s the nutritional break down for these Healthy Instant Pot Fajitas:
- These fajitas are a great source of protein. One serving (which is about ⅙th of the total finished recipe) contains 17 grams of protein. The protein source is a lean protein, which doesn’t add a lot of extra fat.
- Chicken fajitas made in the instant pot are healthier than if made by frying over a stove with oil.
- Instant Pot fajitas are also a good source of veggies, which come from the peppers and onions.
- The taco seasoning does add extra sodium - use a low sodium and salt free version of taco seasoning if concerned about salt intake
- Overall, this is a healthy meal option! To make this a balanced meal, consider adding some brown rice to the side or serving with a whole wheat tortilla. You may also serve with fresh fruit on the side!
Chicken Fajitas With Frozen Vegetables
These chicken fajitas can easily be made with frozen vegetables. I recommend using the frozen sliced peppers and onions mix which is sold in the freezer aisle at the store. Any veggie will work, though! Prepare and cook the chicken via Instant Pot, as indicated in the below recipe. While the chicken is cooking, heat the frozen vegetables in the microwave and drain excess water. Once the chicken is finished cooking, add the veggies to the chicken mixture and let sit for 10 minutes to absorb all flavors.
Can I Freeze Chicken Fajitas?
Instant Pot chicken fajitas can be frozen before or after cooking. The quality holds up really well, especially if you freeze them prior to cooking.
To freeze fajitas before cooking: Combine sliced chicken, seasoning and olive oil in a freezer safe bag. Combine sliced peppers and onions in a second ziplock bag. Freeze for 3 months prior to cooking. Defrost the chicken in the refrigerator for 1 day prior to cooking.
To freeze fajitas after cooking: Place fajitas in a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator for a day prior to serving. Consider placing in smaller sized bags if you are only wanting to defrost enough product for 1-2 days.
Ingredients Needed for Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas
- Chicken breast: boneless, skinless chicken breasts are needed, as you will be slicing these into strips that are about ¾ inch wide by 2 inch long. Sub the chicken tenderloin cut of meat if desired. This recipe has not been tested with chicken thighs.
- Taco seasoning: use the standard taco seasoning from grocery stores. Choose a reduced sodium option if watching salt intake.
- Olive oil: You will mix the taco seasoning with this. Sub canola oil if desired.
- Peppers: any color will work. I choose red, yellow and orange peppers. Use either 3-4 bell peppers or a small bag of mini peppers will also work!
- Onion: white onion is recommended as this adds the best flavor. If prefered to use a purple onion, note this will result in a slightly sweeter product.
How To Make Fajitas In The Instant Pot
Slice peppers into small strips (slices should be about ¼ inch wide by 1.5-inch long). Repeat with the onion. Set aside.
Slice chicken into strips that are about ¾ inch wide by 2 in long. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and taco seasoning. Mix with a fork until combined.
Place the metal insert into the bottom of the instant pot (important step to keep the fajitas from sticking to the bottom). Layer sliced chicken over the top of the metal insert (layer in opposite direction of insert so they don’t fall through).
Spread the oil and taco seasoning mixture evenly over chicken. Move chicken around so that all pieces are evenly coated. Add the water.
Close valve on instant pot and set to cook for 10 minutes. Once done cooking, do a quick release and add peppers/onions. Do this very quickly so IP remains hot and chicken doesn’t overcook.
Set the IP to cook for another 3 minutes once peppers and onions are added. Once the timer goes off, do a quick release.
Remove from IP immediately. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out chicken and peppers if there is a lot of liquid in the bottom. Serve with corn tortillas or white tortillas .
Learn From My Mistakes:
Here’s the bloopers reel, since my brain wasn't working the first couple times I made these. Hope you can learn from my errors!
- Mix the taco seasoning with the olive oil. If you don’t, the taco seasoning will clump together on the chicken.
- Use the metal rack or spray the bottom of the instant pot to avoid extreme sticking
- Don’t cook the peppers, onions and chicken all at once. Wait to add the peppers and onions for best quality!
- Make sure you put the plastic seal on the IP prior to cooking
Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas
- 5 medium raw chicken breasts (about 4 pounds raw)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- 1 package taco seasoning
- 4 medium bell peppers any color
- 1 medium white onion
- Slice peppers and onions into thin strips (about ¼ inch wide by 1 inch long). Set aside.
- Slice chicken breast into thin strips (about ¾ inch wide by 2 inches long).
- Place metal rack in bottom of instant pot. Layer chicken on top of metal rack.
- In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, water and taco seasoning. Pour over the chicken breast.
- Place lid on instant pot, set valve to sealing position and set as manual cook time to 7 minutes.
- Once 7 minutes is up, do a quick release and open lid.
- Add the sliced peppers and onions, close lid, set valve to sealing position and reset manual cook time to 3 minutes.
- Once 3 minutes is complete, do a quick release and open lid.
- Remove meat and veggies from Instant Pot using a slotted spoon. Serve on tortillas or over rice.