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Fire Grilled Chicken and Shrimp Fajitas

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Serves:

Type:

Cost per Serving:

Difficulty

30 Minutes

25 Minutes

4 Servings

Full Meal

$4.17

Complex

Date Published

November 9, 2023

About the Recipe

Making chicken and shrimp fajitas at home is not only a fun culinary adventure, but it's also a great way to save money. Comparatively, the cost of dining out can add up quickly, especially for larger families. By purchasing raw ingredients in bulk, you can often prepare several meals' worth of fajitas for the same price as a single restaurant meal.

In a casual restaurant, a fajita plate for 1 would cost between $18 to $25 and that's not including the tip. In Fall of 2023, this recipe cost a total of $16.67 for 4 x-large portions, or $4.17 each! That's a savings of over 83% when you factor in a 15% tip. Even without the tip, you'd still save over 80%!

Moreover, while this recipe is a bit complex due to all the steps involved, it is straightforward and perfect for beginners looking to expand their cooking repertoire. With detailed steps and accessible ingredients, you'll find that putting together a delicious fajita feast is not really that difficult at all. Plus, the flexibility of the fajita concept allows you to easily adjust the recipe to accommodate dietary preferences or variations in available ingredients.

The universal appeal of chicken and shrimp fajitas makes them a favorite among families. The savory, spicy flavors and the fun of assembling your own fajita ensure this dish is a hit with both adults and kids alike. Not to mention, the inclusion of both chicken and shrimp offers a delightful variety that keeps everyone coming back for more.

Additionally, while this recipe is calls for chicken and shrimp in the fajitas, you can make simple substitutes to satisfy dietary restrictions or picky eaters! For instance, if you're vegetarian, you can do away with the meat and sub in larger, heartier mushrooms. Or if you're looking for a healthier option other than chicken thighs, you can add in boneless, skinless breasts instead.

Ingredients

I purchased the produce, chicken, and tortillas at the MCAS Miramar Commissary on November 6th, 2023 and the shrimp, Serrano pepper, and snacking peppers were purchased at Vons during their Friday sale on November 3rd.


Produce

Vegetables for fajitas on a cutting board
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes ($0.52 ($1.29lb))

  • 2 Small Hass Avocados ( $1.58 ($0.79ea))

  • 1 Red Onion ($0.35 ($0.99lb)

  • 1/2 Bunch Cilantro ($0.45)

  • 1 Can Giorgio Portabella Mushrooms ($1.18)

  • 5 Snacking Peppers ($0.60 (1/6 of package)) -you can use a red pepper, these were cheaper at the time

  • 2 Limes ($0.58 ($0.29ea)

  • 1 Lemon ($0.59)

  • 1 Serrano Pepper ($0.13) (Can substitue for a milder, or more spicy pepper)

Meat & Seafood

Chicken and shrimp prepared for fajitas

  • 1lb Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs -about 3-4 thighs ($2.86)

  • 1lb Frozen 16-20 Count Shrimp - about 18 shrimp) ($5.00)

Tortillas

  • 10 Flour Tortillas, 1/2 Package (20 Count) ($2.06)

  • 6 Corn Tortillas, 1/5 Package (30 Count) ($0.43)

Dairy

  • 2 tbsp butter ($0.27)

  • 1/2 cup/4oz Sour Cream ($0.55 ($2.17 for 16oz)

Spices (Estimated $0.20 total)

Spices for fajitas

  • 4 tsp Pepper

  • 5 tsp Salt

  • 2 tsp Cummin

  • 2 tsp Paprika

  • 3 tsp Garlic Powder

  • 1 tsp Dried Oregeno

  • 1 tsp Onion Powder

  • 1 tsp Dried Parsley Flakes


Other

  • 4-5 Wooden Skewers ($0.07)


Honestly, more often than not, I eyeball the spices. But for the purpose of this recipe, I measured them out.


Major Cooking Equipment

  • Grill

  • Stove


If you do not have a grill, you can still cook everything on the stovetop. I would recommend chopping the chicken into bit size pieces before marinating if you will be pan cooking it. And the shrimp can be cooked on the stove as-is, but I would add a bit of olive oil to the pan.



Step By Step

For this recipe and ones like it that have quite a few ingredients, I prefer to prep as many things ahead of time as possible. This alleviates headaches while you're actually cooking. As organized as I am, I still have to search for certain ingredients. Often, prep space and equipment is at a premium, so I need to clean as I go. These extra tasks while cooking can cause me to overcook/burn something or forget steps! And I love to nail the timing where everything gets done at the same time. Doing prep ahead of cooking helps me achieve this.


Preparation


Chicken Marinade

Chicken thighs in fajita marinade

Prep Time: About 5 Minutes


Timing: You can do this about 30-minutes before cooking the chicken, but I like to let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 4-hours


Ingredients:  1lb boneless/skinless chicken thighs, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 lime, and 1/4 lemon.


  • Stab chicken multiple times with a fork

  • Pat dry chicken and place in a Pyrex dish, Ziploc bag, or Tupperware type container

  • Add dry seasonings on top of the chicken

  • Squeeze lemon and lime over chicken


Squeezing lime over fajita chicken

  • Mix around to coat all surfaces of the chicken

  • Refrigerate and marinate


Shrimp Marinade

Shrimp being marinated for fajitas

Prep Time: About 7 Minutes


Timing: Like the chicken, you can do this pretty much right before cooking the shrimp, but I like to let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour before cooking


Ingredients: 1lb peeled shrimp, 4-5 wooden skewers, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes, 1/2 lime, and 1/4 lemon

  • Remove shrimp tails. I prefer pulling them off versus cutting them off as you lose some meat when cutting them off


Removing shrimp tails

  • Pat dry shrimp and place in a Pyrex dish, Ziploc bag, or Tupperware type container

  • Squeeze lemon and lime over shrimp

  • Add spices

  • Mix around to coat all surfaces of the shrimp

  • Refrigerate and marinate

  • Begin soaking your wooden skewer sticks in water at least 30 minutes prior to cooking


Fajita Veggies


Prep Time: About 5 Minutes


Timing: I like to do this step about 30-60 minutes before cooking


Ingredients: 4-6 snacking peppers (or 1 red pepper), 1 Roma tomato, 1/2 red onion, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1 tbsp butter


  • Cut stems off pepper(s) and remove seeds; julienne cut into slices

  • Remove core from Roma tomato, cut in half horizontally, and julienne cut into slices (about 5-6 slices)


Slicing tomatoes for fajitas

  • Remove onion peel, cut in half, and put one of the halves off to the side for later use; julienne cut into approx. 4-6 slices

  • Add all veggies to a bowl and add salt and pepper

  • Melt butter in the microwave in a microwave safe ramekin; once melted pour over vegetable and set off to the side


Guacamole


Bowl of homemade guacamole

Prep Time: About 7 Minutes


Timing: I like to do this step about 15-20 minutes before cooking as the avocados can turn color quick.


Ingredients: 2 avocados, 1/4 lemon, 1/2 lime, 1/4 Roma tomato, 1/4 red onion, 1/4 bunch cilantro, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder


  • Cut and seed avocados; scoop insides out with a spoon and cut into small chunks (soft avocados work best for guacamole)

  • Mince onions into tiny pieces and add to bowl over avocados

  • Add salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder over the avocados and onions

  • Mince cilantro and add to bowl

  • Squeeze lemon and lime wedges over avocado mixture


Guacamole ingredients in a bowl

  • Mash ingredients in the bowl (you can work a fork or spoon in there but I like to use a potato masher -just make sure you get all the good bits out of the holes)


Mashing avocados into guacamole

  • Once everything is good and mashed up and there's no more avocado chunks, slice your 1/4 tomato into very fine pieces and add to the guacamole mix

  • Stir tomatoes into the mix gently and set guacamole aside


Toppings

Toppings cut up for fajitas

Prep Time: About 3 Minutes


Timing: I like to do this step right starting the cook on the fajita veggies


Ingredients: 3/4 Roma tomato, 1/4 red onion, 1/2 lime, 1 Serrano pepper (can substitute a hotter or milder pepper, or omit), 1/4 cilantro, 1/4 sour cream


These toppings are redundant as these ingredients can be found elsewhere in this recipe, with the exception of the hot peppers and sour cream. However, they provide a nice crunch when all put together and the temperature contrast between the hot and cold toppings works well.


  • Dice tomato and onion

  • Slice lime into small wedges

  • Slice Serrano pepper into small wheels (depending on where grown and the season, these can get very hot so take precaution when trying these)

  • Chop cilantro

  • Divide these between 4 small plates. Add a dollop of sour cream and a heaping spoonful of guacamole to each plate.

  • Set off to the side


Cooking


Like I said in the prep section, I like to have everything prepped as much as possible ahead of time so that I can concentrate on cooking and timing - the goal is to have everything finished cooking and setting at the same time.


Total Cook Times: Veggies (20-25 minutes), Chicken (14-20 minutes), Shrimp (6-8 minutes)


These are the instructions to cook everything together; however, if you are a beginner chef and this is too difficult to manage, go at your own pace and cook things one-by-one. If you have an oven, you can use it at low-heat to keep things warm.


Cooking Timing for Perfect Chicken and Shrimp Fajitas


  • Heat a flat pan or skillet over medium heat on the stove

  • Pre-heat grill to 500 degrees

  • Once pan or skillet is warmed up, turn heat to low and add your fajita veggies (peppers, tomato, & onion). Let these sauté slowly and stir about once every 3 minutes


  • Once grill is at 500 degrees, reduce heat to low and add your chicken thighs to the grill (set timer for 7 minutes to flip); ensure you close the lid of the grill


Fajita chicken on the grill

  • While the chicken and veggies are cooking, begin skewering your shrimp and set to the side. You should be able to get 4-6 shrimp per skewer

  • After the chicken thighs have been cooking for 7-minutes, flip and set another 7-minute timer

  • Don't forget to tend to your fajita veggies on the stove- give em' a stir!

  • Melt 1 tbsp of butter and brush over both sides of the shrimp skewers

  • Drain the canned mushrooms and add to your fajita veggie pan


Fajitas cooking in a pan

  • Once your 7 minute timer is done, check on your chicken. Use a meat thermometer and if it is between 175-185 degrees, it is done. Be careful not to consume undercooked chicken!


Cooked fajita chicken on the grill

  • Once done, remove the chicken from the grill, adjust grill settings up to medium heat and let the chicken set

  • Add shrimp to grill and set a 3 minute timer


Shrimp skewers for fajitas on the grill

  • Again, mind your fajita veggies! They should be getting soft and smelling amazing by now - give them a good stir.

  • After the shrimp have been on the grill for three minutes, flip the skewers to cook the other side; set another 3-minute timer

  • Begin cutting your chicken thighs into strips, or smaller pieces if that's what you prefer

  • Once the shrimp have been cooking on the other side for three minutes, use your food thermometer and make sure the internal temperature is at least 140 degrees - the shrimp should be pink now. You should not consume undercook shellfish!

  • Remove shrimp from skewers


Shrimp and chicken cooked and being prepped for use in fajitas

  • Once your chicken, shrimp, and veggies are cooked, begin layering your fajitas. I like to place the meat on the bottom with the cooked veggies on top. I also give the option for my diners to put their own raw veggies, sour cream, and guacamole on top



And there you have it! Everything is done on time and together. You can wrap up your fajitas in a flour tortilla or eat it with chips, salsa and queso; you can also add cheese to the inside of your fajita wraps if desired. Enjoy your delicious and cheap chicken and shrimp fajitas! Happy eating!


Chicken and shrimp fajitas on a plate with a toppings plate and margarita drink

Recipe

Ingredients


  • 2 Roma Tomatoes

  • 2 Small Hass Avocados

  • 1 Red Onion

  • 1/2 Bunch Cilantro

  • 1 Can Portabella Mushrooms

  • 5 Snacking Peppers

  • 2 Limes

  • 1 Lemon

  • 1 Serrano Pepper

  • 1lb Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs -about 3-4 thighs

  • 1lb Frozen 16-20 Count Shrimp - about 18 shrimp

  • 10 Flour Tortillas

  • 6 Corn Tortillas

  • 2 tbsp Butter

  • 1/2 cup/4oz Sour Cream

  • 4 tsp Pepper

  • 5 tsp Salt

  • 2 tsp Cummin

  • 2 tsp Paprika

  • 3 tsp Garlic Powder

  • 1 tsp Dried Oregeno

  • 1 tsp Onion Powder

  • 1 tsp Dried Parsley Flakes

  • 4-5 Wooden Skewers


Instructions


Fajita Vegetables

  1. Add fajita veggies (peppers, tomato, & onion) to a heated pan on the stove top; sauté on low and stir every three minutes

  2. Cook for 15 minutes

  3. Drain and add mushrooms to pan

  4. Cook an additional 10 minutes till onions are translucent and peppers are soft


Fajita Chicken

  1. Add marinated chicken (see above for marinade recipe) to a grill pre-heated to 500 degrees

  2. Reduce grill heat to low

  3. Cook for 7-10 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 7-10 minutes

  4. Chicken will be done when the internal temperature is between 175-185 degrees; do not consume undercooked chicken

  5. Remove chicken from grill and let rest for 3-5 minutes

  6. Chop into strips


Fajita Shrimp

  1. Skewer marinated shrimps onto wooden skewers (see above for marinade recipe)

  2. Brush with melted butter

  3. Add to a hot grill preheated to 400 degrees

  4. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes

  5. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes

  6. Shrimp will be done when the internal temperature is at least 140-degrees; do not consume undercooked shrimp

  7. Remove from grill and pull out skewer

  8. Serve immediately


Toppings

  1. Serve with a variety of toppings (see above for suggestions and recipes)

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