Simple Fajita Marinade: How to Make it from Scratch

Simple Fajita Marinade

If you’re a fan of Tex-Mex cuisine, then you know how important it is to get the marinade right when making fajitas. A good marinade can make or break the dish, and with so many variations out there, it can be tough to find one that suits your taste buds. In this article, we’ll show you how to make a simple fajita marinade from scratch that will impress even the pickiest of eaters.

Why Make Your Own Fajita Marinade?

While it may be tempting to just buy a pre-made marinade from the store, making your own has its benefits. For one, you get to control the ingredients and adjust the flavors to your liking. You also avoid any unnecessary preservatives and additives that are often found in store-bought marinades. Plus, making your own marinade is easy and cost-effective, so why not give it a try?

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make our simple fajita marinade:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper until well combined.
  2. Place your choice of meat (chicken, beef, or shrimp) in a large resealable plastic bag.
  3. Pour the marinade over the meat, making sure it’s evenly coated.
  4. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.

Tips for Making the Perfect Fajita Marinade

  • For a spicier marinade, add more chili powder or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • For a sweeter marinade, add a tablespoon of honey or brown sugar.
  • Experiment with different types of citrus juices, like orange or grapefruit, for a unique flavor.
  • Don’t skip the garlic! It adds depth and flavor to the marinade.

Cooking with Fajita Marinade

Once your meat has marinated for at least an hour, it’s time to cook it up! Here’s a simple recipe for chicken fajitas using our homemade marinade:

Chicken Fajitas


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Flour tortillas, for serving


  1. In a large skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil over high heat.
  2. Add the chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
  3. Add the sliced peppers and onion to the skillet and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve the chicken and vegetables in warm flour tortillas.


Making your own fajita marinade is easy, cost-effective, and delicious. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a marinade that will take your Tex-Mex dishes to the next level. Experiment with different spices and flavors to find your perfect combination, and enjoy the satisfaction of creating a homemade meal from scratch.


  1. Can I use this marinade for other types of meat besides chicken, beef, and shrimp? Yes, this marinade works well with other types of meat like pork or even tofu. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly for each type of protein.
  2. How long should I marinate my meat for? For best results, marinate your meat for at least 1 hour, but it can also be marinated overnight for even more flavor.
  3. Can I freeze the marinade for later use? Yes, you can freeze the marinade in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  4. Can I use lemon juice instead of lime juice? Yes, you can use lemon juice instead of lime juice if that’s what you have on hand. The flavor will be slightly different, but still delicious.
  5. Can I make this marinade in advance? Yes, you can make this marinade up to 3 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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