Fajita Veggies

These Fajita Veggies have the restaurant flavor you love, made at home without a seasoning packet. Use them for vegetarian fajitas, or add steak, chicken or shrimp to the mix!

Bowls of sauteed peppers and onions, pinto beans, lime wedges and cilantro on blue background with charred tortillas.

If you also came of age in the 1980’s and 90’s, maybe you can relate: fajitas were (are!) THE BEST! When I was a kid, and we went to a restaurant that served fajitas, I was definitely ordering them. The excitement of them coming to the table in a sizzling skillet couldn’t be beat!

My family also made them at home quite a bit. And, as was typical for the time, we used a packet of “Fajita Seasoning Mix” to flavor our meal. It tasted great, but upon closer inspection recently, I’ve realized the packet contained sketchy ingredients like “corn syrup solids” and “caramel color.”

You know what? I’ll pass. The good news is that now that I’m a confident cook with a well-stocked spice drawer, I don’t need the packet. 

Bell peppers, lime, garlic and red onion on blue background.

What are fajita veggies?

My preference for fajita veggies are simply bell peppers and onions. I’ve seen quite a few recipes where people also include mushrooms. Maybe that is a regional preference, but in the Midwest, we didn’t include mushrooms. However, I do like to have a variety of colors of bell pepper.

If I can find green, red, orange and yellow at the grocery store, I’ll buy one of each. However, just a combination of red and green would be perfectly fine. As far as onion, I’ll use red, yellow or white – doesn’t matter much to me, it’s just whatever is in my fridge.

How to make fajita veggies:

My best tip here is to use a cast iron skillet if at all possible. The hot, even heat the skillet maintains really allows the vegetables to char in some spots, which is where a lot of that classic fajita flavor comes from. 

Also important  –  DON’T STIR TOO OFTEN. One mistake I see a lot of home cooks making when they saute vegetables is that they stand over them and stir them almost constantly. This isn’t risotto – take a chill pill.

You want to stir occasionally so that you expose all of the vegetables to the same amount of heat. But if you stir TOO often, you’ll prevent anything from really browning, and you’ll basically just steam everything. So allow your veggies to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, undisturbed, between stirs. I know it’s hard to resist sometimes, but try!

Cast iron skillet filled with cooked fajita veggies, with wooden spoon and lime halves.

You probably have most of the ingredients for this fajita veggies seasoning already in your kitchen!

Here’s where we get to take most of the flavors from that seasoning packet but make it at home in a much healthier way. The herbs and spices are cumin, chili powder and dried oregano. We’re skipping any of the corn syrup additives because we don’t need added sugar in fajita veggies (trust me, you won’t miss it).

Instead of “lime juice solids,” we’re just going to roll with fresh lime juice. And then there’s salt and pepper, because there’s always salt and pepper. 

What can I make with leftover fajita vegetables?

Next week, I’ll be publishing my recipe for vegetarian fajitas, which use these fajita veggies. But if you have some left over after that? Chop them up and put them on top of a chicken pizza. They’re always a good choice to fold into an omelet. They’re so good on top of an umami burger. Or of course, put them on top of brats!

Yield: 4 servings

Fajita Veggies

Fajita Veggies

These Fajita Veggies have the restaurant flavor you love, made at home without a seasoning packet. Use them for vegetarian fajitas, or add steak, chicken or shrimp to the mix!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 bell peppers (red, green, yellow, orange or a combination), sliced
  • 1 large onion (red, yellow or white), sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime

Instructions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in large cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet. Add bell peppers and onion and cook 12 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender but not mushy and well browned in some spots, stirring occasionally (but not too frequently).
  2. Stir in garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Stir in lime juice. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 279mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g

More recipes that use bell peppers:

Collage of images of cooked and raw bell peppers and onions with overlay "FAJITA VEGGIES no seasoning packet needed!"