Chicken Fajitas
Make Ahead Chicken Fajitas for a Crowd
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hrs

Serves 45 

Yield: 7 pounds 12 ounces of chicken (124 ounces of chicken) 45 servings of chicken 

Yield: 15 pounds of vegetables (240 ounces of vegetables) 45 servings of vegetables 

Serving size 1 tortilla with 2 ¾ ounces of meat and 5 ½ ounces of vegetables

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 45 people
Author: Betsy Edwards
For the marinade
  • 3 cups canola oil
  • 1 ½ cup lime juice (juice of 8 limes)
  • ½ cup seasoned salt
  • ¼ cup dried oregano
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 6 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
For the fajitas
  • 10 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 24 inch medium peppers seeds removed and cut into ½ strips, different colors
  • 12 sweet onions sliced pole to pole ½ inch strips
  • 45 large flour tortillas
  • sour cream
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce shredded
Special Equipment
  • 20 1 gallon freezer bags
  • 3 (12.5 x 17 x 3) disposable aluminum roasting trays
  1. In a large bowl add all marinade ingredients.  Whisk to combine and set aside.

  2. To help the chicken breasts cook more evenly, butterfly them so they are roughly the same thickness, approximately ½ inch thick. Divide chicken between 2 (1 gallon) freezer bags then divide one-third of the marinade between both bags. Set aside the remaining two-thirds of the marinade for the vegetables. Gently work the marinade throughout the bags to completely coat the chicken and seal, pressing air out. Refrigerate marinated chicken between at least 1 and up to 3 hours.

  3. While the chicken marinates, cut up onions and peppers in ½ inch strips and add to a large bowl.  You may have to do this in 2 batches depending on the size of your large bowl.  Pour the reserved marinade over the vegetables and toss well to evenly coat the vegetables with the marinade.  Divide the vegetables between 7 (1 gallon) freezer bags and seal, pressing the air out. The marinade is acting as a seasoning for the vegetables at this point more than an actual marinade. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

  4. When ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in your largest, heaviest skillet (preferably cast iron), over medium high heat.
  5. When smoking hot, add enough chicken to form 1 layer deep. Cook the chicken about 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, turning every couple minutes.  Chicken is done when breasts reach between150 and 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer (which I recommend and love!)   When done, remove chicken to several plates to cool. Continue cooking chicken in about 7 – 8 batches until all chicken is cooked.

  6. When all batches of the chicken are cooked, sauté the vegetables in 4 – 5 batches until they are mostly softened and just beginning to caramelize. Remove to a large pan or baking sheet and let cool.

  7. While the vegetables are cooking, slice the cooled chicken on the diagonal into roughly ¼ inch by 2 inch pieces. Divide the chicken between 2 (1 gallon) freezer bags. Pour all accumulated juices on the plates over the chicken in the bags. This keeps the chicken moist and is one of the best parts of this recipe.

  8. Once the vegetables are cooked and cooled, divide between 5 (1 gallon) freezer bags.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Can be made up to this point and refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 4 months.
  1. Day before serving, if frozen, thaw chicken and vegetables overnight in refrigerator.

  2. If reheating in oven, 1 hour prior to serving preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the chicken and vegetables in 3 (12.5 x 17 x 3)  aluminum roasting trays.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and rewarm for 45 – 60 minutes. (Convection ovens will take about 10 minutes less.)

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Can be made up to this point and held in a slow cooker on low for up to 2 hours.
  1. 20 minutes prior to serving, in batches of wrap batches of 10 - 15 flour tortillas with foil and place in a 325 degree oven till soft and hot, approximately 10 - 15 minutes.

  2. Serve with warm flour tortillas, sour cream, tomatoes, and lettuce.