This meal-prep friendly, Easy Chicken Fajita Casserole is the answer to hectic weeknight meals. Made with tender pieces of chicken breast cooked alongside onions, bell peppers, flavorful seasonings, and plenty of melty cheddar jack cheese, it’s a fast Mexican recipe the whole family will love. Best of all, 30 minutes and 9 simple ingredients (plus your favorite Mexican toppings) are all you need to make this fajita baked chicken for dinner tonight!
About this chicken fajita casserole
Now that school is back in session, I’m all about quick, simple, and flavorful dinner recipes. This delightfully zesty chicken fajita casserole hits the weeknight meal trifecta, keeping me sane and everyone else well-fed.
Why you’ll love this casserole recipe
Aside from being super flavorful and utterly satisfying, this chicken fajitas bake is:
- Quick & Easy. All you need is 15 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to bake!
- Made With Just 9 Ingredients. You only need easy to find ingredients and affordable pantry staples to make this fajita casserole.
- So flavorful. Made with simple and *fresh* ingredients for delicious texture and taste.
- Wholesome & Nutritious. This Mexican fajitas casserole is a high in protein, low carb, keto-friendly dinner option for you and your family.
- Meal-Prep & Freezer Friendly. You can prep this chicken fajita bake in advance. Plus, it stores great and packs well for fast lunches or easy heat-and-eat dinners!
Ingredients for fajitas casserole
As promised, you only need 9 easy-to-find ingredients to get this chicken fajitas casserole on the table. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Neutral Oil, Kosher Salt & Freshly Cracked Black Pepper – These are pantry staples for every kitchen, so I’m not counting them as ingredients, per se. For the neutral oil, just be sure to pick one that has a high smoke point like grapeseed, avocado, sunflower or vegetable oil. Olive oil works in a pinch.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – Relatively inexpensive, lean protein FTW!
- Substitution: Feel free to swap in cubed boneless skinless chicken thighs or thinly sliced skirt steak instead!
- Fajita Seasoning – For all that spiced and savory flavor.
- Substitution: You can also use Taco Seasoning doctored up with ¼ teaspoon of each ground cumin and smoked paprika.
- Bell Peppers – Feel free to use any colors you like! Remember that green peppers will taste less sweet and more earthy than their bright yellow, orange, or red counterparts.
- Onion – White, red, or yellow will all work for this fajita casserole.
- Garlic – No savory dish is complete without garlic cloves.
- Substitution: Fresh is definitely best, but you can also use ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder for each clove of fresh.
- Picante Sauce or Salsa – Picante is smooth, while traditional and chunky salsas have finely chopped vegetables; both are delicious, it’s just a matter of personal preference. Also, remember that picante means “hot” or “spicy,” so you may prefer using mild or medium salsa if you are sensitive to heat.
- Cream Cheese – Cream cheese in Mexican-inspired meals might sound strange, but hear me out: Cream. Cheese. Who doesn’t love it?!?
- Substitution: Neufchatel works in a pinch.
- Black Beans – Canned and drained black beans add fiber, protein, and heft to stretch just 2-3 chicken breasts far enough to feed 4-6 people.
- Substitution: Swap in pinto beans or kidney beans if you prefer.
- Cheddar Cheese – Mild, medium, or sharp will all do the trick! Just stay away from aged varieties, as they don’t melt as well.
- Substitution: Use any melty cheese variety your family likes, including colby, queso quesadilla, mozzarella or pepper jack cheese.
Fajita casserole variations
While I love this easy fajitas casserole just the way it is, there’s always room for interpretation! Here are a few of my favorite variations:
- Extra Spicy. If you’re a spice fiend, use hot picante sauce or spicy salsa. And, add in a chopped jalapeño or serrano, or a can of green chilies when you sauté the veggies, add up to ½ teaspoon of hot chili powder (e.g. cayenne or hot paprika) to your spice blend, and consider using spicy jack cheese in place of the cheddar.
- Toppings Galore. You can totally change up the casserole depending on how you dress her up. Consider toppings like cool sour cream or Greek yogurt, buttery avocado or guacamole, herbaceous cilantro, fresh pico de gallo, or vinegary hot sauce.
How to make chicken fajitas casserole
This fajita casserole recipe is super easy to prepare – requiring just 15 minutes of hands-on preparation. It’s the perfect fast dinner to keep you and your family fed, cozy, and warm all year long!
- Cook chicken: Heat oil in a large skillet and add the pieces of chicken breast to the pan. Sprinkle fajita seasoning, salt and pepper over the chicken. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center. Remove the chicken from the skillet and transfer to a plate. Set aside.
- Cook veggies: Return the skillet to the stovetop and add more oil. Toss the bell peppers and onions into the pan. Sprinkle the fajita spice, salt, and pepper evenly over the veggies. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender-crisp. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and transfer to the plate with the chicken.
- Add salsa + cream cheese: Return the pan to the stove and add the salsa, then the cubes of cream cheese. Cook, whisking, to fully melt cream cheese.
- Add veggies, chicken + beans: Add the soft veggies and chicken back to the skillet, along with the beans. Stir to combine.
- Top with cheese: Turn the heat off under the skillet and use a spatula to spread the fajita mixture into an even layer. Top the chicken casserole evenly with cheese.
- Bake: Transfer the skillet casserole to a 400-degree oven and bake until the cheese melts.
- Garnish and Serve: Remove the casserole from the oven and garnish with your favorite fajita toppings, such as cilantro, pico de gallo and guacamole. Enjoy immediately.
FAQ: chicken fajita bake
Are all fajitas oven baked?
Nope! Most fajitas are made on a searing hot plancha (griddle) or comal (flat, round fry pan). However, these are what I consider my lazy-girl’s easy fajitas, because you just layer up all the good stuff and let the oven do the work.
Is this fajitas casserole recipe gluten-free?
So long as you stick to corn tortillas (or no tortillas) and check the label on your fajitas seasoning, you should be good to go. That said, you can always make your own fajitas or taco seasoning if you’re not sure about the packaged kind.
Serving fajita baked chicken
This baked chicken fajitas casserole is a perfect pairing for any Tex-Mex or Mexican sides you like. Some of my favorites include:
- Rice – Healthy Mexican Rice, Cilantro Lime Rice, Green Rice, Red Rice, or even just plain steamed rice or cauliflower rice will do the trick.
- Tortillas – Having fresh flour tortillas on hand means you can scoop up the baked fajitas and eat them with your hands. YUM!
- Tomato Salad – Either a fresh tomato salad or marinated tomatoes will add a bright acidity to help cut through the richness.
- Avocado Salad – Creamy, rich Mexican avocado salad is the perfect complement to this Mexican dish.
Storing fajita casserole
Allow leftovers to cool completely to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up for up to 5 days. Feel free to reheat individual portions in the microwave or toaster oven, or bake the entire tray of leftovers until the cheese is bubbly.
You can also store your fajita casserole in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat, allow to defrost overnight in the fridge, then bake until the cheese is nice and bubbly.
If you’re juggling a busy schedule and trying to get a yummy dinner on the table – this recipe for fajita chicken bake is for you. I hope you love this easy, tasty chicken fajita casserole as much as we do!
Until next time, cheers!
More fast Mexican dinner recipes!
If you love this chicken fajita casserole recipe, try these fast and flavorful meals next:
Recipe for chicken fajita casserole👇
Chicken Fajitas Casserole
- 1 Large Oven-Safe Skillet
- 1 ½ TBS Fajita Seasoning – DIVIDED (sub: Taco Seasoning – see notes)
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper – to taste
- 3 TBS Neutral Oil – DIVIDED (such as canola or avocado)
- 2 medium Bell Peppers – seeded & thinly sliced (any color you love!)
- 1 medium Yellow Onion – peeled & thinly sliced
- 1- pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – cubed or sliced
- 2-4 cloves Garlic – peeled and minced
- 1 Cup Picante Sauce or Salsa (SEE NOTES)
- 6 ounces Block-style Cream Cheese – cut into cubes & at room temperature
- 1 Cup Canned Black Beans – drained & rinsed
- 8 ounces Cheddar Jack Cheese – shredded (1 ½ Cups) (sub: Colby Jack or Pepper jack)
- Optional toppings: Pico de Gallo
- Optional garnishes: Guacamole or Sliced Avocado, Sliced Jalapenos, Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt, Fresh Cilantro, Hot Sauce
- Serving suggestion: Tortillas
- Side suggestions: Tomato Salad, Rice
- Preheat oven to 400-degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cook chicken: Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in a large oven-safe skillet (such as enameled or regular cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pan in an even layer. Sprinkle ½ tablespoon of fajita seasoning over the chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes – undisturbed; stir and continue to cook for 2-4 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and transfer to a plate. Set aside.
- Cook veggies: Return the skillet to the medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of oil. Add the bell peppers and onions to the pan. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of fajita spice evenly over the veggies. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender-crisp, about 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and transfer to the plate with the chicken. (Note: If you prefer tender bell peppers, as opposed to tender-crisp, add them to the pan first and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the onions and seasonings.)
- Add salsa + cream cheese: Return the pan to the heat and reduce the heat to low. Add the salsa, then the cubes of cream cheese to the pan. Cook, whisking occasionally, to fully melt cream cheese.
- Add veggies, chicken + beans: Once the cream cheese is melted, add the cooked veggies and chicken back to the skillet, along with the beans. Stir to combine.
- Top with cheese: Turn the heat off under the skillet and use a spatula to pat/spread the fajita casserole into an even layer. Top the chicken casserole evenly with shredded cheese.
- Bake: Transfer the skillet casserole to the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and everything is warm throughout.
- Garnish and Serve: Remove the casserole from the oven and garnish with your favorite fajita toppings, such as cilantro, salsa, and guacamole. Serve with warm tortillas, tomato salad, and rice on the side. Enjoy immediately.
- If using taco seasoning, I recommend doctoring it with 1/4 tsp of each - Cumin and Smoked Paprika.
- Picante vs. Salsa: Picante is smooth, while traditional and chunky salsa are not, due to their finely chopped vegetables. Also, picante means “hot” or “spicy”, so while it is hot is taste, traditional salsas are mild.
- Cookware: This recipe is written for a large oven-safe skillet. However, if you don't have an oven-safe skillet, you can cook the chicken and veggies on the stove-top. Then, transfer the Fajita mixture to a baking dish or casserole dish, top with cheese and bake. (You can meal prep the recipe this way too!)
- Recipe Serves: 4-6
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