Few weeks ago, I made his recipe with a group of bright cooking-enthusiastic 12-year old Girl Scouts who wanted to learn about nutrition. There were 15 girls and I divided them into 3 groups to make vegetable soup for an appetizer, baked fajita for the main dish, and a healthy apple crumble for dessert.
The girls were having so much fun washing, chopping, and stirring. They even asked to add more spices and I let them add their touches to the dishes.
And the end result was super-licious!
When parents came to pick up their daughters and tried the dishes, they were impressed. They didn’t know their daughters can cook! They didn’t even know their daughters eat these vegetables!
And for me, that was a touchdown!
Why Bake Fajitas?
I know that you’re supposed to cook fajita in a skillet and that a cast iron skillet is the best choice for such a dish. But the nice thing about baking it in the oven is the 30-40 minutes you get to yourself to do anything you want. When I make this dish at home, I use this time to read with my kids or finish homework. You can do the same if you have kids or get some house chores done, meditate, do some yoga, exercise, or even take a quick nap while dinner is being cooked.
The other nice thing about baking fajita is assembling it in advance. Combine vegetables, chicken, seasonings and spice in a casserole dish, cover, and refrigerate. You can do that the night before or early in the morning before going to work or running errands. When you get back home, just place it in the oven, and then turn the oven on (to prevent the casserole dish from breaking, let is warm gradually as your oven is gradually getting hot instead of placing a cold casserole dish directly in a pre-heated oven).
This is one of my tricks to be more efficient in the kitchen while not sacrificing nurition or quality. You might want to check out my free e-book 40 Tips to Spend Less Time Cooking Without Eating Junk where I give more tips like these and more. Click HERE to read more.
Baked Chicken Fajita
A very easy to make, super nutritious dish. We like spice in our house for taste and nutrition. People who try my recipes love the strong flavor. If you’re a bit more cautious, reduce the cumin, coriander, and herbs by half. If it’s too bland, add a bit more. Experiment to make it just right for you. There’s no ONE way to make anything!
Low FODMAPs Modification
Remove garlic and onion. Cook the meal the same otherwise.
If you’re following the food sensitivity LEAP plan, remove all of these untested foods: green chili, chili powder, coriander, and cilantro. Use black or cayenne pepper for heat. Use your safe cooking oil (other options include avocado or sunflower oil), safe protein (beef, turkey, shrimp), and remove or replaces spices and seasonings as needed.
- 3 bell peppers (any color), cut into wide slices
- 1 onion, yellow or red, cut into wide slices
- 3 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 small can green chili
- 1.5 lbs chicken breasts or tenders, cut into strips
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp coriander
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tablespoon oregano, dried
- 1 tablespoon basil, dried
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (optional)
- Fresh cilantro (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Place peppers, onion, tomatoes, garlic, chicken strips, and the green chili peppers in a baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil. Rub the spice mix on the vegetables and chicken. Drizzle the olive oil. Combine well.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked. (see notes for assembling it to eat later)
- To serve, top with fresh cilantro and lemon or lime juice. Serve with guacamole, fresh salsa, and beans (skip the bread).
If you prefer your fajita dish to be more dry, spread the vegetables and chicken on a larger baking sheet (like a cookie sheet) to allow room for the liquids to dry out. I prefer it more moist so I cook the vegetables closer to each other.