Fajita is the classic and flavorful Tex-Mex delicacy that we all love.
Originally, fajita was regarded as grilled strips of meat and chopped vegetables served with taco shells. However, nowadays, you can find a wide variety of fajita versions – beef, chicken, shrimp, or even vegetarian fajitas.
It is no exaggeration to say that spices play the most crucial role in making your chicken fajitas. There are many different types of spices used here.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows what they are exactly.
If you’re still wondering what spices are in chicken fajitas, this article is here to clear all your queries.
What Spices Are In Chicken Fajitas?
Here are the nine spices used for this dish that you can easily find in any grocery store or supermarket:
- Chili powder: an essential hot spice that we can’t be without.
- Paprika: a burning red color to make your food more eye-catching.
- Ground cumin: earthy and warm with a citrus hint.
- Garlic powder: a basic component of spice mixes.
- Onion powder: add some savory richness to your dish.
- Dried oregano: a fun way to add some texture to your spice mix.
- Cayenne pepper powder: level up your spice game with the heat.
- Sugar: who doesn’t love a little bit of sweetness, right?
- Salt: say no more with this basic go-to ingredient.
Chicken fajitas include a mixture of spices commonly found in authentic Mexican cuisine, which is just what you need to step up your cooking game.
Every ingredient in the recipe blends in harmony to make every bite delightful and flavorful. Once you get to taste it, you will never have enough of this recipe.
To create this dream-like seasoning recipe, just combine all the spices in a bowl and mix them together.
What about the leftovers? Surprisingly, fajita seasoning can last for months in an airtight jar. Remember to put the pot in a cool, dry place that is away from direct sunlight.
If you’re not a professional chef, one or two spices are enough to leave you confused. However, once you get to know all these spices better, you may achieve your desired chicken fajita taste.
Also, all of them are earthy and natural. Therefore, quit getting store-bought fajita spices full of unnecessary and unhealthy additives now and pick up these ingredients at your local grocery store instead.
Let’s start the list with something you are already familiar with. Chili powder is a spice made from red chili pepper. The red chili pepper is dried then ground, sometimes with other herbs like cumin, onion, or salt to increase the flavor.
Unlike chili powder, paprika purely consists of red chili pepper or a mixture of chilies. Since there are no additional spices, paprika tastes quite bland. However, when you pay attention to the aftertaste, a sense of sweetness is typical in paprika spices.
Cayenne pepper powder
All are chili peppers, yet cayenne is noticeably different from both chili powder and paprika. While paprika is subtly sweet, cayenne makes an instant impression with a fiery taste. What’s more, cayenne pepper is about eight times hotter than chili powder, so be careful not to add too much cayenne pepper powder into your food.
With a bright yellow tone, cumin adds depth and variety to your dish with its tangy, musky aroma. A taste of cumin reveals a robust, sharp, and warm flavor that lingers on the tip of your tongue. Even though it’s available in whole seeds, ground cumin is better at spreading the taste and scent.
The process of making garlic powder includes drying, dehydrating then powdering the vegetable. Garlic powder has plenty of use, from seasoning meat and veggies to being a popular spice blends ingredients. Therefore, it is perfect for brightening up the taste of a monotonous dish.
Similar to garlic powder, onion powder is made from dried and grounded fresh onions. As an incredibly helpful ingredient, you can find onion powder on almost every grocery store and supermarket shelf. Not only being used as a spice, but onion powder also carries a lot of potential health benefits.
Oregano is a herb with a sharp, spicy, and slightly bitter taste. Once dried, oregano can really bring out its bold and robust aroma. Also, oregano goes well and enhances the taste of your chicken, so this is an irreplaceable ingredient in your chicken fajitas.
Do You Have to Use All of Those Spices At Once?
The simple answer is no. Among the various colorful spices listed above, feel free to adjust the amount of each ingredient as you wish.
Don’t be afraid to get creative. In fact, there is no fixed recipe for a delicious chicken fajitas spice blend. If you’re still clueless about what to do, below are some suggestions to start with.
- If you’re a big fan of spicy food, double the amount of cayenne pepper powder. You can also create a mouth-watering look for your food by adding some extra paprika for a beautiful bright red.
- Can’t tolerate spicy food? Reduce the number of hot spices like cayenne powder or chili powder. Instead, enlighten your taste buds with more earthy aromas like cumin or oregano.
- Last but not least, sugar and salt are optional. If you have a sweet tooth, add more sugar, but not too much to preserve the Mexican taste. Chili powder may have a little bit of salt in it already, so be mindful before adding more salt into your dish.
Are All The Spices Used Healthy?
If you’re getting ready-made fajita spice, chances are that there are some additives or fillers, which makes your seasoning less than healthy. However, don’t worry if you’re planning on making chicken fajita spice mix from scratch with our list of spices.
Most of the spices and herbs in the list are very healthy, especially cumin, oregano, garlic, and onion. These ingredients are full of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory effects. Moreover, they are also an abundant source of fiber and vitamins that can really benefit your health.
The same goes with chili peppers. If used in moderate amounts, they can promote various health benefits. Be careful, however, because over-consumption can lead to stomach aches, diarrhea, or inflammation.
Further reading: Chili Peppers 101
Can Chicken Fajitas Be Served Without Sauces?
If you’re in a rush for dinner and you don’t have the ingredients ready, you can still have chicken fajitas without sauce.
The fajita spices or seasonings only work as a dipping sauce to intensify the flavor of your main dish. Therefore, there are a lot of substitutes you can consider for a change.
A large and diverse selection of Mexican add-ons includes guacamole, pico de gallo, cheese, or simply greens and vegetables like cabbage or bell pepper. Traditionally, guacamole and pico de gallo would be the two most popular add-ons in many Mexican restaurants.
How to Preserve the Leftovers?
Piece of cake!
Because they can be stored in the fridge for around 5 – 7 days. To keep your food fresh and safe, use glass containers and close the lids carefully. Airtight containers can be an alternative too, as long as you push all the air inside out.
Spices are a crucial part of any meal, especially with a Mexican delicacy like chicken fajitas. So once you get hold of all the ingredients above and determine what spices you need, try making your own fajitas for dinner and see how it turns out.
Chicken fajitas are also the perfect dish for an intimate get-together event. So if your chicken fajita’s taste lives up to your expectation, don’t forget to share our article including these valuable tips and advice with your friends and family.
Mariana Rouco is the editor-in-chief of Elpasony.com. She loves traveling and writing about foods and cooking in general. She has a degree from the New England Culinary Institute and enjoys Mexican, Italian, and Chinese cuisines the most.