Instant Pot Fajitas is a super easy and quick dinner that the whole family will love! It requires very simple ingredients and made in the Instant Pot in just 20 minutes from start to finish.
We LOVE chicken fajitas in our house, it’s one of these meals that are so easy to make and everyone in our family loves. And as I got an Instant Pot last year, I quickly became obsessed and wanted to cook every single meal in it including these fajitas.
Instant Pot Fajitas
The Instant Pot chicken fajitas are perfect for super busy weeknights when you have so little time to spend in the kitchen, and it’s one of these “dump and go” recipes that all IP fans love.
The chicken fajitas cooked in the electric pressure cooker turn out so delicious, they’re juicy and full of flavor. But you should also know that the fajitas cooked in the IP are not the same as chargrilled fajitas made on the grill.
I almost never buy store
So why not make your own fajita seasoning at home with spices that you already have on your spice rack?
I use this spice mix for not just fajitas, but also for tacos and other chicken recipes. I store the seasoning in a jar and use it whenever I need to, it also helps save some money and time especially on really busy weeknights when I just need a meal ready really quickly with very minimal effort.
To make the fajita seasoning you will need:
- Ground cumin, chili powder, ground paprika or smoked paprika, garlic powder, ground black pepper
- Sea salt (my favorite brand! These sea salt flakes are sooo good and I use them all the time)
- I also add a few more ingredients to make a great fajita spice mix, so check out my fajita seasoning recipe for the amounts and more details.
Things You Need to Make the Instant Pot Fajitas
- First of all, you need an Instant Pot (obviously!). I have this Instant Pot, it’s my favorite.
- You also need tortilla bread, I use this brand.
- Spice mix, either make your own or get a ready fajita spice mix (I like this Smoky BBQ mix).
- Kitchen tongs, for recipes like this I prefer stainless steel locking tongs.
- I love these stainless steel measuring cups and use them every time I cook, as well as those measuring spoons.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas
You will need a boneless, skinless chicken breast, red onion, and bell peppers. You could use yellow, red, orange or green bell peppers.
- Start by cutting the chicken breast in strips, and slice the onion and the peppers (make sure that bell peppers slices are not too thin as you don’t want these to break while they are being cooked, so cut them a bit thicker than you usually do to maintain a good texture). Put the chicken and the vegetables in the Instant Pot.
- Add the fajita seasoning and oil.
- Using metal kitchen tongs, toss all of the ingredients together for the spices to coat the chicken and the vegetables.
- Add ¼ cup of water (which may not seem enough, but works perfectly fine for me as the chicken and veggies produce lots of liquid), secure the lid and set the valve to sealing position then cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
- When the cooking program ends, quickly release the steam and carefully open the pot. Serve the chicken on tortilla bread with toppings like guacamole, pico de gallo, lime crema (it’s AMAZING!), cheese, salsa, hot peppers, and parsley.
Oh and don’t forget to make an EASY Agua Fresca juice to enjoy with the fajitas!
Why Did We Change the Recipe?
If you’ve made this before, you may notice that the cooking time and the water amount have changed. We changed this recipe in February 2020, as this recipe was shared when we were new to the Instant Pot and thought it was a good idea to cook everything for 10 minutes which basically made the peppers go too tender.
So we changed the recipe, by slicing the chicken a bit thinner, and the peppers into thicker slices, reduced the amount of water to ¼ cup which is more than enough, and cooked for 4 minutes instead of 10. The result is 1000% times better!
After testing the recipe so many times, we found that 1/4 cup of water is the minimum that can be used to allow the pressure to build up without getting the BURN notice. And that 4 minutes is the best cooking time to do for the chicken to be cooked through, and avoid the veggies from getting mushy as much as possible. However, you will still be left with some liquid that can be used to make delicious Mexican inspired rice (see picture below).
Don’t Discard the Extra Liquid
To make the rice, just leave the extra liquids at the bottom of the Instant Pot, and add long-grain white rice. The liquids should cover the rice by 0.5 inch (if you don’t have enough liquid to cover the rice, add water). Secure the lid, and press on MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK and cook on high for 4 minutes. When the cooking program ends, naturally release the steam for 10 minutes then carefully open the pot and fluff the rice before serving.
This is the best method to cook chicken fajitas in the Instant Pot, it’s so easy, convenient, and delicious! You can’t compare this to the skillet method though, so if you’re expecting skillet results to be made in the Instant Pot then this recipe is not for you.
Now, what if you don’t own an Instant Pot, or you just want to make these chicken fajitas in your slow cooker.
Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
Have you tried crockpot chicken fajitas before? I love cooking in my slow cooker on days when I have to leave the house in the morning, then come home tired for late lunch or dinner and need a meal to be ready by then.
Using the same recipe, cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
If you’re worried that the chicken might turn out too small, just quickly saute/brown the chicken before you start cooking it with the veggies and it will hold its texture better.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Fajitas
If you prefer shredded chicken fajitas, you can start by using skinless chicken breast instead of sliced and cook in the IP for longer (I recommend 12 minutes). Once the cooking is done, take out the chicken breast and shred it using 2 forks.
Return the shredded chicken to the IP, let it soak up the juices and the spices for a couple of minutes then serve. Here’s a great recipe that you can follow.
You Can Use Frozen Chicken
You could also cook this recipe using frozen chicken, the instructions will remain the same just set the cooking time to 7 minutes instead of 4. I recommend not adding the bell peppers as cooking them for so long will make them really tender. Instead, add them after pressure cooking, cover with the lid and let them sit there and steam for a couple of minutes before serving.
Worried That Your Veggies Might Turn out Mushy?
You can saute the onions and the bell peppers first, then take them out of the pot and set aside. Cook the chicken as per the instructions provided, and mix everything together before serving.
Can I Make These Fajitas Over the Stovetop?
Absolutely! In a bowl, toss the chicken slices and the spices until the chicken is well coated.
Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat, then add the vegetables and cook for 6-7 minutes or until soft. Remove from skillet.
Add the chicken slices into the skillet, and cook until it’s cooked through (about 4-5 minutes). Add the vegetables back into the skillet and cook for one more minute. Serve in warm tortillas.
You could also do some food prep during the week to save some time on a busy weeknight by preparing the ingredients beforehand. Slice the chicken and leave it in the fridge if you’re planning to make this within 2 days, or put it in the freezer if you’re going to use it within a couple of days.
You can also slice up the veggies to use later, and of course, making your own fajita seasoning will save a lot of time!
Freezer Meal Prep
I always make sure that I have at least a couple of freezer meal fajitas in my freezer. This is so easy to do, and a great way to be able to have a healthy meal on a busy weeknight!
It also can save you a lot of money, as you can buy chicken and veggies in larger quantities for cheaper or when they’re on sale, prep and freeze to use later.
When you’re ready to cook the fajitas, simply take the freezer bag out of the freezer and cook in your instant pot, crockpot, oven or stovetop!
Slice the chicken and the veggies, season the chicken and put everything in a freezer bag. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
You need to thaw the fajita ingredients by placing them in the fridge the night before and then cook in the Instant Pot the next day. The time will remain the same.
More Great Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Shrimp Fajitas
- Instant Pot Mexican shredded chicken
- Instant Pot fajita rice
- Instant Pot steak fajitas
- Instant pot chicken soup
- 2 large chicken breasts sliced thinly
- 1 large onion sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper sliced
- 1 green bell pepper sliced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil optional – for taste
- 3 tablespoons fajita seasoning
- ¼ cup (60 ml) water
- Place all of the ingredients in the Instant Pot, mix everything so that the chicken and the peppers are well coated in the spices.
- Seal the lid, and make sure that the valve is in sealing position. Choose manual or pressure cooker on high for 4 minutes. Once the cooking is finished, do a quick release and serve on warmed tortilla bread (Use gluten-free tortillas if following GF diet) with pico de galo (or simple tomato onion salad), avocado, cilantro leaves, and lime or lemon juice.
- For a freezer meal, slice the chicken and the veggies, season the chicken and put everything in a freezer bag. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- The bell peppers WILL become really tender, so if you prefer crunchy peppers then only add them AFTER pressure cooking. Cover with the lid, and let them steam for a couple of minutes before serving.
- You could also cook this recipe using frozen chicken, the instructions will remain the same just set the cooking time to 7 minutes instead of 4 and I recommend not adding the peppers before pressure cooking as they’ll become mushy.
- WE CHANGED OUR RECIPE: If you’ve made this before, you may notice that the cooking time and the water amount have changed. We changed this recipe in February 2020, as this recipe was shared when we were new to the Instant Pot and thought it was a good idea to cook everything for 10 minutes which basically made the peppers go too tender. So we changed the recipe, by slicing the chicken a bit thinner, reduced the amount of water to 1/4 cup which is more than enough, and cooked for 4 minutes instead of 10. The result is 1000% times better!
- This recipe was tested in the 6 quart Instant Pot.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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