Easy Fajita Sauce

This flavor-packed fajita sauce recipe works for beans, chicken, steak or shrimp! It’s quick to put together with a handful of ingredients.

Fajita Sauce

Here’s a fantastic trick that makes fajitas in minutes: this easy Fajita Sauce recipe! The great thing about this sauce: it works with any protein: beans, chicken, shrimp or beef. This makes it ultra customizable for meals for any diet! Or, you can split it half and half if you’re cooking for eaters of different types. The zingy flavor of bright lime and smoky adobo sauce makes the perfect pinto bean filling in Vegetarian Fajitas, or you can turn around and use it for shrimp fajitas. Here are the tricks to making this tasty homemade marinade.

Ingredients in this fajita sauce recipe

This easy fajita sauce takes just 5 minutes to put together, and it’s loads better than most store-bought brands. (Though these days, there are some great all-natural brands out there! Comment below if you have a recommendation.) Here’s what you’ll need (or jump right to the recipe for quantities):

  • Lime juice
  • Adobo sauce: from 1 can chipotle peppers (see below)
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt

That’s it! Whisk together everything in a bowl, and it becomes a seriously delicious Tex Mex marinade. It’s got a kick from the lime and a smoky nuance that’s incredibly irresistible. Speaking of…

Fajita sauce recipe

Key ingredient: chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

The key ingredient to this fajita sauce? Adobo sauce. There’s no great substitute for this magical ingredient, so you’ll want to find the real thing. Adobo sauce adds a smoky nuance and complexity that is impossible to replicate! Here’s more about this special ingredient if you haven’t worked with it before:

  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are easy to find at most grocery stores near the Mexican products. The can includes chipotle chiles: smoked and dried jalapeños that are rehydrated and canned, and adobo sauce, a purée of tomato, vinegar, garlic, and other spices.
  • You’ll use the sauce, not the chipotle peppers. Use a spoon to remove the adobo sauce from the can, working around the hot peppers.
  • The sauce adds a moderate level of spice. It’s not ultra spicy. Use 1 tablespoon for a mild fajita sauce, and 2 tablespoons for a moderately spicy (not even medium).
  • What to do with the leftovers? Refrigerate or freeze the remainder, and use it for more adobo sauce recipes, like tortilla soup or enchilada sauce.
Fajita sauce

How to use this fajita sauce with beans

This fajita sauce recipe we developed especially for our Epic Vegetarian Fajitas, to provide big flavor without the need for meat. It works perfectly and brings in enough intrigue to elevate this plant-based protein to rockstar level. Here’s the basic concept for using it with beans:

  • Use pinto or black beans: Drain two 15-ounce cans beans. No need to rinse!
  • Heat 6 to 8 minutes in a skillet. Place the sauce and beans in a skillet, and cook until the sauce is thickened. It’s seriously easy.

How to use this fajita sauce with meat or seafood

This fajita sauce also works with chicken, steak, or shrimp as a marinade. Here’s what to do:

  • Use 1 pound of any protein. If using shrimp, use peeled and deveined.
  • Marinade with the protein for 20 minutes. Whisk together the ingredients and then throw in the protein.
  • Cook in a skillet until cooked through, following the fajitas recipe.
Fajita veggies

Need veggies? We’ve got those too

Need veggies to go with your fajitas recipe? We’ve got those too. Our standard method is to broil them until charred, then finish them off in a sizzling skillet. Go to Classic Fajita Veggies.

And that’s it! Let us know if you try this sauce and what you think. It’s become a staple in our household already.

This fajita recipe recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Fajita Sauce

Easy Fajita Sauce


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1/2 cup 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This flavor-packed fajita sauce recipe works for beans, chicken, steak or shrimp! It’s quick to put together with a handful of ingredients.


Ingredients

Scale
  •  3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Use with: 2 cans pinto beans, 1 pound shrimp or steak, or 1 pound shrimp (shell off)

Instructions

  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl. 
  2. To use with chicken, steak, or shrimp: Add 1 pound of chicken, steak, or shrimp to the bowl, and marinade 20 minutes before cooking. 
  3. To use with beans: Drain 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans. Place the sauce and beans in a skillet, and cook 6 to 8 minutes until the sauce is thickened. 
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Whisked
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex

Keywords: Fajita sauce, fajita sauce recipe

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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