Dinner has never been easier! This Instant Pot Chicken Fajita recipe comes together in just 20 minutes, with tender, and lightly spicy chicken breasts, bell peppers, and onions. It’s a simple and delicious meal that’ll wow your family!
Why We Love It
Busy weeknights call for easy dinners, am I right? Well, there’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when you make an absolutely delicious AND healthy dinner in under 20 minutes.
Recipes like Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes and these Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas are always my go-tos. And of course I must give credit where credit is due- My trusty Instant Pot is the MVP that makes it all possible!
Cooked in the Instant Pot, the chicken comes out perfectly tender, and the bell peppers and onions are perfectly cooked too. It’s all seasoned with a homemade fajita blend of spices and herbs, making this a better-for-you balanced meal.
But please note that this recipe is not authentic. It’s simply inspired by my favorite fajita recipes and the flavors I enjoyed while traveling in Mexico. I made it using the ingredients that work with my dietary restrictions and time constraints/crazy busy life. Here’s an authentic fajitas recipe, if that’s what you’re looking for!
🌮 Fajita Ingredients
- Chicken Breasts. I buy boneless skinless chicken breasts in my Porter Road box to cut into strips, but you can save yourself a step by buying chicken tenders. If you have a little extra time to marinate the chicken, you can optionally use my fajita lime marinade on the chicken before cooking. It’ll make it extra tender and delicious.
- Olive Oil.
- Onions. White, red or yellow onions will work great in fajitas.
- Bell Peppers. I like a mix of red and green bell peppers. Sliced fresh or frozen bell peppers can be used interchangeably in this recipe!
- Fajita Seasoning. Use my homemade fajita blend or your favorite store-bought brand.
- Water. Because the Instant Pot needs liquid in order to build pressure, we’ll need to add a bit of water before cooking.
- Lime & cilantro (optional)
The list of ingredients in this recipe is super, super simple. And of course, when you’re gathering your ingredients, don’t forget that you’ll need an Instant Pot, too!
🔪 Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: First, do the prep work. It only takes five minutes, so don’t fret!
Slice the bell peppers and onions into long, thin strips, about 1/2 inch wide. Slice the chicken breasts into strips too. Okay, put your knife down because you’re all done with the prep work!
Step 2: Next, toss the peppers, onions, and chicken with the fajita seasoning and oil until fully combined. The pieces should be coated evenly.
👉To prep in advance and cook later: Mix the chicken, vegetables, oil, and seasonings together, then cover the bowl and keep the mixture in the refrigerator for up to 18 hours.
Step 3: When you’re ready to get cooking, turn your Instant Pot to Sauté mode and wait until it gets good and hot. Pour the chicken mixture into the Instant Pot and cook, stirring often, for about 3-4 minutes. This gives you some lovely color on the chicken and peppers.
Step 4: Pour in the water or broth, then secure the lid to close the Instant Pot. Set it High Pressure for 3 minutes. Yup, only it only takes 3 minutes!
Once the timer is done, turn the pressure release valve (Quick Pressure Release/QPR) and open the lid. You’re ready to eat! There’s nothing worse than mushy vegetables.
To avoid overcooking the peppers and onions, do a QPR (Quick Pressure Release) by turning the pressure release valve/button. This allows the steam to escape quicker and will will not prolong the cooking process.
👉 Tip: The vegetables and chicken will naturally release a good amount of liquid during the cooking process. Put it to good use and use it as the liquid to make Instant Pot rice. I’m always on team flavor, and this liquid is FULL of flavor!
To Make Ahead
- This recipe can be prepped up to 18 hours in advance! Follow steps 1-2, then cover the bowl with the chicken and vegetable mixture with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 18 hours, then follow steps 3-4 to cook.
To Freeze for Later
- Follow steps 1-2, then add the chicken and vegetable mixture to a large zip top bag. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible, and freeze for up to 3 months, per USDA. Once you’re ready to make your fajitas, allow the frozen mixture to defrost on a plate in the refrigerator overnight, then follow steps 3-4 to cook. Use my freezer inventory chart to keep track of the contents!
To Store Leftovers
- Allow any leftovers to cool. Transfer them to an airtight container or zip top bag, and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, per USDA.
These fajitas go great with pretty much any Mexican-inspired side you enjoy. I love to make up a quick batch of air fryer tortilla chips, spaghetti squash, slice some avocado, grab some fresh cilantro, and call it a day.
But there’s just so much more you can do, too! Chicken fajitas go great with corn salsa, my mango guacamole, or coconut cauliflower rice. If you’re following Paleo or Whole30, grab some jicama tortillas from Trader Joe’s or make it a salad, and dive in!
Chicken, bell peppers, and onions are 100% low carb and Keto friendly! To keep the entire meal Keto friendly, be sure to serve it with Keto-friendly tortillas and other sides like full fat cheese and sour cream.
Yes! The Instant Pot cooks chicken straight from frozen perfectly. Do not defrost the chicken. Follow the instructions below, but adjust the cook time. Cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes, turn the steam release valve to allow for a QPR (Quick Pressure Release), and enjoy! Note that your peppers and onions will be cooked to a very soft texture in 10 minutes, so you may want to cook them separately.
More Instant Pot Recipes
Making this recipe? I’d love to hear about your experience!
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Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas
- 2 lbs. chicken breasts
- 4 bell peppers, any color
- 2 medium onions red, white, or yellow
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons fajita seasoning
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro, minced
- 1 lime sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash and slice the bell peppers and onions into long, thin strips, about 1/2 inch wide, removing the seeds. Next, use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to slice the chicken breasts into 1/2 inch wide strips.
- Toss the peppers, onions, and chicken with the fajita seasoning and oil until fully combined. The pieces should be coated evenly.
- Pour the chicken and vegetable mixture into the Instant Pot. Pour in the water, then secure the lid to close the Instant Pot. Set it High Pressure for 3 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes to get up to pressure.Carefully turn or press the steam release valve to allow for Quick Pressure Release (QPR). Once all the steam has released, open the lid.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and spoon the cooked fajita filling into tortillas or on salad. Sprinkle with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
- Prep this recipe up to 18 hours in advance! Follow steps 1-2, then cover the bowl with the chicken and vegetable mixture with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 18 hours, then continue following steps 3-4 to cook.
- Follow the instructions through step 2. Add the chicken and vegetable mixture to a large zip top bag. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible, and freeze laying flat for up to 3 months, per USDA. Allow it to defrost on a plate in the refrigerator overnight, then follow steps 3-4 to cook.
- Allow any leftovers to cool. Transfer to an airtight container or zip top bag, and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, per USDA.