For The Best Grilled Steak Fajitas, Focus On The Marinade

Tacos and burritos are great. But if you want a truly mouthwatering Mexican meal, it's hard to beat the rich, grilled taste of fajitas. And when you're preparing some juicy steak for them, one step deserves extra attention — marinating. It's the key to turning everyday fajitas into an extraordinary, restaurant-quality meal.

Mashed's grilled steak fajitas recipe relies on a marinade crafted by recipe developer Cecilia Ryu, and it uses a dozen ingredients to infuse your steak with incredible flavor. These include a vibrant mix of liquids like olive oil, lime juice, pineapple juice, and Worcestershire sauce. The oil keeps the beef moist, while the acids in the lime and pineapple juice help tenderize the meat and infuse the exterior with tart, tropical notes.

Meanwhile, dried spices like ground cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, and ancho chili powder provide a distinctively Mexican flavor profile. Ryu says that last ingredient is particularly important for the subtle smokiness it imparts to the steak. Additionally, fresh but powerful boosts are also provided from minced garlic and chopped cilantro. The ingredients in this recipe blend beautifully to craft an amazing marinade flavor.

Patience is a marinating virtue

Beyond pairing the right ingredients together, the other crucial aspect of marinating steak for fajitas is time. For best results, leave your steak in the marinade for at least two hours before cooking. Turn it periodically to ensure all sides are equally coated. The steak can even be marinated overnight, so home cooks can simply focus on grilling the steak come meal time. By this same token, you can also prepare the marinade ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to three days before you use it.

And if you're avoiding red meat, don't despair. Ryu says the marinade will work just as well on chicken breasts or thighs, another popular choice for fajitas.

While grilled fajitas are the most traditional version of this delicious dish, those looking for a less-involved option are in luck. There's also a tasty Crockpot steak fajitas recipe that uses a slow cooker's slow, steady heat to create ultra-tender beef and succulent veggies with just 10 minutes of prep time and four to eight hours of hands-off cooking time.