Crockpot Steak Fajitas: The Perfect Meal For Busy Nights

Fajitas are typically a pretty quick meal to fix, as you just toss some steak strips in a pan and then roll them in a tortilla. (The surprising truth is that chicken, shrimp, and vegetable "fajitas" are all misnomers since the name refers to skirt steak.) Still, if you want to get all of the prep work out of the way early and then have the meat cook while you're busy with other things, developer Christina Musgrave's crockpot steak fajitas recipe will allow you to do just that.

Preparing these fajitas should take about 10 minutes or so, or perhaps a bit more if cutting the onions is painful for you. Rather than simply simmering sliced beef, Musgrave opts for an all-in-one fajita approach by cooking the meat with a bunch of sliced bell peppers and onions, some seasonings, and a sizable amount of salsa. That way, you'll have both meat and toppings all ready to be plopped onto a tortilla once the crockpot fajitas are done cooking. Speaking of tortillas, one of the differences between fajitas and tacos is that the former are typically made only with the flour-based flatbread, but Musgrave opts to use the corn kind so you may feel free to do this as well. You could even go for two tortillas if you're a fan of the street taco style. 

Can you leave the slow cooker on when you leave the house, though?

These crockpot steak fajitas, as advertised, will give you quite a bit of free time between the initial prep time and dishing up the meat. Is this really the kind of thing you're going to want to fix in the morning before dashing out the door, though? Well, that depends. For one thing if you cook on a high setting, the fajitas will be done in just four hours, which may only work for you if you have a part-time job or you're just out running errands. On the other hand, an 8-hour low setting could be okay for a full work day, but only if you have a slow cooker that will stay on and default to a "keep warm" setting once the cooking time is done to cover commute time.

As to the elephant in the kitchen — are crockpots safe to leave unattended when they're cooking? — it turns out that the answer is a qualified "yes." The crockpot needs to be on a flat surface, far enough back that it won't be in any danger of toppling over the edge, and safe from any counter-surfing pets. You should also ensure that the cord has no chance of coming into contact with the sink, the coffee maker reservoir, or any other possible source of water. Wet cord = potential short = possibility of catching on fire.