Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas

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The secret to the BEST summertime steak fajitas? The grill! This Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas recipe begins with a zesty marinade made with lime juice, orange juice, & fragrant spices. Quickly marinate skirt steak, then grill alongside bell peppers & onions until smoky, caramelized, & tender. Slice & serve your grilled steak fajitas in warm tortillas, in a burrito bowl, or on a salad. A low-effort 45-minute dinner you'll come back to time & time again this summer – absolute perfection!
Featured In Low-Effort Summer Dinners
Grilled Steak fajitas cut into thin strips are served on a rectangular wood platter surrounded by grilled fajita veggies: bell peppers and onions. Fresh lime wedges surround the platter while a small wooden pinch bowl filled with guacamole and a small white ceramic bowl filled with fresh salsa rests atop the platter next to the steak and veggies. Fresh cilantro, a pile of corn tortillas and a small white ceramic pinch bowl filled with cotija cheese surround the platter at center.

*Low-Effort Summer Dinners!

This recipe is part of PWWB’s brand new summer series: Low-Effort Summer Dinners, a collection of no-fuss dishes for hot & busy summer evenings. 🥵 Whether you can’t bear to stand in a warm kitchen or your summer calendar is a little crazy, these recipes are super quick, low- to no-cook, & inspired by seasonal summer produce, making dinnertime easy, fun, & incredibly delicious. Simple summertime cooking at its finest! 😎

Classic Skirt Steak Fajitas Are Perfect for Grilling Season!

If I had to rank my top 5 favorite weeknight dinners, fajitas would definitely make the list. We make fajitas often because they’re maxed out on flavor, veggie-loaded, & SO easy to throw together. We’ve already shared our tried & true chicken fajitas & veggie fajitas recipes here on PWWB, but I wanted to be sure to share this grilled steak fajita recipe with you, too. It’s a summer dinner that’s in regular rotation at the PWWB house during the warm months.

This grilled skirt steak fajitas recipe includes the same low-effort prep & seasoning as fajitas made in a skillet or on a sheet pan, but it takes things up a few notches by cooking everything on the grill. The zesty marinated skirt steak gets amazing caramelization & smokiness from the grill, & the fajitas veggies get irresistible char when they cook alongside the steak. It’s the best!

Aside from its ease, the thing I love most about this recipe is its versatility. I love serving grilled skirt steak fajitas in warm tortillas, but you can enjoy them in a bowl or on a salad too. This grilled steak fajita recipe is also great for easy summer entertaining. Serve them alongside a bunch of fixings & your guests build their favorite fajita plate – simple & fun! (Plus! There are hardly any dishes to wash at the end of the evening…a low-effort dinner win! 🙌🏼)

Grilled Skirt Steak Fajita Recipe Highlights

You’ll love this no-fuss grilled steak fajita recipe because it’s…

  • FLAVOR-FORWARD. Buttery skirt steak soaks up a zesty citrus marinade before cooking on a smoky summer grill for seriously next-level flavor.
  • PERFECTLY CHARRED. Cooking skirt steak fajitas on the grill adds a crave-worthy layer of smoky, charred flavor to both the steak & veggies. It’s the only way to make steak fajitas in the summer!
  • EASY, EASY, EASY! This grilled steak fajita recipe is totally low-effort. It takes 45 minutes max, with easy meal prep, outdoor cooking, & minimal dishes to wash. It doesn’t get better than that!

Sizzlin’ summer dinners, for the win! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas, or jump straight to the recipe & get grilling!

The Best Cut of Beef for Grilled Steak Fajitas

In my opinion, when it comes to making grilled steak fajitas, the best cut of beef, hands down, is skirt steak. Skirt steak is a thin cut of meat from the front of a steer’s belly. It’s generally a tougher cut of beef but it cooks really well on a grill, turning tender & buttery over high heat. Plus, the coarser texture of skirt steak helps it soak up marinades really nicely – perfect for steak fajitas!

Skirt steak is also an important component of fajitas’ origin! It’s believed that Texas vaqueros & butchers have been grilling skirt steak & calling it “fajitas” since the 1930s. “Fajitas” translates to “little skirts” or “little bands” in Spanish, referring to the way the meat is cut. Back then skirt steak was a less desirable trimming, so it was one of the more accessible cuts for ranch workers.

Ninfa’s restaurant in Houston, Texas is credited with popularizing fajitas off the ranch. According to Cook’s Country, the original owner, Ninfa, began serving grilled skirt steak, peppers, & onions with homemade tortillas as “tacos al carbon.” When their popularity grew, the dish became known as “fajitas.” The restaurant quickly introduced the vaquero tradition to the community, spreading the Tex-Mex classic we all know & love.

Skirt steak shopping tips! 

  • Skirt steak is available at the butcher counter of most conventional grocery stores, especially during grilling season.
  • If skirt steak is not available, sirloin flap or hangar steak are great alternatives for this grilled steak fajitas recipe.
  • Since learning about how amazing it is, I like to look for New Zealand grass-fed beef. New Zealand’s temperate climate makes it one of the best places in the world for pasture-raised farming. Beautiful & biodiverse green pastures give the cattle a nutrient-rich diet as they freely roam, yielding seriously tender beef with amazing rich, earthy flavor unlike anything you’ll find raised domestically. Find New Zealand grass-fed beef at a store near you!

Our Go-To Steak Fajitas Marinade

This recipe begins with my go-to zesty fajita marinade. It’s made with really simple ingredients, but packs a big punch of flavor & grills up beautifully – seriously perfect!

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

To make the best skirt steak fajitas marinade, you need…

  • Citrus – Plenty of fresh squeezed orange & lime juice gives the marinade a bright, zesty flavor that provides a beautiful contrast in flavor against the richness of the steak.
  • Agave nectar – The littlest bit, for sweetness that helps the grilled skirt steak char & lightly caramelize as it cooks on the grill. So good!
  • Spices – My go-to blend of ancho chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, & dried oregano gives the steak fajita marinade tons of flavor. If you like a little more heat, add in a few pinches of cayenne pepper!
  • Avocado oil – Or your favorite high smoke point oil. Just a little bit, to bring all the marinade ingredients together.

Grilled steak fajitas marinade prep. ⇢ Once you have the fajita marinade ingredients gathered & prepped, assembly is as simple as whisking it all together. To save on dishes, I often mix everything in whatever vessel I plan to marinate the steak.

Suggested Marinating Time

Since it’s so full-flavored, the steak doesn’t necessarily need to soak in the marinade for too long. The 10-15 minutes it takes to prep the fajitas veggies & preheat the grill is just fine!

However, if you plan ahead, you can marinate skirt steak in the fridge for up to 2 days. The more time you can give the steak to soak up all that zesty, spicy flavor, the better. 

How to Grill Skirt Steak Fajitas 

The thing I love about cooking skirt steak fajitas on the grill is that it’s super simple & ready in 10 minutes or less.

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

1

Grill prep. The secret to making the best steak fajitas on the grill is getting your grill as hot as possible, ideally about 550-600 degrees F. Why? ⇢ With high heat, both the skirt steak & the fajitas veggies are able to caramelize & char without overcooking.

2

Arrange the skirt steak alongside the veggies. No grill basket? No problem! ⇢ I actually prefer to grill fajitas vegetables directly on the grill grates for perfect char. Slice bell peppers & onions into large planks, leaving the onion’s root end intact, to make them easier to handle & help prevent them from falling through the grill grates as they cook.

3

Close the lid & cook. Since everything is so thin, both the skirt steak & the fajitas veggies cook in about the same amount of time. The fajitas veggies are beautifully charred & tender after grilling about 3-4 minutes per side, while 3 minutes per side yields a perfectly medium-rare skirt steak. Feel free to cook the steak a bit longer if you prefer more well-done meat!

4

Let the skirt steak rest once it comes off the grill. Giving the steak about 5 minutes to chill helps the juices redistribute so it’s extra juicy. Once rested, it’s ready to slice & serve – so easy!

How to Slice Skirt Steak Against the Grain

When working with a fibrous cut like skirt steak, it’s super important to slice it correctly. Grilled skirt steak is perfectly buttery & meltingly tender ONLY if it’s cut against the grain. If not, it’s tough, chewy, & nearly impossible to eat.

The grain of a steak is based on the direction its muscle fibers run. While it’s tempting to simply slice across the skirt steak, doing so actually cuts along the grain, not across it. Instead, here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Cut the grilled skirt steak into smaller sections, about 4 inches in length, to make slicing easier.
  2. Rotate each section 90 degrees, positioning it such that the grain runs opposite your knife.
  3. From there, simply slice the meat at a slight angle against the grain. Give your first slice a try to confirm that it’s nice & tender. If it melts in your mouth, you’re good to go!

Serving the Perfect Grilled Steak Fajitas

Steak fajitas toppings. ⇢ While the grilled skirt steak rests, feel free to prep some of your favorite fajita toppings. We love eating grilled steak fajitas with some smashed avocado but you can also go big & whip up a batch of homemade guac. Your favorite store-bought salsa, crumbly queso fresco or cotija cheese, & finely chopped cilantro are also great fajita night additions.

Bonus! Warm tortillas on the grill! ⇢ Since the grill is still warm, use it to warm your tortillas. It’s super fast – the tortillas only need a few seconds per side! As a bonus, they’ll soak up all the juicy flavor left on the grill from the steak & veggies – so good! Wrap the warm tortillas in a kitchen towel until it’s time to serve them to ensure they stay soft & pliable.

Once sliced, I like to transfer the grilled steak fajitas & veggies to a platter & serve alongside any prepared sides & toppings. It’s a beautiful centerpiece for a summer table & allows everyone to build their own grilled skirt steak fajitas as they desire.

My favorite thing about these grilled steak fajitas, though, is that they’re super versatile. While I love serving them in warm tortillas, they’re also fantastic to serve in a rice bowl, on a salad, or all on their own alongside some grilled corn. Whatever you happen to be craving!

I can’t wait for you to try these Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas! They’re beyond easy to prepare & they’re so delicious – I know you’ll love them just as much as we do!

If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!

Print
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Grilled Steak fajitas cut into thin strips are served on a rectangular wood platter surrounded by grilled fajita veggies: bell peppers and onions. Fresh lime wedges surround the platter while a small wooden pinch bowl filled with guacamole and a small white ceramic bowl filled with fresh salsa rests atop the platter next to the steak and veggies. A white linen napkin with black stripes, fresh cilantro, a pile of corn tortillas and a small white ceramic pinch bowl filled with cotija cheese surround the platter at center.

Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Tacos, Burritos & Enchiladas Recipes
  • Method: Grilling & Smoking
  • Cuisine: Mexican & Tex-Mex, American

Description

While I’ll never turn down sizzling skillet or sheet pan fajitas, the secret to the best summertime fajitas dinner is, hands down, the grill. Grilling steak right alongside fajita veggies creates irresistible smoky, caramelized, charred flavor. This Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas recipe is my go-to. (As a bonus, it’s simple, quick, & there are hardly any dishes to wash at the end of the night! 🙌🏼)

The skirt steak quickly soaks up a zesty fajitas marinade made with a simple-yet-flavorful line-up of freshly squeezed citrus juice & fragrant spices. Feel free to prep this at dinnertime or let it soak for up to 2 days in the fridge. It’ll be flavorful no matter what! 

If you don’t have a grill basket, no worries, because grilling the veggies directly on the grill grates is ideal – doing so creates amazing char. To ensure the fajitas veggies don’t fall through the grill grates as they cook, it’s crucial to prep them properly! Slice bell peppers into large, flat planks, & cut the onions into wedges with the root end in tact. 

Aside from its ease & its flavor, the beauty of this recipe is its versatility. You can stuff the grilled steak fajitas into tortillas, burritos, or serve them in a rice bowl with beans & all of your other favorite fajita night fixings. Be sure to check out the blog post, above, for some inspiration to get you started.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds skirt steak (see Recipe Notes, below)
  • 2 large bell peppers, sliced from stem into 34 flat planks
  • 1 large red onion, peeled & sliced into 1/16ths with root end in tact
  • 1 large, juicy orange, juiced (approx. 1/3 cup juice)
  • 2 large, juicy limes, juiced (approx. 1/4 cup juice)
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or high smoke point oil of choice, divided
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
  • for serving, as desired: corn tortillas, smashed avocado or guacamole, queso fresco or cheese of choice, salsa of choice, freshly chopped cilantro, lime wedges, etc.

Instructions

  1. Marinate the skirt steak: To a large bowl, shallow baking dish, or zip-top bag, combine the orange juice, lime juice, 2 tablespoons of the avocado oil, agave nectar, ancho chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, & dried oregano. Season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Whisk to combine well. Place the skirt steak in the marinade, tossing to coat the steak well. Set aside as you preheat the grill or seal/cover & marinate in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  2. Grill prep: Preheat the grill for high direct heat grilling, 550-600 degrees F. Once preheated, clean the cooking surface by firmly brushing a wire brush over the grates. This is a great time to prep the fajitas veggies for grilling as well – place the bell peppers & onions in a mixing bowl or on a small baking sheet. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon avocado oil. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Toss to coat. Set aside for grilling.Weber Genesis II Propane Grill on a deck.
  3. Grill the skirt steak & fajitas vegetables: Place the marinated skirt steak on the grill grates, draining & discarding any excess marinade. Arrange the vegetables around the skirt steak. Close the grill lid. Grill the steak 2-4 minutes per side for preferred doneness – about 3 minutes per side yields a nice medium-rare. Grill the vegetables for 3-4 minutes per side, or until nicely charred. Transfer the grilled skirt steak & fajitas veggies to a plate or small baking sheet. Let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes before carving.
  4. Serving: Once cool enough to handle, slice the grilled skirt steak & fajitas veggies into strips. When slicing skirt steak, it’s very important to slice against the grain. Cut the steak into 4-inch sections, rotate each section 90 degrees, then slice at a 45 degree angle against the grain. (Refer to blog post, above, for more guidance.) Serve immediately as desired. We love serving these grilled skirt steak fajitas in tortillas with a little smashed avocado & salsa of choice. It’s also great stuffed in a burrito, served on a burrito bowl with rice & beans, or served in lettuce cups alongside rice & beans. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Ingredient Notes:
    • Skirt steak: Skirt steak is a thin, narrow cut that comes from the cattle’s underside or belly, an area also known as its “plate.” While it’s a tougher cut with lots of connective tissue, it’s insanely flavorful & grills beautifully – perfect for grilled steak fajitas! (Fun fact! It’s said that fajitas or tacos al carbon were originally made with skirt steak. 🤓)
      • Sourcing Tips: Ever since learning about the amazing quality of New Zealand grass-fed beef, it’s what I look for at the grocery store. New Zealand’s temperate climate makes it one of the best places in the world for pasture-raised farming, which results in beef that is richer in flavor & leaner in texture than most domestically raised beef. It’s absolutely worth looking out for! Learn more & find New Zealand grass-fed beef at a store near you! If you cannot find skirt steak at your grocery store, sirloin flap steak & hangar steak are the best substitutes, while flank steak also works well.
    • Ancho chili powder: Ancho chiles are dried poblano peppers with nice mild-medium heat & great flavor. Ancho chili (chile) powder is just that – a powder of finely ground ancho chile peppers. I love Simply Organic Ancho Chili Powder, which is certified organic & has wonderful flavor – I keep it stocked in my spice rack at all times, as it’s great for adding extra flavor & mild heat to Mexican-inspired dishes. If you do not have ancho chile powder on hand, you can substitute with “chili powder” for this particular recipe. Standard “chili powder” here in the U.S. is most often a blend of ground chiles & spices like oregano, cumin, & garlic – so it’s not a perfect substitute for pure chile powders all the time, but all of these flavors work well in this grilled steak fajitas recipe.
  • Storage & Reheating: Store leftover grilled steak fajitas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through, then serve as desired.
  • 10-15 Minute Meal Prep: Nearly all of the active prep work for this grilled steak fajitas recipe comes from prepping the steak & fajita veggies. Prep them in advance to cut down on active prep required at dinnertime – it takes 10-15 minutes, tops:
    • Chop the fajitas veggies according to the Ingredients List, above. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (<5 minutes active prep)
    • Prepare the steak fajitas marinade according to Step 1 of Recipe Directions, above. Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Up to 2 days before you’d like to make steak fajitas for dinner, all you have to do is toss the skirt steak into the marinade – easy! Marinate for at least 10-15 minutes at room temperature while the grill preheats or marinate in the refrigerator (covered) for up 2 days. (10 minutes active prep)

Keywords: grilled skirt steak fajitas recipe, fajitas recipe, grilled fajitas, grilled skirt steak recipes

Recipe & Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.

Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, Facebook, & Pinterest for more easy, modern recipes & fun!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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Jess of Plays Well With Butter stands on a deck behind a stainless steel Weber Genesis II propane grill. In the background, a blossoming tree & a house with beige siding.