Make Ahead Chicken Fajitas for a Crowd

When I make chicken fajitas for the family, I cook the vegetables and chicken at the very last minute.  Maybe it’s not the sizzling skillet served table side but close enough. When I have a crowd to feed, I really want to have the dirty work finished way, way in advance.  Here’s how I do it and still have super-moist yummy chicken.

1.  Day before (early):  Make marinade, Cut up onions and peppers, Marinate chicken for 3 hours.

2. Day before (later):  Cook vegetables, Cook Chicken Breasts, Cool then refrigerate together, in a large pan, covered tightly overnight.

3.  Day of party early:  Slice chicken, mix with vegetables in large Pyrex dish or roasting pan and cover tightly with foil. Wrap flour tortillas with foil and set aside. Get condiments ready.

4.  Party time:  One hour before serving place Pyrex dish with chicken (still covered tightly) in 325 degree oven for 45 minutes then put the foil wrapped flour tortillas in the over as well to warm through…about 15 minutes.

Chicken Fajitas for a Crowd

Serves 25


  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons Lowry's Seasoning Salt
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
  • 8-10lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (trimmed of any fat and pounded gently to create an even thickness)
  • 4 Large sweet onions (sliced)
  • 4 Large red bell peppers (sliced)
  • olive oil
  • flour tortillas (or corn tortillas for a gluten free option)
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • lettuce (shredded)
  • cheddar cheese (shredded)


1. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in your largest, heaviest skillet, cast iron is best, over medium high heat. Saute onions and peppers, together or separately depending on the size of your skillet, until they are softened and just beginning to caramelize. Remove to a large pan or pyrex dish and let cool while you cook the chicken.
2. Add a bit more oil to the pan and cook the chicken in batches, until golden brown on both sides and just cooked through. I like to use an instant read meat thermometer to eliminate the guess work and I pull them off the heat between 150 and 160 degrees. Pile the chicken breasts, as they are cooked, on top of the vegetables and when they are all finished, let cool then cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
3. Early on the day you plan to serve the fajitas, slice the chicken into pieces, 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick then return them to the vegetables and toss to combine all, making sure to coat the chicken with the wonderful juices that will have settled to the bottom of the vegetables overnight. Cover tightly with foil and return to the refrigerator until you are about an hour away from service. It will take 45 minutes to an hour to warm the chicken mixture slowly, and tightly covered, in a 325 degree oven.
4. Serve with warm flour tortillas, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, avocados and any other condiments you might like to add.



  • Lynne
    May 13, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    This recipe is fantastic made with the 10 pounds of chicken and had plenty for 30 people. I will keep this recipe in my favorites. If I made any changes it could use more of the vegies.

  • Nancy
    June 23, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    This recipe is awesome! We made it with 10 lbs of chicken and 10 lbs of beef for my son’s college graduation party. We had about 50 guests, and had many leftovers. Everyone really enjoyed them. The marinade was tasty–just the right amount of spices, and surprisingly enough for 10 lbs. The directions are excellent, down to the exact amount of limes (I used twelve). We used whole breasts like she said for the chicken, but for the beef I purchased beef already sliced for stir fry (flank streak, $4.98/lb from our local meat locker company). My husband cooked both meats on a charcoal grill, enabling him to cook lots at a time. We pan sauteed the peppers and onions.
    About an hour before we ate, we heated the meat in pre-heated aluminum trays above sterno buffet trays. We served Mexican rice (from a box) and seasoned black beans (from a can) on the side, along with the many fixings for the fajitas. I will definitely keep this recipe and use it for our big get-togethers as well as regular dinners. I plan on hosting a fajita-margarita party soon with friends. Thanks so much for posting! It is so nice to serve something different than burgers/hot dogs, or pork bbq.

  • trangquynh
    October 26, 2012 at 9:04 am

    yummy =p~

  • trialsinfood
    October 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    looks fantastic! yum!

  • Danny
    October 23, 2012 at 11:40 am

    These fajitas definitely sound like a crowd pleaser and I love how you can prepare it all ahead of time so that you’re not rushing the “day of”. The more you can do before, the more you can enjoy 🙂