These Quinoa Fajitas are probably unlike any fajitas you've ever tried! The filling is made up of loads of veggies, shredded chicken, and quinoa! Dump everything into a slow cooker and forget about it until dinner time. Once everything is cooked, shred the chicken and layer the filling into warmed tortillas. Add your favorite fajita toppings like cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and fresh lime juice.
Servings 6 -8 servings
6 quart slow cooker
Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 cup (190g) uncooked quinoa
- 3/4ths pound (11 oz.; 330g) boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts) optional Note 1
- 1 and 1/2 cups (205g) frozen corn (or 1 can corn)
- 1 can (15.25 oz.; 432g) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans (14.5 oz.; 411g EACH) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup (250g) chicken stock or broth or vegetable broth
- 2 cups (270g) sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into small 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 and 1/2 cups (170g) thinly sliced sweet bell peppers, (I used 1/2 an orange and 1/2 of a red pepper)
- 1 fajita seasoning mix Note 2
- Flour or corn tortillas
- Toppings: shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, low-fat sour cream, cilantro, fresh lime, chopped avocado or guacamole, cherry tomatoes
PREP: Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. Drain and rinse black beans. Peel and dice the sweet potato (small pieces to cook in time!). Thinly slice the pepper(s) and then cut the long pepper strips in half lengthwise.
SLOW COOKER: Generously spray the slow cooker with nonstick olive oil spray or insert a liner. Combine the quinoa, chicken (See Note 1; be sure to cut each breast into 4-5 even pieces and each thigh into 3-4 even pieces), corn, black beans, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, sweet potatoes, and peppers in the slow cooker. Add in the fajita seasoning mix or seasonings listed in Note 2. Gently stir everything together and press down to submerge the chicken below everything else.
COOK: Cook for 3-1/2 to 4 hours on high, watching it carefully so the quinoa doesn't burn (avoid opening the slow cooker and checking-- this disrupts the heating). I don't recommend cooking this meal on low; the quinoa gets too mushy. Cook until the chicken shreds and the quinoa has popped. Remove the chicken and thinly slice or shred with two forks. Gently stir everything together and taste for seasonings, adding additional salt and pepper as needed.
SERVE: Spoon filling into charred or warmed (See Note 3) flour or corn tortillas and top with optional toppings. For us, fresh lime, fresh cilantro, sour cream, and Cheddar cheese are must-have toppings!
Instant Pot: I recently tested this recipe in the pressure cooker/instant pot and it was too mushy and the chicken was undercooked. I'd stick with the slow cooker for this recipe!
Note 1: For a vegetarian meal, simply leave out the chicken-- no other changes necessary. We've found thighs remain the most tender, but breasts can be used. Cut the thighs or breasts into smaller pieces before adding them to the slow cooker so they can cook through in time. Submerge the meat in the cooking liquid. Make this recipe vegan by following the previous suggestions and using non-dairy toppings.
Note 2: Make your own fajita seasoning mix! Here's the blend to use instead of a packet:
You can make this recipe in bulk and put in individual-serving packets. Scoop out 1 tablespoon for each packet.
Note 3: Here’s how we char the tortillas (optional):
- 2 teaspoons ground chili powder (use McCormick for less heat)
- 1 teaspoon EACH: paprika, fine sea salt, white granulated sugar, ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon: ground cayenne pepper (increase or decrease depending on heat preference)
Nutritional information was calculated using corn tortillas.
- Spray both sides of the tortillas with cooking spray. I use an olive oil-based spray (canola works as well) and give each side a good spritz.
- Very lightly char each side of the tortilla over an open flame on the stovetop. If you don’t have an open flame, warm for 10-15 seconds in a skillet.
- Immediately remove the tortilla from the heat and fold in half. Place under a towel and repeat until all the tortillas are charred.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 587kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 355mg | Potassium: 1693mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 13363IU | Vitamin C: 94mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 7mg