Baked Chicken Fajitas

Baked Chicken Fajitas with salad
Baked Chicken Fajitas

Baked Chicken Fajitas are an ideal meal for lunch or dinner.  Filled with tender moist chicken thigh meat and healthy vegetables they are really delicious and nutritious. They can easily be made gluten-free as well (see below).

 

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A Little Bit Of My History With Fajitas

I’ve been a fan of freshly made fajitas since I first tasted one and I used to enjoy the triple combo from the Chi-Chi’s restaurant chain. Back in the 1980s, they were quite popular and served them up on a piping hot cast iron platter that held the cooked meat or shrimp. I’d happily assemble my fajitas with steak and chicken and shrimp and fill them with all the goodies delivered to the table. It was a fun thing to do and after a couple of them, I’d be stuffed.

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While the Chi-Chi’s chain is no longer around in North America, we can still enjoy fajitas by making them at home, and baking them is an easy and less messy way to prepare them. This version is more kid-friendly too since they don’t have to assemble them and make a mess at the dinner table LOL!

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Vicki and I make our baked chicken fajitas with whole wheat tortillas, low sodium, and low-fat ingredients, it’s a healthier way to go. If you suffer from Celiac Disease, you can buy Gluten-Free tortillas nowadays so there’s no reason not to enjoy these as well.

Makes 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 chopped red onion
  • 1/3 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large button mushroom, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp low sodium taco seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup tomato salsa
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 whole wheat tortilla wraps, 9 1/2” ( 24 cm) size (or gluten-free tortillas)

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DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat and cook the chicken thighs.

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 F (205 C).
  • Spray an 8” X 10” ( 20 X 25 cm) baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in the skillet over medium heat and add onion, peppers, mushrooms, garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Add in the chicken, corn, and salsa and continue cooking for 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Sprinkle on the taco seasoning mix and stir to combine.

  • Remove from heat.
  • Spread out four tortillas and add a light layer of the shredded cheese on each. Reserve the rest of the cheese for topping.
  • Divide the chicken filling into four equal portions and add one portion to each tortilla.
  • Wrap the tortillas up by folding the ends in and rolling them up and placing them into the baking pan.

  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the tortilla wraps.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese melts and turns golden brown.

Baked Chicken Fajitas with salad
Baked Chicken Fajitas

Note:

Serve with a salad, sour cream and/or guacamole. Use a low-fat sour cream or plain yoghurt to garnish for a healthier meal.

Print

Baked Chicken Fajitas

Baked Chicken Fajitas with salad

Baked Chicken Fajitas are an ideal meal for lunch or dinner.  Filled with tender moist chicken thigh meat and healthy vegetables they are really delicious and nutritious. Gluten-Free Option Too! (see below).

Makes 4 Servings

  • Author: Bill Wilkat

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 chopped red onion
  • 1/3 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large button mushroom, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp low sodium taco seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup tomato salsa
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 whole wheat tortilla wraps, 9 1/2” ( 24 cm) size (or gluten-free tortillas)

Instructions

  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat and cook the chicken thighs
  • Pre-heat oven to 400 F (205 C).
  • Spray an 8” X 10” ( 20 X 25 cm) baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in the skillet over medium heat and add onion, peppers, mushrooms, garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add in the chicken corn and salsa and continue cooking for 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Sprinkle on the taco seasoning mix and stir to combine.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Spread out four tortillas and add a light layer of the shredded cheese on each. Reserve the rest of the cheese for topping.
  • Divide the chicken filling into four equal portions and add one portion to each tortilla.
  • Wrap the tortillas up by folding the ends in and rolling them up and placing them into the baking pan.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the tortilla wraps.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese melts and turns golden brown.

Notes

Serve with a salad, sour cream and/or guacamole. Use a low-fat sour cream or plain yoghurt to garnish for a healthier meal.

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Healthier Pot Barley Jambalaya

Healthier Pot Barley Jambalaya with sausage and shrimp
Healthier Pot Barley Jambalaya

Healthier Pot Barley Jambalaya is something you won’t find on restaurant menus. I developed this low salt recipe to take advantage of the health benefits of pot barley. Personally, I don’t digest rice as well as barley which makes sense since it has more fibre and great for digestion.

You can read more about barley’s benefits at this link. In particular, barley can help with weight reduction, control blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, and reduce blood pressure. Those are some mighty big benefits, and that’s in addition to the minerals and vitamins it contains.

I was inspired to create this recipe by the popular southern dish but I made it less spicy, and with much less rice. If desired, you can tailor it to suit your tastes by adding more chilli seeds or choosing chicken instead of shrimp. It will taste great either way. 

This Jambalaya also makes an excellent side dish to accompany steak, chicken, fish, or pork, if you’re looking for something different. I should also note that I chose to use brown rice in place of white rice because it’s a healthier choice as well. Why? Read more about it at this link.

So for me, the use of pot barley and brown rice were no-brainers and I love their chewy texture and nutty flavours. Once I realized that they not only tasted great but also were so beneficial to my health, I was hooked. I hope you will be too—enjoy!

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Makes 4 servings.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small to medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 1/2 stalk of celery sliced, chopped.
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/3 each sweet red, & green peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika powder
  • pinch of chilli pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2/3 cup pot barley
  • 1/3 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 mild Italian sausages
  • 12 shrimp (21-30 size)

Onion peppers celery carrot garlic rice barley mushroom on cutting board ingredients chopped and shown on cutting board

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  • In a 10 to 12-inch diameter non-stick fry pan, heat oil over medium heat, add onions, celery, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, stirring occasionally until softened (5 to 7 minutes). 
  • Add and stir in the garlic, black pepper, paprika powder, chilli pepper flakes, oregano, and thyme, and cook for another 5 minutes.
Chopped peppers onion mushrooms etc. in the frying pan
Chopped Vegetables in the frying pan
  • In a medium-sized pot, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then add the pot barley, brown rice, and cook for a few minutes. 
  • Add and stir in the contents of the frying pan, reduce heat to low, and cover.
Barley, rice and soup stock in the pot on the stove top
Barley, rice and soup stock in the pot
fried vegetables added to the barley & rice in the pot
Vegetables added to the barley & rice in the pot

  • In the frying pan, add a dash of olive oil, and again at medium heat, fry the Italian sausages until done, remove and drain on paper towel.
  • Slice sausages into 3/8 to 1/2” thick pieces, and add them to the pot.
Sliced sausages returned to the frying pan (optional step)
Sliced sausages returned to the frying pan
  • Optional: Brown the sausage slices on each side in the frying pan.
  • Cover and continue cooking on low for about 40 or 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add a few ounces of water as needed if mixture appears too dry.
  • Add the shrimp, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until opaque.
Shrimp added to the pot for cooking on stove top
Shrimp added to the pot for cooking
  • Stir and mix cooked shrimp in the pot.
  • Serve family style in the same pot and garnish with green onion.
Pot Barley Jambalaya With Sausage & Shrimp garnished with green onions
Pot Barley Jambalaya With Sausage & Shrimp

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Possible Alternatives:

  • Consider using proteins such as chicken, steak, or polish sausage.
  • Freely substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock or water for the barley cooking liquid.
Print

Healthier Pot Barley Jambalaya

Healthier Pot Barley Jambalaya is something you won’t find on restaurant menus. This low salt recipe takes advantage of the health benefits of pot barley. You can read more about barley’s benefits at this link. Brown rice instead of white rice? Why? Read more about it at this link.

Makes 4 servings

  • Author: Bill Wilkat

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small to medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 1/2 stalk of celery sliced, chopped.
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/3 each sweet red, & green peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika powder
  • pinch of chilli pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2/3 cup pot barley
  • 1/3 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 mild Italian sausages
  • 12 shrimp (21-30 size)

Instructions

  • In a 10 to 12-inch diameter non-stick fry pan, heat oil over medium heat, add onions, celery, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, stirring occasionally until softened (5 to 7 minutes).
  • Add and stir in the garlic, black pepper, paprika powder, chilli pepper flakes, oregano, and thyme, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • In a medium-sized pot, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then add the pot barley, brown rice, and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add and stir in the contents of the frying pan, reduce heat to low, and cover.
  • In the frying pan, add a dash of olive oil, and again at medium heat, fry the Italian sausages until done, remove and drain on paper towel.
  • Slice sausages into 3/8 to 1/2” thick pieces, and add them to the pot.
  • Optional: Brown the sausage slices on each side in the frying pan.
  • Cover and continue cooking on low for about 40 or 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add a few ounces of water as needed if mixture appears too dry.
  • Add the shrimp, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until opaque.
  • Stir and mix cooked shrimp in the pot.
  • Serve family style in the same pot and garnish with green onion.

Notes

Possible Alternatives:

  • Consider using proteins such as chicken, steak, or polish sausage.
  • Freely substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock or water for the barley cooking liquid.
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