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Because I kind of thought our Wednesday could use a little spicing up.

Easy Chicken Fajitas with Cheesy Enchilada Rice + Spicy Tex-Mex Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

You know, to get us through the Wednesday hump.

Easy Chicken Fajitas with Cheesy Enchilada Rice + Spicy Tex-Mex Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

I think I have talked about this before, but you guys, what the heck is the difference between a taco and a fajita??

I really just do not get it. I know fajitas are supposed to be done on the grill, but there are plenty of fajita recipes made on the stove and plenty of taco recipes made on the grill. It’s all a bunch of craziness if you ask me.

They both can be served in flour or corn tortillas, they both are filled with meat (or maybe veggie/bean filling) and they both get topped with cheese and hopefully some kind of salsa.

Easy Chicken Fajitas with Cheesy Enchilada Rice + Spicy Tex-Mex Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

SO, here is how I differentiate my tacos from my fajitas.

I stuff my fajitas with rice and top um with peppers. I top my tacos with salsa or pico de gallo, rarely do I add rice. So really, my fajitas have lots of peppers on top and my tacos don’t….normally. I am not saying they never will because you just never know what I might want to add to my taco toppings. I am typically a fruity salsa kind of girl, but peppers are good too.

Anyway, I guess the biggest difference is rice. Most of my tacos TYPICALLY do not get loaded with rice, BUT I wouldn’t want to close myself in and say never. So there you have it, Tieghan’s interpretation on the difference between a taco and a fajita. Aren’t you glad you tuned in today!

Easy Chicken Fajitas with Cheesy Enchilada Rice + Spicy Tex-Mex Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

So let’s just talk about that rice for a second. For one, this whole recipe was a, last-minute, let’s clean out the fridge and yet still come up with something great kind of deal. I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go, or even turn out, but I went with.

I made this simple by tossing some chicken in with the last of my homemade taco seasoning. Then I tossed peppers and corn with a little olive oil and placed everything on the grill. While the chicken, peppers and corn where grilling I looked back in the fridge and thought “ok, I need some sauce for these”. So I did what I do and I pulled a few things out and started adding a little of this and a little of that to a bowl.

Ahh right, I am not that good. I used this recipe for the special sauce, but added cream cheese to the mix, which to me is what makes this super special… and super addicting. Oh, and I also added a little chipotle pepper in adobo because you can never go wrong adding a little smoky, spice to the mix.

Easy Chicken Fajitas with Cheesy Enchilada Rice + Spicy Tex-Mex Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

By then the chicken, peppers and corn were done, so I grabbed them from the grill.

I had some time to kill while everything was cooling off, so that’s when I thought “oh, I need rice, duh”. Luckily, I of course had leftover rice already in the fridge. I then added it to a skillet with some enchilada sauce, beans and cheese and melted it all together.

Best ever, quick cooking, cheesy Mexican rice. Also, the perfect filler for fajitas – so cheesy and delish.

Easy Chicken Fajitas with Cheesy Enchilada Rice + Spicy Tex-Mex Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

Then I assembled. Loading up on the rice, adding some chicken, piling the veggies high and generously drizzling on some special sauce + cotija cheese.

Easy Chicken Fajitas with Cheesy Enchilada Rice + Spicy Tex-Mex Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

Pretty sure these are gonna help you get through the Wednesday hump, right?

Easy Chicken Fajitas with Cheesy Enchilada Rice + Spicy Tex-Mex Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

Easy Chicken Fajitas with Cheesy Enchilada Rice + Spicy Tex-Mex Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

Easy Chicken Fajitas with Cheesy Enchilada Rice + Tex-Mex Special Sauce.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 638 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Cheesy Enchilada Rice

  • 3 cups leftover cooked white or brown rice*
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt or heavy cream 0% fat or full fat - both work
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese + more to your liking
  • 2 cups cooked black beans 1 can drained + rinsed
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped

Fajitas

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 red + orange bell pepper sliced
  • 2 ears corn husk removed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 8 small flour tortillas warmed (use gluten free if needed)
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • cotija cheese for serving

Tex-Mex Special Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 ounces melted cream cheese or Mexican crema
  • 1 in chipotle adobo finely chopped + 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 a lime juiced

Instructions

  • To make the Tex-Mex Special Sauce, add the ketchup and cream cheese to a bowl. Whisk until smooth and then add the brown sugar, chipotle peppers, cilantro and lime juice. Season with a pinch of salt. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Heat a grill, grill pan or cast iron skillet to high heat. Add the chicken to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the taco seasoning. Place the peppers and corn on a plate and rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil (if you are using a skillet, slice the peppers into thin strips and remove the kernels of corn from the cob).
  • Add the chicken and veggies to the hot grill, grill for 5-8 minutes. Flip the chicken and turn the veggies, grill for another 5-8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked though. Make sure to check the veggies and flip a few extra times to ensure even cooking. You want them to be soft and have nice grill marks. If the corn is getting burnt wrap them in a sheet of tin foil. Remove everything from the grill and allow the veggies and chicken to cool five minutes (if you are using a skillet just saute the chicken and veggies separately until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are soft).
  • Meanwhile make the rice*. Add the rice to a large skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toast the rice for 5 minutes, stirring often to ensure even browning. Add the enchilada sauce, greek yogurt or heavy creamy and cheddar cheese. Bring the mixture to a low boil and cook, stirring until the cheese is melted and the rice is creamy, about 5 minutes. If desired add more cheese until it is cheesy enough for you! Stir in the black beans, cilantro and green onions. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Once the chicken and veggies are cool enough to touch, slice the peppers and use a sharp knife to remove the corn kernels from the cob. Add the veggies to a bowl and toss with the cilantro and lime juice. Slice the chicken into strips.
  • To assemble add the cheesy rice to the center of a warm tortilla. Add the chicken and peppers. Garnish with fresh cilantro, diced avocado and cotjia cheese. Drizzle with the Tex-Mex Special Sauce.

Notes

*Here is how I make rice. Add the 3 cups water to a medium size pot. Bring to a low boil and then add the 1 1/2 cups jasmine or basmati rice. Stir to combine and then place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Allow the rice to cook ten minutes on low and then turn the heat off completely and let the rice sit on the stove, covered, for another 20 minutes (don't take any peeks inside!). After 20 minutes remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Note that rice can cook differently for everyone, this is just what works for me.
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Easy Chicken Fajitas with Cheesy Enchilada Rice + Spicy Tex-Mex Special Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com

I mean, if these don’t help, than I’m sorry to say, you may just have to remain miserable until Friday.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Perfect on a “Taco” Tuesday or any night of the week. So good and really easy to put together. Definitely going to be in heavy rotation.

    1. Hey Samantha,
      I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have the best week. xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Would this work with freshly made rice as well? Or, like with fried rice, does it really require day-old rice? Just found this and wanna make it tonight but I don’t have any leftover rice!

    1. Hey Jessica! This works just fine with freshly made rice, no need for it to be leftover. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  3. My boyfriend and I made these for his family one night and they were absolutely amazing! We couldn’t eat enough! The rice would be awesome as just a side dish as well! Love love love!!

  4. JUST MADE THESE FOR FRIENDS AND IT WAS A SLAMMING SUCCESS!! THANK YOU !!!! Love everything you post too much !

  5. Girl, I wish I was the one who took the bite out of the fajita in that very last picture! I’m totally jelly of that person! 😉 These look phenomenal! Pinned!

  6. There actually isn’t a “real” difference between the two. Technically speaking, fajita means ‘little belts’ and refers to only beef strips (because they look like tiny belts). You then grill it with veggies, typically bell peppers, in a cast iron skillet. After that’s all said and done, you make your dinner.

    Taco, in all honesty, usually is a term designated for how you’re end food preparation will look. A taco is usually made of a soft flour tortilla and filled with whatever you like, and is then folded – similar to a quesadilla, however, the tortillas for those are usually much larger. If you plan on rolling your food in the tortilla, it then becomes a burrito.

    So, the difference is only in terms of what it’s pertaining too. Fajita is towards the meat – usually steak strips, but can be chicken or pork – while a taco is really how the tortilla is folded. So, you can make steak fajitas, prepare them in a cast iron, and then put the product into a tortilla and then fold it in half, thus making a taco.

    Hopefully that makes sense? (by the way, I’m from Texas where a little of great Mexican food is)

    1. Also! To maybe make it a little clearer, but not everything can be considered a fajita.

      Ground beef isn’t a strip, so it doesn’t look like a belt, meaning it can’t be considered fajita meat. However, ground beef can still go into a taco. So, pretty much a fajita can be added into a taco, but what goes into a taco doesn’t always mean it can be called fajita…

  7. This was my first try at a HalfBakedHarvest recipe, and I’m incredibly glad I stumbled across this website! Even with my limited cooking proficiency, this recipe turned out fabulous 😀 THANK YOU!!!

  8. This was my first try at a HalfBakedHarvest recipe – it just caught my eye as I scrolled through. Wow! Even with my limited proficiency at cooking, it was an incredible success thanks to the photographed steps and brilliant recipe. THANK YOU!!!!

  9. Oh my goodness Tieghan, you are killing me will all these photos, those fajitas look incredible, and it’s got just about everything I love in there, and the sauce just pretty much makes it inifinitely better.