An easy and flavourful twist on traditional fajitas!
This dish was inspired by my family’s enduring love for fajitas. I am less of a fan than they are – I find that unless the steak is very tender and sliced in thin, bite-sized pieces, fajitas can be a messy endeavour to consume. My solution? Swap in generously-seasoned meatballs and bake the whole thing on a sheet pan. Turns out, this method is both ridiculously easy and amazingly delicious. Use gluten-free breadcrumbs and tortillas if you like and consider ground turkey, chicken or pork if you prefer. Another great option is to serve the meatballs, vegetables and toppings over hot cooked rice or quinoa, making for a satisfying and delicious meal-in-a-bowl. A final note: don’t be daunted by the ingredient list – most, if not all, you likely already have on hand. If this dish appeals to you, you might also enjoy my no-fuss fajita bowls or this fabulous fajita skillet casserole.
- 2 teaspoons (28 g) ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon (14 g) chipotle chili powder (or more, to taste)
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon (14 g) kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (5 g) freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) lime juice
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pound (454 g) lean ground beef
- 4 garlic cloves minced, divided
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup (50 g) bread crumbs (regular or gluten-free)
- 1/4 cup (5 g) chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 large Spanish onion, sliced
- 2 large sweet bell peppers (any colour), sliced
- 1 large jalapeño, seeded and sliced
- Chopped cilantro, to garnish
- Warmed tortillas or pita for serving
- Lime wedges, salsa, guacamole and sour cream, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large, heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, make the marinade by whisking together the cumin, chipotle chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce until evenly combined. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef, half of the minced garlic, beaten egg, bread crumbs, cilantro, and 3/4 of the marinade mixture. Lightly mix with your hands or a fork until evenly combined. Divide the mixture and roll into balls about the size of a golf ball (or slightly smaller) and place on a plate or platter. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. (Note that meatballs can be made up to 24 hours in advance.)
- In a separate bowl, toss together the onion, bell peppers, jalapeño and remaining garlic with the remaining marinade. Spread out evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and bake just until the veggies begin to soften, about 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and push the veggies to one side. Then lay the meatballs, in a single layer, onto the now emptied side. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake until golden brown and fully cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Serve hot, garnished with cilantro, with warmed tortillas or pita, lime wedges and your choice of other accompaniments.