Skip the smoking skillet and effortlessly make delicious Instant Pot Steak Fajitas using an inexpensive cut of beef and the Instant Pot.
Fajitas in the Instant Pot?
Fajitas are classically made on a searing hot skillet with thin strips of meat, peppers, and onions.
However, we can skip the smoking skillet (and the smell that comes with it) and make delicious steak fajitas using the instant pot.
The advantage of making steak fajitas using an electric pressure cooker is that you can use a less expensive cut of meat and still have delicious results!
Notes on Ingredients
- Steak: For the meat, you can use sirloin or flank steak. Keep in mind sirloin is often less expensive and easier to find.
- Peppers: Use any combination of bell peppers you like--red, yellow, and/or green. I personally love using a variety of colors for visual pop. Plus red and yellow peppers add a sweeter flavor, while a green bell pepper adds a nice fresh flavor.
- Onion: Use a yellow, white, or sweet large onion for fajitas. I don't recommend red onions for this recipe, as they don't get as tender as white onions when pressure cooked.
- Beef Broth: Use low-sodium beef broth for the thin cooking liquid. For this recipe, you will only need to use ½ cup for a 3 or 6-quart instant pot or ¾ cup for an 8-quart model. As you may know from my Instant Pot Basics, you need at least 1 cup of liquid to cook in a pressure cooker. HOWEVER, the juice that the raw onions and peppers release will provide enough liquid to cook these Steak Fajitas.
- Fajita Seasoning: I use my homemade blend of fajita seasoning which is made with smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin. You can use store-bought seasoning or even taco seasoning to flavor these fajitas.
- Limes: Do not overlook this addition! Adding both the juice and zest of fresh limes will brighten up all the flavors of the fajitas, and the acid from the lime juice will make the flavors pop in your mouth.
How to Make Instant Pot Steak Fajitas
- Place your sirloin or flank steak into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, as this will make it much easier to thinly slice.
- After freezing, slice the steak into ½-inch strips going against the grain.
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute, add in a bit of oil and let it heat.
- While the oil is heating, toss the sliced steak with fajita seasoning to coat.
- Once the oil is heated, add about half the seasoned meat to the Instant Pot in a single layer. You don’t want to overlap the meat, or you won’t get nice caramelized edges on the beef.
- Saute the strip of steak for 1-2 minutes per side, to JUST brown.
- Once the meat is seared on both sides, remove the steak from the inner pot and place it on a plate.
- Repeat the process with the remaining meat, adding in an additional teaspoon of oil if needed.
- Turn off the saute function and add the beef broth to the inner pot and scrape, scrape, scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot. That will prevent a burn notice from occurring and help to flavor the fajitas.
- Add the seared steak back to the inner pot and top with the sliced onion and peppers.
- Sprinkle the peppers and onions with a bit more fajita seasoning for additional flavor.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and be sure the venting knob is pointed to sealed.
- To set the cooking time, hit Manual or Pressure Cook and set to cook on high pressure for 2 minutes.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, let pressure release for at least 10 minutes, which will keep the meat super tender.
- Remove the steak and pepper mixture to a serving bowl, using a slotted spoon.
- Add the lime zest and juice to the fajita mixture and stir to incorporate.
Serve this steak fajita mixture on warmed corn or flour tortillas. Top the mixture as desired, with sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced avocado, and/or minced cilantro.
I love to pair Instant Pot Steak Fajitas with one of the following side dishes as well.
- Tex-Mex Corn Salad
- Chips and Homemade Guacamole
- Instant Pot Spanish Rice
- Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
Need more inspiration for planning meals that your family will love? Sign up for my FREE Meal Plans and each week you will get a meal plan with a shopping list.
If you tried this recipe for Instant Pot Steak Fajitas, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Instant Pot Steak Fajitas
- 1 pound sirloin steak roast or flank steak
- 1 tablespoon fajita seasoning divided
- 2 teaspoons oil divided
- ½-3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 1 large yellow or white onion thinly sliced
- 3 large bell peppers (any color) thinly sliced
- 2 limes zested and juiced
- Place the full cut of meat into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, as it will be easier to slice. After freezing, slice the steak into ½-inch strips against the grain. Season the meat with ½ tablespoon of the fajita seasoning.
- Turn the Instant Pot to Saute and add in 1 teaspoon of oil and let heat.
- Once the oil is heated, add half the seasoned meat to the Instant Pot in a single layer. Saute for about 1-2 minutes per side, to JUST brown the steak. Remove the seared meat from the inner pot and place it on a plate. Repeat the process with the remaining meat, adding in an additional teaspoon of oil if needed. Once browned, remove the steak to the plate with the first batch, and drain off any grease if needed.
- Turn the Instant Pot off by hitting cancel, Add in ½ cup beef broth for a 3 or 6-quart Instant Pot or ¾ cup for an 8-quart model. Use a wooden or metal spatula to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot.
- Add the seared beef back to the inner pot. Top the meat with the sliced onion and sliced peppers. Sprinkle the additional ½ tablespoon of fajita seasoning over the pepper and onions.
- Seal instant pot, being sure vent knob is pointed to sealed. Set to cook on High Pressure for 2 minutes. Once cooking time is finished let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, to keep the meat tender.
- Remove the meat, onions, and peppers to a serving platter using a slotted spoon. Add the zest and juice of the limes and toss to coat.
- Serve the fajita mixture as desired on tortillas or over rice with your favorite toppings.
This recipe was originally published in 2018 but updated in 2022 with new photos and a video.
Hey Kristen! Can I use chicken instead? How different would the cooking time be? Thanks!
Hi Lena! Yes! Chicken would work great in this recipe. I would suggest thin slices of boneless, skinless chicken breast and cooking for 4 minutes on high pressure with 10 minutes natural pressure release. Enjoy!
I was wondering what the cooking time and resting time would be if I double or triple that recipe? Would to liquid quantity be the same?
Hi Diane! The cooking time/resting time will remain the same regardless if you double or triple the recipe. I would leave the liquid the same regardless if you double or triple the recipe. Enjoy!