There is no dish at a Mexican restaurant more dramatic than fajitas. But if you have leftovers you must know the proper way on how to reheat fajitas, so that it will be as delicious as when it’s newly cooked.
The sizzle alerts everyone in the dining room that whoever ordered them is about to have something delicious.
The same cannot be said about the leftovers, however. The difficulties of reheating steak, as well as the fact that fajitas are often cooked in a lot of oil or butter, makes warming them difficult.
However, with proper technique, it is easy to know how to reheat fajitas.
Fajitas are about as basic of a food as one can imagine getting at a Mexican restaurant, despite the theatre of ordering them. Sauteed meat and vegetables, tortillas, and toppings are all that is really to them.
However, it is the sauteed meat that can offer difficulties. Bell peppers and onions, and occasionally mushrooms, are joined by steak, chicken, shrimp, or sometimes a combination thereof. This can make reheating them much more difficult.
One word to the wise, however. If you’re going to be reheating fajitas, please keep the different components separate until it is time to reheat them.
While I’m not advocating removing chicken from bell peppers (though there is an exception, see below), don’t think that pre-making your fajitas, while adding sour cream or guacamole to everything, is going to end well.
Assuming that you follow the advice to not premix your fajitas, the fact is that you have relatively compatible textures at play.
The steak, if present, is focused more on beefiness and tenderness than any sort of char on the outside, and is likely cooked well done anyway.
The chicken is again focused on being a vehicle for spices rather than maintaining any sort of grill marks or juiciness. Likewise, bell peppers and onions are pretty robust when it comes to being reheated.
The odd ball is the shrimp. If you are trying to reheat shrimp fajitas, you’re going to face some difficulty.
This is because shrimp can be toughened if it is overcooked, and chances are it was pretty close to being overcooked when you left the restaurant. If you’re going to bring shrimp fajitas, consider picking out the shrimp and reheating them separately.
What to Avoid When You Reheat Fajitas
As we mentioned above, fajitas are pretty robust, so you can take some leeway in reheating them, assuming that you haven’t stuffed each individual tortilla prior to reheating.
However, some methods are better than others. Because of all the grease, you may find that microwaving is less than satisfactory. However, microwaving will not be the mistake here that it would be with other foods, unless there is shrimp involved.
Also, using an air fryer or toaster oven is not likely to offer much in the way of success. Those create extra textures that you may not want in your fajitas.
Best Ways on How to Reheat Fajitas
That is not to say that reheating fajitas can’t happen in a microwave. If you want to do this, try to blot off as much grease as possible using a paper towel, then cook it in 30-45 second bursts, reheating until the food is piping hot.
If you have shrimp, add them only for the last 45 seconds or so, then mix the fajitas thoroughly. The steam and escaping heat from the rest of the fajitas will warm the shrimp to an appropriate temperature gently, without overcooking them.
In the best of circumstances, simply warm them up in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Feel free to toss the fajitas as they warm, as the aerated bits of grease actually add a lot of flavor. Again, if you have any shrimp, add them during the final minute or so of cooking.