Mexican chicken, shrimp, and beef fajitas tacos in colorful table with sauce

How Much Fajita Meat Per Person?

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If you’re cooking up a batch of fajitas for a large dinner party, it can be difficult to figure out exactly how much meat you’ll need!

There are many factors to take into consideration, but the main thing is that you want to make sure that your guests feel like they’ve had a fair share of meaty goodness in their fajita wraps.

So, how much fajita meat per person do you need? Food safety authorities advise eating no more than 4 ounces of meat per day, so this is a good amount to stick to for a weekday family dinner. As a treat for a large dinner party, you could consider increasing the amount to 6 ounces of beef or 1 chicken breast per person.

If you’re struggling to get your head around how much fajita meat to use per person, don’t panic! We’ve got everything you need to know right here, including some top tips on how to make a big batch of fajitas without the stress.

What Are Fajitas?

top down photo of mexican steak and chicken fajitas in iron skillet with corn tortillas

Fajitas are a firm favorite in many households, with families regularly enjoying this flavorful meal. 

This dish is a Tex-Mex combination first developed in the 1930s by Mexican workers in the deep south of America.

These workers were frequently given a cut of beef called skirt steak to cook with, which they sliced into thin strips and fried in a delicious blend of spices and vegetables.

The cooked beef mix was then eaten in a floury tortilla wrap — perfectly satisfying after a long day out on the ranch!

Over the years, the fajita recipe has been adapted and modified in many ways, and we all have our favorite way of eating this delicious Mexican-inspired meal.

Most fajita recipes include slices of onion and bell peppers, and the beef filling is often topped with lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, shredded cheese, and refried beans.

Fajitas are mostly served as a stand-alone dish, as they are regarded as an entire meal. If you prefer, you can serve fajitas with a range of different side dishes to make this delicious meal stretch further.

How Much Fajita Meat Per Person?

Two beef fajitas with red onion, peppers, cilantro, and lime.

Like many food-related questions, there is no straightforward answer here! But we’re going to go out on a bit of a limb and say that many recipes you come across will recommend far more meat in your fajitas than you really need.

It isn’t uncommon to find recipes that suggest around 8 ounces of fajita meat per person — this is a very generous amount, and will undoubtedly leave your guests feeling full and satisfied!

However, 8 ounces of meat is double the daily recommended meat intake of 4 ounces per day. Yes, many recipes advise that you eat twice as much meat as advised by the food safety authorities!

Meat may be delicious and a great source of protein, but, like many things, it should be enjoyed in moderation. Excessive meat consumption can lead to obesity, high cholesterol, and heart disease.

So, we’ve made a decision here to help keep us all in good health while ensuring our fajitas are laden with meat — we’re going to meet you halfway!

When fajitas are served as an occasional treat, we think that it would be realistic to use around 6 ounces of meat per person. This is still over the daily recommended meat intake, but lower than some recipes recommend.

6 ounces of meat is plenty to satisfy even the hungriest appetite, and we’ve got plenty more tricks up our sleeves to help ensure your fajitas are delicious and oh-so-satisfying!

If you intend to cook fajitas regularly for your family, reduce it to the recommended daily meat amount of 4 ounces per person.

The table below outlines how much beef, chicken, or shrimp to use in fajitas, helping you to easily scale up the quantities for larger amounts.

Disclaimer alert – these are still higher than the amounts recommended by food safety authorities, and should be an occasional treat rather than an everyday diet!

Number Of PeopleAmount Of Beef SkirtNumber Of Sliced Chicken BreastsAmount Of ShrimpNumber Of Tortilla Wraps
212 ounces28 ounces6
530 ounces520 ounces15
1060 ounces1040 ounces30
20120 ounces2080 ounces60

How Many Fajitas Do You Need Per Person?

Homemade Chicken Fajitas with Vegetables and Tortillas

As well as calculating the amount of meat you’ll need for your fajita mix, you’ll also need to make sure you’ve got enough tortilla wraps.

This meal is normally served with the separate components laid out on the table, and your guests help themselves to a wrap to load up with the fillings of their choice.

While some fillings may disappear more quickly than others, the last thing you want to happen is running out of wraps!

A good guide is to allow three large tortilla wraps per person — not everyone will eat all three, but some of your hungrier guests may eat three or even four!

This should be a good amount to make sure everyone gets as many fajita wraps as they need to leave them feeling full and satisfied.

How Much Beef Should You Use For Fajitas?

You’ll see many fajita recipes advising that you use 8 ounces of beef skirt per person, but this is double the recommended daily intake of red meat.

While you could eat this amount occasionally as a treat (after all, we’d happily tackle a 16-ounce T-bone steak!), it is not a good idea to regularly eat this much.

The beef in fajitas is commonly cooked alongside onions and bell peppers and served with other fillings like refried beans and guacamole.

This adds to the hunger-satisfying properties of fajitas, meaning you can reduce the amount of beef to a healthier amount.

For a midweek family dinner, we’d suggest sticking to the recommended amount of 4 ounces of beef per person. If you’re cooking fajitas for an indulgent dinner party, you could increase this to 6 ounces per person as a one-off treat.

How Much Chicken Should You Use For Fajitas?

Chicken is commonly used instead of beef for fajitas, and this white poultry meat is ideal for soaking up the delicious Mexican spices.

As with beef, you’ll often see recipes recommending up to 8 ounces of chicken breast per person.

This equates to 1.5 chicken breasts each — more than double the recommended serving for an adult.

You could reduce this down to 1 sliced chicken breast per person and still have a deliciously satisfying dinner.

Slicing the chicken into thin strips will make sure everyone gets a decent share, as well as make it quick and easy to cook through.

How Much Shrimp Should You Use For Fajitas?

The intense flavor and meaty texture of shrimp mean that a little bit goes a long way, and you can use a lower weight of shrimp in fajitas compared to beef.

A generous serving of shrimp for an adult is 4 ounces, but you could reduce this down to 3 ounces and still feel satisfied. This would also keep you within the recommended amount of seafood we should all consume each week.

Eating large amounts of shrimp is not recommended for people with high cholesterol, so either reduce the amount or swap it for a healthier form of protein.

And if you’re unable to eat shrimp or prefer something different, it can be swapped for any type of firm, white fish instead.

Fish fajitas are surprisingly tasty, and a great way to get your family to eat more fish! Halibut, haddock, sea bass, and tilapia are all types of fish that will work well in fajitas.

How To Reduce The Amount Of Meat In Fajitas

mexican beef fajitas served with rice, soft flour tortillas at hot plate and four different sauces

The joy of the spice blend used in fajitas is that it makes pretty much any ingredient taste amazing!

So, if you’re trying to keep your meat intake within a healthy limit, there are plenty of easy swaps to help you achieve this.

First, try reducing the amount of meat by half, then bulking out the mix with added vegetables. Double up the number of sliced bell peppers or add in other vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, string beans, and sugar snap peas.

Alternatively, you could cut out the meat altogether and opt for a vegetarian or vegan version of fajita.

This could be made simply by frying a mix of vegetables in the zingy Mexican spice blend, or you could swap the meat for tofu instead. Frying the tofu in oil will help to keep it crispy and delicious.

Another way to compensate for less meat in your fajitas is to go completely to town on the toppings!

Refried beans are a great way to add protein without meat, so make sure you’ve got a big bowl of these ready to serve. Guacamole, sour cream, and shredded cheese are all great for making your fajitas taste deliciously indulgent.

And finally, don’t forget the sides! This family favorite can easily be bulked out by serving them with a stack of fries or a bowl of rice. 

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