Dinner made easy and ALL IN ONE PAN with these steak and chicken fajitas – one of our favorite sheet pan dinner ideas. Set it out on the table and serve with toppings to feed a big family easily!
Did you know the average family mealtime is 12 minutes? That’s it, that’s all the time the average family has dedicated to reconnecting, destressing, and unpacking the big problems of their day. That’s one of the reasons I love sheet pan dinners like our steak and chicken fajitas.
I’ve been trying to dedicate less time to cooking and more time to the conversation and enjoyment of dinner with our family.
An article by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) says that teens who have family dinners 5-7 times a week are about 50% less likely to smoke or drink and 25% less likely to use marijuana.
With a new high schooler in the house, we are bracing to face a new world of challenges.
Keep reading for some great family dinner tips and our delicious steak and chicken fajitas recipe, made with one of our favorites delivered right to the door – Omaha Steaks!
I used the bacon wrapped filets for this recipe and the addition of bacon gives a bit of a smokey, deep flavor. I don’t ever want to go back!
Table of Contents
Family Dinner Tips
The profamily dinner statistics against substance abuse are impressive. But there are many more benefits to our children with frequent family mealtimes:
- Lower risk of depression
- A greater sense of resilience
- Lower rates of obesity
- Better academic performance
- Lower risk of teen pregnancy
- Lower likelihood of developing eating disorders
- Higher self-esteem
Most of us know it’s beneficial to eat together as a family even without these facts, but the real trick is how to make it work as a family unit. The following are some of my best tips to make family mealtime easier for everyone.
1) Meal Planning
Don’t roll your eyes. Meal planning (some forethought) can make a big difference during the week. It avoids that dreaded question, “What’s for dinner?”
We are less likely to make a homecooked meal if it takes a high level of brainpower. And with our busy lives, we often have little left to give at the end of our day.
Meal planning can be different for everyone. It may involve special shopping, set meals for the day of the week, or simply a menu from what you have in your cupboard. Make meal planning work for you, but if you need a little help check out my meal planning post and snag a free printable.
2) Simple Meals
The simpler the meal, the more likely you will be willing to cook it. I am totally into one pan, one-pot, slow cooker, and sheet pan dinners (like these steak and chicken fajitas). They sure do make life easier.
I have several posts on these easy meals, so check them out for ideas.
3) Involve Your Kids
The older your children get, the more helpful they can be. We often involve our kids in the cooking. They make great graters, choppers, and mixers.
The trick is to make sure that everyone has something to do that is age-appropriate. You don’t want to have to worry about them.
Cooking will give them an important life skill for when they venture into the world on their own.
4) Be Flexible
Having a hot home-cooked meal is great, but sometimes it’s difficult to coordinate. You may need to have dinner early one day and late the next. It’s okay to make it work for your lifestyle.
Also, think outside the box. If you are in a real time-crunch, you may need to prep a cold sandwich picnic-style meal the night before. There is nothing wrong with bringing food to the sports field before practice.
5) Focus on Each Other
It’s time to turn off cell phones, games, and the TV. If the silence is disturbing, put on some instrumental music in the background. Use this time to focus on each other.
Our family sometimes uses a talking stick (usually a spoon or spatula) to give each person a turn to speak uninterrupted. This includes you too. Take the time to talk about family procedures that need work, upcoming events, and don’t forget to give out lots of praise.
Another family favorite around the dinner table? High/Low! Everyone takes turns sharing a high point of the day and a low point of the day. This helps to open conversation, and allows encouragement and celebration, too.
6) Use Leading Questions
Rather than asking, “How was your day,” and almost inevitably getting the answer, “Fine,” try using leading questions. Leading questions are questions that have to be answered with at least a full sentence.
- What did you learn in math today?
- Who did you sit with at lunch?
- What was the funniest thing that happened at school today?
- What did you do that made you proud of yourself today?
- What are you looking forward to about school tomorrow?
I could probably go on with more tips, but let’s not complicate things. After all, the best rule is to keep it simple. Now, let’s get into these sheet pan fajitas.
Ingredients for Steak and Chicken Fajitas
Most of these items you’ll already have on hand, but here’s a simple list when getting your meal plan and shopping list together:
- olive oil
- a large onion
- bell peppers
- 2 4-5 ounce steaks (Omaha Steaks bacon wrapped filet is my choice!)
- 4 chicken breasts
- chili powder
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- pepper and salt
Sheet Pan Steak and Chicken Fajitas Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 3 bell peppers, thinly sliced (I like using green, red and yellow)
- 2 4-5 ounce steaks (Omaha Steaks bacon wrapped filet is my choice!), thinly sliced
- 4 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- juice of one lime (about 1 and a half tablespoons)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Drizzle the olive oil on a large sheet pan.
- In a small bowl combine chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and salt. Set aside.
- Add the sliced onions, sliced bell peppers, and thinly sliced steak and chicken to the sheet pan.
- Using your hands or a pair of tongs, mix together until the meat and vegetables are well coated.
- Squeeze lime juice over top of the mixture.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, testing the meat after 12 minutes, or until the veggies are becoming soft and the steak has browned on the outside.
- Top with fresh squeezed lime and cilantro.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 468Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 477mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 51g
Kitchen Wise Episode for Our Sheet Pan Steak and Chicken Fajitas… with Bacon!
The Final Dish on Sheet Pan Dinners
Sheet pan dinners are a great way to make large family dinner ideas happen. Just remember to plan ahead, keep it simple, and focus on communication. That’s what family is all about, being heard, being known, and being loved no matter what.
I also love that these delicious steak and chicken fajitas are easy to adjust the portion size, depending on how much you place in your flour tortilla.
Hubby loads up on sheet pan fajita steak while our toddler goes light on the onion.
I hope your family enjoys these sheet pan steak and chicken fajitas as much as mine do!