Pappasito’s Fajita Steak Marinade

If you live in the Atlanta area, there’s a chance you may have been to Pappasito’s. The restaurant is best known for their amazing fajitas on homemade tortillas. Having been to Mexico, I can tell you the food is not exactly authentic, but it is incredibly delicious. Their steak fajitas are to die for, and I always leave wondering, “how did they make that steak so good?” It is always tender and indescribably flavorful.

Well, the secret is out! I recently came across a “copy cat” recipe online and decided to give it a try. I was a bit skeptical but figured it was worth a shot, considering I can get a flank steak at Costco for a quarter of the price that Pappasito’s charges. Plus, the marinade itself is SO SIMPLE–but you will have to scroll down to see the ingredients. : ) Anyway, I was very pleased with the results!


Hot off the grill, this really did remind me of the steak from Pappasito’s. It was tender, juicy, and flavorful. If you make this you should taste some of the meat by itself because it is uncanny how similar it is!

Make sure to marinade the steak for at least 5-6 hours. Everything I read online advised not to marinade overnight, so I didn’t try it. I suggest 6 hours so the flavor is infused. I only let mine marinade for about 4 hours, and it was not quite enough.  When eaten as a fajita (in a tortilla with pico de gallo, lettuce, guacamole, pinto beans, or whatever other toppings you enjoy), the flavor did get a little lost. This probably could have been prevented if I had allowed the steak to marinade for the full 6 hours!



So, are you ready for the secret ingredients?

Pineapple and soy sauce! 

It makes perfect sense because both tenderize the meat. The soy sauce adds saltiness, and the pineapple juice adds a little bit of sweetness. So simple!

Pappasito’s Fajita Steak Marinade


1.75-2 lb flank steak


  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water

1). Combine marinade ingredients with flank steak in a ziplock bag and allow to marinade for at LEAST 5-6 hours, but not overnight.

2). Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Cook steak for 8-10 minutes on each side for medium to medium-well. Slice into thin strips and serve.

Servings: 4-6 depending on size of steak Nutritional Information per 3 oz serving: Calroies: 180 Carbs: 0g Fat: 9g Protein: 23g Fiber: 0g