Carne Asada Tacos
Fire up the grill, because it’s time to make some mouthwatering, flavor packed, and steak loaded Carne Asada Tacos! Flank steak is marinated in a bold mixture before being grilled to perfection, chopped up, and served in a warm tortilla with pico de gallo, cojita cheese, and plenty of fresh cilantro.
Carne Asada Tacos
Spring is officially here, which means summer’s just around the corner! That means something different to everyone, but for me, it means something major – it’s grilling season. Grilling season occurs when the weather rises to bearable temperatures, the sun shines through the clouds, and all the kids are home from school. It’s just the most perfect time for a backyard party with friends and family!
With that being said, carne asada tacos aren’t just a party-exlusive dish. They’re also perfect for biting into around the dinner table with just your immediate family as a special weeknight dinner! Whether you’re celebrating someone’s good grades or just the turning of the season, carne asada tacos should be the way you embrace the warmer weather this year.
The grilled flank (or skirt) steak itself really steals the show here. It’s first marinated in a mixture of orange and lime juices, olive oil, chili powder, and much more. Once it’s nice and infused with mouthwatering flavors, it gets tossed onto the grill and cooked to juicy, tender perfection! Just be warned that even if you do plan on just enjoying these tacos with the family, your neighbors will probably want to know what that intoxicating smell is!
How to Make Them
First off, make the carne asada:
Whisk. Whisk together the orange juice, zest, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne to combine.
Marinate. Place the steak in a large zip top bag or baking dish. Pour the marinade over the steak and seal the bag or cover the baking dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Get ready to grill! Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Discard the remaining marinade.
Grill. Grill the steak for 4-5 minutes on each side depending on the desired degree of doneness.
Rest. Remove the steak and rest for 5 minutes.
Time for tacos!
Cut. Cut the steak into bite sized pieces, cutting across the grain.
Assemble. Arrange the tortillas on a flat work surface and divide the steak evenly among the tortillas. You can char the tortillas lightly on the grill, if desired. Top each taco with a spoonful of red onion, pico de gallo and sprinkle with cilantro. Add the cheese and a squeeze of lime, if desired.
Tips for the Best Carne Asada Tacos
- Charring your tortillas on the grill is an optional step, but very highly recommended! An ever so slightly charred tortilla lends a delicious note of more grilled flavor to the taco.
- While you can definitely marinate your steak for just 2 hours and have delicious tacos, it’s best when marinated for about 8 hours. That way, you have the most flavorful, tender steak possible.
- There’s some cayenne pepper in the carne asada marinade that lends some heat and flavor to the meat without making it spicy. You can make the meat spicier by doubling the amount of cayenne powder. Also, feel free to serve this tacos with some hot sauce!
- One of my favorite toppings ever for these tacos is Homemade Pico de Gallo and The Very Best Guacamole.
- Cut your steak across the grain! This helps to break down the fibers and make for a more tender bite of meat.
- For the best steak, be sure to let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting it into pieces. That way, the juices have time to settle and you don’t end up with a wet cutting board and dry meat.
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Get the Recipe: Carne Asada Tacos
For the Carne Asada:
- 2 1/2 pounds flank steak or skirt steak
- 1 orange, juiced and zested
- 3 limes juices and zested
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Mexican oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1/4 tablespoon cayenne pepper
For the Tacos:
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 cup pico de Gallo
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup cojita cheese
- 6 to rtillas
- Sliced limes, garnish
For the Carne Asada:
- Whisk together the orange juice, zest, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne to combine.
- Place the steak in a large zip top bag or baking dish.
- Pour the marinade over the steak and seal the bag or cover the baking dish with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the grill to medium high heat.
- Remove the steak from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Discard the remaining marinade.
- Grill the steak for 4-5 minutes on each side depending on the desired degree of doneness.
- Remove the steak and rest for 5 minutes.
For the Tacos:
- Cut the steak into bite sized pieces, cutting across the grain.
- Arrange the tortillas on a flat work surface and divide the steak evenly among the tortillas. (You can char the tortillas lightly on the grill, if desired.)
- Top each taco with a spoonful of red onion, pico de Gallo and sprinkle with cilantro. Add the cheese and a squeeze of lime, if desired.
- Serve immediately.
2 Comments on “Carne Asada Tacos”
This is not carne asada at all. You can call whatever you want, but not carne asada. As a Mexican is really tiring to see how people from other countries take cultural appropriation like is something normal, they just take something Mexican change the whole thing and called it by the same name of an authentic Mexican dish when is not.
Once you use any kind of oil it becomes something else, not carne asada. You want to keep the natural flavor of the meat, not change it with oil.
Hi David, Thank you so much for your comment! I do appreciate hearing from others about my recipes, however, this recipe was given to me by a friend of mine who is Mexican. We’ve made this a number of times and it’s always a home run. Much like other cultures, there can be many variations of recipes like a “Nona’s” authentic marinara sauce may be different than someone else’s Nona’s marinara sauce. My pierogi recipe may be slightly different than someone else’s pierogi recipe (I’m authentically Polish, BTW). But that’t the beauty of cooking, everyone has their own interpretation of what a recipe can/should/could be. You can definitely make this recipe without the oil but we did find the steak sticks to the grill a little without it……we tested it both ways. Thanks again for your comment and I hope you enjoy your tacos.