Carne Asada Tacos (Steak Tacos)

LAST UPDATED: Apr 01, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Feb 07, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

Amazing marinated Carne Asada Tacos that are full of flavor and always a crowd-pleaser, whether you’re serving them for taco Tuesday or Cinco de Mayo! Steak Tacos are easy to make, naturally gluten-free, and made in less than 30 minutes hands on time.

White plate with three small carne asada tacos.

When we’re hosting, I like to make something quick and simple.  Delicious, without a lot of fuss.  Tacos are always a great option and no one ever turns them down! These steak tacos are marinated in a delicious and tangy sauce guaranteeing that every bite will be full of flavor!

If I’m entertaining a large crowd, I like to make a taco bar and include my Chicken Tacos, Spicy Chorizo Tacos and Ground Beef Tacos with all of their accompanying toppings (don’t forget the lime crema)!

White plate with three small carne asada tacos.

Carne Asada literally translates to ‘grilled meat’. It’s a Mexican way of preparing steak, where it is marinated for several hours and then cooked quickly on a high heat.

Learn more details about carne asada in this dedicated post!

The outside of the steak is wonderfully charred whilst the middle remains pink. It can be served by itself with sides, or used as an ingredients in other dishes like burritos or this taco recipe.

White background, hand holding a single taco de carne asada.

Carne Asada Taco Ingredients

  • Corn Tortilla – I prefer to use corn tortillas for my tacos, but you can use flour or hard shell if you prefer. You can pick them up in the Mexican aisle at your grocery store, make your own, or my favorite – get them in the refrigerated section and warm each side for 30 seconds on the stove top for fresh flavor.
  • Goat Cheese or Chihuahua Cheese – This Mexican soft cheese is similar in flavor to a mild cheddar, and you can substitute it with crumbled goat cheese if you can’t find any.
  • Arugula – The perfect complement to create a well rounded meal.
  • Flank Steak – Flank steak is perfect for tacos, it is a tough cut of meat so it requires a long marinade time, but the result is a wonderfully flavorful and tender bite. Flank steak is my go to when it comes to tacos, for me, you just can’t beat the rich flavor and it takes on all of the aromas from the marinade. If you can’t find flank steak, skirt steak will also work well and if you are in a real squeeze sirloin will also do the job well. Once cooked, the steak is thinly sliced and fits perfectly into your tortillas!

A white plate with a carne asada taco, spoonful of guacamole coming in.

FOR THE MARINADE

  • Olive Oil
  • Tequila – I don’t think you can have a Mexican dish without a little tequila! You can use your favorite type – blanco (silver), joven (gold), reposado (aged) or añejo (extra aged).
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice is a key ingredient in the marinade. The acid helps to break down the tough fibers of the steak. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice or purchase in the produce section. You can also substitute lime juice if you prefer.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – This condiment adds a wonderful sweet and savory flavor to the meat with a little tang of vinegar.
  • Chipotle Peppers in Adobo – These pack a lot of flavor and add beautiful color.
  • Dijon Mustard – Adds flavor and texture.
  • Seasonings –  Paprika, oregano, salt and pepper add a lot of flavor to these amazing tacos.

White surface with ingredients for carne asada tacos marinade.

FOR THE SERRANO SAUCE

  • Tomatillos – These green Mexican tomatoes and a wonderful tang to the chili sauce.
  • Serrano Chilies – In my book tacos should always have a little heat! Serrano chilies are pretty hot though, so don’t go overboard!
  • Avocado – Avocado helps to make this sauce creamy and helps balance out the heat from those peppers.
  • Cilantro and Lime Juice – Cilantro and lime juice bring freshness to this sauce and brings the other ingredients together.

ingredients to make serrano sauce

How To Make Steak Tacos

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in the food processor. You can chop adobo peppers and whisk in a bowl if you prefer. marinade in a small food processor steak marinade in food processor
  2. Place steaks in baking dish. Make 1/4″ cuts 1″ apart to allow marinade to soak into the meat. Combine ingredients and pour over steak. Allow to marinate covered and refrigerated for 4-8 hours, up to 24 hours.steak and marinade in white baking dish
  3. Meanwhile, combine serrano sauce ingredients in a food processor.
  4. Heat grill or stove top to medium high. Add steak and cook 4 minutes. Flip and cook 4 minutes or until it reaches the desired temperature. Remove from heat, cover and allow to rest at room temperature 10 minutes.A frying pan with steak cooking for steak tacos, steam rising off the range.
  5. Slice thin across the grain.
  6. Assemble tacos adding steak, arugula, chihuahua cheese and serrano sauce and an optional squeeze of fresh lime.A white platter with steak for carne asada tacos, knife to the side.

Tips to Make Carne Asada Tacos

  • Allow time to marinade the steak. Set aside at least 4 hours or up to 24. This will really help to tenderize the steak and make it full of flavor.
  • If you use corn tortillas, heat them gently in the oven for a couple of minutes or on the stove top for 30 seconds on each side before serving so that they don’t break when you fold them.
  • Once you have cooked the steak, allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing it across the grain.

Close-up of the sliced steak for steak tacos.

Make Ahead

The steak is best served as soon as it is cooked, but you can get ahead of yourself with everything else, so all you have to do is cook the steak and serve! The steak can be marinated for up to 24 hours and the serrano sauce will keep covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

White plate with three small carne asada tacos, beer in background..

More Amazing Mexican Recipes

All this Mexican food can’t happen without the world’s best margaritas! Be sure to check out all my cocktail recipes – and this incredible margarita mix!

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If you try these Carne Asada Tacos, please come back to share using my 5 star rating in the comments below! Not only do I appreciate it, but I know readers do, too!

Carne Asada Tacos

These delicious steak tacos are so easy to make and packed full of flavor. Perfect for taco Tuesday or your Cinco de Mayo celebrations!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Marinade and resting time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 23 minutes
Servings (hover to scale): 16 servings
Calories: 197kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup Chihuahua cheese
  • 3/4 cup arugula
  • 1 flank steak 24 ounces / 1.5 pound

Marinade

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice can substitute lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper thick flakes preferred

Serrano Avocado Salsa

  • 3 small tomatillos husked, rinsed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon serrano chiles
  • 1 avocado halved, deeded and removed from peel
  • 1/4 cup cilantro destemmed
  • 1/2 lime juiced or 1 tablespoon lime juice

Instructions

  • Combine the marinade ingredients in the food processor or mixing bowl.
  • Place steaks in baking dish. Make 1/4" cuts 1" apart to allow marinade to soak into the meat. Combine ingredients and pour over steak. Allow to marinate covered for 4-8 hours.
  • Heat grill or stovetop to medium high. Add steak and cook 4 minutes. Flip and cook 4 minutes or until it reaches the desired temperature.
  • Remove from heat, cover and allow to rest at room temperature 10 minutes.
  • Slice thin across the grain.

Serrano Avocado Salsa

  • In a food processor, combine tomatillos, serranos, avocado, cilantro and lime juice. Pulse until smooth.
  • Assemble tacos adding steak, chihuahua cheese and serrano sauce and an optional squeeze of fresh lime.

Notes

  • Allow time to marinate the steak at least 4 hours or up to 24.
  • If you use corn tacos, heat them gently in the oven for a couple of minutes or stove top for 30 seconds each side to warm before serving so that they don't break when you fold them.
  • Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing it across the grain.

Nutrition

Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 256mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 465IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg
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