Simple and authentic, you’ll be surprised just how easy carne asada street tacos are to make! Top them with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a little chopped cilantro and onion for an out-of-this-world taco night dinner.

These street tacos might just put your other favorite tacos to shame, in fact. Once you learn how fast they come together, you’ll want them ever night of the week!

Filled with tender steak that’s infused with juicy lime flavor and spices, these carne asada street tacos are totally packed with flavor.

small tacos on a white platter with lime and onions for toppings

You know we love a taco night around here. In fact, I think I could eat tacos every night and never get tired of them.

That’s because there are so many fabulous variations! Change up your proteins and your toppings and it’s a new meal every night. I’ve got a taco recipe for every occasion and craving.

Try my chicken tacos, the BEST beef tacos you’ve ever had, chorizo tacosmini tacossteak tacos, and breakfast tacos, too.

This meal can be prepped and on the table in just a few simple steps! Marinate the steak, cook it (on your stovetop or even in the air fryer) and then get busy with your favorite toppings.

Why You’ll Love these Street Tacos

  • Easy to Make
  • Minimal Ingredients
  • Bursting with Flavor
  • Handheld Simplicity
Street tacos on a white platter with a bowl of sliced limes and sliced onions

What’s the Difference Between Street Tacos and Regular Tacos?

The primary difference between street tacos and traditional tacos is that street tacos come in smaller tortillas. Because they originated from vendors who used street carts and food trucks, they wanted people to be able to carry them as they walked down the street.

Street tacos are also topped a little differently. You generally won’t see lettuce or tomatoes here – just chopped onion and cilantro, with a squeeze of fresh lime.

Street Tacos: Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Flank steak – You can also choose skirt steak. Cut into small one inch cubes.
  • Soy Sauce – For salty deep flavor.
  • Lime Juice – Fresh squeezed lime juice is always the best flavor, but you can take a shortcut with store bought lime juice, too. You’ll use lime juice for the marinade and also to squeeze over the top for a garnish.
  • Minced garlic – Fresh minced is ideal, but I am always happy to take a shortcut here, too. You can use the bottled minced garlic and nobody will be the wiser!
  • Chili powder – Just the right amount of spice.
  • Orange – Sliced, to infuse the marinade with more citrus flavor.
  • Tortillas – You can use corn tortillas or flour, just choose the smallest size available.
  • Cilantro -This garnish is optional!
  • Onions – Diced.
ingredients for street tacos laid out on a marble surface

Variations

  • Skip marinade – You don’t have to marinate these, although it adds a lot of flavor. Without the marinade, simply season with chili powder, salt and pepper and a little olive oil.
  • Skip the tortilla – place your meat and toppings over a bed of lettuce or sautéed peppers for a low-carb option.
  • Serve as a bowl – Much like this fajita rice bowl, it’s a filling dinner without the tortilla.
  • Different meat – Try street tacos with shrimp, chicken, chorizo, or carnitas.
Carne asada street tacos in corn tortillas laid out flat on a marble surface

How to Make Street Tacos

  1. Chop your steak into small pieces – an inch or so. carne asada street taco meat marinating in a bag
  2. Combine steak and marinade in sealable bag. Refrigerate 4-6 hours. carne asada street taco meat marinating in a bag
  3. Drain excess marinade and transfer to large skillet over medium heat. (You can also use your broiler or air fryer for this step – directions below.) marinated carne asada street taco steak, cooking in a cast iron pan. marinated carne asada street taco steak, cooking in a cast iron pan. marinated carne asada street taco steak, cooking in a cast iron pan.
  4. Warm tortillas and serve topped with cilantro, onion and a squeeze of lime.

Broiler:

  1. Adjust the top rack to sit just 4 inches below broiler. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Place meat on a foil-lined baking sheet, broiling 4 minutes per side or until cooked to desired temperature.

Air Fryer:

  1. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees. Lightly spray basket with oil.
  2. Place marinated, cubed meat in air fryer basket.
  3. Cook at 400 for approximately 8 minutes.
small tacos on a white platter with lime and onions for toppings

Planning a taco night? Don’t skip these incredible Side Dishes for Tacos.

Tips

  • Cook the steak to 145 degrees F. See my printable steak temperature chart for more details!
  • Don’t love cilantro or onions? Mix it up! Try homemade guacamole or homemade pico de gallo. You’ll find all my favorite Taco Toppings in this comprehensive guide.
  • Often, street tacos are served with two tortillas, layered to hold the heavier ingredients.
  • Traditionally, street tacos aren’t served with cheese – but rules are meant to be broken! Learn more about the best cheeses for tacos (and beyond)!
  • These Stainless Steel Taco Holders make topping and serving easy.
  • Tacos make an excellent appetizer and party food too. Set up a taco bar with a variety of toppings and let your guests enjoy.
  • Squeeze a lime over the top of your tacos for a delicious burst of citrus flavor.
  • Don’t forget a skinny margarita – what could be better?

Scaling up, down or substituting? You’ll love this printable Measurement Conversion Chart!

A hand squeezing a lime over street tacos in corn tortillas

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common types of street tacos?

Al Pastor, barbacoa, carne asada, carnitas, chorizo and more!

Are street tacos spicy?

Not generally, no! Of course every restaurant is different, but most street tacos simply capture bold, vibrant flavors of chili powder and lime.

Carne asada street tacos in corn tortillas laid out flat on a marble surface

Shortcuts

  • Marinate steak up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Chop onions and cilantro ahead of time.
  • Slice limes ahead of time, too.

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free – (choose gluten free corn tortillas and gluten free soy sauce for marinade)
  • Nut Free
Street tacos on a white platter with a bowl of sliced limes and sliced onions

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – These street taco ingredients can sit out while serving for up to two hours.
  • Refrigerate – The cooked steak can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
  • Freezer – Leftover carne asada street taco meat can be stored in an airtight container for up to three months.
  • Reheat – After freezing your street taco meat, thaw it overnight in the fridge. Microwave until heated through.
small tacos on a white platter with lime and onions for toppings
5 from 2 votes

Street Tacos

Simple and authentic, you’ll be surprised just how easy carne asada street tacos are to make! Top them with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a little chopped cilantro and onion for an out-of-this-world taco night dinner.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
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Ingredients  

  • 2 pounds flank or skirt steak cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 Limes Use the juice
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 orange, sliced

Or, skip marinade and sub with:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

Toppings

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup chopped onion white, red or yellow
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped

Instructions 

Stovetop:

  • Chop steak into small pieces – an inch or so, to create bite sized pieces.
  • Create marinade by combining soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, chili powder and sliced orange. Combine steak and marinade in sealable bag. Refrigerate 4-6 hours.
  • Drain excess marinade and transfer to large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until steak reaches desired doneness.
  • Warm tortillas and serve topped with cilantro, onion and a squeeze of lime.

To Broil:

  • Adjust the top rack to sit just 4 inches below broiler. Preheat broiler to high.
  • Place meat on a foil-lined baking sheet, broiling 4 minutes per side or until cooked to desired temperature.

Air Fryer:

  • Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees. Lightly spray basket with oil.
  • Place marinated, cubed meat in air fryer basket.
  • Cook at 400 for approximately 8 minutes.

Tips

  • Cook the steak to 145 degrees F. See my printable steak temperature chart for more details!
  • Don’t love cilantro or onions? Mix it up! Try homemade guacamole or homemade pico de gallo.
  • Often, street tacos are served with two tortillas, layered to hold the heavier ingredients.
Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 646mg | Potassium: 747mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 152IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 3mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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