These Carne Asada Tacos are the best Mexican street tacos on the internet with a delicious citrusy steak marinade that’s so easy to make!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Striploin steak – I like using sirloin but you can use any cut of beef with a small amount of marbling like ribeye, skirt steak or flank steak.
- Olive oil – use any other high-smoke-point oil like avocado, peanut or coconut oil. Melted ghee would also work.
- Orange juice – freshly squeezed orange juice has the best flavor, but bottled orange juice will also work.
- Lime juice – fresh lime juice is best but bottled can be used. Lemon juice will work in a pinch but has a slightly different flavour.
- Soy sauce – use low-sodium soy sauce, coconut aminos or tamari instead.
- Chili powder – make your own chili powder using a blend of spices including paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and cayenne.
- Cumin – coriander is the best substitute for cumin.
- Garlic – fresh minced garlic is best but you can also try using garlic powder or jarred minced garlic.
- Orange zest – lime zest would also work.
- Salt & pepper – to taste.
- Corn tortillas – flour tortillas would also be good or you can make them into lettuce wraps for a low-carb option.
- White onions – red onions are also delicious.
- Cilantro – leave this out altogether if you don’t like cilantro.
- Lime wedges – to garnish.
- Cheese – Cojita and/or feta are my go-to choices but any type of crumbly cheese will work well.
- Guacamole – store-bought guacamole would also work here.
How to make carne asada tacos
Step 1: Marinate the steak.
Mix together the marinade ingredients, then add the steak and marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Step 2: Cook the steak.
Cook the steak in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat until medium rare.
Step 3: Cut the steak.
Let the steak rest, then slice it into bite-sized pieces.
Step 4: Make the guacamole.
Mix together the mashed avocado, onion, garlic, lime juice and salt and pepper.
Step 5: Prep your toppings.
Prep any toppings and microwave the corn tortillas until softened.
Step 6: Assemble and serve!
Add the steak to the corn tortillas with the guacamole and any other toppings of your choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
I'd recommend using a lean cut of beef with a small amount of marbling like striploin, ribeye, flank or skirt steak for your carne asada tacos. You want the beef to cook quickly!
You can add any toppings of your choice to these tacos. Some additional ideas include lime crema (a combination of sour cream and lime juice), diced tomatoes, sautéed bell peppers, grilled onions or pico de gallo.
If you want to make these taco keto-friendly, just swap out the corn tortillas for lettuce wraps.
You'll need to marinate the steak for a minimum of 15 minutes to ensure the flavours have time to penetrate the meat and make it nice and tender. If you want, you can marinate the steak overnight, but 15 minutes should be plenty of time.
If you're serving these tacos at a party, you can prep the ingredients ahead of time by chopping up all the toppings, and marinating the steak the night before or cooking it up to 5 days in advance. I'd recommend waiting to assemble the tacos until right before serving to ensure they stay as fresh as possible.
Storing and reheating
I’d suggest waiting until right before eating to add on your carne asada taco toppings. Otherwise, it’s difficult to store the tacos fully loaded with the toppings! You can store any leftover meat, tortillas and toppings separately in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Any leftover beef can be reheated quickly on a grill. You could also use a sous vide or warm the meat in the oven. Microwaving is not recommended because the steak can easily dry out, even if you don’t use full power. If you do microwave, make sure to sprinkle some water over top first to keep it from drying out. Once you’ve reheated the beef, assemble your carne asada tacos and dig in.
Freezing the beef
You can freeze carne asada either before or after cooking, which makes it a super easy recipe for meal prep! You can freeze the beef in marinade before cooking it for up to 3 months. It’ll be full of flavour and ready to cook as soon as it thaws. Just pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight then cook as normal.
If you want to freeze the meat after cooking it, be sure to allow the beef to cool to room temperature first. Transfer it to Ziploc freezer bags on an airtight glass container for 3 to 4 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight then reheat on the grill or warm it up in the oven and make your fresh asada tacos.
If you notice any ice crystals or freezer burn on the meat, it’s safe to eat but it won’t have much flavour and the texture will be chewy.
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The Best Carne Asada Tacos
- 16 oz striploin steak
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp orange juice preferably from an orange
- 1 tbsp lime juice preferably from a lime
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp orange and/or lime zest optional
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
Tacos (assembly & toppings)
- 12 Corn tortillas (3 per person)
- Raw white or red onions, diced
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Feta or cotija cheese, crumbled optional
Guacamole – can use store bought instead
- 1 avocado mashed
- 2 tbsp onion white or red, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 lime juiced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl then add steak. Marinate for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 days.
- Heat skillet over med-high heat for 1-2 minutes until hot. Add steak and cook on for 2-3 minutes per side until medium rare (this will depend on the thickness of your steak). Remove from heat, let rest for 10 minutes, then cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Meanwhile, prepare toppings of choice and microwave corn tortillas for 10-20 seconds until softened.
- Add steak to corn tortillas and add toppings of choice. Serve and enjoy!