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 or skirt 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 is best but bottled orange juice will also work.
- Lime juice – freshly squeezed or bottled lime juice are good. 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 paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and cayenne.
- Cumin – coriander is the best substitute for cumin.
- Paprika – double up on the chili powder if you don’t have any paprika on hand.
- 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.
- Pico de gallo – I like using fresh pico de gallo or salsa but you can also use jarred salsa or some fresh diced tomatoes.
- 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.
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How to make carne asada tacos
Step 1: Cut the steak.
Step 2: Marinate for 15 minutes.
Mix together with marinade ingredients in a large bowl and marinade the steak.
Step 3: Sauté the steak.
Sauté the steak in a skillet over high heat until fully cooked.
Step 4: Prep your toppings.
Meanwhile, prepare any toppings of your choice and microwave the corn tortillas until softened.
Step 5: Assemble your tacos.
Add the steak to the corn tortillas and any desired toppings.
Step 6: Serve and enjoy!
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 crime, diced tomatoes, sautéed bell peppers, grilled onions and avocado or fresh guacamole.
If you want to make these taco keto-friendly, just swap out the corn tortillas for lettuce wraps.
You'll need to marinade the steak for a minimum of 15 minutes to ensure the flavours have time to penetrate the meat. If you want, you can marinade 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
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp orange and/or lime zest
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
Tacos (assembly & toppings)
- 12 Corn tortillas (3 per person)
- Store bought pico de gallo or salsa
- Raw white or red onions, diced
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Feta or cotija cheese, crumbled
- Cut steak into 1/4-inch pieces and mix together with marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Marinate for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare toppings of choice and microwave corn tortillas for 10-20 seconds until softened.
- Heat skillet over high heat for 1-2 minutes until hot. Add steak and sautee for 2- minutes until fully cooked.
- Add steak to corn tortillas and add toppings of choice. Serve and enjoy!
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