Easy carne asada tacos made from juicy and tender marinated flank steak or skirt steak and topped with diced onions, crumbled cotija cheese and fresh cilantro. These authentic Mexican street tacos are super flavorful and will quickly become a family favorite!
Made with fresh and simple ingredients like marinated steak, onions, cilantro and lime juice, these tacos are the perfect example of Mexican street food – casual, flavor-packed and extremely satisfying.
They’re perfect for weeknight dinners and taco nights, as well as preparing in large batches for outdoor grilling parties and backyard barbecues with friends.
The right cut of meat for carne asada
To make carne asada, you’ll need flank steak or skirt steak. Flank steak is a thicker and leaner cut of beef whereas skirt steak is thinner and a little more fatty. As long as you slice both of them thinly and into bite-sized chunks for tacos, both are great options!
Marinating and Grilling Carne Asada Tacos
The main ingredient in these tacos is carne asada (aka marinated and grilled meat). For the marinade, I used a combination of chopped cilantro, olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, white wine vinegar, chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic, a finely chopped jalapeno and salt and pepper to get the meat as tender and juicy as possible.
I recommend marinating the meat for at least 2 hours, but no more than 8 hours. If it sits longer, the citrus and acid in the marinade will start to break down the meat and begin to change its texture.
When you’re ready to cook the meat, remove the steak from the marinade and pat it dry with a paper towel. Then drizzle it with a little olive oil, sprinkle it with some salt and black pepper and cook it on the grill, on a grill pan or in a skillet if that’s your only option.
Be sure to check out my carne asada post where I go into greater detail on how I recommend grilling and cooking the meat.
The best toppings to use
Once your carne asada is prepared, it’s time to assemble the tacos! Traditional carne asada tacos are topped with very minimal ingredients – chopped cilantro, diced onions, cotija cheese or queso fresco, and a squeeze of lime juice.
I like the addition of a little avocado for some added creaminess in every bite. In these photos, I simply mashed an avocado with a fork and mixed in a squeeze of lime juice and salt. You could also use guacamole and eat any leftovers with tortilla chips!
I hope you love these tacos as much as I do! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. And be sure to leave a review if you try this recipe!
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