Beef Taco Recipe

The Best Carne Asada Tacos Recipe (2024)

Carne Asada Tacos: Restaurant-Quality Flavor Made Easy at Home

Carne asada tacos are a classic Mexican dish beloved for its tender, marinated steak and explosion of fresh flavors. While you might think achieving restaurant-quality carne asada requires a fancy grill and expert skills, this recipe proves otherwise. We’ll guide you through every step, from creating a simple yet flavorful marinade to perfectly cooking the steak and assembling delicious tacos.

This guide includes everything you need to know to master carne asada tacos at home, including tips for selecting the proper cut of steak, achieving the perfect sear, and choosing the most flavorful toppings.

Prepare to wow your family and friends with a taste of Mexico by lighting up your grill (or skillet!), gathering your ingredients, and cooking!

Carne Asada Tacos Recipe: Timing

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Servings
30 minutes – 2 hours (marinating) 15-20 minutes 1 hour 45 minutes – 2 hours 20 minutes 4-6

What You’ll Need

For the Carne Asada:

  • 2 lbs skirt steak (or flank steak)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Three cloves garlic, minced
  • Two tablespoons of soy sauce
  • One tablespoon of ground cumin
  • One teaspoon of chili powder
  • One teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • After tasting, add salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the Tacos:

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese
  • Avocado, sliced (optional)
  • Salsa, your favorite variety (optional)
  • Limes, cut into wedges

Step-by-Step Guide to Carne Asada Tacos:

Marinate the Steak:

The secret to delicious carne asada is the marinade. Mix the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, soy sauce, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Before putting the skirt steak (or flank steak) in it, ensure the marinade has completely covered it. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours, or better yet, overnight, to achieve the best flavor.


  • For an exceptionally tender steak, lightly pound it with a meat mallet before marinating.
  • Don’t marinate the steak for longer than 24 hours, as the acidity in the lime juice can toughen the meat.

Cook the Steak:

Please remove the steak from the bowl once it has marinated and allow any extra marinade to drain. Using paper towels, pat dry the meat.

Grill Method:

  • Set your grill’s temperature too high. Sear the steak for two to three minutes on each side while the grill is hot for a medium-rare cooked steak. Before slicing, give the steak ten minutes to rest.

Skillet Method:

  • A big cast-iron skillet should be heated at medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil for medium-rare and sear the steak for three to four minutes on each side. Let the steak rest for ten minutes before slicing as with the grill method.


  • When cooking the steak, avoid over-crowding the pan or grill. This can lower the cooking temperature and prevent a proper sear.
  • Use a meat thermometer to find out how hot the steak is inside. The meat should be 130–135°F (54–57°C) on the inside, which is medium-rare.

Assemble the Tacos:

While the steak rests, warm your tortillas in a dry skillet over low heat for about 30 seconds per side. This will make them pliable and add a pleasant warmth to the tacos.

Thinly cut the meat against the grain. It’s time for you to put your tacos together! Top each hot tortilla with a couple of slices of beef. Add chopped white onion, fresh cilantro, crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco, and any other toppings you choose, such as avocado slices or your preferred salsa. For an acidic kick, pour some fresh lime juice at the end.

#Carne Asada TACO RECIPE

Pro Tips for Perfect Carne Asada Tacos:

  • Choosing the Right Cut of Steak: Skirt and flank steak are the traditional cuts used for carne asada. They are both relatively inexpensive and have a good amount of marbling, which adds flavor and tenderness. If you can’t find a skirt or flank steak, you could substitute another thin cut, like top round steak, but the results may not be as flavorful.
  • Searing the Steak: A good sear is a must to get that wonderful, smoky flavor in carne asada. Before adding the steak, ensure your skillet or grill is hot, and don’t move it around too much while cooking.

    Carne Asada Taco Nutrition (per taco, estimate can vary)

    Nutrient Amount % Daily Value (DV)*
    Calories 250 12%
    Carbohydrates 20g 7%
    – Fiber 2g 8%
    – Sugar 2g negligible
    Protein 15g 30%
    Saturated Fat 5g 25%
    Cholesterol 50mg 17%
    Sodium 350mg 15%
    Potassium 200mg 4%
    Vitamin A (low)
    Vitamin C 2mg 2%
    Calcium 20mg 2%
    Iron 3mg 17%

    *Daily Value (DV) is based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Carne Asada Tacos:

Q: Can I use a different type of marinade for my carne asada?

A: Absolutely! While the recipe above offers a classic marinade, experiment with different flavors. Here are some ideas:

  • Citrusy Marinade: Add orange or grapefruit juice to your marinade for a brighter, more citrusy flavor.
  • Smoky Marinade: Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce add a smoky depth to your carne asada.
  • Spicy Marinade: For a kick of heat, include chopped jalapeño or a pinch of cayenne pepper in your marinade.

Q: How can I know when the steak is done cooking?

A: A meat thermometer is the most effective tool for determining the ideal doneness of your steak. Regarding internal temps, consider this:

  • Rare: 120°F (49°C)
  • Medium-rare: 130-135°F (54-57°C)
  • Medium: 140-145°F (60-63°C)
  • Medium-well: 150-155°F (66-68°C)
  • Well-done: 160°F (71°C)

Q: What if I don’t have a grill? Can I still make carne asada tacos?

A: No problem! The skillet method outlined in the recipe works just as well for cooking carne asada. Just use a heavy-bottomed cast iron skillet for even heat distribution.

Q: What are some other topping options for carne asada tacos?

A: The beauty of carne asada tacos is their versatility! Here are some additional topping ideas:

  • Guacamole
  • Pico de gallo
  • Sour cream
  • Refried beans
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Sliced jalapenos.

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