These Carne Asada Tacos Recipe is made with marinated skirt of flank or skirt steak, served on a tortilla and topped with onion and cilantro.
It is important to use quality skirt steak. We actually made these tacos from leftover carne asada we had the day before. They taste almost better the next day. Marinating can feel like a pain to wait for, but if you start this the night before, it will be totally worth your time. Trust me, this carne asada is super flavorful and tender. The biggest challenge will be keeping yourself from eating all the steak while you are cooking it.
Carne asada tacos are a popular dish in Mexican cuisine, typically made with grilled, marinated beef, and served with soft tortillas and a variety of toppings. Here are a few interesting facts about carne asada tacos. The word "carne asada" literally translates to "grilled meat." This term is used to describe any type of grilled or barbecued meat, but it is most commonly associated with beef.
- What are Carne Asada Tacos?
- Why are Carne Asada Tacos so great?
- Carne Asada Tacos Ingredients
- How to make Carne Asada Tacos Recipe
- Best way to warm a tortilla
- What to serve with Carne Asada Tacos
- Carne Asada Tacos Recipe Variations
- How to store Carne Asada Tacos
- Carne Asada Tacos Recipe Top tips
- Carne Asada Tacos Recipe
- Food safety
What are Carne Asada Tacos?
Carne asada tacos are a popular Mexican dish that typically consists of grilled, marinated beef that is chopped or sliced and served in a soft tortilla with a variety of toppings. The term "carne asada" literally means "grilled meat" in Spanish, and the dish is most commonly made with skirt steak, flank steak, or sirloin.
Carne asada tacos are believed to have originated in Northern Mexico, specifically the states of Sonora and Chihuahua. From there, they spread throughout the rest of Mexico and eventually became popular in the United States. The traditional marinade for carne asada typically includes lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and a variety of spices. The meat is marinated for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to fully infuse. Carne asada tacos are often served with a side of refried beans and rice, as well as a variety of salsas and hot sauces for dipping.
Carne asada tacos are a delicious and versatile dish that can be customized to suit a wide range of tastes and preferences. They are often served as street food in Mexico and are also popular at taquerias and Mexican restaurants around the world.
Why are Carne Asada Tacos so great?
- Flavorful: The marinade used to flavor the beef gives it a delicious and distinctive taste that is both tangy and savory.
- Versatile: Carne asada tacos can be customized to suit a wide range of tastes and preferences. The beef can be cooked to different levels of doneness and served with a variety of toppings and condiments.
- Texture: The tender, juicy beef, combined with the crispy, charred edges, provides a wonderful contrast in texture.
- Portability: Carne asada tacos are a great on-the-go meal. They can be easily wrapped in foil or paper and eaten with one hand, making them perfect for a quick and satisfying lunch or snack.
- Healthy: Carne asada tacos can be a healthy meal choice, as they are typically made with lean cuts of beef and can be loaded with fresh vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado.
Carne Asada Tacos Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
See recipe card for Carne Asada Tacos Recipe quantities.
How to make Carne Asada Tacos Recipe
*See video below for step by step instructions.
Warm the tortillas according to package instructions. I usually do this on the stovetop and warm up for about 2 minutes on each side. Make sure to flip with a spatula or tongs. When the tortillas are warm, assemble the tacos.
Add the cut up carne asada, top with salsa, and avocado slices.
Garnish with cilantro and chopped onion.
Serve with lime wedges.
Hint: Grilling the meat over high heat will give it a delicious char and smoky flavor.
Best way to warm a tortilla
- Over a Gas Stove Flame – I love to use this method because it gives the tortilla a light char and it warms up quickly. Toast the tortilla directly over a low flame on a gas stove. Use tongs to rotate the tortilla, about every 20 seconds. Keep close watch as you toast the tortilla.
- On a Cast Iron- Heat a large cast iron over medium-high heat. Add tortillas in a single layer and toast 20 seconds on each side until warm on each side.
What to serve with Carne Asada Tacos
This Carne Asada Tacos Recipe is typically served with a variety of sides and toppings.
- Rice and beans: A classic side dish to serve with carne asada tacos is a side of rice and beans. You can serve Mexican-style rice and black beans or pinto beans, seasoned with herbs and spices.
- Guacamole: Guacamole is a delicious and healthy addition to any taco meal. You can make it with fresh avocado, lime juice, cilantro, and diced tomatoes.
- Grilled vegetables: Grilled vegetables like peppers, onions, and zucchini are a great addition to your taco spread. Simply brush them with oil and season with salt and pepper before grilling.
- Mexican street corn: Mexican street corn or "elote" is a popular street food in Mexico. You can grill fresh corn on the cob and coat it with a mixture of mayo, chili powder, and cotija cheese.
- Meat: If you're unable to find or prefer not to use traditional beef cuts like flank steak or skirt steak, you can use other cuts of beef like sirloin or ribeye. You can also use chicken, pork, or shrimp instead of beef.
- Marinade: If you're unable to find or prefer not to use traditional ingredients for the carne asada marinade like lime juice, garlic, and cilantro, you can try using other citrus juices like orange or grapefruit, or other herbs like oregano or parsley.
- Tortillas: If you're unable to find or prefer not to use traditional corn tortillas, you can use flour tortillas or lettuce leaves for a low-carb option.
- Toppings: Toppings for carne asada tacos are highly customizable, but if you're unable to find or prefer not to use traditional toppings like onions, cilantro, and salsa, you can use other toppings like avocado, cheese, or pico de gallo.
Carne Asada Tacos Recipe Variations
There are many variations of this Carne Asada Tacos Recipe that you can try to mix up the flavors and textures.
- Grilled Vegetables: Add some grilled vegetables to your tacos for a fresh and flavorful twist. Bell peppers, onions, and zucchini are great options.
- Pineapple Salsa: Add some sweetness and acidity to your tacos with a pineapple salsa. Simply combine diced fresh pineapple, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
- Guacamole: A classic addition to any taco, guacamole adds creaminess and richness to the dish. Mash ripe avocados with lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and salt.
- Chipotle Mayo: Spicy and creamy, chipotle mayo is a great addition to carne asada tacos. Combine mayonnaise, adobo sauce, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl.
- Cilantro-Lime Rice: Serve your tacos with a side of cilantro-lime rice for a complete meal. Simply cook rice according to package directions, then add lime juice, cilantro, and salt.
- Crispy Toppings: Add some crunch to your tacos with crispy toppings like fried onions or fried jalapeno slices.
- Queso Fresco: Add some salty, crumbly queso fresco cheese to your tacos for added flavor and texture.
Don't be afraid to experiment with different combinations to find your favorite!
- Grill or Stovetop Grill Pan: Carne asada is traditionally grilled over an open flame, but you can also use a stovetop grill pan to get similar results.
- Mixing Bowls: You'll need at least one mixing bowl to prepare the carne asada marinade and another one to mix any toppings or salsa.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: You'll need these to measure out the ingredients for the marinade and any other recipes you may use.
- Cutting Board and Knife: You'll need to cut the beef into thin slices and chop any vegetables or herbs for toppings or salsa.
- Tongs: You'll need these to flip the beef while grilling and remove it from the heat.
- Tortilla Warmer (Optional): A tortilla warmer can be used to keep your tortillas warm and pliable while you're cooking.
- Serving Platter: Once your carne asada and toppings are ready, you'll need a serving platter to assemble your tacos.
How to store Carne Asada Tacos
Carne asada tacos are best served fresh and hot, but if you have leftovers, they can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Here's how to store them properly:
- Store the meat and toppings separately: Remove any leftover meat from the tortillas and place it in an airtight container. Store any toppings or salsa in a separate container.
- Refrigerate: Place the containers in the refrigerator and chill for up to 3 days.
- Reheat the meat: When you're ready to eat, reheat the meat in a pan over medium heat or in the microwave. Add a little bit of water or broth to prevent the meat from drying out.
- Assemble the tacos: Warm up the tortillas and assemble your tacos with the reheated meat and toppings.
Note that the tortillas will not hold up well in the refrigerator, so it's best to warm them up before serving. Also, keep in mind that some toppings, such as guacamole or cilantro-lime rice, may not keep well in the refrigerator and may need to be made fresh for each serving.
Carne Asada Tacos Recipe Top tips
- Choose the right cut of meat: For carne asada, it's best to use a flank steak or skirt steak. These cuts of meat are thin and have great flavor.
- Marinate the meat: Marinating the meat for at least 2 hours or overnight will help tenderize it and infuse it with flavor. You can use a simple marinade of lime juice, garlic, and spices like cumin and chili powder.
- Grill the meat: Grilling the meat over high heat will give it a delicious char and smoky flavor. Cook the meat for about 5-7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak.
- Warm the tortillas: Warm your tortillas on the grill or in the oven so that they are soft and pliable. This will make it easier to assemble your tacos.
- Add toppings: Top your carne asada tacos with your favorite toppings, such as diced onions, cilantro, avocado, and salsa. You can also add cheese, sour cream, and lime wedges for extra flavor.
- Serve with a side of beans and rice: A classic side dish to go with carne asada tacos is a serving of beans and rice. This will make for a filling and satisfying meal.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove