Get ready for some amazing steak tacos with this recipe... it's got just the right amount of kick and sweetness in the incredible marinade. Taco night just got an upgrade! Plus, I'm showing you how to grill them, pan fry them, AND broil them.
Why You Should Make this Recipe
There are three things that make a great taco: marinating the meat overnight, cooking down the marinade to use it as a sauce, and heating up the tortillas. This recipe does all three.
By combining citrus juice with oil, garlic, oregano, and chili powder, it infuses the steak with a rich flavor ready to grill and slice for the perfect juicy steak slices. Then, the rich steak is balanced by a light, fresh pico de gallo and a squeeze of sharp lime.
The base ingredients for the taco filling can be paired with whatever kind of tortilla you like, or even with a lettuce wrap. My choice is a white corn tortilla heated up over direct flame.
Ingredients & Substitutions
skirt steak - I use skirt steak in this recipe because it is thin, which means it has more surface area to absorb all the marinade. It also cooks quickly. You can substitute with other cuts of meat, but either pound it with a tenderizer or slice it long and thin to replicate skirt steak.
orange & limes - I use fresh but you can use bottled, too. You will need approximately ½ cup of orange juice and ¼ cup of lime juice.
chili powder - if you are looking for more of a kick, cayenne pepper tastes great in this recipe.
agave - you can substitute with honey or brown sugar.
How To Make The Best Steak Tacos
Before you even get to the tacos, take some time to prepare the delicious Pico de Gallo salsa! Mix the salsa ingredients in a bowl, and set aside. This can be made a day in advance.
You will need these ingredients for the steak part of your steak tacos:
The key step to great tasting steak taco is the marinade. Marinate your skirt steak in the refrigerator overnight in the mixture of orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, agave, minced garlic, oregano, chili powder, and salt (photo 1). Mix up the ingredients with a whisk (or your hand, see photo 2) and then add the steak (photo 3).
NOTE: Try to take the steak out twenty to thirty minutes before you intend to cook it. This gets the steak to room temperature so it can cook more evenly.
There are a few different methods you can use: grilling, broiling, or stovetop cooking in a pan.
- BROIL: Turn your broiler on high. Let it heat for one minute after the flame comes on. Next, put your skirt steak in the oven and cook it for five minutes. Then, remove steak from the oven. Leave the oven on, and the oven door open. Flip the steak over. Put back into the oven. Cook the steak until the internal temperature reads ~135 for medium-rare. This should take another four or five minutes.
- GRILL: Grill for 3-5 minutes per side. Cook the steak until the internal temperature reads ~135 for medium-rare. This should take another four or five minutes.
- PAN: Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side. Cook the steak until the internal temperature reads ~135 for medium-rare. This should take another four or five minutes. (See photo 1 below.) I use a cast-iron pan.
Whichever cooking method you choose, set the steak aside and let it rest for five to ten minutes.
In the meantime, pour the juices from the marinade into a saucepan. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower to a simmer. This process will reduce the amount of marinade by half. It should take ten to fifteen minutes. See photo 2 below.
Once the sauce is ready, slice the steak into even pieces, slicing against the grain (the long muscle fibers in the meat). See photo 3 above.
Assemble your tacos for serving with the cabbage on the bottom, then the steak, then top with the salsa. You can also add avocado, cilantro, cheese, and whatever topics you like.
For the final touch, add a squeeze of lime and drizzle the reduced sauce on top.
Tips, Tricks, & FAQs
For maximum flavor, marinate your meat overnight if you can, If not, try to marinate for at least 2 hours minimum. When you remove the steak from the marinade to cook it, reserve the leftover marinade. It makes a delicious sauce to drizzle over your finished tacos!
My favorite ways to cook the steak are under the broiler and on the grill because you get slightly charred edges that taste incredible with the marinade. However, all 3 ways of cooking that I have described below taste delicious (grill, broil, pan).
Whichever way you choose to cook the steak, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. cook until the thermometer reads 135F in the thickest part of the meat for medium-rare.
Try to take the steak out twenty to thirty minutes before you intend to cook it. This gets the steak to room temperature so it can cook more evenly.
You really could make tacos with any type of steak that you prefer, though different types will cook and taste very different. I like to use skirt steak, flank steak, or chuck steak. These types are budget-friendly, and when cooked in the right way, they are tender and hold amazing flavor. My preference is skir steak because it is already sliced thin enough to easily absorb all the marinade flavors.
Flank steak and skirt steak are the most common choices. If you wanted to switch out steak for a more American beef taco, using lean ground beef makes for a tasty taco filling. It's also easy to mix ground beef with vegetables or other ingredients to make an all-in-one taco filling.
Steak tacos that you buy from a restaurant may have a lot of hidden calories, but when you make steak tacos at home it's easy to be in control of the recipe and create a healthy meal. A non-fried corn or flour tortilla are among the healthier options. You could even substitute the tortilla for a lettuce leaf or similar. Then, the lean steak and vegetables that make up this recipe are all nutritious and healthy ingredients. Like in these lettuce cups.
The word asada itself translates to roasted/grilled. It is a method of cooking meat that imparts fantastic flavor. The classic taco filling, carne asada, is sliced skirt or flank steak marinated in a mixture of citrus juices (orange, lemon, lime) salt, pepper, cilantro, garlic and other add in ingredients that vary by recipe. Marinades, whatever type, usually have acidic ingredients as the base. The marinated steak is then grilled until tender and juicy.
No. Flank steak comes from the rear of the cow, so it is not kosher. If you find flank steak in a kosher market, it is likely a cut of chuck that they trimmed to look like flank steak. So if you're looking for kosher steak tacos, grab the skirt steak or chuck steak at your local kosher market.
If you love this recipe, check out these other kosher meat-eater recipes here or try some of these favorite tacos:
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Steak Tacos Recipe
- 2 lb. skirt steak or chuck
- 1 orange juiced, ~½ cup
- 2 limes juiced, ~¼ cup
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup agave honey, or brown sugar
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Pico de Gallo Salsa
- 1 large tomato diced
- ½ red onion diced
- 1 jalapeño finely diced, seeds removed for a milder salsa
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- flour or corn tortillas heated just before serving
- 2 avocados sliced (or smashed if fancy looks don't matter to you)
- ¼ purple cabbage shredded or very thinly sliced
- limes cut in wedges, for serving
- Salsa: Mix ingredients in a bowl. Set aside. Can be made a day in advance.
- Marinade the steak in the refrigerator 20 minutes to overnight in the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, agave, minced garlic, oregano, chili powder, and salt. Take it out of the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before you cook it.
- Pour the juices from the marinade in a sauce pan. Bring to boil, lower to a simmer, and reduce the marinade by half. Takes 10-15 minutes. You can cook your steak in the meantime.
- Turn your broiler on high. Let it heat for one minute after the flame comes on. Next, put your skirt steak in the oven and cook it for five minutes. Then, remove steak from the oven. Leave the oven on, and the oven door open. Flip the steak over. Put back into the oven. Cook the steak until the internal temperature reads ~135 for medium-rare. This should take another four or five minutes.
- Grill for 3-5 minutes per side. Cook the steak until the internal temperature reads ~135 for medium-rare. This should take another four or five minutes.
- Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side. Cook the steak until the internal temperature reads ~135 for medium-rare. This should take another four or five minutes. (See photo 1 below.) I use a cast-iron pan.
- Let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain and serving.
- Assemble your tacos with the cabbage on the bottom, then the steak, and top with the salsa. A squeeze of lime makes it just right. Drizzle the reduced sauce on top.
This post was originally published in July of 2018, but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, tips, and multiple cooking methods in November 2020. It was republished again in April 2021 to include a video.
These cooked so fast. Loved the tip about preparing the marinade the day before, it made throwing these together the day of so easy. Will definitely be making this recipe again!
I'm so glad you liked them, Salima... thank you for taking the time to share!
What about cooking the meat in the instant pot. Any idea on how long if using chuck?
I've never used an instant pot to make this since I usually make it using skirt steak which cooks up so fast.
I can say that chuck usually takes 20 minutes per pound on high pressure in an instant pot, and I recommend browning the outside on the saute setting if you plan to do that, and cooking it in beef broth or similar.
I wish I could help more, but haven't tested that particular version so can't say.
Always a winner in my house! 🙂 My family loves steak tacos. I am happy I gave your recipe a try. Delicious.
I'm so happy to hear it, Natalie. Thank you for sharing!
Brandon Lee Mann
Little too much Oregano for my taste but definitely a good solid recipe to adapt to your personal liking. Fyi to the publisher, maybe clarify what rack in oven for the broil method. Newbies could get confused.
I made these tacos yesterday and they were so so good. I'd never made steak tacos before but will definitely be making them again. Marinating overnight really added such a great flavour to the steak and the marinade sauce was divine!
I'm so glad to hear it, Jacqueline... thank you so much for sharing!