Carne Asada Tacos
In our house, tacos are for more than just Tuesdays. I mean, is there anything better than fresh corn tortillas stuffed with your favorite ingredients? This deliciously easy recipe for homemade Carne Asada Tacos requires just a short grocery list and only 30 minutes of marinating. It’s one I make on repeat all summer long!
When it comes to filling tortillas, there’s almost nothing that is off-limits. In my family, the crowning jewel of taco night is unmistakably carne asada.
While you are free to purchase grilled and thinly sliced steak from the carniceria, my super simple marinade takes just a few minutes to whip up and only 30 minutes to infuse the meat with a ton of delicious flavor.
Why I Love This Recipe
As I’m sure you know by now, I’m a big proponent of cooking from scratch when possible. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a good cheat – remember my Churro Cheesecake Bars? But when something is simple to make and I know I can avoid or limit preservatives and artificial ingredients, I’ll usually take the path less travelled.
It doesn’t hurt that scratch cooking usually tastes a heck of a lot better than anything you can buy at the store and has the added benefit of saving you some hard-earned cash.
This easy recipe for homemade carne asada tacos is no exception. The marinade requires just a few easy-to-find ingredients. All you have to do is mix them up, pop in your meat, and wait patiently for 30 minutes before grilling. Hint: that’s the perfect amount of time to whip up a batch of my Frozen Sunrise Margaritas and toast your loved ones.
Once the meat is infused with all that tasty flavor, throw it on the grill, slice or chop it up, and let the party begin! These carne asada tacos are perfect with just a few classic toppings like chopped onion and cilantro. I also love carne asada tacos topped with pickled onions. That said, feel free to go nuts and set up a taco bar for your guests to mix and match to their hearts’ content.
These soft carne asada tacos will quickly become part of your go-to recipes because they’re easy and delicious. They are light and tasty because there is no frying involved. Just use heated corn tortillas (not fried) and top with chile de arbol salsa or salsa verde and a bright squeeze of lime.
These popular street-style tacos filled with tender and flavorful steak will have the whole neighborhood talking. Seriously. Do yourself a favor and put these carne asada tacos on the menu for your next fiesta!
Ingredients for Carne Asada Tacos
- Carne Asada – While you’re free to purchase pre-made carne asada from your local supermercado, my marinade recipe renders that unnecessary. Simply marinate the meat in my signature marinade for 30 minutes and you’ll have authentic carne asada ready for eating in no time!
- Tortillas – I am firmly in the camp of corn tortillas when it comes to street-style tacos. For a traditional street taco, layer two small corn tortillas for each.
- Salsa – You can go as simple as chopped onions with cilantro for this part, or opt for one of my many homemade salsas, such as spicy chile de arbol salsa or mild salsa verde, and for garden season you can’t-go-wrong pico de gallo. If you’re hosting a party, I recommend laying out a taco bar with all of your favorite fixin’s and letting your guests mix and match.
Tenderizing Tequila Marinade
My carne asada marinade is super simple, requiring just a few easy-to-find ingredients. Marinated in a combination of butter with olive oil & sea salt, tequila, lime juice, lemon juice, garlic, serrano pepper, and fresh herbs, it is packed with flavor.
Butter: I recommend melted Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt. It has all the flavor of salted butter, but with the added goodness of olive oil. If you get your hands on some, it’s also great for making my no-knead chile cheese bread (and then slathering on a slice).
For just about 100 years, Land O’Lakes farmers have been working together to put farm-fresh products on the table for us, and for their families (Meet their farmer-owners).
Tequila: The tequila tenderizes meat. Alcohol acts much like natural fruit enzymes, breaking down the meat protein. Tequila also adds flavor to the meat. No tequila? Replace with beer or omit.
How to Make Carne Asada Tacos
First, you’re going to need to marinate your carne asada.
In a bowl, combine the Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt, tequila, lemon and lime juice, thyme, serrano, garlic, cilantro, and onion and mix well.
Place steak in a large sealable bag and pour the marinade over steak. Zip up the bag and massage marinade around so that the steak is well covered. You can also use a shallow dish if you prefer. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.
Preheat a grill or grill pan to high. Remove the steak from the plastic bag and generously season with salt. Grill the steak for 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium-rare. NOTE: I like my carne asada medium-rare, but feel free to cook yours to your desired doneness. Let rest 10 minutes, and then slice the steak against the grain into 1/2-inch pieces or chop.
Tip: Feel free to chop and cook a bit longer in a skillet, if needed.
Now, it’s time to serve up some tasty tacos! Place desired amount of meat into a warm corn tortilla. Fill with your choice of toppings. Garnish with a wedge of lime, to be squeezed over taco before eating. ENJOY!
Watch this video to see how easy these carne asada tacos are to make.
Frequently Asked Questions
That, mi amigos, is entirely up to you. If it’s a fiesta, I recommend setting up a taco bar with different meats, salsas, and taco toppings. I also love serving a few popular sides like my cilantro lime rice, slow cooker borracho beans, or black beans and a side of cebollitas.
Generally speaking, I think 1/4 pound of meat is more than sufficient for a serving. The recipe below calls for 1.5 pounds of meat, and that usually feeds 6 to 8 people.
Sure! I recommend investing in a cast iron grill pan if you don’t have access to a regular gas or charcoal grill. The cast iron will hold the heat beautifully and give you the pretty grill marks you’d get from a conventional grill.
Do I have to use tequila?
If you don’t have tequila, feel free to replace with beer or omit entirely.
Other Ways to Use Carne Asada
Need more recipe inspiration? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Carne asada is one of the most versatile meats in the Mexican cooking arsenal and I use it all the time! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Carne Asada Fries
- Carne Asada Tortas with Chimichurri Sauce
- Carne Asada Spinach Quesadillas
- Spring Salad with Carne Asada, Avocados, and Pepitas
- Carne Asada Enchiladas Suizas
- Carne Asada Taco Pizza
If you tried my recipe for fast and easy homemade carne asada tacos, please let me know how it turned out for you in the comments below!
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Carne Asada Tacos
- 4 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt, melted
- 1/4 cup tequila, reposado
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 serrano chile, stemmed and finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- 1 ½-pound flank, skirt or flap steak
- kosher salt
- corn tortillas
- salsa, avocado, and other toppings as desired
- In a bowl, combine the Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt, tequila, lemon and lime juice, thyme, serrano, garlic, cilantro, and onion and mix well.
- Place steak in a large sealable bag and pour the marinade over steak. Zip up the bag and massage marinade around so that the steak is well covered. You can also use a shallow dish if you prefer. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to high. Remove the steak from the plastic bag and generously season with salt. Grill the steak for 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest 10 minutes, and then slice the steak against the grain into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Place desired amount of meat into a warm corn tortilla. Top with salsa, avocado, and other toppings as desired. Garnish with a wedge of lime, to be squeezed over taco before eating.
- I like my carne asada medium-rare, but feel free to cook yours to your desired doneness.
- Feel free to chop and cook a bit longer in a skillet, if needed.
- No tequila? Replace with beer. Or just omit.
21 Comments on “Carne Asada Tacos”
My meat is always so TOUGH. what can I use to make it more tender? Or does the marinate tenderize it?
Do not marinate for too long. Also be sure to not overcook meat and let it rest. Another important tip is cook against the grain. Good luck!
email me “mexican street food recipe.. thanks
Delicious recipe – thank you for sharing!
Thank you Janine. Glad you enjoyed it.
Does it matter if it’s red or green Serrano chile pepper? I did a search and you don’t have a recipe for pico de gallo. Please advise.
You can garnish with salsa of your choice. A Pico de gallo is usually chopped tomatoes, onions, diced Serrano/jalapeño, cilantro, fresh lime juice and salt. Very simple and fresh. Feel free to experiment — you really can’t go wrong experimenting with salsa as long as you are using fresh ingredients. Good luck!
I made these last night with a large Flat Iron steak (the best option from a store that was picked clean), and it was melt in your mouth good! Thank you for a great recipe!!
I’m so glad I found your blog… I’ve been poring over your wonderful recipes for several hours now!
I’ve been wanting a good recipe for carne asada for a long time, and this looks delicious. However, I don’t use alcohol in my home, so is there anything I can substitute for the tequila?
Thank you, and I can’t wait to get your cookbook!
P.S. Born and raised (and still live) in Albuquerque… practically neighbors!
Howdy neighbor! Sorry for my delayed reply. So glad you found Muy Bueno 😉 for this recipe you can eliminate the tequila and it will taste just as fabulous. Buen provecho!
Can you please explain to me why carne asada is served in Austin as an entree with napolitos? The tortillas are on the side.
I have not been able to replicate what’s in the restaurants at home. The marinated stuff from Fiesta did not taste good at all. Hoping this comes close.
I loved this recipe. I do cook my meat to well-done but other than that I followed the recipe and fell in love. The richness of the simple flavors really was amazing!
Thank you Erica for leaving us a comment letting us know. So glad you are in love with our recipe too. Buen provecho!
These tacos look wonderful and very fresh. It seems like a nice light dinner to keep you moving.
I’ve been buying mine at the store. I must give this a try. It’s one of my favorites.
Yum! I’ve always wanted to know how to make the marinade for Carne Asada. Thanks for sharing!
I have never thought to marinate the meat with tequila–what a great idea (shrimp and other things, yes, but meat, never). These look so delicious that if I didn’t have a handy puesto that makes great carne asada, I’d go out and make these right now. Thanks for sharing.
It’s been two months since I became a vegetarian, & stumbling across this incredible blog just made it so much harder ! : (
One of our favorites, I’m going to try your version for sure.
It was great to meet you last week.
Oh my! I just came back from lunch with a full tummy, but if you put a plate of these in front of me, they would be gone!!!!
I think I found our Sunday night dinner! 🙂
Gorgeously cooked meat and fabulous tacos!