Steak Tacos made with plenty of lime juice and a quick homemade spice rub can be grilled, broiled, or cooked in a skillet for an easy and healthy meal that is ready in less than thirty minutes.
These homemade Steak Tacos taste better than your local taco shop but are made with good-for-you ingredients that most people already have in their pantry.
By using a chili and cumin spice rub along with plenty of lime juice, the steak comes out tender and packed with flavor. Consider serving it with these Frijoles Charros or Mexican Street Corn.
Steak tacos are always the answer. Whenever I am staring at the fridge at 5 PM and don't know what to make for dinner or planning for a last-minute get-together, tacos are my number one option.
They cook quickly, are almost universally loved, and are affordable to cook for big crowds. Plus if you take the time to put together a wide array of toppings, it feels like something you spent lots of time planning.
I always put out two to three different kinds of salsa - pico de gallo, corn salsa, or avocado salsa are all delicious. Then add chopped cilantro, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, shredded cheese, sour cream, and plenty of avocados.
It makes for an impressive presentation without hardly any work. If I am planning on a crowd, I will make these Chicken Street Tacos or Grilled Chicken Tacos as well.
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How to Cook Steak for Tacos
For this steak taco recipe, there are three options when it comes to cooking methods. You can grill, broil, or cook them stove-top.
- Grilled Steak Tacos: In warmer months, I am always cooking these on the grill. The grill adds a nice smoky flavor to the beef and to me it feels the most authentic since it is comparable to a taco al carbon you would find in Mexico. To maintain an authentic street taco al carbon, you'll want to be minimalist when it comes to toppings. Lime juice, cilantro, onion, and some spicy red or green salsa is it. But no one would blame you for adding avocado. This blackened steak is also great for tacos.
- Broiled Steak Tacos: During colder months or lazy nights I don't feel like firing up the grill, the broiler is your best friend. Broiling steak is a great way to quickly cook the steak and get it browned on the outside from the high heat. When broiling steak, make sure to keep a close eye on it since it can overcook quickly. And always let it rest before slicing it.
- Carne Asada Style Skillet Steak Tacos: If you are looking for a carne asada steak taco, you have two options. One is to cut the meat before cooking into small pieces. Then quickly cook it in a skillet or griddle until it is just cooked through. If you want to grill or broil the tacos, you can still do that and then chop them into small pieces after. Just make sure to let the meat rest so you don't end up losing all the juices.
Steak Taco Seasoning Recipe
This recipe uses a quick and easy homemade spice blend to season up the meat. You can use it for these healthy beef tacos and on all kinds of beef, chicken, and pork dishes. It is awesome for anything on the grill, even veggies. The recipe below will make a large batch you can store with your other spices. It can be used on its own or combined with lime juice like is done in the recipe.
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- 1.5 tsp paprika
- 1.5 tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 tsp onion powder
- 1.5 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- Optional: Add some cayenne powder for extra heat.
What kind of steak to use for tacos?
You can use virtually any kind of steak for tacos but certain cuts are better for certain types of tacos. For carne asada or grilled steak tacos, it is best to use flank steak, skirt steak, or sirloin steak. Flap meat also works and can be very affordable.
In Mexican markets, you will usually see steak labeled carne asada or palomilla. The carne asada may come pre-marinated.
For slow cooker-style beef tacos, you can use round roast, brisket, eye round, or chuck steak.
Creating the Perfect Taco Toppings Bar
Like I mentioned earlier, when you make tacos for a crowd, the taco bar is what will take it to the next level. It also gives you the allusion of having spent hours planning when you can actually pick up virtually everything from the grocery store and just put it into pretty bowls and dishes. If you want to add some homemade touches, I recommend making the guacamole and homemade salsa. This creamy avocado salsa is amazing and always gets rave reviews.
- Tortillas: Grab a few packs of corn and flour tortillas. If you can take the extra step of heating them up on the grill or over a gas burner on the stove, it adds tons of flavor. Store them wrapped in a towel in a basket or tortilla warmer. You can also provide lettuce wraps for a lighter option or make your own crispy taco shells.
- Chips: It's not really a taco party without some chips. Provide a fried and baked version so people have a lighter option as well. For even more flavor, make your own baked tortilla chips.
- Salsa: Salsa is one of the most important parts of any good taco party. I like to provide mild, medium, and spicy options. Usually, I grab pico de gallo for the mild option, green salsa for the medium, and spicy red salsa for the hot. If you live near a Mexican supermarket or restaurant, consider buying their homemade salsas since they are almost always better than store-bought. You will also definitely want some guacamole.
- Cheese: Usually I provide two cheese options. One traditional shredded cheese, usually a sharp cheddar or jack cheese, alongside a crumbly Mexican cheese like cotija or queso fresco.
- Veggies: You will have all the basics - onions, cilantro, jalapenos, tomatoes, and lots of lime. You can also add lettuce or cabbage, radishes, and pickled onions or carrots.
- Sour cream: Use traditional sour cream, light sour cream, or Greek yogurt. You can also buy the thinner Mexican crema.
- Sides: Refried beans and rice are the traditional options but you can switch it up with corn salad, a big green salad, fresh fruit, or quinoa salad with mango.
Tips for the Best Steak Tacos
- Always slice the steak against the grain for the most tender slices. Slicing with the grain results in chewy steak.
- For extra flavor and tenderness, marinate the steak in a bit of citrus juice and olive oil for 30-60 minutes before grilling.
- Always rest the steak after it cooks so the juices can redistribute throughout the steak. This step is so important and often skipped.
- Think about the size of the slices or chunks. Tacos are eaten with your hands, so make the steak bite-sized
Frequently Asked Question
Here are the answers to the most common questions about making these steak tacos.
What kind of steak is best for tacos?
Sirloin steak is most commonly used for steak tacos but you can also use skirt steak, flank steak, ribeye steak, or flap steak. For a more affordable option, ground beef can be used.
Do you have to marinate the beef for tacos?
Marinating the meat will add flavor to the steak. In this recipe, it isn't necessary to marinate the steak, but you could. Just add some olive oil or vegetable oil alongside the lime juice and spices. Marinating can also be a great way to tenderize steak if you are using a cut that tends to be tough.
How to you make street tacos?
Street tacos refer to a smaller taco that doesn't have too many extra toppings or fillings. For a traditional carne asada style street taco, look for small corn tortillas. Make sure to cut the steak very into small pieces. Then serve the tacos with chopped cilantro, onion, and spicy red salsa. Serve lime wedges on the side.
Can steak be marinated in soy sauce or Maggi sauce for tacos?
Magi sauce is traditionally used in Mexico for marinating meat. It gives the beef a deep savory flavor with some umami. If you can't find Maggi sauce you can use soy sauce instead. Just make sure to use less salt.
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- 2 limes, juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1.33 lbs. lean sirloin steak, trimmed of all fat
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup salsa
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Broil (or grill) for 5-6 minutes per side for medium-rare, or to your desired doneness. Let rest for 10 minutes and slice thin or chop into small pieces. You can also chop the steak into smaller pieces and cook it in a skillet. It will take 3-5 minutes in a hot skillet with about one tablespoon of oil.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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