Mexican Steak Tacos

Beautifully charred flank steak seasoned with ancho chile and garlic, simply garnished with cilantro and taqueria-style red salsa.

Three Mexican Steak Tacos

Mexican Steak Tacos

I hear the question in your mind all the way from here (in Atlanta). “Aren’t all tacos Mexican, so why call this recipe Mexican Steak Tacos, instead of just Steak Tacos?” Well, that’s because we Americans have made tacos our own in a variety of over-stuffed ways. Traditional Mexican Steak Tacos are a typical street food offering and don’t come with all the different garnishes that you get here.

The taco lets the carne asada take the spotlight, with some taqueria style red salsa and chopped cilantro. But honestly, if you marinate your steak just right, all you need is a crisp corn taco to call it a night.

Mexican Steak Tacos with Lime

Katherine and I have probably eaten more tacos than either of us care to admit. I think the last time, we went two full days eating nothing but. We’d pass by dozens of food stalls and carts with towering stacks of golden yellow tortillas waiting for their turn on a hot grill.

The tortilla is the quiet sibling to the loud and boisterous ingredients on the inside. Perfectly charred, not too delicate and robust enough to hold everything, even drops of ancho chile-infused steak drippings.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try making fresh tortillas at home. It’s an experience.

As for the steak, it holds the flavor, and by chopping it, you’ll make a whole lot of people happy they can avoid “empty taco” syndrome. That’s when you take a bite of a taco and instead of biting it apart, you pull everything out. Yeah, you know it’s happened to you, too.

Flank is the most common cut used, but you could get away with a skirt steak, and even a flat iron will do.

Mexican Steak Tacos - Flank Steak

How To Choose the Best Flank Steak for Mexican Steak Tacos

  1. If you have a local butcher, pay them a visit. Nothing beats in person expertise.
  2. Your flank steak should have a bright burgundy color and some fat marbleization.
  3. If you go the supermarket route, check the grain and make sure you don’t have tough, fatty bits on the ends.

Mexican Steak Tacos - Carne Asada Tacos

You should be able to find corn tortillas and cilantro at your regular market. And the recipe for the taqueria salsa is as simple as tossing some ingredients in the blender. If you make extra, it’ll hold for a few days, but no longer. ¡Buen provecho!

Falls in love with three squeezes of a lime

Stir memories of steamy sidewalks, yards away from the Sea of Cortez

In the spice chest, ancho chile, garlic, cumin, black pepper, Kosher salt

Suggestions and Alternatives

  • The longer you allow your flank steak to marinate the more flavor you will get. I suggest overnight.
  • Try to time your plating. This is a street taco, meant to be eaten as soon as it comes off the pan.
  • If you like jalapenos, you can swap out the red salsa for this tomato jalapeño salsa.
  • To keep the authenticity going, serve a side of tortillas with our authentic Mexican salsa.

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Platter of three steak tacos

Mexican Steak Tacos with Lime
4.8 from 10 votes

Steak Tacos

Authentic Baja Mexican Steak Tacos

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 431 kcal


Ingredients for Steak Tacos:

  • 2 lbs. flank steak diced
  • 12 corn tortillas quality
  • 1/5 cup corn oil
  • 12 lime wedges
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro chopped

Ingredients for Steak Marinade:

  • 1 tbs. garlic powder ground
  • 3 teaspoons black pepper ground
  • 1 tbs. cumin ground
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tbs. ancho chile powder
  • 2 tbs. corn oil

Ingredients for Taqueria Salsa

  • .5 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 12 oz.
  • 2 tbs. white vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbs. lime juiced
  • 1/2 tbs. white pepper ground


Instructions for Steak Marinade

  1. In a large bowl add diced flank steak

  2. Add ancho chile powder, ground cumin and kosher salt.

  3. Let sit for two minutes.

  4. Next, fold in ground black pepper and garlic powder.

  5. Add corn oil, fold until completely incorporated, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Instructions for Taquera Sauce:

  1. Open one 12 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, drain excess liquid and place in large bowl

  2. Fold in ground white pepper, white vinegar and Kosher salt.

  3. Next mince one clove garlic and lime juice.

  4. Whisk all together for two minutes and refrigerate.

Instructions for Assembling Steak Tacos:

  1. In a large saute pan on medium heat add corn oil

    After two minutes place two corn tortillas and cook for two minutes

    Flip over and repeat.

  2. Remove from pan and cover with a damp paper towel, set aside.

  3. Next bring large saute pan to high heat and sear marinated flank steak for four minutes, shut off heat and set aside.
  4. Assemble tacos and top with cilantro

  5. Wedge three limes to make 12 wedges.

    Add Taqueria Sauce as desired.



  1. Sounds like salt overload…

    5 tablespoons in the Taquera Sauce, (listed in the ingredients)
    …. not to mention the 4 tablespoons of white people (lol)
    Just a suggestion, It would be helpful to include the size of the canned tomatoes and please double check your quantities of pepper listed as well as salt.
    So it looks like you have a master list of all ingredients needed, then repeat the same ingredients but have them separated by Sauce and Marinade, then separated the Instructions.
    This sounds very tasty, I like the idea of a small dice for the steak, but I might miss the browned crispy goodness gained when cooking the steak intact so I may cut the flank steak into 5 or 6 smaller pieces then marinate and cook, then dice. However, I am going to try your method and see which I prefer, maybe with a really hot iron skillet… Thanks for an interesting recipe.

    1. I claim responsibility, not the chef. So much for reading his notes, while feeding a toddler! He got it all squared away, so thanks for taking the time to post about it. As for the steak, he normally grills a flank steak whole, but he happened to pick up diced flank at one of our local Mexican markets while looking for the ancho. So he thought, why not? But you definitely won’t go wrong with chopping the flank after resting. Let’s us know how it turns out, now that the recipe is correct. =)

    1. You were the first and I fixed it. Thanks for heads up. I’ll shamelessly blame my 18-month-old for distracting me. Although Eddie (chef and hubby) does the recipes most of the time, I think I’ll stick with the photography =)

  2. Mmmm. I love all types of tacos and these look amazing. I love the sauce and spices. I can not wait to try your recipe, though I will use flour tortillas instead of the corn – as I like them better!! But I can’t wait!

  3. These look so delicious! We have tacos quite a bit in our home because they’re so easy to make and the kids love making their own! I definitely need to add this to our meal planner! Thanks!

    1. Yep. Our boys got a kick out of spooning the salsa and sprinkling the cilantro. But not on the tacos I photographed. Their servings were a bit more artistic.

  4. That looks amazing! My husband and I love tacos and steak (aside from fish) is definitely one of the best ingredients to have in a taco! I can’t wait to give this one a try!

  5. This recipe came at the perfect time. I’ve been craving some tacos. I was also looking for a great recipe to provide flavor inspiration because most of the taco seasonings available at the store contain a bunch of ingredients I don’t want in my food.

  6. These Mexican Steak Tacos look really tasty! I love that you used diced flank steak. I had to smile when I read about the “empty taco.” Happened to me once. I am saving your recipe and including this dish in our meal plan this week. The Taqueria Red Salsa sounds amazing too.

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