Carne Asada Tacos Recipe

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Carne asada tacos combine quick-cooking marinated skirt steak with lots of flavorful toppings. They’re a classic for a reason. Our version incorporates refried beans and couldn’t be quicker to assemble.

Carne Asada Tacos Recipe | Umami Girl


Marinate the steak overnight in the fridge or for two hours at room temperature. After that, these tacos come together in a flash.

Happy Monday, or as I like to call it, Taco Tuesday Eve. This week we’re grilling up super-flavorful carne asada tacos with refried beans and all the trimmings. You can marinate the steak for a couple hours at room temperature or prep it in the morning or even the night before and marinate in the fridge for up to a day. (See what I mean about Taco Tuesday Eve? It’s a real thing, people.) After marinating, this meal comes together quickly and easily.

What is skirt steak

Skirt steak is a flavorful, relatively inexpensive cut of beef (unless you buy it grass fed at Whole Foods like me — then it costs 18 million US dollars for two pounds). When marinated, grilled to medium-rare over a very hot grill and sliced thinly against the grain, it will be perfectly tender, too. In case you’re in the market, we’ve had this grill for a couple seasons now, and I love it.

Make your own tacos

You can assemble the tacos for everyone if you like, but we prefer to put all the ingredients out on the serving table and let people taco themselves. Kids always seem to eat better when they’re in control of the assembly process, and this goes for some adults, too.

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Carne Asada Tacos Recipe

These carne asada tacos are super-flavorful and have a great mix of textures, too. Skirt steak is a fabulous quick-cooking cut that will be nice and tender from marinating, grilling to medium-rare over a very hot grill, and then slicing thinly against the grain after a nice little rest. You can marinate the steak at room temperature for two hours or for up to a day in the fridge if you want to prep in the morning or even the night before.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Serves Serves 8


  • 2 pounds skirt steak

For the marinade

  • 1/4 cup safflower or other neutral oil
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves and stems, torn a few times to release flavors

To serve

  • 2 16-ounce cans refried beans
  • 24 taco-size corn tortillas
  • 2 ripe haas avocados, sliced
  • Pickled red onions
  • 8 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges


  1. Pat steak dry with paper towels. If pieces are too long to fit on grill, cut into manageable sections. 
  2. In a gallon-size zip top bag, mix together the oil, orange and lime juices, garlic, salt, vinegar, and torn cilantro. Add meat and marinate at room temperature for two hours (or up to a day in the fridge), turning the bag over occasionally.
  3. 30 minutes before you're ready to eat, preheat grill to high. Grill the steak until nicely browned on the underside, 3 to 5 minutes. Then flip once and grill about 3 minutes more, depending on thickness, for medium-rare. Let steak rest for 10 minutes.
  4. While steak rests, warm refried beans and tortillas according to package instructions, and assemble toppings in bowls at the table. Slice steak thinly against the grain.
  5. Let everyone assemble their own tacos. Anything goes, but we recommend a nice schmear of refried beans on the bottom, a few slices of steak, and plenty of toppings. 


Nutrition information for this recipe does not include tortillas.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 522 Total Fat:: 31g Carbohydrates:: 20.9g Fiber:: 8.1g Protein:: 39.8g

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