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Flank Steak Tacos

Flank steak tacos are an easy-to-prepare weeknight meal packed full of flavor. The meat is marinated in citrus, garlic, and spices and then grilled for just a few minutes. Then piled high onto corn tortillas and topped with your choice of delicious toppings!

Flank steak taco with avocados.
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Homemade Carne Asada + Tacos

It’s taco night again and I couldn’t be happier! Honestly, we never get tired of Mexican-inspired meals in my house.

This flank steak taco recipe uses simple ingredients and techniques. Best of all, it really delivers in the flavor department! A quick marinade and then a few minutes on a hot grill is all it takes to prepare this mouth-watering meal. The meat is similar to homemade carne asada.

Grilled flank steak is great to serve your family for a quick weeknight dinner. It’s budget-friendly and cooks up fast which makes it perfect for simple meals. Plus, marinated flank steak for tacos is juicy and full of bold flavor!

About These Easy Flank Steak Tacos

The marinade is similar to my skirt steak marinade which I use when making skirt steak tacos. It starts with lime, olive oil, and minced garlic and then I throw in some chili powder or ground cumin for added flavor. You can marinate the meat for as little as 20 minutes or up to 24 hours. The longer you marinate it, the better the flavor will be!

After grilling, the juicy meat is thinly sliced and piled onto corn tortillas. You could also try my homemade flour tortillas if you prefer.

As for toppings, I suggest tomatoes and diced onions, and you’d love my cilantro lime crema. It’s a big hit around here. Go ahead and throw on anything that sounds good to you. It’s fun to set the toppings out in small bowls and let everyone create their own masterpieces!

Ingredients

Flank steak marinade ingredients on counter.
  • Flank steak: This is a budget-friendly cut of beef that is at its best when it is marinated and cooked quickly. This is why grilling is a great method for making these steak tacos!
  • Marinade: Lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic, chili powder or ground cumin, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. This bright citrus marinade gives the steak an amazing flavor while helping to break down the tough proteins before grilling. Tender beef is the goal!
  • Corn tortillas: I used corn tortillas here, but flour tortillas will also work well. 
  • Cilantro: If you’re one of those people who think cilantro tastes like soap, (it’s a real thing that affects somewhere between 4 – 14% of people!), then leave it out. 
  • Cotija cheese: This is a Mexican cheese that is salty in flavor and crumbly in texture. If you can’t find any cotija, feta cheese makes a good substitute.
  • Optional toppings: Sliced tomatoes, diced onions, avocado, lime wedges, pico de gallo, and cilantro lime crema.

How to Make Flank Steak Tacos

Step by step collage making flank tacos.
  1. Marinate flank steak for tacos. Grab a large bowl and add all of the marinade ingredients. Mix everything and pour the marinade into a zip-top bag. Add the steak and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
  2. Grill steak. While the outdoor grill is heating, remove the meat from the marinade, pat it dry with a paper towel, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat directly on grill grates, or using a grill pan, until the steak has reached the desired temperature. We like ours cooked to medium which takes about 6 minutes per side.
  3. Rest the steak. Let the grilled meat rest on a plate for 5 – 10 minutes. This time lets the juices settle back into the steak before cutting into it. Slice it across the grain.
  4. Serve. Prepare toppings while the beef is resting, then place the strips on top of warm tortillas. Pile on the toppings and finally, sprinkle with cilantro, cotija cheese, and a drizzle of fresh lime juice.

Cooking the Steak in the Oven

Don’t have a grill? You can still enjoy these flank steak tacos by cooking the meat under the broiler!

To cook the steak in the oven:

  1. Preheat the broiler and place the meat on a baking sheet. 
  2. Cook turning halfway through until it’s cooked to your desired internal temperature (about 6 minutes per side for medium-rare).
Sliced flank steak on a wooden cutting board.

Recipe Tips

  • Slice thinly against the grain. The grain refers to the direction the muscle fibers run. When you cut across the grain, you are shortening these fibers which help to make the meat more tender and easier to chew.
  • Bring steak to room temperature. If you’re marinating the meat in the fridge, remove it 30 minutes before grilling.
  • Let the meat rest. It might be tempting to skip this step but don’t! You want it to be juicy throughout.

Recipe FAQs

What cut of steak is best for tacos?

Flank steak and skirt steak are great options if you have time to marinate them first. Sirloin is also a good option.

How do I know when steak is done?

Use a kitchen thermometer to check the internal temperature of your steak. Aim for the following temperatures: Medium Rare (130°-140°F), Medium (140°-150°F), Medium Well (150°-160°F), and Well Done (Over 160°F).

Can I make the steak ahead?

This marinade can be made up to 3 days in advance, however, I don’t recommend marinating the meat longer than 24 hours. Typically, I like to add the meat in the morning and grill that evening.

Storing and Reheating

Make sure you discard any remaining flank steak marinade. You can’t reuse it after the uncooked meat has been marinating in it.

Store leftover grilled meat in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

To reheat the steak: Place it in a microwave-safe bowl with a splash of beef broth or water and heat for 1 minute. The broth will help to prevent the meat from drying out.

Ways to Use Leftovers

If you have leftover meat from your flank steak tacos, store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container to enjoy the next day. Here are some ways my family likes to enjoy the leftovers:

  • As a pizza topper
  • In a grilled cheese
  • Stir-fried with fajita veggies
  • Chopped and added to quesadillas
  • Over rice and beans
  • Added to soup or noodle bowls
Flank taco with avocado on top.

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Flank taco with avocado on top.

Flank Steak Tacos

5 from 4 votes
Flank steak tacos are an easy-to-prepare weeknight meal packed full of flavor. The meat is marinated in citrus, garlic, and spices and then grilled for just a few minutes. Then piled high onto corn tortillas and topped with your choice of delicious toppings!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Marinate: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 limes , juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder , or ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt , plus more for grilling
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper , plus more for grilling
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas , warmed
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
  • Cotija cheese

Optional toppings: Sliced tomatoes, Diced onions, Avocado, Cilantro lime crema (recipe in notes)

    Instructions

    • In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a zip-top bag. Add the steak and press out any excess air before sealing. Marinate at room temperature at least 20 to 30 minutes or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Set out 30 minutes before grilling.
    • Remove the steak from the marinade and pat the steak dry with paper towel. Season each side with kosher salt and pepper.
    • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Place steak on the grill and cook to desired internal temperature (about 6 minutes per side for medium, depending on thickness of steak). See notes for cooking temperatures.
    • Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.
    • Prep desired toppings while steak is resting. (I like to add diced tomatoes, avocado, and onions with the cilantro lime crema (recipe in notes) on top of the cilantro and cotija cheese.)
    • Place steak on top of warm tortillas. Top with cilantro and cotija cheese and any other desired toppings. Serve while warm.

    Notes

    Cooking steak in the oven: Preheat the broiler. Place steak on a baking sheet. Cook, turning once halfway through, until cooked to desired internal temperature (about 6 minutes per side for medium rare, depending on thickness of steak). See notes below for cooking temperatures.
    Steak doneness: 
    • Medium Rare (130°-140°F) 
    • Medium (140°-150°F) 
    • Medium Well (150°-160°F)
    • Well (Over 160°F)
    Make ahead: This marinade can be made up to 3 days in advance, however I don’t recommend marinating the meat longer than 24 hours. Typically I like to add the meat in the morning and grill that evening. 
    Storing: Discard any leftover marinade and do not reuse. You can store leftover meat in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. 
    Toppings: The additional toppings are not included in nutritional value. Feel free to add as you prefer.
    Cilantro Lime Crema: For a delicious flavor, add this sauce on top: In a food processor, blend 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 lime (zested and juiced), 1 clove garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 352mg | Potassium: 365mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 94IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Author: Jamielyn Nye

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