Flat iron steak is an inexpensive but totally flavorful cut of meat, especially when marinated in a citrus adobo sauce to make my favorite steak tacos.
Mexican Steak Tacos
Whether it’s 10 people or just two, having people over for a weekend meal doesn’t have to put the host into a stress-induced coma. The trick is to serve a popular main (with a twist) that can be prepped ahead and have your guests put their hands to work.
This grilled steak tacos recipe is part of my Weekend Eats series, where I’m sharing a seasonal recipe idea for what to have for dinner come Saturday and Sunday, with the occasional breakfast or brunch thrown in.
I’ve made these steak tacos a bunch of times and that’s how I knew they’d be the perfect dish for my Smudge’s birthday celebration with the family. They’re always pretty relaxed affairs, but my goal this time was to have EVERYTHING done ahead of time so I could sit back and actually have fun. I’m always jealous of my sister-in-law Ginni who makes this happen when we head to her house.
And guess what? Smudge may have gotten all the presents, but success was mine.
What’s in These Grilled Steak Tacos?
The key to a truly epic steak taco is all in the marinade. For the steak taco marinade, you’ll need:
- Orange juice
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Fresh cilantro
- Kosher salt
Besides that, you’ll need your steak of choice and your favorite taco toppings. Easy!
How to Make Grilled Steak Tacos
Poke holes in the steak with a knife, then seal inside a baggie along with the marinade ingredients. Pop that into the fridge to soak up all the flavor.
Once the steak has had time to marinate, bring the meat to room temperature and then grill to your desired doneness. Before slicing the meat, let it sit on a cutting board for a good 10 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, heat the tortillas on the grill. Then, you’re ready to load up your grilled steak tacos.
What’s the Best Steak for Tacos?
Everyone loves steak. It sounds so luxe. But feeding steak to a crowd is a $pendy proposition. However, the flat iron is a very affordable cut and totally delicious, especially after a marinade. It makes for perfect taco fillings. Flat iron is akin to flank steak, but has a bit more fat, hence the lower price tag and the more delicious bite.
Our Go-To Taco Toppings
You can pile whatever taco toppings you want onto these Mexican steak tacos. But our favorite toppings include:
- Sliced avocado or Guacamole
- Salsa or Pico de Gallo
- Chopped onion
- Queso fresco
- Grilled limes
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
Tips for Making the Best Steak Tacos
For a group of about 15, we prepared 4 flat iron steaks with not much to spare. I’m putting that down to the second-time returns I saw happening after the first round.
Normally I marinate the meat overnight or at least all day for max flavor. But I’ve made these even with just 1 hour of marinade time and they turned out just as smoky and adobo flavored. Take note for your own timetable.
Assembling the tacos is put into the hands of our guests for them to come up with their own combinations of flavors or whether to load ’em up, or keep ’em lean.
More Easy Taco Recipes to Make
- Blackened Fish Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce
- Slow Cooker Smoky Pulled Pork Tacos
- Just Like Taco Bell Tacos
- Breakfast Tacos
- Easy Shredded Chicken and Zucchini Tacos
Grilled Steak Tacos
For the Marinade:
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 cloves garlic , peeled
- 2 chipotle peppers plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from the can
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems (or a large fistful)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Tacos:
- 1 1/2 pounds flat iron steak
- Sliced avocado
- Chopped tomato
- Chopped onion
- Chopped cilantro leaves
Marinate the Steak:
- Poke holes in the steak with a large knife, taking care to make the holes with the grain. Add the steak to a gallon size freezer bag.
- Add the orange juice, garlic cloves, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, cilantro, cumin, cinnamon and kosher salt into a blender. Puree until smooth then pour into the freezer bag with the steak, seal and refrigerate for 1 hour up to overnight.
Make the Steak Tacos:
- Let the steak come to room temperature before grilling, about 20 minutes. Oil grates with grapeseed oil and preheat it on high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium-high and grill the meat for 10 minutes on each side or until cooked to desired doneness.
- Allow the steak to rest on a platter, covered with foil, for 10 minutes before cutting.
- Warm the tortillas over a gas flame or on the grill. Assemble the tacos with sliced avocado, chopped onion, tomatoes, cilantro, queso fresco, and a squeeze of grilled limes or sliced jalapeño if you like.
Candles, Presents and More. OH MY!
Best friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, grammies and grandpa. There’s no better reason to gather the fam than to celebrate another year down the drain. Although when you’re turning 11, it’s all up from here. So, now that the bellies are full, let’s get this party started!
Happy birthday Smudge. Your mama and daddy love you to pieces.
Hey thanks for coming to our party! My little family thanks you. You’ve seen my favorites, now I’d love to know yours. What do you HAVE to have along with tacos? Or birthdays?
That’s it folks, have a great day and make something good!
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