These easy Steak Tacos start with an easy citrus marinade, reach their midway point with soft tortillas stuffed with the most tender, juicy strips of flank steak, and end with you licking your fingers and congratulating yourself on being a Tex-Mex master. It’s a minimal prep, maximum dinner accomplishment, and reminded me of how rewarding it can be to try new things in the kitchen.
Even if you’ve never grilled flank steak before, you can make these quick steak tacos.
You don’t even need access to a grill!
Why? Because this recipe can be made not only on the grill but also on the stovetop (like these Beef Fajitas) or in the oven.
Add a simple citrus marinade and you have the BEST steak tacos recipe at your disposal to bring a taste of sunshine into your kitchen and a (well-deserved) sense of swagger to your cooking routine.
5 Star Review
“These were absolutely amazing! This is a keeper and we’ll be making them again!”— Mary —
How to Make the Best Steak Tacos
Amazing citrus-marinated grilled steak tacos don’t have to be complicated (they can be easy like these Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos).
This quick and easy recipe requires just a few everyday ingredients to make flavorful, juicy flank steak tacos.
Although you do need to build in time for the marinade portion of the recipe, the good news is once that hour is up, flank steak is freaky fast.
The steak cooks in less than 10 minutes.
- Flank Steak. Conquer this tough cut of meat with the power of marinade which tenderizes the meat making it flavorful and juicy. Quality comes into play with the flank steak itself too. You don’t need to break the bank, but beef is an area where you want to buy the best that fits your budget.
As with any protein, don’t forget to give your meat ample time to rest before cutting into it. Also, be sure to cut it against the grain for maximum tenderness.
- Citrus Juice. A blend of orange juice and lime juice is all you need to make an epically flavorful steak tacos marinade that tenderizes the meat. It’s great in these Instant Pot Carnitas too.
- Garlic. Adds backbone and zip.
- Cumin. The ever-essential taco seasoning that adds lovely smoky depth (it’s also key to these Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Taco Slaw).
- Salt and Pepper. The most important ingredients when it comes to seasoning steak.
- Tortillas. Flour or corn tortillas, whichever you prefer.
- Toppings. I like to keep things simple with cilantro, avocado, and queso fresco to let the tender flank steak really shine, but you can doctor up yours however you please (maybe with some of the Best Guacamole or salsa).
- Mix up the marinade and pour it over the steak. Let it do its thing, covered, in the fridge.
- When ready to cook, remove the steak from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while you prepare any toppings and preheat the grill, oven, or stovetop.
- Cook the steak using your chosen method, flipping once.
For medium-rare, the steak should read 135 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove the steak, cover with foil, and let rest before slicing (across the grain) into thin, 1/4-inch strips.
- Warm the tortillas, then assemble the tacos with toppings of your choice. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate steak in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently reheat leftover steak in a lightly oiled skillet, just until warmed through.
- To Freeze. Freeze steak in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
For ultra-quick flank steak tacos, you can prep the marinade and store it in the refrigerator the night before, pour it over the flank steak before you leave for work, and then come home and the meat will be ready to go.
I don’t recommend marinating the steak overnight. I’ve found that anything more than 8 hours tends to break down the flank steak too much.
Cut leftover steak into small pieces, heat it quickly in a skillet, then mix it with warm beans, rice, and your favorite Mexican toppings (like pico de Gallo) to create steak burrito bowls. Add some of your favorite steak tacos sauce for extra moisture.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Grill Tongs. A game changer if you like to cook on the grill regularly.
- Cast Iron Griddle. If you are cooking on the stovetop.
- Citrus Press. You’ll be amazed how much you can squeeze from every lemon, lime, and orange!
- Instant Read Thermometer. The best way to ensure you don’t overcook your beef tacos.
Whether you are already a flank steak cooking pro or looking to make steak tacos for the first time, I know you are going to love this recipe.
It’s simple, flavorful, and a beautiful reminder that home cooking doesn’t need to be difficult to be delicious.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Flank steak, also known as London Broil, is often confused with skirt steak. While these steaks both have a strong beefy flavor and tend to be tougher cuts of meat that require marinating, they are not the same. In fact, they come from entirely different parts of the steer. Flank steak is better than skirt steak for tacos.
Flank steak tends to be a tough cut of meat (even with an awesome marinade) because of its long, lean muscle fibers. Cutting the meat against the grain shortens these muscle fibers and effectively tenderizes the steak further.
Flank steak is the best cut of steak for tacos like this, but only if you prepare it correctly. Using the marinade in this recipe and cutting it against the grain help ensure it turns out delicious. Sirloin steak tacos and ribeye steak tacos are also delicious options.
For the Flank Steak and Marinade:
- 1 pound flank steak trimmed of excess fat
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional for grilling the steak
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus additional for grilling the steak
- Canola oil for coating the grill
- 8 7-inch corn or flour tortillas
- Shredded Monterey jack feta, or queso fresco cheese
- Other toppings: chopped fresh cilantro diced red onion, sliced or diced tomatoes
- Place the flank steak in a baking dish. In a medium mixing bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the olive oil, garlic, orange juice, lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper. Pour over the steak. Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours (do not marinate for more than 8 hours or the steak will break down and soften too much).
- When ready to grill, remove the steak from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while you prepare any toppings and preheat the grill.
- Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium-high heat (alternatively, you can cook the steak under your broiler—place your oven rack in the upper third, usually the second closest rack to the top). Brush the grill grates with oil. Remove the steak from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Grill (or broil) the steak for about 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once, until medium-rare (The steak should read 135 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.)
- Remove the steak to a cutting board and cover with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes (this allows the juices to sink into the meat), then cut the steak into thin, 1/4-inch slices, slicing it across the grain.
- Next, warm the tortillas. Place them in a dry skillet heated over medium-high or heat them on the grill for about 30 seconds per side, until warmed through.
- To serve, fill the tortillas with a few slices of beef. Sprinkle with cheese and any desired toppings. Enjoy immediately.
- NOTE: Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated with half the total marinade, as much is discarded. If you would like to calculate it differently, you can do so for free at myfitnesspal.com.
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