Steak Tacos

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Easy, flavor-packed Steak Tacos with a quick corn-and-herb topping and the best simple chili-lime sauce.

Steak Tacos are loaded with so many delicious elements that they can stand on their own for a hearty meal. That said, if you’re looking for a side dish, this fruit salad recipe or quick cucumber salad would pair nicely.

 

Overhead image of the steak tacos ready to be eaten

Steak Tacos

These tacos are a mash-up of two of my favorite recipes, and one of the most popular recipes on this website! These chicken tacos are one of the most loved recipes and this flank steak with corn salsa is a personal favorite of mine

So why not mash the two together to create some unforgettable Steak Tacos? And honestly, these are the best steak tacos I’ve ever had! They’re bursting with flavor and loaded with texture from the seasoned, tender steak to the crisp corn topping to the creamy chili-lime sauce. We seriously can’t get enough of these.

Process shots: combining seasonings for the spice rub; drizzle olive oil onto steak; sprinkle spice rub on steak; grill; slice thinly against the grain.

Grilling the steak for Steak Tacos

  • Make sure the grill is completely heated before you add the steak. The high heat sears the surface of the meat, resulting in a juicier steak with an amazing char (char = flavor!).
  • Let the steak rest before slicing. Once the steak is grilled, it needs a bit of time to rest so the juices can re-distribute evenly throughout the meat. I recommend loosely covering the steak in foil and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it; this is the perfect time to whisk together the sauce.
  • Slice the cooked steak against the grain. Here’s more on that! With Steak Tacos, it’s especially important to cut against the grain so it isn’t difficult to chew with the other taco ingredients. (By cutting against the grain, it reduces the length of those muscle fibers to make chewing easier.)

QUICK TIP

Flank steak is very lean and will be tough and chewy if it is cut in the same direction of the muscle fibers.

Steak temperature guide for steak tacos

I recommend cooking flank steak medium rare for Steak Tacos. Flank steak will lose texture and flavor and become harder to chew in the tacos when cooked beyond medium. That said, cook the steak exactly how you like it!  Below are the temperatures for cooking steak to your personal preference. 

Fully preheat the grill to 450 degrees F. Aim to keep the grill that consistent temperature throughout the grilling process.

Pull the steaks off about 5 degrees below the desired temperature — the steaks will continue cooking those last 5 degrees from carryover heat as they rest.

  • Rare: 120-125 degrees F
  • Medium-Rare: 135 degrees F (about 4-5 minutes on one side and another 4-5 minutes on the other side)
  • Medium: 140 degrees F (about 5-7 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side)
  • Medium-Well: 150 degrees F (about 8-10 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side)
  • Well-Done: 160-175 degrees F.

** Cooking time depends on the steak’s thickness, your grill, and actual temperature of your grill**

QUICK TIP

Sometimes a grocery store will label a flank steak under a different name such as a London Broil, Flank Steak Fillet, and/or Jiffy Steak. When in doubt, ask the person at the meat counter. If you can’t find a flank steak, flat iron steak, hanger steak, or skirt steak will all work similarly with this recipe.

Process shots: grill the corn; cut corn from cob and combine with corn and combine with salsa ingredients; char tortillas; combine sauce ingredients.

Corn and herb topping

Fresh herbs and fresh corn combine to create a show-stopping Steak Taco salsa topping! The corn is grilled (right alongside the steak) to add a smoky flavor and crisp texture. Once the corn has been cooked and cooled, cut off the kernels and toss with fresh herbs (green onion and cilantro) and a few other ingredients to create the ultimate tacos topping.

  • If you don’t have access to fresh corn, use frozen corn instead and char it on the stovetop or give it a quick roast in the oven.
  • A ripe avocado adds an immense amount of creaminess to these tacos. To make sure an avocado is ripe, press gently around the stem and if it gives, the avocado is ripe (the “give” should feel like pressing the tip of your nose). 

Chili-lime sauce

The sauce on these Steak Tacos ties everything together and is completely crave-worthy. There are only six ingredients in it:

  • Mayo: The better the mayo, the better the sauce tastes. I love Hellman’s/Best Foods® (not sponsored), since it has a rich flavor without being overly sweet.
  • Sriracha®: This ingredient adds flavor and spice! A little Sriracha goes a long way (both in adding flavor and spice). Overall, I would not say this sauce is spicy, since the small amount of Sriracha is fairly muted and mainly adds flavor.
  • Lime juice: The lime’s acid balances the spicy from the Sriracha and seasonings and tanginess of the mayo. It also adds flavor of its own and thins the sauce.
  • Seasonings: Chili powder, paprika, and cumin add flavor and complexity to the sauce; a little of each goes a long way. 

Close-up overhead view of three Steak Tacos.

Steak Taco tips

  • We love topping Steak Tacos with a queso-cotija blend. Cotija is a fairly salty cheese, so it adds the perfect finishing touch to the tacos and balances the flavors nicely. If you choose not to add this cheese, I’d recommend adding a pinch of salt to finish off the tacos (if needed).
  • Watch the steak cooking time carefully. There are lots of notes about grilling the steak earlier in this post, but make sure to keep a close eye on it; flank steak cooks extremely quickly! Also note that smaller/thinner flank steaks will cook even quicker. (For these tacos we’ve tested a 2-pound flank steak and a 1 and 1/2-pound flank steak. The smaller one was cooked to medium rare about 2 minutes quicker.)
  • Char the tortillas. I add this tip on every single taco recipe I share because it makes such a huge difference! Watch the video to see how quick and easy it is!

More taco recipes

Don’t be too overwhelmed by this ingredient list, a lot of the ingredients overlap but have been written out twice for easier reading!

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Steak Tacos

5 from 2 votes
Easy, flavor-packed Steak Tacos with a quick corn and herb topping and the best simple chili-lime sauce.
Print Recipe

Steak Tacos

5 from 2 votes
Easy, flavor-packed Steak Tacos with a quick corn and herb topping and the best simple chili-lime sauce.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword steak tacos
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 4 servings (~3 small tacos per person)
Calories 763kcal
Cost $19.92

Ingredients

Steak

  • 1 and 1/2 up to 2 pounds flank steak (or flat iron or skirt steak)
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder, ground coriander, ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon EACH: paprika, ground chili powder, tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons EACH: fine sea salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Corn Topping & Tacos

  • 2 large corn on the cob (fresh is best if available; otherwise use frozen, about 2 cups)
  • 1 large avocado, divided
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (~1 clove)
  • 1 large lime (1 teaspoon zest, 2 tablespoons juice)
  • 12 small (or street-sized) Tortillas (flour or corn; we prefer Mission's extra thin corn tortillas!)
  • Optional: Cotija or Queso Fresco Cheese, additional lime wedges/juice and cilantro

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (113g) full-fat regular mayo (we love Best Foods/Hellmans)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice + 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the grill to 450 degrees F. Once heated, clean the grill grates with a wire brush. Liberally oil the grill (I do this by drenching a paper towel in canola or vegetable oil and, holding tongs, rubbing the paper towel over the grill).
  • CORN: Shuck corn and discard leaves and silk. Drizzle corn with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rub the oil and salt/pepper into all sides of the corn. Add the corn to the heated and oiled grill over direct heat. Grill corn about 10-12 minutes total, rotating every 3-4 minutes until brightly colored and lightly charred. Let grilled corn cool before cutting it off the cob and adding kernels to a large bowl.
  • STEAK: Prepare the rub by mixing together the garlic powder, ground coriander, cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Remove the flank steak from packaging and blot dry with a paper towel. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil on the top of the steak. Sprinkle half the rub on top and gently press in. Flip the steak over. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil on the bottom of the steak and sprinkle on the remaining rub mixture. Gently press in. Place the spiced-rubbed steak directly on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature is 130-135 degrees F for medium rare or 145 degrees for medium. (I use a meat thermometer here. For a 2 pound flank steak, my grill takes exactly 4 minutes per side at 450 degrees F.) Remove the steak from the grill to a cutting board. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Once the steak has rested, slice it very thinly against the grain (See Note 1).
  • CORN TOPPING: Cut the avocado in half. Chop one half into small pieces and thinly slice the other half. Toss the grilled corn with the chopped avocado, thinly sliced green onions, finely chopped cilantro, minced garlic, and finely diced jalapeño. Add lime zest and lime juice, a sprinkle of salt, sprinkle of pepper, and gently toss together. Set aside.
  • SAUCE: Whisk everything together until smooth and combined. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust to personal preference (additional salt, pepper, sriracha, etc.)
  • TORTILLAS: Spray both sides of the tortillas with olive oil cooking spray and "grill" tortillas on stovetop over the open flame until slightly charred. Alternatively warm (covered with a damp paper towel) in the microwave. After tortillas have been warmed or charred, quickly fold them in half so they will fold easily when assembled.
  • ASSEMBLE: Fill up the grilled/warmed tortillas with thinly sliced steak, a generous spoonful of the corn-avocado mixture, and a good spoonful of the sauce. Add in the thin slices of avocado. Additionally, add extra lime juice, cilantro, and/or cotija cheese to tacos if desired. Enjoy!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Find the fibers on the steak and determine how they are running along the steak. Once you find that grain, slice perpendicular (here's a visual). This will keep the meat juicy and tender. It's easier to chew when cut against the grain. If the meat strips are too long, cut them in half or chop for easier eating.
Note 2: If you're worried about spice, I recommend using McCormick® chili powder and paprika; neither are overly spicy. I'd also recommend leaving out the jalapeño from the corn topping.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 763kcal | Carbohydrates: 50.9g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 44.4g | Cholesterol: 113.6mg | Sodium: 312.7mg | Fiber: 8.5g | Sugar: 6g

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe delivers some big time smacking good flavour. I did add a little olive oil and stevia to the salsa. If you follow the steak grilling tips- it’s absolutely perfect!!!!!

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