Steak Tacos

May 25, 2022

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The BEST Steak Tacos recipe! Steak pieces are soaked in a simple lime and ancho chili seasoned marinade and quickly pan seared in a super hot skillet until just perfectly browned. From there it’s layered on tortillas and finished with your favorite toppings!

Single steak taco with avocado, cilantro and red onion shown close up.

Easy Skillet Steak Tacos

Tacos are one of the best foods out there and these steak tacos are no exception!

They are brimming with bright lime flavor and delicious seasonings, the hint of honey in the marinade helps the steak sear beautifully, and the toppings that crown them are the perfect finishing highlight.

The key here is just to pick out good quality steak. I recommend looking for sirloin with a generous amount of marbling or using prime grade. Marbling is the fat swirled throughout the steak, more marbling means more flavor and a more tender piece of meat (I buy prime top sirloin at Costco for about $10 a pound, it’s a great place to get good quality steak).

I think it’s safe to say these tacos will quickly become a family favorite! They take little effort yet finish with big flavor.

Photo of marinated and seared steak pieces for tacos.

Steak Tacos Recipe Ingredients

Steak and marinade ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. sirloin steak (preferably prime grade or well marbled with fat)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1.5 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp vegetable oil, divided

Ingredients for serving

  • 10 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion or white onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

 

Photo of ingredients used in making steak tacos.

How to Make Steak Tacos

  1. Cut steak into small pieces: Cut steak into strips that are 1/2-inch thick, then cut into pieces that 3/4-inch in size.
  2. Mix marinade ingredients: In a large mixing bowl whisk together lime juice, olive oil, honey, garlic, ancho chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
  3. Toss steak and marinade, rest: Add steak pieces to lime mixture then toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour and up to 6 hours.
  4. Heat 2 tsp vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Quickly sear half of the steak at a time: Once oil is just smoking, use tongs to remove half the steak from the bowl (shake off some excess marinade) and transfer to pan and immediately spread steak pieces out into an even single layer in pan (stand back it can splatter).
  6. Let cook about 45 seconds until nicely browned on bottom, then quickly flip each piece and cook to desired doneness, about 45 seconds longer (for food safety USDA recommends internal safe temperature of 145 degrees on an instant read thermometer, I like to go to about 135 degrees). Transfer steak to a plate.
  7. Wipe skillet clean using tongs and a ball of paper towels. Return to heat and add remaining 2 tsp oil and let heat. Repeat cooking and transferring process with remaining steak.
  8. Serve right away in warmed tortillas with avocado, onion and cilantro.

Six steps showing how to make steak tacos.

Substitutes and Variations

  • Sugar or maple syrup will work in place of the honey.
  • Lemon juice will be okay for lime.
  • Regular chili powder makes a fine substitute for the ancho chili powder.
  • If you want to make these spicy include some cayenne pepper in the marinade.
  • Try other toppings. Pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, sliced radishes, Mexican hot sauce or cotija or Monterey Jack cheese are all great choices.
  • If flour tortillas are preferred those will work in place of corn tortillas.

Overhead photo of platter with steak tacos.

The Perfect Upgrade

Want to take these to the next level?

Three steak tacos on a white serving plate with a purple cloth to the side.

Storage and Reheating

  • Cooked steak should be stored in the fridge.
  • It will keep up to 2 days.
  • Steak pieces can be reheated in a skillet over medium heat with a little bit of oil, tossing occasionally, until just heated through.

Three steak tacos on a white serving plate with a purple cloth to the side, shown from a side angle.

More Tempting Taco Recipes to Try

Steak Tacos

Steak pieces are soaked in a simple lime and ancho chili seasoned marinade and quickly pan seared in a super hot skillet until just perfectly browned. From there it's layered on tortillas and finished with your favorite toppings!
Servings: 5 (2 tacos per serving)
Prep20 minutes
Cook4 minutes
Marinating1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 24 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. sirloin steak (preferably prime grade or well marbled with fat)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1.5 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp vegetable oil, divided

For serving

  • 10 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion or white onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Cut steak into strips that are 1/2-inch thick, then cut into pieces that 3/4-inch in size.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together lime juice, olive oil, honey, garlic, ancho chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
  • Add steak pieces to lime mixture then toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour and up to 6 hours.
  • Heat 2 tsp vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Once oil is just smoking, use tongs to remove half the steak from the bowl (shake off some excess marinade) and transfer to pan and immediately spread steak pieces out into an even single layer in pan (stand back it can splatter).
  • Let cook about 45 seconds until nicely browned on bottom, then very quickly flip each piece and cook to desired doneness, about 45 seconds longer (for food safety USDA recommends internal safe temperature of 145 degrees on an instant read thermometer, I like to go to about 135 degrees). Transfer steak to a plate.
  • Wipe skillet clean using tongs and a ball of paper towels. Return to heat and add remaining 2 tsp oil and let heat. Repeat cooking and transferring process with remaining steak.
  • Serve right away in warmed tortillas with avocado, onion and cilantro.

Notes

  • You can also use thin tortillas here (you'll need 20 total) and layer 2 tortillas per taco.
  • Other great toppings here are pico de gallo or salsa, sautéed bell peppers, Mexican hot sauce, or cheese (such as cotija, Monterey jack etc).
Nutrition Facts
Steak Tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 478 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 14g
Cholesterol 83mg28%
Sodium 586mg25%
Potassium 873mg25%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 1048IU21%
Vitamin C 11mg13%
Calcium 107mg11%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
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