Rating: 4 stars
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1

These carne asada tacos are tasty, easy to make and low in calories. They're topped with a quick homemade salsa featuring avocado, tomato, onion and a bright squeeze of lime.

EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2012; updated November 2022


Recipe Summary

30 mins
1 hr 30 mins

How to Make Carne Asada Tacos

Choose the Cut of Beef

For this recipe, we recommend using flank steak or skirt steak. Flank steak is fairly lean and it's thicker and wider than skirt steak. Skirt steak has a rich, beefy flavor with a long and narrow shape. Both flank steak and skirt steak are excellent cuts of beef for carne asada tacos—just make sure to slice them against the grain after cooking. Slicing against the grain shortens the muscle fibers which makes them tender and easier to chew.

Make the Marinade

The carne asada marinade consists of five simple ingredients: white vinegar, chili powder, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and garlic powder. Marinate the steak for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. The vinegar helps tenderize the steak and the chili powder gives it a boost of spicy flavor.

Make the Salsa

The salsa can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead. Here are tips on how to dice tomatoes, how to cut an onion and how to cut an avocado.

How to Cook Carne Asada

Broiling the carne asada is a quick and easy method. Place the marinated steak on a rimmed baking sheet and broil for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until preferred doneness. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. Here are more tips on how to check for doneness. You can also grill the carne asada over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side.

How Many Calories Are in Carne Asada Tacos?

There are 350 calories per serving, which is 2 tacos.

Additional reporting by Jan Valdez


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk vinegar, chili powder, oil, 2 teaspoons salt and garlic powder in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Add steak and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

  • Make salsa about 20 minutes (and up to 2 hours) before cooking the meat: Gently combine tomatoes, jalapenos (or chiles) to taste, onion, cilantro, avocado, lime juice and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.

  • Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.

  • Place the steak on a rimmed baking sheet (discard the marinade). Broil 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium. Transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice against the grain. Serve the steak wrapped in warm tortillas and topped with salsa and cheese.


9-by-13-inch baking dish, rimmed baking sheet


Cotija cheese, also called queso añejo or queso añejado, is an aged Mexican cheese similar to Parmesan. Find it near other specialty cheeses or in Mexican grocery stores.

To warm tortillas, wrap in barely damp paper towels and microwave on High for 30 to 45 seconds or wrap in foil and bake at 300°F until steaming, 5 to 10 minutes.

To make ahead

Marinate the steak (Step 1) for up to 1 day. Prepare the salsa (Step 2) up to 2 hours ahead.

Nutrition Facts

2 tacos
350 calories; protein 29.3g; carbohydrates 27.9g; dietary fiber 5.9g; sugars 2.9g; fat 14g; saturated fat 4.2g; cholesterol 75.9mg; vitamin a iu 802.2IU; vitamin c 16.5mg; folate 51.5mcg; calcium 111.8mg; iron 2.9mg; magnesium 78.1mg; potassium 772.7mg; sodium 432.6mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

1 1/2 starch 1 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 1 fat