This recipe is the best cilantro marinade for steak! It's healthy, low carb, gluten-free, keto, & paleo and makes the best steak tacos or carne asada. You're going to love it!
Cilantro is one of those things that people either love or hate. I've read before that it's genetic, and that would explain its polarizing nature.
I personally love cilantro, and one of my kids loves it too. The other one absolutely hates it which I cannot understand even one little bit.
Every year, I try in vain to grow cilantro, but I have found it to be a terrible windowsill and even garden plant. I rarely have any luck with it; I plant it constantly but never get any harvest. It always goes to seed before I can cut any leaves, and then I am left with a bumper crop of coriander seeds and no tender cilantro. Boo.
If there is a trick that you know of to growing and using cilantro, please let me know in the comments.
Fortunately for me, the grocery store sells bunches of cilantro for cheap, and they taste great.
This amazing recipe satisfies my love of cilantro in a big way. It is perfect for winter suppers to remind you of summer flavors, and it's also perfect for grilling out poolside in warmer weather.
Why this is the best marinated flank steak recipe
This recipe is simple with healthy and delicious ingredients that you may already have on hand.
Marinated flank steak tacos are allergy friendly! This recipe as written is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, and soy-free. If you're gluten-free, use corn tortillas instead of flour.
This flank steak recipe elevates Taco Tuesday to a whole new level. It's way better than standard ground beef tacos!
What you'll need to make the best marinated flank steak tacos
- Food processor - You need a food processor or a blender to make the flank steak marinade. There's no way around it. If you want a cilantro marinade, you need either a food processor or a blender.
- Citrus juicer - This is a handy little gadget that squeezes the lime and gets out all the juice.
- Baking sheet - You could use a broiler pan, grill pan, or a plain baking sheet. It is going under the broiler so make sure it can withstand very high temperatures.
See the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page for all measurements and nutritional information.
- Fresh cilantro - You can use the whole bunch, both stems & leaves. Save a few pieces for garnish on the finished tacos.
- Olive oil - You need this to make the marinade.
- Fresh garlic - There is only one thing that tastes like fresh garlic, and that is fresh garlic. Do yourself a favor and buy a bulb. No need to mince or press it since it's going into the food processor.
- Fresh lime - You'll only need the juice.
- Celery salt
- Flank steak - You could really use almost any cut of steak. Skirt steak or sirloin steak is also nice. Flank steak is a lean, tough cut of meat, but when you slice it thin and cook it at a high temperature, the muscle fibers loosen and you have nice, tender steak slices for your tacos.
- Taco-size flour tortillas - If you prefer corn tortillas or have a gluten allergy, use corn.
- Chopped tomatoes - This is for assembling the tacos.
- Chopped red onion - This is for assembling the tacos.
- Shredded lettuce - Also for assembling the tacos.
- Shredded cheddar cheese - For assembling the tacos. Use whatever variety of cheese you like. A Mexican blend is also nice.
How to make the best marinated flank steak tacos
- In a food processor, combine the cilantro, olive oil, garlic, lime juice, and salt.
- Pulse until almost smooth.
- Rub the cilantro mixture all over both sides of the flank steak.
- Place the steak into a zippered plastic bag. Refrigerate the meat for at least one hour and up to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor and the more tender the meat will be.
- When ready to cook, place the flank steak with the cilantro paste still on the meat onto a broiler pan.
- Place the broiler pan about 6 inches from the heat and broil under high heat. For medium-rare about 5 minutes, then flip and broil another 5 minutes. Remove from the broiler and let the meat rest 10 minutes before you slice it.
- After the resting time, slice the steak into thin strips against the grain. (That means you cut across the muscle fibers instead of along them.) You can even cut the steak into bite-sized pieces if that's what you prefer.
- Serve with tortillas, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions for an easy taco buffet.
What toppings do you put on carne asada tacos?
You can use your favorite taco toppings on your steak tacos, including the following:
- Chopped tomatoes
- Shredded lettuce
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Chopped onions
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Fresh lime juice
- Guacamole or diced avocado
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Salsa or pico de gallo
- Hot sauce or sriracha
What else can you do with marinated flank steak?
My favorite thing to do with this carne asada steak is to make tacos, but you can also use it for beef burritos (just replace the chicken) or burrito bowls (replace the shrimp). Or, just eat it - it's delicious plain too!
What should the temperature of my flank steak be when it's fully cooked?
You should always use an instant read thermometer to test the doneness of your meat. There is no real way of knowing by looking at the outside whether the inside is cooked appropriately.
The internal temperature of steak should be:
- 125ºF for rare (red inside)
- 130ºF for medium-rare (a lot of pink inside)
- 140ºF for medium (some pink inside)
- 155ºF for medium-well (mostly brown inside)
I'm not giving you a temperature for well done because well done steaks are tough and ruined. Don't go above 155ºF.
For the best results, don't go over 140ºF. Medium is cooked enough to be safe, the center is warm, and the steak will be juicy and tender.
Also, keep in mind that the temperature of your steak will increase a bit as it rests for 10 minutes, so take it out a few degrees below your desired temperature.
What do you serve with marinated flank steak tacos?
Storing leftover marinated flank steak
Transfer leftover steak to an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
It's best to eat leftover steak cold. However, if you must reheat, place on a microwave-safe plate and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until hot. You have to be careful when microwaving steak because it gets overcooked and tough very quickly.
You can also freeze this marinated flank steak. When it's completely cooled, transfer it to a plastic freezer bag and place in the freezer. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months. To serve, defrost in the fridge overnight and then reheat (or not) as instructed.
Check out these other great taco recipes:
- Easy Shredded Beef Tacos in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- Hot Taco Dip Recipe
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Homemade Fajita Seasoning