Carne Asada Tacos with Sautéed Onions

Carne asada tacos are tacos made with meat that is marinated and grilled over hot charcoal. We were craving some of these bad-ass steak tacos last night! First, we made a southwest-inspired marinade for our flank steak: freshly squeezed orange juice and lime juice, minced garlic cloves, minced jalapeño, white balsamic vinegar, minced fresh cilantro, and olive oil. We let it marinate in the frig for about 2 hours, and then grilled it over hot coals. Always slice a flank steak against the grain and on the diagonal for the tenderest pieces of meat.

Making the onions:

While the steak for the carne asada tocos was marinating, we sliced 4 huge yellow onions and sautéed them in a scant mixture of olive oil and butter. They cooked on high heat for the first 5 minutes, and then turned it down to medium-low, and just let those amazing alliums caramelize and become the sultry, ambrosial condiment of the Gods. Is there anything more decedent tasting than caramelized onions?

Why are onions so good for us?

Allium vegetables have been studied extensively in relation to cancer prevention, especially stomach and colorectal cancers. Their beneficial and preventive effects are likely due in part to their rich organosulfur compounds. Onions are also a source of the strong antioxidant vitamin C that helps to combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer.

Onions also can also contribute to better sleep and mood. Folate, found in onions, may help reduce depression. Here’s how: Homocysteine is an amino acid that prevents blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain, but the folate in onions prevent this chemical from building up. Excess homocysteine also interferes with the production of the feel-good hormones serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which regulate not only mood, but also sleep and appetite. Adding onions to your daily diet can combat excess homocysteine.

Putting it all together:

Homemade tortillas from white corn masa, charred over an open flame, charcoal grilled steak, and The Onions. It’s all we’ll ever need. {{{{{{{sigh}}}}}}}

We could have topped them with our homemade Salsa Verde or the Salsa Roja, but honestly, they were perfect just the way they were. Those onions were the bomb, and the marinade was on point. It made for a great dinner, complimented by some smokey Mezcal poured over crushed ice, with fresh lime juice and a slice of lime. Totalmente delicioso!

Carne Asada Tacos with Sautéed Onions

Prep Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 tacos
Calories: 225kcal
When you're in the mood for some bad-ass steak tacos!
Print Recipe


  • Charcoal or Gas Grill
  • Electric knife


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 large jalapeño chili
  • 2 large limes, juiced
  • 1 large orange, juiced
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. flank steak
  • 4 large yellow onions
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter


  • Prepare charcoal grill. Coals should be gray and medium-hot when cooking steak.
  • In a bowl, whisk together garlic, jalapeño, lime and orange juices, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and vinegar. Place steak in a plastic zipper bag, and pour in marinade. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • Place 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet. Turn heat to medium-high. When hot, (but not smoking; be careful not to burn the butter!) add sliced onions and stir well. Sauté over high heat for 5 minutes. Then turn the heat to medium-low, and continue to sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove steak from the marinade, and let it rest on the counter for 15 minutes to come to room temperature before grilling. (Discard marinade.) Place the steak directly over the coals and grill, turning only once. Timing should be approximately 5 minutes per side, for medium rare.
  • When done, transfer the steak to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then carve against the grain, on the diagonal, creating 1/4" slices. An electric knife works well for this task, if you have one.
  • To assemble, place steak inside each tortilla shell and top with caramelized onions. If desired, top with Pico de Gallo, Salsa Verde or Salsa Roja.


Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 64mg | Potassium: 432mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 127IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg

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