Carne Asada Tacos: Easy & Essential for Mexican Summer Weekends

carne asada tacos arrachera

Carne asada tacos means it’s a party. If you’re at someone’s house and carne asada is on the menu, the following are also likely true: It’s summer time.  It’s a weekend. You’re drinking a cerveza bien fria and there’s a blazing-hot grill nearby. You’re outdoors, surrounded by your favorite people. And all is good in the world, at least for that day.

Traditionally, Mexicans in the U.S., back home and across the planet invite family and friends over to enjoy juicy-grilled arrachera, often accompanied by lots of tequila (we’ll be right over!).  Arrachera is the Mexican name for the long, skinny cut of beef we call skirt steak here in the States. (It can also sometimes mean flank steak.) Both cuts come from the muscly section in the cow’s belly just below its ribs. Of the two, skirt steak has more fat, making it más flavorful and delicioso, in our opinion.

Watch Vivi Abeja make her legendary carne asada tacos, step by step. Ready for the arrachera fiesta?

Marinated a couple hours in Mexican beer, lime juice, and lots of spices, the carne is charred to medium or medium-rare and topped with minced onion, cilantro, and a squirt of lime. Serve it with charred Mexican spring onions and hot tortillas, and you’re in for a unforgettable, soul-satisfying meal, says Vivi Abeja, one of our favorite Mexican food cooks. She lives in Chicago’s traditionally Mexican neighborhood of Little Village, near her very large, close family.

“Growing up, my family used to get together at my grandparent’s house a lot. I remember seeing my tias and tios prepping the meat in large aluminum charolas with a simple seasoning mix, lime juice and beer. It seemed like such an easy marinade for a delicious meal and it always came out so, so good!”

Now that summer is here, and we’re outdoors grilling a lot, we’ve been crazy-craving carne asada tacos. Who better to ask for a guaranteed-great (and oh-so simple) recipe than Vivi, who immediately accepted, lucky us. To show us how she does it, Vivi made a plan to borrow the grill at her dad’s house, and shoot a how-to video, keeping things familiar and traditional. “This recipe is gold to me because when you think of summertime you think of cookouts, and what do you have at Mexican cookouts? Arrachera! Whenever there is a cookout, you can be sure to find lime- and beer-marinated arrachera with some delicious cebollitas on the side.”

Vivi has tweaked the dish slightly from the one her tias and tios made during her childhood. I have been recipe developing my own seasonings and marinades for some time now. One of the things that makes my recipe different from the arracheras I grew up eating is that I add fresh cilantro to the marinade. I love adding fresh herbs to my seasoning and marinades and you can taste the difference just by adding that bit of green freshness.”

The Mexican spring onions are also a must-have at this classic Mexican grillfest, she adds. ”The cebollitas are a staple at our cookouts. They are a delicious side and only need salt and lime juice” after they are grilled for about 10 to 15 minutes.

How often does Vivi make carne asada now that she’s the one marinating and grilling the arrachera steak? “This is 100% percent a summertime favorite, and I make this on any given day. As long as the sun is out, that’s a good enough reason to grill,” she says. Though ”over the past couple years, I have even recently started grilling well into fall to keep that special feeling alive.” Endless summer, Mexican-style.

For more of Vivi’s family-famous trad Mexican recipes, check out her amazing fried quesadillas, al pastor tacos you can make at home, air fryer fish tacos, cheesalicious enchiladas suizas and hearty gorditas with beans and queso.

Ready to Make Juicy, Easy Carne Asada Tacos?

Carne Asada Tacos: The Easy Mexican Summer Party Essential

Recipe by Vivi Abeja
5.0 from 1 vote
Cuisine: Mexican

8 to 10



Grilling TIme




  • 2 1/2 lbs arrachera (skirt steak)

  • 12 limes, juiced

  • 1/2 white onion, sliced

  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 can Mexican beer

  • 2 bunched cebollitas (Mexican spring onions)

  • 1 to 2 limes, juiced (for cebollitas)

  • 1/4 tsp salt (for cebollitas)

  • 20 corn tortillas, warmed

  • For the Seasoning Mix
  • 1 Tbsp paprika

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

  • For the Toppings
  • 1/2 white onion, diced

  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

  • 3 limes, cut into quarters

  • green salsa (here’s a great one!)


  • Marinate the arrachera or skirt steak in the seasoning mix, lime juice, Mexican beer, sliced onion and cilantro. Refrigerate and let the flavors soak in for 2 hours.
  • Preheat the grill and grill the steak to your preferred doneness. Vivi likes her arrachera medium with a little char, so she uses high heat and cooks it about 3 to 5 minutes per side. When both sides have golden-dark grill lines, remove from the heat and let the steak rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • At the same time, grill your cebollitas or Mexican spring onions. Using tongs, turn the onions regularly, until they get a nice char on all sides. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes. Once ready, season your cebollitas with salt and lime juice in a bowl and set aside.
  • Warm your tortillas on a cast-iron pan, comal or even the grill to your liking. Keep a close eye on them, so the tortillas don’t burn.
  • When your steak has rested, slice into small chunks.
  • Assemble your tacos. In the center of each warm tortilla, add about 3 Tbsp grilled skirt steak. Top with the garnishes: diced onion, chopped cilantro, a spoonful of green salsa, and a squirt of fresh lime juice. Serve with grilled cebollitas and an ice-cold drink.

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