Carne Asada Tacos

Photo: Chris Gonzaga

This versatile Latin American dish literally translates to “grilled meat”. We like it cooked medium-rare and served with my Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad or cooked medium for soft tacos (see note below).

For tender results, look for flap steak in Latino markets or request it from your butcher. As an alternative, skirt steak is an excellent thin cut that comes in strips, which marinate easily and are perfect for searing over the barbecue.

Makes: 6 servings
Free of: gluten and all top allergens


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus additional as needed freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh-squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh squeezed orange juice (1 orange)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) olive oil
  • 2 lb flap steak or skirt steak

Recipe Tip

Soft Tacos: Heat 12 gluten-free soft corn tortillas on grill, 30 seconds per side. Double up tortillas on 6 plates and top with cooked Carne Asada strips

Garnish with condiments of choice, such as minced white onion, dairy-free cheese alternative shreds, pico de gallo or salsa, shredded lettuce, guacamole or diced avocado and coarsely chopped cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.


  1. For the marinade, turn food processor on and drop in garlic then chili pepper to finely chop. Turn processor off, add cilantro and pulse a few times until chopped. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few turns of pepper and turn processor on. With machine running, pour in juices, vinegar and honey. Slowly add oil in a steady stream until pureed.
  2. Put steak in a shallow ceramic or glass baking dish. Add marinade and turn streak to coat evenly on all sides. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 8 hours.
  3. Heat grill on high and brush grates with oil
  4. Remove meat from marinade letting excess drip off. Lightly season both sides of meat with salt and pepper. Grill 3-4 minutes per side, lid closed, for medium rare. A thermometer inserted horizontally into the steak should read 140°F and it will have a deep pink center. For medium, cook 1-2 minutes more, lid closed.
  5. Remove meat to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Thinly slice against the grain.

is the author of three cookbooks, including the new Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking and The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook. Visit her at .

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