Carne Asada Tacos Dorados

Crispy, lightly fried tacos filled with tender carne asada steak! Serve these easy tacos dorados “de canasta” (in a basket) and let everyone add their favorite toppings.

With Cinco De Mayo just around the corner, I thought it was time to share another tasty taco recipe! Today, we’re talking about carne asada tacos made with flavorful, perfectly cooked steak. Warm corn tortillas are stuffed with tender sliced beef, mashed potatoes (more on that later), and oodles of cheese before being lightly fried until golden. The end result is crispy crunchy tacos that you can customize with your preferred taco fixings.

What is Carne Asada?

Carne asada is a Mexican dish that means “grilled meat.” Usually, it is made with skirt steak or flank steak, which is marinated and then grilled or seared to give the meat a charred flavor. Marinating the meat is important because it tenderizes the beef and helps you cook up a perfectly cooked steak this has a slightly crisp char on the outside but is tender on the inside.

Carne asada can be served for any meal of the day. For special occasions, my mother would marinate a flank steak overnight and then make carne asada for breakfast with fried eggs and Mexican beans.

What Are Tacos Dorados?

Tacos dorados are crispy tacos made with corn tortillas and fried in oil until lightly golden. “Dorado” means “golden” in Spanish. The tortillas are warmed first to make them pliable and easy to fill, then the stuffed tortillas are pan-fried. The end result is a crispy yet chewy taco that you can open up and fill with your desired fixings like salsa, guacamole, and more cheese – you name it!

A basket filled with tacos dorados

Serve Them “De Canasta”

If you have a basket and some parchment paper available, I recommend servings these tacos “de canasta,” which means “in a basket.” You don’t have to do this of course, but I like putting a basket of tacos in the center of the table with a bunch of toppings in jars/bowls arranged around the basket. This way everyone can grab as many tacos as they want and then add whatever fixings they like. You can do this for a simple dinner at home or for a Cinco De Mayo celebration! Tacos de canasta are pretty much my go-to for outdoor summer gatherings.

Why Are There Mashed Potatoes in These Tacos?

Um, because it’s delicious! I know that putting mashed potatoes in carne asada tacos might sound strange, but mashed potatoes are incredible in tacos. Trust me! When I was growing up sometimes my Nana would put mashed potatoes and cheese into warm corn tortillas, then fry them in some olive oil. I still make these “tacos de papa” to this day, especially after Thanksgiving when there are mashed potatoes to use up. Knowing how good they are, I also tend to put mashed potatoes into other kinds of tacos.

The mashed potatoes serve a practical purpose too: they hold the carne asada steak and cheese in place while you’re frying everything up. So ultimately, putting mashed potatoes in these tacos makes your work easier and your dinner tastier.

How to Make Carne Asada Tacos Dorados

Make the steak marinade. In a blender (affiliate link) or food processor, combine the lime juice, orange juice, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar. Pulse until fully combined. Set aside. This marinade is going to add flavor to your meat and also make it super tender!

Marinate the steak. Place the steak in the bottom of a large shallow bowl or dish. Pour the marinade over the top of the steak. Use the back of the spoon to distribute the marinade evenly. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If time allows, I recommend marinating the steak for longer – up to overnight!

Cook the carne asada steak. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet or frying pan. Saute on each side for about 7 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Alternatively, you may cook the meat on the grill for the same amount of cook time.

Slice the carne asada. Thinly slice into small pieces for taco filling and set aside.

Assemble the tacos. Slightly warm a corn tortilla and place it on a plate or work surface. On half of the tortilla, place 2 spoonfuls of prepared mashed potatoes, carne asada steak pieces, and a sprinkling of each type of cheese. Gently fold the tortilla in half. Repeat until all tortillas are filled.

Heat your oven to 200F. Place a cookie sheet (affiliate link) lined with parchment paper in the oven. You’re going to use this to keep your tacos warm as you fry them all up.

Fry the tacos. Lightly coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and heat on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, gently place the tacos on their sides in the pan. Slightly pressing down on the edges to help keep them closed. Fry the tacos for about 45 seconds per side and then transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat the process until all the tacos are fried. Add more oil to the skillet as needed. Once each batch of tacos has drained on the paper towel for a few minutes, transfer them to the oven to keep warm.

A basket of tacos with guacamole and salsa macha

Serve warm with your favorite fixings. There are tons of ways you could dress up your tacos! Some suggestions include:

  • Homemade Guacamole
  • Salsa Macha – A spicy red chili sauce that’s packed with flavor!
  • Pico De Gallo Salsa – A simple and fresh salsa.
  • Birria Consomé – Whenever I make birria tacos I always save some of the consomé for later. You can freeze it and then defrost it to serve with many other kinds of Mexican recipes.
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Shredded Lettuce

Want to serve your tacos dorados with a special drink? Try a John Daly Drink, Mango Mojitos, or a Frozen Strawberry Margarita (which can also be made into a virgin margarita). For more non-boozy options, try a Shirley Temple Drink or Roy Rogers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does asada mean in carne asada?

The word “carne” means “meat” and the word “asada” means “grilled.” So “carne asada” means “grilled meat.”

Why is carne asada so good?

It’s the marinade! A good steak marinade not only adds flavor to the meat but also tenderizes it. That’s why carne asada is so good. The steak is allowed to marinate for at least an hour before being cooked on the stovetop or grill.

Are flautas and tacos dorados the same?

No. While both tacos dorados and flautas are made with tortillas stuffed with filling, a flauta is rolled before being fried. By contrast, the tortillas for tacos dorados are folded in half before being fried.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

You can store the carne asada steak and mashed potatoes in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. When you are ready to make more tacos, simply heat them up in the microwave, warm your tortillas, and lightly fry them.

If you want to store leftover tacos that have already been assembled, you can do that too. Let the tacos cool completely, then store them in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat them in an oven heated to 400F for about 5 minutes, or until warmed through. I don’t recommend microwaving extra tacos because it will make the tortillas too soft.

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Carne Asada Tacos Dorados

3 tacos dorados on a plate with sauce and fixings
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Crispy, lightly fried tacos filled with tender carne asada steak! Serve these easy tacos dorados “de canasta” (in a basket) and let everyone add their favorite toppings.

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Marinade: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 24 tacos
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican-American

Ingredients

Units

For the Carne Asada

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, about 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
  • 3 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 lbs beef flank or skirt steak

For the Tacos Dorados

  • 24 corn tortillas
  • Olive or canola oil, for frying
  • 2 cups Oaxaca cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups prepared mashed potatoes

Toppings

Instructions

Make the steak marinade. In a blender or food processor, combine the lime juice, orange juice, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar. Pulse until fully combined. Set aside.

Marinate the steak. Place the steak in the bottom of a large shallow bowl or dish. Pour the marinade over the top of the steak. Use the back of the spoon to distribute the marinade evenly. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Cook the carne asada steak. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet or frying pan. Saute on each side for about 7 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Alternatively, you may cook the meat on the grill for the same amount of cook time.

Slice the carne asada. Thinly slice into small pieces for taco filling and set aside.

Assemble the tacos. Slightly warm a corn tortilla and place it on a plate or work surface. On half of the tortilla, place 2 spoonfuls of prepared mashed potatoes, carne asada steak pieces, and a sprinkling of each type of cheese. Gently fold the tortilla in half. Repeat until all tortillas are filled.

Heat your oven to 200F. Place a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in the oven. You’re going to use this to keep your tacos warm as you fry them all up.

Fry the tacos. Lightly coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and heat on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, gently place the tacos on their sides in the pan. Slightly pressing down on the edges to help keep them closed. Fry the tacos for about 45 seconds per side and then transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat the process until all the tacos are fried. Add more oil to the skillet as needed. Once each batch of tacos has drained on the paper towel for a few minutes, transfer them to the oven to keep warm. 

Serve warm with your favorite fixings. Ideas include salsa macha, consomé, Oaxaca cheese, lettuce and guacamole.

Notes

Store leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. It is best to reheat leftover tacos in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.

Keywords: carne asada tacos, tacos dorados, tacos de canasta, steak tacos

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Made these for Cinco de Mayo and they were great! The steak was tender and the tacos were crunchy. I’m going to try your birria tacos next. thanks!