Best Carne Asada Tacos with Mango Salsa Pan-Grilled

This is the best-tasting Carne Asada Tacos with Mango Salsa and Lime Crema recipe. It has a bold, fresh flavor and is easy on the spice. The juicy, tender steak is pan-seared and served with warm corn tortillas topped with corn mango salsa, cilantro lime crema with cottage cheese, and crumbled cotija cheese for healthy, gluten-free tacos.

Carne asada tacos with corn mango salsa on a plate.

This is the best-tasting Carne Asada Tacos with Mango Salsa and Lime Crema Recipe with a bold, fresh flavor and easy on the spice. These flank steak tacos feature tender steak cooked in a large skillet and served on warmed corn tortillas. Topped with a zesty lime crema with cottage cheese, fresh mango salsa, and crumbled cotija cheese, these street tacos are sure to become one of your favorite gluten-free taco recipes. 

We’re talking about restaurant-worthy taste minus the heat, all made with easily digestible ingredients! But you can easily Bring Your Own Spice and add some fire if you like. Enjoy the vibrant taste and texture combination that elevates these tacos to a new level of yumm!

Bring Your Own Spice Mild Recipe logo

BYOS: Flavor Without the Fire!

Love bold flavors but not the heat? Spice things up on your own terms with this BYOS recipe bursting with deliciousness. All the ingredients are prepped for easy digestion and a heartburn-free experience. Adjust the spice level to your preference—no more burnt tongues or tears here! Now, everyone can enjoy this recipe regardless of their spice tolerance!

YouTube video
Carne asada tacos with corn mango salsa on a plate.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make my easy carne asada steak:

Carne Asada

Skirt Steak: Substitute with flank steak, flap steak, hanger steak, or sirloin steak for a similar tender and juicy result.

Avocado Oil: Use olive oil or light olive oil as alternatives.

Fresh Orange Juice: You can omit the orange juice or swap it with pineapple juice for a different citrus flavor.

Lime Juice: You can use bottled lime juice if fresh limes are unavailable.

Cilantro: Replace with parsley or basil if you’re not a fan of cilantro.

Worcestershire Sauce: Soy sauce or tamari can be used as substitutes, though the flavor will vary slightly. Be sure to use a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce if you have a gluten allergy.

Garlic: Garlic powder or garlic paste can be used if fresh garlic is not on hand.

Cumin: Substitute with ground coriander or a combination of chili powder and coriander.

Oregano: Use dried basil, thyme, or marjoram as alternatives.

Salt: Sea salt, kosher salt, or Himalayan pink salt can be used interchangeably.

Dash Pepper: Black pepper or white pepper can be used, or omit entirely if sensitivity to pepper is an issue.

Mango Salsa

Ripe Mango: Substitute mango with fresh pineapple for a similar tropical sweetness, or use fresh peaches for a milder, juicy alternative.

Corn: You can use frozen corn, canned corn or an ear of corn. You can also replace corn with grilled zucchini for a similar texture and slightly different flavor, or use black beans for added protein and a different texture.

Tomatoes: You can use any variety of tomatoes you like. I prefer grape tomatoes for their cute shape. You can also omit the tomatoes or swap them with red bell peppers for a crunchy, sweet alternative that keeps the vibrant color, or use cucumber for a refreshing, mild option.

Fresh Lime Juice: You can also use storebought lime juice. Or, you can use lemon instead of lime for a slightly different citrus tang, or orange for a sweeter, less acidic option.

Red Onion: Substitute red onion with green onion for a milder flavor, or shallots for a slightly sweeter and more subtle taste. You can also use yellow onion or white onion but they won’t taste as naturally sweet.

Fresh Cilantro: Replace cilantro with parsley for a similar look and different flavor profile, or mint for a fresh, different herb component.

Honey: Use agave syrup instead of honey for a vegan-friendly alternative with similar sweetness, or maple syrup for a slightly different yet still sweet flavor.

Salt: Swap salt with sea salt for a more nuanced flavor, or kosher salt for a coarser texture and slightly different taste.

Black Pepper: Replace black pepper with white pepper for a milder, less visible alternative, or paprika for a mild peppery flavor with a hint of smokiness.

Warm Corn Tortillas: You can use any variety of tortillas you like, including flour tortillas if you don’t need gluten-free.

Cotija Cheese: And variety of crumbled or shredded cheese will taste delicious, including feta, cheddar, and Monterey Jack cheese.

Cilantro Lime Crema: Make my delicious cilantro lime crema with cottage cheese. You can also omit this or replace it with sour cream.

Carne asada tacos with corn mango salsa on a plate.

How to Make My Easy Steak and Mango Salsa Taco Recipe

Here are easy, detailed, step-by-step skillet instructions for making the best carne asada tacos. The simple ingredients are also repeated in the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post.

Step 1: Marinate the Steak

In a medium bowl, combine avocado oil, orange juice, the juice of 2 limes, chopped cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic cloves, cumin, oregano, salt, and a dash of pepper. Mix well to combine.

Place 1-2 pounds of skirt steak in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the steak, ensuring it is evenly coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for 1-4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to infuse.

Adding marinade ingredients to a dish.
Marinading the steak in a glass dish.
Removing excess marinade with a paper towel.

Step 2: Cook the Steak

Heat a cast iron skillet or a Hexclad skillet over medium-high heat until it is hot. You can test the heat by sprinkling a few drops of water onto the skillet; they should sizzle and evaporate immediately.

Remove the skirt steak from the marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip off. Lay it down on paper towels to remove excess marinade.

Place the steak in the preheated skillet. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or until the steak reaches your desired level of doneness. Avoid overcrowding the skillet; cook in batches if necessary.

For medium-rare: The internal temperature should be about 130°F (54°C). For medium: Aim for 140°F (60°C).

Once cooked, transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This allows the juices to be redistributed, ensuring a juicy and tender carne asada. Slice the steak against the grain into thin strips. Serve immediately with your favorite sides, such as grilled vegetables, rice, or tortillas.

Step 3: Pan-Grill the Corn 

Finely dice the red onion and garlic cloves.

Heat a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the corn and cook for 1 minute. Add the red onions and stir and cook for another minute. Add the garlic and stir well. Continue to cook and stir occasionally until the kernels are slightly charred, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool on a plate lined with a paper towel.

Sauteeing corn and onion in a pan.
Sauteeing corn and onion in a pan.
Transferring corn and onions to a paper towel-lined plate.

Step 4: Assemble the Salsa

Peel and dice the mango and tomatoes and add to a mixing bowl.

Roughly chop the cilantro, juice two limes, and add with the honey, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Mix well and adjust the salt if needed.

Transfer the salsa to a serving bowl and enjoy immediately, or refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving to let the flavors meld.

Slicing mangos into cubes.
Slicing mangos into cubes.

Step 5: Assemble the Tacos

Warm up a skillet to medium high heat. Dip your corn tortilla in water and carefully place in the hot pan. Cook on both sides for about 1 minute until lightly toasted and soft.

Layer your taco with a warm tortilla, strips of carne asada, scoop of corn mango salsa, a dollop of my Cilantro Lime Crema, and a sprinkle of cotija cheese.

Carne asada tacos with corn mango salsa on a plate.

Helpful Recipe Notes

Marinating Time: For the best flavor, marinate the steak overnight. If you’re short on time, marinate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Removing Marinade: Be sure to remove the excess marinade by patting the meat with paper towels before placing in skillet. This will produce a nice char on the outside of the meat when it’s placed in the hot pan.

Cutting Against the Grain: Always slice the skirt steak against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers. This will ensure the steak is tender and easy to chew.

Resting the Steak: Letting the steak rest is crucial. This step allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making each bite flavorful and juicy.

Sauteed Veggies: You do not have to sautee the corn, red onion and garlic. You can add them cold to the rest of the salsa ingredients. 

Corn Varieties: If fresh corn is out of season, you can use frozen or canned corn. Simply ensure it’s well-drained and pat dry before pan-grilling.

How to Add More Spice to Mild Carne Asada & Mango Salsa

Carne Asada

Red Pepper Flakes: Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the marinade for a noticeable kick of heat.

Diced Jalapeño: Finely chop 1-2 jalapeño peppers and mix them into the marinade. Remove the seeds and membranes for a milder heat, or keep them for extra spiciness.

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: Add 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the marinade for a smoky, spicy flavor.

Hot Sauce: Incorporate 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce into the marinade. Adjust the amount based on your heat preference.

Ground Cayenne Pepper: Mix 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper into the marinade to increase the spice level.

Serrano Peppers: Substitute or add finely chopped serrano peppers for a spicier alternative to jalapeños.

Spicy Mustard: Use 1-2 teaspoons of spicy brown mustard or Dijon mustard in the marinade to add a tangy heat.

Spicy Marinade Base: Create a separate spicy marinade by mixing these ingredients and marinating a portion of the steak in it. This way, you can cater to different spice preferences.

Corn Mango Salsa

Add Jalapeño Pepper: Finely chop a jalapeño pepper and mix it into the salsa for a fresh, spicy kick.

Incorporate Red Bell Pepper: Although typically mild, you can add diced red bell pepper along with some spicy peppers to balance the heat with sweetness.

Use Green Bell Pepper: Combine green bell pepper with jalapeño or other spicy peppers to add both crunch and heat.

Sprinkle Chili Powder: Add a dash of chili powder to the salsa for a smoky, spicy flavor.

Add Red Pepper Flakes: Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes to increase the spiciness without altering the texture.

Mix in Spicy Peppers: Include other spicy peppers like serrano or habanero for a more intense heat.

Include Ripe Avocado: If you want to balance the heat with some creaminess, add diced ripe avocado slices to the salsa. The avocado will help mellow out the spiciness while adding a rich texture.

Refrigeration: Place any leftover carne asada or salsa in airtight containers and refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheating: When ready to eat, reheat the steak gently in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave. To retain moisture, cover with a damp paper towel if microwaving.

Freezing: For longer storage, place the cooked and cooled carne asada in a freezer-safe container or a resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months. Be sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing.

Thawing: When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. 

Can I use a different type of orange for this recipe?
Yes, you can use your favorite variety of orange for this recipe. It’s all about personal preference.

I’m looking for a dairy-free version. What can I use instead of butter and cream cheese?
Use dairy-free butter or coconut oil instead of butter for a dairy-free version. You can also opt for a dairy-free cream cheese to replace regular cream cheese.

How do I make the muffin tops dome-shaped like bakery-style muffins?
To achieve the classic high dome top, make sure you mound the batter higher in the middle and slightly above the height of your muffin tin. This will help create that bakery-style appearance. And bake according to my directions.

Can I make these muffins ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the muffins ahead of time and store them in an airtight container. You can also prepare the glaze separately and apply it just before serving for the freshest taste and appearance.

Can I freeze these muffins?
Yes, these muffins can be frozen. Just be sure to store them in an airtight container or ziplock bags, and they should be good for a few months in the freezer. Thaw them at room temperature before enjoying or warm them up in the oven.

Carne asada tacos with corn mango salsa on a plate.

Best Carne Asada Tacos with Mango Salsa Pan-Grilled

Dairy-Free diet-friendly recipe
Gluten-Free diet-friendly recipe
This is the best-tasting Carne Asada Tacos with Mango Salsa and Lime Crema recipe. It has a bold, fresh flavor and is easy on the spice. The juicy, tender steak is pan-seared and served with warm corn tortillas topped with corn mango salsa, cilantro lime crema with cottage cheese, and crumbled cotija cheese for healthy, gluten-free tacos. 
5 from 6 votes
Servings 8
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients
  

Carne Asada:

  • 1-2 pounds skirt steak
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 limes (juiced)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper

Corn Mango Salsa:

  • 1 cup mango (diced)
  • 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cloves garlic (diced)
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1/4 cup red onion (diced)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash black pepper

Cilantro Lime Crema (see separate recipe)

Instructions
 

Carne Asada:

  • In a medium bowl, combine avocado oil, orange juice, the juice of 2 limes, chopped cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic cloves, cumin, oregano, salt, and a dash of pepper. Mix well to combine.
    Place 1-2 pounds of skirt steak in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the steak, ensuring it is evenly coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for 1-4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to infuse.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet or a Hexclad skillet over medium-high heat until it is hot. You can test the heat by sprinkling a few drops of water onto the skillet; they should sizzle and evaporate immediately.
    Remove the skirt steak from the marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip off. Lay it down on paper towels to remove excess marinade.
    Place the steak in the preheated skillet. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or until the steak reaches your desired level of doneness. For medium-rare: The internal temperature should be about 130°F (54°C).For medium: Aim for 140°F (60°C). Avoid overcrowding the skillet; cook in batches if necessary.
    Once cooked, transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This allows the juices to be redistributed, ensuring a juicy and tender carne asada.
    Slice the steak against the grain into thin strips. Serve immediately with your favorite sides, such as grilled vegetables, rice, or tortillas.

Mango Salsa:

  • Finely dice the red onion and garlic cloves.Heat a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the corn and cook for 1 minute. Add the red onions and stir and cook for another minute. Add the garlic and stir well. Continue to cook and stir occasionally until the kernels are slightly charred, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  • Peel and dice the mango and tomatoes and add to a mixing bowl.Roughly chop the cilantro, juice two limes, and add with the honey, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Mix well and adjust the salt if needed.Transfer the salsa to a serving bowl and enjoy immediately, or refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving to let the flavors meld.

Taco Assembly:

  • Warm up a skillet to medium high heat. Dip your corn tortilla in water and carefully place in the hot pan. Cook on both sides for about 1 minute until lightly toasted and soft.
    Layer your taco with a warm tortilla, strips of carne asada, scoop of corn mango salsa, a dollop of my Cilantro Lime Crema, and a sprinkle of cotija cheese.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Marinating Time: For the best flavor, marinate the steak overnight. If you’re short on time, marinate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
Removing Marinade: Be sure to remove the excess marinade by patting the meat with paper towels before placing in skillet. This will produce a nice char on the outside of the meat when it’s placed in the hot pan.
Cutting Against the Grain: Always slice the skirt steak against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers. This will ensure the steak is tender and easy to chew.
Resting the Steak: Letting the steak rest is crucial. This step allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making each bite flavorful and juicy.
Sauteed Veggies: You do not have to sautee the corn, red onion and garlic. You can add them cold to the rest of the salsa ingredients. 

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 20gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 523mgPotassium: 432mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 429IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 2mg
Keyword flank steak, heartburn friendly, skirt steak
Did you make this recipe and love it?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂

11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m so excited to share this recipe with you! These tacos are one of my family’s favorites and I hope you love them, too 🙂

5 from 6 votes

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