Flat Iron Steak Tacos

Flat-Iron Steak Tacos

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 21 mins
Marinate: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 36 mins
Servings: 5 to 6 servings
Yield: 12 tacos
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
351 Calories
24g Fat
37g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 351
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 30%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1261mg 55%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 14%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 34mg 170%
Calcium 106mg 8%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 409mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Flat iron steaks have gained popularity in recent years due to their delicious flavor and good amount of fat, but also because, compared to other steaks, they are lower in cost without losing flavor. Flat iron steaks cook relatively quickly and can be a great addition to your busy weeknight meal plan. Our delicious marinade infuses the steak with a ton of flavor—it's up to you and how much time you have to let the meat soak it up for just a couple of hours or a few more. The spicy marinade is mild but bright and lively thanks to the cumin, chili powder, lime, and chipotle. Although delicious served with baked potatoes and a salad, these steaks are truly wonderful when put together taco-style with guacamole and pico de gallo, served inside warm corn tortillas.

Flat iron steak is a cut coming from a top blade roast (shoulder). It's even in thickness and has a good amount of fat, which provides it with a ton of flavor and makes the cooked cut nice and moist. Many confuse flat iron steak with flank steak, and although both are great cuts, flank steak comes from the belly muscle and is a lot leaner and tougher. The main difference between these steaks is that flank steak requires long periods of cooking to soften the fibers, while flat iron steak can be grilled to medium rare in a lot less time. For our recipe, you need a quick sear on both sides of the steak and then 15 minutes for it to be cooked to perfect medium-rare.

This recipe is simple and well suited to weeknight meals, but it's also so delicious that it can be the star of any outdoor get-together, like barbecues and picnics. Get ahead of prepping by placing the steak in the marinade in the morning, but don't allow more than eight hours of soaking as the lime in the mixture might make the steak mushy if over-marinated. Although our preparation suggests guacamole and pico de gallo as the ideal garnishes, these steaks will be great with other toppings, so consider making your own taco bar. Charred corn, queso fresco, chimichurri, crema, tangy coleslaw, black beans, and grilled vegetables are all in play in the taco game.

Ingredients

  • 2 flat iron steaks

  • 12 medium corn tortillas

  • 1/2 cup prepared guacamole

  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo

  • 8 lime wedges, for garnish

For the Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup oil

  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, from 2 limes

  • 1/4 cup onion, minced

  • 2 cloves garlicminced

  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder

  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Flat-Iron Steak Tacos ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Place flat iron steaks into a resealable plastic bag. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over steaks, making sure every inch of meat is coated well. Gently, release air from the bag, seal, and place into the refrigerator for 2 to 8 hours. 

    steak in a bag with the marinade

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Remove steaks from the bag and discard any leftover marinade. Place steaks onto the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat and desired doneness.

    steaks cooking on a grill pan

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Once cooked, remove steaks from heat and place onto a large cutting board. Let meat rest for a few minutes before carving. 

    steaks on a wood board

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Slice meat against the grain into thin pieces and place onto a serving platter. Cover platter with foil to keep warm while you get the other ingredients ready.

    steak slices on a wood board

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. To assemble: Simply place 3 to 4 strips of meat into warmed corn tortillas and top with guacamole, pico de gallo, and any other condiments of choice. Serve with seasoned rice, refried beans, and lime wedges.

    Flat-Iron Steak Tacos

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  7. Enjoy.