Filed Under: Beef | Healthy | Tacos

Chili-Rubbed Steak Tacos & Cucumber-Avocado Salsa

Recipe By Tessa Arias
July 4th, 2010

Wonderfully flavorful, a little spicy, and super fresh. This recipe produced tacos that are better than most I've had at Spanish restaurants.

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 12 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Wonderfully flavorful, a little spicy, and super fresh. This recipe produced tacos that are better than most I’ve had at Spanish restaurants.
Texture: The steak is tender and the salsa lends both a satisfying crunch and a indulgent velvety texture.
Ease: Very easy and quick. You don’t even have to let this marinade and it will still produce super flavorful beef.
Appearance: Beautiful combination of colors and shapes. My red cabbage went bad before I could use it for this recipe so unfortunately there’s no brilliant red-purple in my photo.
Cons: The salsa can’t be saved for leftover snacks or meals but chances are there won’t be any salsa left.
Pros: Quick, easy, healthy, and bursting with flavor.
Would I make this again? Yes!

Happy 4th of July! I’m celebrating America’s independence with a recipe that’s perfect for a summer BBQ. Its quick, flavorful, and healthy. I hope that everyone enjoys the warm air, grilled goodies, and exploding fireworks today. And if you’re not American, enjoy your Sunday (or Monday, depending on where you’re located!)

How to make
Chili Rubbed Steak Tacos

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Wonderfully flavorful, a little spicy, and super fresh. This recipe produced tacos that are better than most I've had at Spanish restaurants.


For the tacos:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 pound top sirloin steaks cut 1-inch thick
  • 12 small corn tortillas (5 to 6 inches in diameter)
  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

For the Cucumber-Avocado Salsa:

  • 1 medium English cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 2 medium firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped, or to taste


For the tacos:

  1. 1. In a small bowl stir together chili powder, garlic, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper. Rub spice mixture on both sides of steaks.
  2. 2. Grill or broil steaks for 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium rare, turning once. Remove from grill and let meat sit for 10 minutes. Carve into thin slices.
  3. 3. Warm tortillas by placing them on the grill, for about 30 seconds, turning once. Or place 6 tortillas at a time between 2 moist paper towels and microwave for 45 seconds. Wrap in cloth napkin or place in a tortilla warmer to keep warm.
  4. 4. Place the carved steak, warm tortillas, cabbage, cilantro, lime and Cucumber-Avocado Salsa in serving dishes and let diners make their own tacos at the table.

For the salsa:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss gently to combine. Serve within an hour or preparing.

Recipe Notes

From Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

Leave a Comment & Rating

Add a Review or Question

*Please select a rating to complete your comment.

Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Suburban Cowgirl — July 20, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    The cucumber/avocado salsa sounds amazing! I will definitely try it… I'm thinking it could be insanely good on fish too!

  2. #
    Anonymous — September 22, 2010 at 1:09 am

    My boyfriend and I changed this up just a bit but this was a great outline for a yummy meal.. Thank you for posting.. : )

  3. #
    Robert Myers — January 6, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I actually know of a hispanic guy who's mother has almost the exact recipe. She also uses salsa verde with it. He gave me 3 tacos in homemade torillas, and it was uh-mazing. I googled 'avocado cucumber taco' because I couldn't quit thinking about how amazing it was. Great recipe. I cannot wait until satuday to toss this one up.

  4. #
    pixie — August 10, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    this is fantastic. my husband and i loved this. def will be making this more often. thank you!

  5. #
    Darron Cleghorn — April 25, 2013 at 8:32 am

    A few varieties of cucumber are parthenocarpic, the blossoms creating seedless fruit without pollination. Pollination for these varieties degrades the quality. In the United States, these are usually grown in greenhouses, where bees are excluded.**

    <Catch ya later ^^*;`"

Join the Handle the Heat Community

Cookie Customization Chart
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!


As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed