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Chili Rubbed Steak Tacos

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

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Recipe by Tessa Arias


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