Quick and easy healthy steak tacos topped with a mouthwatering lime cilantro coleslaw. Ready in 20 minutes!
What you need for this recipe: skirt steak, corn tortillas, red cabbage, cilantro, lime, scallions, garlic, jalapeno, mayonnaise, greek yogurt, avocado (optional), cotija cheese (optional).
Steak tacos that are literally crushing it in the flavor department with each and every bite. THIS is the taco recipe that you need and here is why:
- It all comes together in about 20 minutes total (you can marinate the steak ahead of time, but that step is optional)
- You don't need a thousand toppings, just top with the best creamy and garlicky lime and cilantro coleslaw and get ready to ride the train to tasty town
- An upgrade in the tortilla department ensures that this is a real food recipe without any creepy fillers or heavily processed ingredients.
How to Make the Perfect Steak Taco
- Start with excellent quality beef. I opt for grass-fed, ideally organic. Skirt or flank are my two favorite cuts of beef for tacos.
- Make sure your steak is loaded with flavor! This is obvious, but maybe not. Season your steak! A thick crust of salt and pepper will do the trick or if you do happen to think ahead of time try the super easy marinade recipe below and let your steak take a nice flavor bath for 12-24 hours before you cook it.
- Cook to medium rare. You can do this on a grill or in the oven. I love the oven method (Hi, my name is Abra. I live in NYC. I don't have a grill.) but honestly, if I did have a grill I would probably use that instead.
- Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes before slicing, if you slice too early you will lose all the juicy goodness.
- Slice the steak thinly across the grain, this is what will ensure a tender steak. Slicing with the grain will produce a tougher bite.
- Cilantro Lime Coleslaw
You can also add avocado and just a light dusting of cheese (I used cotija cheese here) but consider those add-on's and not necessary.
We have eaten these healthy steak tacos with just the three main ingredients over and over and over again. Very happily I may add.
Cilantro lime cole slaw is sure to be your new favorite slaw. It starts with a dressing made from a combination of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt with crushed fresh garlic, lime juice, lime zest, jalapenos, cilantro, and scallions. Whisk that together until well combined and then add thinly sliced red cabbage. I like to make the coleslaw a bit in advance so the flavors have an opportunity to hang out together for a bit.
This slaw is so good that I have to hide it from my family when I make it or else half of it will disappear before it even gets to the table. Last summer, while on a family vacation, I made this cilantro lime slaw in the afternoon to prep for a taco dinner. I put the huge bowl of delicious slaw in the fridge (huge because I was vacationing with my partners family, a little group of 18 people) when it came time for dinner I grabbed the slaw out of the fridge and HORROR! It was all gone. We now refer to this incident as “slaw gate”, hide your slaw people or slaw-gate will happen to you too 😉
More Healthy Dinner Recipes You Will Love:
So that is the whole taco story, it's straightforward and easy. I used both blue and white corn tortillas for this recipe because I love the variety of color and flavor.
How to Make Tacos Healthy:
- Keep ingredients simple.
- Add high-quality protein (you can opt for vegan protein sources tofu, tempeh, or chickpeas work quite well in tacos!)
- Add veggies! Cabbage, zucchini, greens, anything you like!
- Use wholesome tortillas, there are quite a few good brands to choose from just read the ingredient label. You should only see a few ingredients, corn, water, and maybe salt.
- Add avocado for creaminess
- Add lime juice for zest, tang, and a ton of flavor.
Pro-Nutrition Tip – Eat Purple Food!
Blue and purple foods are loaded with extra special nutrition power. Due to a compound called, anthocyanins, the flavanoid or phytopigment in these foods. Benefits include (scholarly article can be found here to read more about the benefits of anthocyanins)
- Inhibit platelet aggregation
- Improve lipid profile (reduce LDL/ bad cholesterol)
- Anti-cancer effect including reducing inflammation and suppressing cell proliferation
- Supportive in glucose control and metabolic syndrome
- Improves antioxidant capacity and prevents insulin resistance
- Reduced the incidence of hyperglycemia via activation of AMP-activated protein kinase
- Anti-obesity/ improved weight gain and lipid profile (rat study_
- Suppresses body weight gain
- And lots and lots more!
These healthy steak tacos are giving you a 1-2 punch of anthocyanins in both the purple cabbage and blue corn tortillas. If you can't find blue corn tortillas make sure you use purple cabbage, I mean who doesn't want more anthocyanins in their life?? 😉
Healthy Steak Tacos with Lime Cilantro Slaw
- 1 lb. skirt steak
Steak Marinade (optional – see notes)
Lime Cilantro Coleslaw
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 avocado, sliced optional
- 1/4 cup cotija cheese, grated optional
- Prepare marinade (*see note below for non-marinated steak option) by whisking together all ingredients. Add marinade to a large ziploc bag and add steak. Make sure the steak is well coated in marinade and allow to rest for 6-24 hours.
- Remove steak from marinade and shake off any excess moisture. Outdoor grill: Grill for 2-3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Indoor: place steak under a broiler for 6 minutes for medium-rare turning once during cooking. Alternatively, cook on a grill pan for 3 minutes and finish in a 425° oven for an additional 3 minutes
Lime Cilantro Slaw
- In a large bowl whisk together mayonnaise, greek yogurt, lime juice, lime zest, garlic and jalapeno. Stir in cilantro, scallions, cabbage, salt and pepper. Can be made up to 1 day in advance.
- Heat tortillas, either on the grill for 30 seconds or in a pan. Place a few slices of steak in a tortilla, top with a spoonful of slaw, and a slice of avocado and a sprinkle of cotija cheese. Squeeze fresh lime on top.
- Coat steak in 1/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper. Follow grilling instructions