Cumin Flank Steak Tacos


Recipe quick take:

  • Hands on time: 30 MIN
  • Inactive time: 20 MIN
  • Start to finish: 50 MIN
  • Serves: 2

In a nutshell:

Bring taco night to your kitchen! This recipe is perfect for a date night in. Divide and conquer for an even faster dinner: one of you can watch the steak while the other preps the fresh toppings.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had taco night for as long as I can remember. Growing up, we’d have it once a month, usually on a Friday before watching TGIF. My dad would set up the most legit spread on our dining table: a platter of taco meat (aka ground beef plus taco seasoning), a mound of shredded cheese, freshly diced tomatoes, crisp lettuce, rich sour cream, warm tortillas, and more. I still put in the taco night request whenever I visit home; when it happens, every bite tastes exactly the same as how I remember it from back in the day. Pure joy.

the basics

Our Cumin Flank Steak Tacos begins with marinating flank steak and sliced red onions in a flavorful dry rub made up of cumin, thyme, oregano, and chili powder. Don’t worry, we’ll put these spices to good use in future recipes too!

The minute you open up those spice jars and start mixing the spices together, your kitchen will smell all kinds of Tex-Mex. While the steak and onions are marinating, you’ve got a solid 20 minutes to prep the avocado, limes, Pacifico’s, and anything else you want to enjoy with your tacos.

Make these tacos with a friend or date, and split the work! Once the steak hits the stove, it’s important to keep an eye on it. Enlist help to prep the toppings while you watch the steak, and dinner will be done in no time.

Cumin Flank Steak Tacos // gluten-free, paleo
Cumin Flank Steak Tacos // gluten-free, paleo

taco bar = instant party

Not only are taco bars fun, but they’re also easy to set up. Lay out all of the toppings on your dining table or kitchen counter, and your friends will have a blast building their own tacos, assembly-line style. Just remember to keep it simple and focus on a limited number of toppings. This saves you stress and space — we know all about those #tinykitchen problems.

Because this our cumin flank steak tacos serves 2-3 people, consider doubling it up based on the number of guests. This strategy works best if you have two pans, so the steaks finish at the same time. Otherwise just cook the steaks back-to-back, making sure to remove any burnt bits between uses.

Cumin Flank Steak Tacos // gluten-free, paleo

Cumin Flank Steak Tacos // gluten-free, paleo
Cumin Flank Steak Tacos // gluten-free, paleo

Try our cumin flank steak taco recipe? Leave a comment below, or tag your photo #confettikitchen on Instagram!

Cumin Flank Steak Tacos // gluten-free, paleo

What You Need

Cumin Flank Steak Taco recipe


Dry rub steak.

Thinly slice the red onions. In a large bowl, mix the cumin, chili powder, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper. Place the steak in the bowl, and use your hands to rub the spice blend onto both sides of the meat. Add the onions and toss in the spices. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest at room temp for 20 minutes.

Sear steak.

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Carefully add the oil to the pan. You want the oil to almost be smoking. Pop open a window or turn on a fan — it’s gonna get smokey.

Add the steak to the pan, then arrange the onions around it. Let the steak sear on one side for 5 minutes – don’t mess with it at all.  Stir the onions occasionally.

Using your tongs, flip the steak and cook for 5 minutes (medium-rare). If you prefer medium doneness, leave it on for 2-3 minutes longer.

Prep toppings.

Remove the pan from the heat, and transfer the steak to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop cilantro, slice avocado, and cut lime wedges. If you’re using an oven to warm the tortillas, set it to 350 degrees F.

Warm the tortillas by placing them on a paper towel-lined plate and microwave for 30 seconds. Or, you can wrap the tortillas with foil and place in the oven for 10 minutes.

Slice and serve.

Slice the steak into ½-inch thick pieces, cutting against the grain. 

What’s the grain? It’s the lines going across the meat all in one direction. Cut perpendicular to those lines and the meat will be easier to chew.

Top the tortillas with steak, grilled onions, cilantro, and avocado. Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe notes

  • Why so high? High heat ensure the steak gets a nice crust and locks in the flavor.
  • Let the steak rest…really! It’ll be juicier and more flavorful.
  • Prefer cheese with your tacos? Try a traditional Mexican cotija cheese.


Don't have: Try:
Dried thyme Fresh thyme (1 tbsp)
Red onion Yellow onion


  1. Katharine Contag wrote:

    This was so easy to make and so delicious!! We added finely chopped garlic to the onions and it was incredible. Thanks for a great recipe!

    Posted on 7.12.16 | Reply
    • So glad you liked it and great idea with the garlic. We might just add that to our Recipe Notes as an option!

      Posted on 7.17.16 | Reply

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