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Chipotle-Lime Steak Tacos with Quick Pickled Onions

Cook Time:
10 mins
Prep Time:
20 mins

Chef notes

Turn up the volume on taco night with these smoky steak tacos. Canned chipotles in adobo sauce add smoke and spice to every bite while using flavorful skirt steak cuts the cooking time to just minutes. 

This recipe is all about the marinade, which is a combination of both the chiles and sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo, olive oil, lime zest and juice, garlic, salt and pepper. While the marinade is flavorful enough that the steak only needs to sit in it for 10 to 15 minutes, the meat will be even more tender and tasty if you let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator. This not only amps up the flavor, but it saves time on your busiest days. 

The other versatile factor of this recipe is how you cook it. The steak can be seared in a cast iron skillet or grill pan on the stove or can be taken outside and grilled, if you prefer. Since skirt steak is so thin, it will cook in mere minutes. 

To serve, pile the sliced steak into warm corn tortillas with cumin-lime mayo, quick pickled onions, salty queso fresco cheese crumbles, cilantro leaves and sliced avocado. Combined, the ganishes provide a bright and tangy finishing touch, though you can absolutely pick and choose just one or two of the suggested toppings based on your family’s preferences. Regardless, these are sure to be tacos everyone at the table will love.

Get Ingredients: If you don’t have everything you need on hand, you can easily purchase all of the ingredients (just click the orange button below that says ‘Get Ingredients’). You can pick and choose exactly what ingredients you need based on what’s in your pantry and they’ll be on your doorstep before you know it.


For the Steak
  • pounds skirt steak
  • 1 canned chipotle in adobo, coarsely chopped plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 3 large limes, zested and juiced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Sauce and Pickled Onions
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 limes, juiced and zested, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch cloves (optional)
To Serve
  • warmed corn tortillas
  • queso fresco, crumbled (optional)
  • fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
  • sliced avocado (optional)
  • additional lime wedges
Fulfilled by


For the steak:

Cut the skirt steak into 4- to 6-inch-long pieces and place in a gallon-sized zip-top bag or container with a lid. Add the chopped chipotle, adobo sauce, oil, lime juice and zest from 3 limes, grated garlic, salt and black pepper. Seal, shake and let sit room temperature 10 to 15 minutes.

For the sauce and pickled onions:

While the steak marinates, whisk together the mayonnaise, about 1 tablespoon of the lime juice and 1/2 of the zest and the ground cumin. Set aside or refrigerate until using if making ahead of time. 

In a small bowl, combine the thinly sliced onions, remaining lime juice and zest, cloves and toss to coat.

To cook and serve:

Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove steak from marinade and cook about 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium rare, or until it reaches desired doneness. Let meat rest on a cutting board 10 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain. Taste and season with additional kosher salt, if desired.

Warm corn tortilla on a skillet or in a microwave. Spread with the cumin-lime mayo, then top with sliced steak, pickled onions, queso fresco and fresh cilantro.