Steak Tacos With Quick-Pickled Red Onions

I‘m a big fan of Taco Tuesday. I love me some Mexican food, and I really love me some tacos, especially tacos with a fun twist or inventive topping. I tend to gravitate towards tacos with a unique salsa situation, but I’m just as into super simple condiments that add big punches of flavor. Pickled red onions (a/k/a little bites of salty, vinegary deliciousness) totally fit that bill and are a staple at a few of my fave Mexican restaurants but, thankfully, they’re really easy to make at home and take no time at all to prepare.

Aside from interesting, flavorful toppings and salsas, the  main ingredient for an amazing taco is, of course, the meat (or, for vegetarians: the non-meat filling). Whether you’re preparing steak, chicken, tofu or veggie-based tacos, you’ve gotta give that star ingredient some extra TLC, whether that means marinating it, charring it on the grill or treating it some other special way. I came up with this ridiculously easy marinade that I like to use for steak as a way to give some admittedly cheap steak some great flavor and tenderness. I think it’s best when you can marinade the meat overnight, but if you can’t manage that, this stuff will work with just a few hours of chilling time.

Here’s how I put together a simple, really delicious spread for my favorite night of the week.

5 from 1 vote

Steak Tacos With Quick-Pickled Red Onions

Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Tacos


For the Steak Marinade

  • 1-2 lbs Flank or Skirt steak {chopped}
  • 1 tsp each Cumin, Chili Powder and Salt
  • 1/2 tsp each Paprika and Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • cayenne {to taste}
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic {chopped}
  • 1/3 cup Olive or Avocado Oil
  • Juice from 1.5 limes

For the Pickled Onions

  • 1 Red onion {thinly sliced}
  • 1 cup Red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1 clove Garlic {roughly chopped}


For the Marinade

  1. Combine all ingredients for the marinade and the steak in a large zip-top bag. Chill overnight, or at least 4 hours. Before cooking, bring to room temperature for about 30 minutes. The marinade does not have very much liquid, so if yours doesn't look like a typical 'wet' marinade, don't worry!

For the Pickled Onions

  1. Bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil and stir until sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the peppercorns and garlic and remove from heat. Pour over thinly sliced onions so that the onions are fully submerged and chill until ready to serve, at least 2 hours, preferably longer. These will keep for several days. 

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