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Celebrate Taco Tuesday with blackened steak tacos with blood orange salsa. The spices and refreshing salsa pair so well together, you'll be reaching for seconds and thirds!
What makes this dish special
As soon as blood oranges became available, I have been buying them by the pounds. Over the years, my love for blood oranges has grown and grown. You may have noticed my collection of blood orange recipes including my blood orange eclairs, blood orange poppy seed cake, and Bostock with blood orange marmalade. Well, get ready for several more additions this year starting with these blackened steak tacos with blood orange salsa. If you never had citrus in salsa before, I highly recommend it. The spiced charred steak and fresh, bright salsa work together so beautifully to create one amazing taco.
I know the saying is, "Taco Tuesday," but I'll gladly eat tacos any night of the week, especially if it's these blackened steak tacos with blood orange salsa. The meal is so easy to put together but tastes like a million bucks. So are you ready to give it a taste?
- Steak: You can use any type of tender cut such as flank, skirt steak, hanger, or ribeye. Farm Foods has a great selection of steaks available that would be great for this recipe.
- Blood orange: A type of orange with a distinctive red or maroon interior. It has a sweet and tart flavor with berry-like undertones. If blood oranges are unavailable, you can use navel oranges, Valencia oranges, or increase the amount of cara cara oranges. However, keep in mind that this will alter the unique color and flavor profile of the salsa.
- Cara cara oranges: A type of navel orange known for its pinkish-red flesh. It has a sweet flavor with less acidity than regular oranges. If cara cara oranges are not accessible, you can substitute them with navel oranges or any sweet orange variety.
- Jalapeno: This recipe makes a mild salsa but you can increase the heat by adding more jalapeno and incorporating the seeds.
- Cotija: A Mexican cheese that is crumbly, salty, and slightly tangy. It is often used to garnish various dishes, adding a salty and savory element. You can replace it with any other shredded cheese you prefer such as shredded Mexican cheese or queso fresco.
- Corn tortillas: Although this recipe calls for corn tortillas, you can use flour tortillas as well.
How to make blackened steak tacos
Step 1: Make salsa
The blood orange salsa is made from blood oranges, cara cara oranges, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime, and a touch of olive oil. I like to add a little bit of cara cara oranges to add some sweetness to the salsa. You can swap out the Cara cara oranges for navel or Valencia oranges but in my opinion, cara cara oranges rule them all.
Remove the seeds from the jalapeno if you want a milder salsa, throw everything together, and season with salt and pepper. Let the salsa sit for about 20 minutes to let the flavors marry.
Step 2: Season steak
Now that the salsa is done, let's move on to the protein. I chose steak for my tacos because well, I love my meat, but you can use almost any other protein. Chicken, pork, salmon, shrimp, and tofu are all fair game. No matter what protein you use, make sure to heavily spice it and let it sit for 20 minutes. You'll probably have some spice mix left over but just reserve it for next time (because I'm sure there will be a next time!).
Cook the steak until the desired degrees of doneness and let it rest before slicing to let the juices permeate. You can slice the meat or chop it into smaller chunks.
Step 3: Assemble tacos
Heat up some tortillas, cut some avocado, slice some lime wedges, chop some cilantro, and you are ready to assemble these blackened steak tacos with blood orange salsa.
The idea behind these tacos is so simple but let me tell you, the flavors are anything but. All of those charred spices with fresh and bright salsa and creamy avocado create one heavenly bite. Trust me, it's worth the effort of finding blood oranges.
Frequently asked questions
To control the spice level, remove the seeds from the jalapeno before adding it to the salsa. Additionally, if you prefer milder tacos, you can adjust the amount of chili powder in the steak seasoning.
Absolutely! This recipe is versatile, and you can use chicken, pork, salmon, shrimp, or tofu as alternative protein options. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
While blood oranges add a unique flavor, you can substitute them with navel or Valencia oranges. The salsa will still be delicious with a slightly different citrus profile.
Store leftover components separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Reheat the steak and tortillas, assemble fresh tacos, and enjoy!
More taco recipes
Looking for more taco recipes? Try these:
Blackened Steak Tacos with Blood Orange Salsa
- 1 lb steak (flank, skirt, hanger, ribeye all work)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon garlic
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- salt and pepper
Blood orange salsa
- 1 ½ cup blood orange segments (about 3 blood oranges)
- ½ cup cara cara oranges (about 1 orange)
- 1 tablespoon blood orange zest
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- juice of ½ lime
- salt and pepper
- corn tortillas
- 2 avocadoes sliced or mashed
- cilantro for garnish
- cotija cheese
- limes for serving
- Combine the spices for the steak including chili powder, paprika, oregano, garlic, and cumin. Season the steak generously on both sides with spice mixture and salt and pepper. You may have some extra seasoning mix; reserve for another use. Let the steak sit for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the blood orange salsa. Combine the blood orange and cara cara segments with the blood orange zest, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, olive oil, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a cast-iron pan or saute pan over medium heat. Cook the steaks until the desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steak into thin strips.
- Heat the tortillas and assemble the tacos with the blackened steak, blood orange salsa, avocado, cilantro, cotija, and limes. Serve immediately.