Carne Asada Taco Melt

I’m still on my tailgate food run and the season hasn’t even started, but man am I going to be ready with all these burgers, here, here and here and nachos – here, here and here. Now I’m throwing this Carne Asada Taco Melt in the mix.

Carne Asada Melt | Real Food by Dad

Sure, I could have just stuck with a traditional taco, but why? 

Nope. Instead, I’m throwing grilled bread and ooey-gooey habanero cheese into it.

Carne Asada Melt _ Real Food by Dad

Don’t get me wrong, tacos are a big thing around my home—but changing it up once in a while is a good thing. Especially, when it turns out as well as these melts did.

Carne Asada Melt via Real Food by Dad

Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches

Carne Asada Taco Melt

Carne Asada Taco Melt


  • Carne Asada (recipe adapted from here
  • 1 lb skirt steak
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 orange, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Filling
  • 1 1/4 cup diced vine ripened tomatoes, about 3 tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced avocado, about avocados
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • Assembly
  • 8 slices bread
  • 8 slices of Tillamook Habanero Cheddar Cheese


  1. To make carne asada: In a blender combine and process garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, and pepper to make a paste. Put the paste in a glass jar or plastic container. Add the lime juice, orange juice, vinegar, and oil. Shake well to combine. Place the steak in a baking dish and pour sauce on top. Transfer to refrigerate and let marinate for at least six hours.
  2. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the grates with a little oil. Remove steak from marinade and season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the steak for 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once, until medium-rare. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal and then chop to 1/4-inch pieces.
  3. To make filling: Toss carne asada with tomatoes, avocado and cilantro.
  4. Assemble and cook: Spread 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise on outside of one slice. Place mayo side down and layer with a slice of cheese and filling. Place second slice of bread on top and spread another teaspoon of mayonnaise on top. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.

So yes, I insist that you give it a try—tailgating or not.

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