Garlic Guajillo Steak

No ratings yet
Pin RecipeJump to RecipeComments

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This Chipotle garlic guajillo steak copycat is quick to make at home with the easiest ingredients. I use tender flank steak marinated in a bright, zesty sauce made from smoky chilies, garlic, and lime. Broiled and sliced up thin, it’s just waiting to be tucked inside a taco!

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to recreate another Chipotle favorite, consider making my awesome version of their delicious barbacoa beef or these fabulous copycat Chipotle sofritas.

Overhead view of three garlic guajillo steak tacos garnished with sliced onions and cilantro, next to scattered lime wedges.


Lately, my kids have been choosing Chipotle food over their refreshers at their favorite coffee spot, which happens to be right next to Chipotle, all because they love their steak tacos so much more. If you’ve had the garlic guajillo steak from Chipotle, and even if you haven’t, you’re going to want to try this copycat recipe ASAP. It tastes so much like the original (dare I say, better), with the juiciest broiled flank steak smothered in a bright, zingy sauce. 

I spent an afternoon with my blender, pureeing the marinade with different ratios of smoky guajillo peppers to garlic, a bit of lime here, some fresh cilantro there, and I finally got it perfect. The meat gets super tender, and the spicy, zesty flavors are off the charts!

Why You’ll Love This Guajillo Steak Recipe

  • Bold, smoky flavor. Guajillo peppers have a bold and delicious sweet heat with just the right amount of spice. Combined in a garlicky marinade with fresh lime and herbs, I don’t think there’s a better way to season steak.
  • Easy. Your blender takes care of the marinade, then you simply let the steak soak for a couple of hours before popping it under the broiler. All in all, there’s about 15 minutes of hands-on time. 
  • Versatile. Garlic guajillo steak makes a bold, flavor-packed filling for tacos, or you can serve it over rice or a salad. Leftovers also store well and taste great in wraps and sandwiches!
Close-up of steak sliced thinly on a sheet of brown parchment paper next to a fork.

What Does Garlic Guajillo Steak Taste Like?

Chipotle’s garlic guajillo steak is a tender seared steak marinated in a puree of bold, smoky guajillo peppers garlic, lime, and cilantro. The flavors are bright and zesty, and just spicy enough, and I had so much fun recreating this steak recipe at home. Just wait until you try it.

Ingredients for garlic guajillo steak with text labels overlaying each ingredient.

Recipe Ingredients

You can imagine my excitement when I realized I could make this Chipotle copycat with just 6 ingredients. I had a bunch of limes and cilantro left over from making guacamole the other day, so I had everything I needed apart from the chilies, which I picked up at my nearest supermarket. 

Here are some notes, and you’ll find a printable ingredients list in the recipe card.

  • Guajillo Chilies – Guajillo peppers have a complex, slightly smoky sweet heat, with medium spiciness. They usually come dried. If you can’t find guajillo peppers in the international food aisle, you can try a specialty Mexican grocer, or order them online. In a pinch, you can substitute them with another pepper, see below.
  • Garlic – Please use fresh garlic cloves. You’ll taste the difference. You can adapt the amount of garlic to taste.
  • Lime Juice – Like the garlic, you’ll want to use freshly squeezed lime juice. For this marinade, you’ll need about 3-4 limes.
  • Olive Oil – Choose a good quality olive oil, or another oil with a nice flavor, like avocado oil.
  • Fresh Cilantro – Also called coriander. If you dislike cilantro, you can swap it out for another fresh herb, like parsley or basil.
  • Flank Steak – This is my favorite steak for marinating! You can also use another thin-ish, boneless cut, like skirt steak or sirloin steak.

Can I Substitute Guajillo Peppers?

If you’re looking for an easy guajillo pepper substitute, red chili peppers are a good option that you can find in most grocery stores. You can also use another Mexican chili pepper, like Ancho chiles, or California chiles, which both have a milder heat.

How to Make Garlic Guajillo Steak

This garlic guajillo steak needs to be marinated for a while, but the tender results are so worth it. I’d say, budget at least 1 hour for the meat to marinate, but ideally it should soak for the full 1 hour and 45 minutes asked for in the recipe. Let’s get this flavor party started!

  1. Rehydrate the chilis. First, you’ll want to rehydrate the chilies in simmering water for about 30 minutes. Save about ½ cup of the water when you drain the chilies, to use as cooking liquid.
  2. Make the marinade. Chuck your marinade ingredients into a blender, including the cooking liquid. Blend until you have a smooth puree.
  3. Marinade the steak. Add your steak and marinade to a freezer bag. Give it a little massage, and then leave the steak to marinate in the fridge for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  4. Broil. Once your steak is marinated, you’ll broil it in the middle of the oven for about 4 minutes per side. I usually cook mine until the internal temperature hits 135ºF on a meat thermometer, for medium-rare.
  5. Rest. The most important step! Let your steak rest outside of the oven for 5-10 minutes before you slice it. This makes the meat super tender.
Sliced garlic guajillo steak next to cilantro, sliced onions, lime wedges, and half of an avocado on a wooden cutting board.

Tips & Variations

  • Check the temperature. This is the easiest way to know if your steak is cooked to your liking. Use a meat thermometer, or instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature at the thickest part of the steak. For flank steak, you’re looking at around 135ºF for medium-rare, 145ºF for medium-well, or 155ºF for well-done.
  • Rest the meat. Give the steak a 5-10 minute breather between when it leaves the oven and when you slice into it. Resting lets the juices redistribute throughout the meat so you end up with juicy, melt-in-your-mouth slices.
  • Cut against the grain. Slicing the steak against the grain is the next crucial step to keeping meat tender. To find the “grain”, look for the direction that the muscle fibers (small lines) run in a piece of meat. Slice across the lines rather than along them, for soft slices that aren’t tough and chewy.

How to Serve Guajillo Steak

We love juicy, tender guajillo steak strips tucked into soft tortillas for steak tacos, or nestled over white rice or fiesta rice. This steak is also one of my favorite things to add to a taco bowl or quinoa salad. And, since the meat takes a bit of time to marinate, it leaves plenty of time to whip up an easy side of Southwest egg rolls and copycat Elote to really bring the restaurant experience home.

A hand holding a soft taco filled with steak strips, garnished with sliced onions and cilantro.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Store any leftover guajillo steak in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 2 months. Make sure it’s cooled completely before you store it. I like to roll leftovers up inside lavash bread with greens, onions, and red pepper relish for an easy steak wrap at lunch!

To reheat steak, cover it with foil and pop it in a 250ºF oven for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle the steak with a little water or drizzle it with oil to help it stay moist on the reheat.

More Steak Recipes

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It
No ratings yet

Garlic Guajillo Steak

This Chipotle garlic guajillo steak copycat is easy to make at home! With tender broiled flank steak marinated in a bright, zesty puree made from smoky chilies, garlic, fresh cilantro, and lime.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Marinade Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 5 dried Guajillo chiles
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound flank steak
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and we’ll send the recipe straight to your inbox!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


  • Hydrate the chilies. Place the chilies in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and then turn the heat to medium-low. Allow the chilies to simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the chilies, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid.
  • Make the marinade. Combine the reserved cooking liquid from the chilies, the chilies (stems removed), garlic, lime juice, olive oil, and cilantro in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Marinate the steak. Place the steak in a freezer bag. Pour the marinade over it and seal the bag. Massage the marinade into the meat through the bag. Allow the steak to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour and 45 minutes, then remove it from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes.
  • Broil. Arrange an oven rack in the middle of the oven and set the oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the steak on the baking sheet. Season it on both sides with salt. Broil for 4 minutes, flip, and broil for an additional 4 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak reads 135°F (for medium-rare).
  • Rest. Remove the steak from the oven and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.



Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 647mg | Potassium: 516mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1237IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Did you make a recipe? Leave a rating

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating:


  1. Andrea says:

    Would you recommend cooking on a BBQ? And at what temperature?

    1. Katerina says:

      Definitely! Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and grill the steak for about 5 minutes per side. Cook it for less if you like a rare steak.
      Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.