Mulitas: Carne Asada Taco-Quesadilla L.A. Style

Those Mulitas are packed with juicy carne asada and melty cheese then served with creamy guacamole and pico de gallo. Mexican street food at its top!

Carne asada Mulitas in a serving basket with salsas on the side.

What Are Mulitas?

Mulitas is a delicious Mexican street food very popular in Los Angeles. They are a mix between a taco and quesadilla sandwiched between two warm tortillas stuffed with meat and gooey cheese.

The Spanish word mulitas literally means “little mules” and I suppose it refers to that you can pack them with whatever you like, from meat to veggies is really up to you.

Furthermore, the size is also relatively small so, I guess that’s why it translates into “little mule”.

Two mulitas with carne asada piled and salsas on the background.

Ingredients Needed

Here is a detailed breakdown of everything you need for making this delicious recipe:

For carne asada

  • Meat: For the filling, you will need beef cut into thin slices and bites. The most commonly used beef cut is the skirt steak or flank.
  • Cumin: Ground cumin has a prominent place in northern Mexican cuisine. So, for cooking carne asada, you will need ground cumin for that warm and earthy flavor.
  • Seasoning: plain salt and black pepper are perfect to season the meat.

For mulitas taco

  • Tortilla: You can either use flour or corn tortillas. However, I prefer corn homemade tortillas as I can make them smaller and thicker. Or just use store-bought tortillas if you don’t feel like making your own.
  • Cheese: You can either use Oaxaca cheese or asadero cheese, Monterey jack cheese, cheddar cheese, or even mozzarella.
  • Salsa: We’re using pico de gallo salsa but feel free to browse around our selection of salsas and make the one that inspires you most.

For quick guacamole

  • Avocados.
  • green chilies.
  • onion.
  • cilantro.
  • lime.
  • salt.

How To Make Mulitas With Carne Asada

Step 1 – Make the guacamole

  • Place diced onions, chilies, and chopped cilantro in a bowl.
  • Cut avocado in half and discard the pit. Scoop out the pulp and add it to the bowl.
  • Use a fork to smash the avocado and mix all ingredients.
  • Season with salt and lime juice to your liking and set aside.
Smashing avocados into a bowl to make guacamole for Mulitas food.

Step 2 – Make the steak

  • Season beef with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cumin.
  • Heat a stove grill pan or skillet on medium-high heat until smoking.
  • Add a drizzle of olive oil to lightly coat the pan. 
  • Add meat and sauté until is no longer pink and is nicely cooked through. Don’t overcook or the meat will become tough.
  • Once done, cover the pan to prevent the meat from drying out.
Cooked carne asada on a pan to stuff Mulitas.

Step 3 – Assemble

Heat a skillet or pan over medium heat and drizzle with a little bit of oil.

Place a tortilla, add some cheese and then add meat. Add more cheese and place another tortilla on top.

Open side mulita being cooked on a griddle.

Allow the cheese to start melting, then carefully, using a spatula, flip over to cook the other side.

Gently press the tortilla to stick it with cheese and meat.

Assembled Mulita cooking on a griddle.

Keep flipping the stuffed tortillas until cheese is melted and bubbling and the tortillas are nicely crispy.

Flipping mulita with a spatula.

Step 4 – Garnish

Put mulita on a plate, gently peel the top tortilla and add guacamole and pico de gallo. Close again and serve.

Peeling tortilla on top to see the melted cheese in mulita.

Repeat all steps with the remaining tortillas, steak, and cheese. If you want to make them all and serve at once, keep them warm in the oven until you’re done.

Recipe Notes

  • Cutting the meat into thin slices and then small bites will allow for quick cooking.
  • Don’t overcook the meat as it can get tough/hard, as soon as you see the meat is done, remove from heat and keep it covered to prevent it from drying out.
  • You can also use flour tortillas to make this recipe, but corn tortillas are better, in my opinion.
  • Corn tortillas are low in fat and have more nutrients and fiber than flour tortillas. Also, they are perfectly safe for those who are allergic to gluten.
  • Prepare all your accompaniments as the first thing to do, so you have everything ready to serve as soon as those “little mules” comes out of the griddle.
  • The key for crispy tortillas is to use oil on the griddle, so don’t skip it!
  • For more flavor, dip the tortillas in the fat where you cooked the meat.

How To Serve

I love adding a side of chiles toreados and some lime wedges when serving those cheesy tacos, they are the perfect accompaniment!

For a truly Mexican street food experience, wash down this delicious treat with:

L.A. Style mulitas street food in a basket. Guacamole and pico de gallo on the background.

Other Fillings To Use

This Mulitas food recipe can be made with many other fillings, not only with steak carne asada! You can use leftovers or make 2-3 more easy dishes to stuff and serve. Such as…

A mulita being opened to see the gooey cheese and juicy fillings.

How To Store And Reheat

Already assembled mulitas only last for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Put a layer of parchment paper in a container, place your leftovers and close tightly.

Reheat in a slightly oiled griddle flipping them

However, you can store longer the ingredients in separate containers:

  • Carne asada: Last up to 4 days in the fridge and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Pico de gallo: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
  • Guacamole: Place leftovers in a container and add a layer of cling film touching the guacamole, then store for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • Salsas: Homemade salsas can last up to 5 days in the fridge and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Mulitas served on a red plastic basket.

Mulitas (carne asada taco-quesadilla)

author Maricruz
Those mulitas are made with carne asada and gooey cheese sandwiched, then garnished with guacamole and pico de gallo salsa.
prep 20 minutes
cook 15 minutes
total 35 minutes
serving 6 mulitas

Ingredients 

For carne asada

  • 1.1 lb flank or skirt steak (cut into thin slices)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • salt and pepper

For mulitas

  • 12 medium corn tortillas (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 ½ cups string cheese (Oaxaca, asadero, mozzarella, monterey jack, etc.)
  • pico de gallo salsa
  • canola oil (as needed)

For quick guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocado
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper (or any green chili)
  • 1 lime
  • salt (to taste)

Instructions
 

Make the quick guacamole

  • Place onion, chili pepper, and cilantro in a bowl.
  • Scoop out the pulp of avocado and add it to the bowl.
  • Smash avocado with a fork and mix with all ingredients.
  • Season with salt and lime juice to your liking and set aside.

Make carne asada

  • Season beef with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cumin.
  • Heat a stove grill pan or skillet on medium-high heat until smoking hot.
  • Add a drizzle of olive oil to lightly coat the pan and sauté the meat until is no longer pink and is cooked through (about 8 minutes).
  • Turn off the heat and cover the pan to prevent the meat from drying.

Assemble mulitas

  • Heat a skillet or pan over medium heat and drizzle with a little bit of oil.
  • Place a tortilla and top with cheese and meat.
  • Add more cheese on top and close with another tortilla.
  • Allow the cheese to start melting, then carefully, using a spatula, flip over to cook the other side. Gently press the tortilla to stick it with cheese and meat.
  • Keep flipping the mulitas until cheese is melted and bubbling and the tortillas are a little bit crispy.
  • Put mulitas on a plate, gently peel the top tortilla and add guacamole and pico de gallo. Close and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Cut the meat into thin slices and then small bites. This allows for quick cooking.
  • Don’t overcook the meat as it can get tough/hard, once done, remove from heat and keep it covered to prevent it from drying out.
  • You can also use flour tortillas to make this recipe.
  • Prepare all your accompaniments as the first thing to do, so you have everything ready to serve as soon as mulitas come out off the griddle.
  • The key for crispy tortillas is to use oil on the griddle, so don’t skip it!
  • For more flavor, dip the tortillas in the fat where you cooked the meat.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1mulita | Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 245mg | Potassium: 473mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 212mg | Iron: 2mg
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FAQ

What’s the difference between a Mulita and a quesadilla?

A mulita is always packed between two flat tortillas with cheese and meat, while a quesadilla is usually folded into a half-moon and can be done with or without cheese, with or without other fillings, etc.

Are they gluten-free?

Yes. Our mulita recipe is 100% gluten-free because is made with nixtamalized corn tortillas and no one of the other ingredients contains gluten.

How to eat them

A mulita taco should be eaten with your hands. Some mess can happen and a bit of the ingredients will fall off to your plate, don’t worry about it, just dig in and enjoy Mexican street food!

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I tried mulitas the first time we went to LA in 2015 and loved them! So happy to find your recipe and can’t wait to try!

  2. 5 stars
    Saw this post shared in Facebook and knew I had to try mulitas. Thank you for the detailed recipe, they were beyond delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this mulita recipe. Easy to make, delicious and the kids devoured them! Now, how can I make them stop asking for mulitas every single day? :D