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Have you noticed how expensive it is to go out to eat lately? That’s why I’m so happy to share this carne asada recipe with you. When I made it the other day for my husband and kids, I was met with cheers. This wound up being just as mind-blowingly delicious as our favorite Mexican place and it’s so easy to do too!

Best Carne Asada Recipe

This Mexican delight is marinated beef in lime juice and seasonings for tender, juicy, flavorful meals. We love stuffing it into soft tortillas and piling them with our favorite toppings though you can pop it on top of rice for a bowl, stuff it into lettuce wraps, or even serve it without a traditional carb for a meal that brings the fiesta to your palate.

Carne Asada Ingredients

  • Flank steak – You’ll need 2lbs of it. Go to the butcher for the best cut. It’s worth it.
  • Carne Asada Marinade – To make the carne asada marinade recipe, you’ll combine extra virgin olive oil, fresh chopped cilantro, sugar, lime juice, minced garlic cloves, soy sauce, chili flakes, diced jalapenos, onion powder, cumin, apple cider vinegar, and ground black pepper together to make it. You will not need a carne asada seasoning with you use this marinade.
  • Corn tortillas – So you have a vessel to bring all this deliciousness to your mouth!
  • Toppings – Fresh chopped cilantro, chopped avocado (or even guac!), thinly sliced radishes, shredded lettuce, and lime wedges are all great toppings though feel free to get creative here!

Easy Carne Asada Recipe

This easy carne asada recipe is so simple, you can make it on a weeknight as long as you plan ahead with your marinade. It takes about 15 minutes to put that together so get it going and then prep your toppings and you’ll be done in no time!

Don’t tell me you miss me. Tell me you’re outside with carne asada tacos.

How do you Make Carne Asada from Scratch?

Add the olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, sugar, cumin, and black pepper to a large mixing bowl and whisk. Then add the garlic, cilantro, and jalapeno. Put your steak in there and coat it well, letting it marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours to no more than 4 hours. After marinating, let the steak come to room temperature. Then heat your skillet over high heat and sear the steak on both sides, roughly 2 to 3 minutes per side so it browns. Lower the heat and cook to your desired level of doneness, then let the steak rest for 10 minutes. Slice across the grain and serve with those tortillas and toppings.

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Carne Asada Every Time

  • Lime is key in the marinade. This carne asada marinade helps tenderize the flank steak so it has a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • High-heat is important too. You want that skillet super-hot before you put the meat in it.
  • The steak should come to room temperature first though. If you pull the steak in the marinade from the fridge and then immediately cook it, it won’t get that brown crusty char on it that makes carne asada so special.
  • Slice across the grain. This ensures a tender bite!

What exactly is carne asada?

In Spanish, it means “grilled meat” and is marinated in a lime juice-based marinade with seasonings. Usually a flank steak is used along with a flank steak marinade and then grilled or seared to be served with tortillas or atop rice.

What cut of meat is carne asada made from?

This recipe uses flank steak though skirt steak is also an excellent cut to use for carne asada. Both will give you tender and juicy results.

What is the best cut of meat for carne asada?

Skirt steak or flank steak is always the best cut of meat to use for carne asada. Flank steak is a bit leaner without sacrificing flavor.

What is the difference between steak and carne asada?

Steaks are often made from sirloin or other top cuts that are naturally more tender because steaks aren’t marinated. Carne Asada uses meats that tend to have tougher fibers which benefit from marinating first.

What is the difference between skirt steak vs flank steak?

The main difference between skirt steak and flank steak is that skirt steak tends to be more tough than flank steak yet it has a more robust flavor. Due to its toughness, it is typically seared and served rare to medium rare. Flank steak is more tender and can be cooked beyond medium while still retaining some tenderness.

Is there a difference between asada and carne asada?

In Spanish, “asado” means grilled. Using that word in front of “carne” makes it mean “grilled meat” though “asado” can be placed after other words to describe a grilled dish too.

What type of steak do Mexican restaurants use?

Mexican restaurants use a lot of flank steak and skirt steak when they prepare dishes like carne asada and steak tacos.

How do you keep carne asada moist?

Using fresh-squeezed lime juice and olive oil will certainly help your meat stay moist here. This recipe includes both in the marinade plus other authentic flavors to help you recreate this Mexican restaurant favorite at home!

Can I marinate carne asada for 2 days?

No! Don’t marinate your carne asada too long or you’ll ruin the texture of the meat. Citrus juices break down the fibers which tenderizes the meat but doing it for too long will kill your meal.

Can you marinate carne asada too long?

Please don’t marinate this meat overnight. With the lime juice, it will break down the meat and ruin the texture. You want to marinate it for at least 2 hours but no more than 4 hours.

How to Cook Carne Asada?

After marinating, carne asada is cooked over high heat on your stovetop. It will be ready in minutes from this point, so get ready for an epic dinner!

What does carne asada need to be cooked to?

For your best carne asada, you should cook it to 130F. Using a meat thermometer can help you make sure you get it just right. Remember, it keeps cooking after you remove it from the heat too so don’t wait too long to let it rest!

How long does it take for carne asada to cook?

Once it has marinated, it will take about 2 to 3 minutes per side in a skillet over high heat. Then you’ll need to give it some time to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

What goes well with Carne Asada?

I love putting out blacks beans and rice or refried beans, Mexican street corn, fresh guacamole and salsa, posole, tortilla soup, and Mexican slaw. These sides really help make for quite the dinner fiesta.

How to Store Carne Asada?

After everyone is full, make sure you wrap up your carne asada leftovers and put them in the fridge. You don’t want them sitting out longer than 2 hours.

How Long Does Carne Asada Last?

You can make enough for an army as long as you use up your refrigerated carne asada within 5 days.


Can You Freeze Carne Asada?

And if you really can’t eat it all, no worries. It freezes wonderfully for up to 3 months, making for easy, not to mention delicious, meal prep.

How to Reheat Carne Asada?

Meat like this can be tricky to reheat without turning to rubber. Preheat your oven to 325F and put a wire rack on your baking tray with the carne asada on top. Heat for about 15 minutes to warm it up.

Watch How To Make Carne Asada (Video)

Classic Carne Asada Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 404
This classic marinated carne asada recipe is packed full of of delicious flavor. This authentic Mexican dish comes out tender and juicy every time, a true family favorite!



  • 2 lbs flank steak


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 6 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 jalapenos (diced)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper


  • fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • avocado (chopped)
  • lime wedges
  • corn tortillas
  • 5 radishes (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup lettuce (shredded)


  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, sugar, black pepper, and cumin. Add in the garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro. Place the steak in the marinade and coat thoroughly. Allow the steak to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours.
  • Once the steak has been fully marinated, remove the steak from the fridge and allow it to reach room temperature.
  • In a skillet on high heat, sear the steak on both sides, about 2-3 minutes on each side, forming a brown crust. Lower the heat and continue to cook the state until it reaches about 10 degrees from your desired doneness and remove from heat (About 120F degrees for medium at 140F). Allow the steak to rest for about 10 minutes. Slice the steak across the grain and serve with desired garnishes.
Calories: 404kcal
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American


Calories: 404kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 638mg | Potassium: 655mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 507IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 4mg

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Author Megan Miller

I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

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