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Carne Asada

June 10, 2024

Fresh orange and lime juice, plus plenty of garlic and spices tenderize juicy flank steak in our simple, delicious carne asada recipe.

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A plate of grilled carne asada with tortillas, limes, avocado and radishes

Our Easy Carne Asada Recipe

Juicy carne asada is one of our very favorite summertime dinners. Just marinate some flank steak in our delicious carne asada marinade, fire up the grill, and dinner’s nearly done. Just add some Chips, Guacamole, Pico De Gallo and Margaritas or Ranch Water, and you’ve got yourself a party, even if it’s just a party for two. Add some Homemade Tortillas to the mix and make Carne Asada Tacos with the grilled steak, or enjoy it over a bed of lettuce or Cilantro Lime Rice.

flank steak on parchment paper, orange, lime, olive oil, salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic

Carne Asada Ingredients

The meat

  • Steak. Flank steak is the classic, but skirt steak will work, too.

The marinade

  • Orange juice

  • Lime juice

  • Olive oil

  • Fresh garlic

  • Dried oregano

  • Chili powder

  • Kosher salt

  • Cumin

  • Black pepper

  • Cayenne

orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, cumin, pepper, and cayenne mixed in a bowl
flank steak being marinaded in orange & lime juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, cumin, pepper & cayenne

How To Make Carne Asada

  1. Mix up the carne asada marinade. Simply whisk together fresh citrus juices, olive oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, cumin, pepper, and cayenne. Get a little excited!

  2. Marinate the steak. Marinate your steak in the fridge for at least an hour, but not longer than four hours. With so much citrus juice in the carne asada marinade, the meat will begin to break down too much if you let it sit too long. A big baking dish is really handy for marinating flank steak, but you can also do this in a zipper-top bag, if need be.

  3. Season the steak. Once the beef is marinated, sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper.

  4. Hit the grill! “Asada” means grill, so you’ve got to grill your “carne” to make it true “carne asada.” If you don’t have a gas grill or charcoal grill, use a grill pan. Our steak is usually done after about five minutes per side, but keep an eye on it and of course, consider what level of doneness you prefer. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.

  5. Let the grilled steak rest. Though there is some disagreement about why it works (because, food science) letting a grilled steak rest for a few minutes before cutting is a sure-fire way to ensure juiciness.

  6. Slice the grilled steak thinly and serve! We love to make Carne Asada Tacos, but you should feel free to get creative!

grilled steak marinated in orange & lime juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, cumin, pepper & cayenne
A plate of grilled carne asada with tortillas, limes, avocado and radishes

How To Store + Tips For Making The Best Carne Asada

  • Skirt steak and flank steak alike should be at a perfect medium-rare when they reach 135°F on an instant-read thermometer.

  • Cut the marinated grilled steak against the grain to ensure that every bite of carne asada is tender and juicy. Skirt steak and even flank steak can be tough if they’re not marinated and cut thinly against the grain.

  • Leftover carne asada can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days (and will be delicious!).

A plate of grilled carne asada with tortillas, limes, avocado and radishes
grilled skirt steak for Carne asada on a plate with avocado, lime, radish, cilantro and tortillas

Here’s The Beef

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Carne Asada

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 295

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice (from 1 orange)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil , plus more for greasing
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds flank or skirt steak

Method

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, cumin, pepper, and cayenne.

    orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, cumin, pepper, and cayenne mixed in a bowl
  2. Place the steak in a 9x13-inch baking dish or a plastic zip-top bag. Cover it with the marinade and turn to coat. Let the steak marinate in the fridge for 1 to 4 hours.

    flank steak being marinaded in orange & lime juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, cumin, pepper & cayenne
  3. Discard the extra marinade, then season the steak with salt and pepper.

  4. Heat the grill to medium-high heat (400-450°F). Add the steak to the grill and cook for 5 to 8 minutes per side for medium-rare (notes below).

    grilled steak marinated in orange & lime juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, cumin, pepper & cayenne
  5. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Thinly slice the steak against the grain and serve.

    A plate of grilled carne asada with tortillas, limes, avocado and radishes

Notes

The most precise way to measure the doneness of meat is with an instant-read thermometer. For beef, rare is 125°F; medium-rare is 135°F; medium is 145°F; medium- well is 150°F; and well is 160°F. Medium-rare is our preference, but feel free to cook your steak however you like it best.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories295
  • Protein33 g
  • Carbohydrates4 g
  • Total Fat17 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol100 mg
  • sodium530 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Carne Asada

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Lynn

    Instead of grilling carne asada can you grill in sir fryer?

    We do not have air fryer instructions for our carne asada at this time.

  • ANNA

    Hi there,

    I've made this recipe and it's been incredibly delicious. However, I've noticed a lot of carne asada recipes use soy sauce. What are your thoughts on soy sauce for carne asada?

    thank you!

    We prefer it without.

  • sheila

    When the steak was complete it was tough. I would like it to be tender, any ideas? I used flank steak and it was medium done. Would it ok to use rib eye steak with this recipe?

    Yes. Rib eye would work great.

  • Katie

    Most delicious carne asada! My 1 year old could not get enough!

    Thanks Katie, we are so glad you and you little one loved it!

  • Katy

    This was simply amazing! What a find! I tried searching for it again and couldn't find this one. I finally found my printed copy and immediately pinned the recipe to my Pinterest account. The whole family loves this. So full of flavor, better than any restaurant, my friends!

    Thanks so much Katy, so happy the whole family loves it and that you found the recipe again!

  • Stephanie

    We made this last night and it was EXCEPTIONAL. I had some extra time at lunch so I mixed the marinade and prepped all the ingredients for your guacamole recipe (except the avocado). I marinated the steak for 2.5-3 hours and then grilled 6 minutes per side. It turned out AMAZING and there wasn't a single leftover (even the 4-year old in attendance enjoyed it). Thank you thank you thank you :)

    You're so welcome Stephanie! We are so happy that everyone loved it so much! Thanks for letting us know you enjoyed it.

  • Karen

    Love this steak! It is in my usual rotation. Easy, but guest worthy. Relatively short marinade time, which is important for those of us who not often give meals much advanced consideration. I prefer using flank steak, medium rare, and I serve it with all the usual Mexican sides such as beans, grilled/roasted/sautéed peppers and onions, plantains, salad, guac, pico, etc.

    This is a serious favorite of ours as well. So happy it's a hit!

  • Susan

    Oh my goodness girls.. this marinade is amazing! We let our skirt marinate for about 3 hours - I did add some cilantro to the marinade - but it turned out really great, really impressive. Will post for you over on Insta. Thanks so much for your dedication to creating unforgettable dishes that we can easily do at home. YUM!

    Yay! This review made my day! So happy you loved it!