Carne Asada is marinated steak that’s grilled to perfection and is bursting with mouthwatering flavors! The marinade infuses flavors of citrus, garlic, and a medley of bold spices into the meat for hours before it’s deliciously cooked on a fiery grill. Treat yourself to this incredible dinner – you deserve it!

Carne asada has been sliced and is served on a gray serving platter with cilantro and limes.

Carne Asada

While I might not be an avid TikTok user myself (as I’m not in high school), I do happen to catch up on all the food trends that get hashtagged on that platform. While some are clearly just silly videos that were made for likes, others that I’ve seen get lots of attention are popular for good reason. For a while, Birria Tacos seemed to be the most popular Mexican dish on the app, but Carne Asada might just be beating it now!

While some food fads come and go, there are some tried and true classics that are too tasty to ever lose their impact, and this is one of those recipes. If you live anywhere near a good, authentic Mexican restaurant, you’ve likely enjoyed Carne Asada before! This marinated grilled steak recipe has been around in Mexican cuisine for a very long time, and after just one bite, it’s not hard to see why it’s lasted the tests of time.

The combination of flavors in this marinade are what give the meat so much mouthwatering flavor. Also, I feel like I keep saying mouthwatering, but there’s just no better way to describe both the taste and aroma of Carne Asada! When you smell it on the grill, expect your neighbors to poke their heads over the fence to see what you’re making. The intoxicating smells of grilled steak are combined with notes of citrus, garlic, and delicious spices.

A bowl of marinade is being poured into a zip top bag.

How to Make It

Marinate it, grill it, enjoy it. Making the BEST Carne Asada is really that easy!

Combine the marinade ingredients. Whisk together the orange juice, zest, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne to combine.

Prepare the steak. Place the steak in a large zip top bag or baking dish.

Pour the marinade. Pour the marinade over the steak and seal the bag or cover the baking dish with plastic wrap.

Chill. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat. Preheat the grill to medium high heat.

Season the steak. Remove the steak from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Discard the remaining marinade.

Grill the steak. Grill the steak for 4-5 minutes on each side depending on the desired degree of doneness. 

Rest, slice, and enjoy! Remove the steak and rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve.

You can serve it just as a steak or use it as a filling for Carne Asada Tacos!

A fork is placed on a serving tray full of sliced carne asada.

Tips for the Best Carne Asada

  • Allow the meat to marinate for at LEAST 2 hours, but preferably overnight! You want to really make sure that the steak has time to absorb both the moisture and flavors of the marinade, so don’t try to rush this vital process.
  • Slicing against the grain is important, because doing so will break apart the muscle fibers and make the meat so much more tender.
  • Skirt steak is my favorite cut of meat to use, as it has nice, thin edges that char beautifully and what I think is the best flavor. With that being said, flank steak works well, too!
  • Don’t skip out on any of the citrus ingredients. They not only add flavor, but the natural acid in them also helps to tenderize the meat by softening the tissues.
A fork is lifting a slice of carne asada from the serving plate.

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A fork is placed on a serving tray full of sliced carne asada.

Get the Recipe: Carne Asada

This classic Mexican beef recipe, Carne Asada, is so easy to make in very little time. Tender and juicy, it's perfect for tacos, nachos and carne asada fries!
4 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds flank steak or skirt steak
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 3 limes juices and zested
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/4 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Equipment

  • grill

Instructions 

  • Whisk together the orange juice, zest, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne to combine.
  • Place the steak in a large zip top bag or baking dish.
  • Pour the marinade over the steak and seal the bag or cover the baking dish with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the grill to medium high heat.
  • Remove the steak from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Discard the remaining marinade.
  • Grill the steak for 4-5 minutes on each side depending on the desired degree of doneness.
  • Remove the steak and rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve.

Notes

Carne Asada can be marinated overnight.
Leftovers can stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 
Serve on salad, in a wrap or in quesadillas for a quick weeknight dinner.
Calories: 486kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 62g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 170mg, Sodium: 477mg, Potassium: 1178mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 864IU, Vitamin C: 34mg, Calcium: 142mg, Iron: 6mg