Carne Asada Recipe

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Enjoy the smoky, savory goodness of homemade carne asada that you marinate yourself. With this carne asada recipe, you can avoid commercial marinades and focus on real food flavor.

carne asada on cutting board

If you’ve got a decent taqueria or Mexican food restaurant near you, then you’re probably with familiar with carne asada.

Grilled and sliced beef, it’s marinated in an orange-infused marinade and grilled, with bits of char to enhance the smoky flavor.

This marinade recipe, made from simple, real ingredients beats the commercial marinades flat. 

Make up a few batches of this carne asada recipe: one to cook and a few to freeze for later. It’s perfect for a barbecue or lazy weekend breakfast.

Yes, Carne Asada is fantastic in Breakfast Burritos!

ingredients for carne asada

What kind of meat do you use in Carne Asada?

Carne asada calls for a certain cut of meat, typically labeled flap meat, flap steak, or skirt steak.

Over the months, I’ve started watching the prices on the meat. The lowest I’ve found it recently has been $3.99/pound. Kinda pricey, but you don’t need a lot.

You’ll be chopping it up to use in tacos, lettuce wraps, or breakfast burritos, so it can stretch pretty easily.

What is in Carne Asada Marinade?

You can buy commercial marinades, like this one, buy marinated meats at Mexican markets or grocery store butcher counters. Some folks use Sunny Delight to create their own marinades.

This carne asada recipe gets a lot of its flavor from my Basic Spice Blend. I keep a jar on hand at all times. It’s particularly good on beef, but goes well with chicken also.

Carne Asada Marinade contains:

  • orange juice
  • red wine vinegar
  • Basic Spice Blend: salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and smoked paprika
  • olive oil

step by step photos of making carne asada

How do you make Carne Asada?

Carne Asada is super simple to make!

  1. Blend together the marinade and add it to a container or ziptop freezer bag with the skirt steak.
  2. Allow the meat to marinate for several hours.
  3. Cook the meat on a hot grill.
  4. Slice to serve in tacos, burritos, rice bowls, and wraps.

Check out this video:

How long is Carne Asada good for?

Carne asada is good in the refrigerator for up to four days. Promptly refrigerate leftovers and consume within this time frame.

Can you freeze Carne Asada?

Carne Asada freezes beautifully, making it a great addition to your “frozen assets”! 

To freeze cooked meat: Cool and slice the meat. Place it in an airtight container. Chill completely before storing in the freezer. To serve: thaw and reheat.

To freeze the meat prior to cooking: Place the meat in the marinade in an airtight container or ziptop freezer bag. Store the meat in the freezer, for up to 6 weeks. To serve: thaw in the refrigerator before grilling as directed.

carne asada tacos in metal rack

If you prepare this recipe, be sure to take a picture and hashtag it #GOODCHEAPEATS. I can't wait to see what you cook up!
5 from 2 votes
Carne Asada Recipe
Prep Time
2 hrs 10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 35 mins
Enjoy the smoky, savory goodness of homemade carne asada that you marinate yourself. With this carne asada recipe, you can avoid the unhealthy additives of commercial marinades and focus on real food flavor.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: beef tacos, Carne Asada
Servings: 8
Calories: 251 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 2 to 3 pounds carne asada flap meat boneless
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Basic Spice Blend
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. Place the meat pieces in a large ziptop plastic bag. In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice, red wine vinegar, spice blend, and olive oil. Pour the marinade over the meat. Massage the marinade around the meat pieces. Place on a tray in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for 2 to 24 hours or place it directly in the freezer.
  2. If freezing, remove the meat from the freezer the night before serving and allow to thaw on a tray in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat a medium-hot fire in an outdoor grill. Cook the meat until no longer pink, flipping once. Remove from the heat to a cutting board. Chop the meat finely and serve in tacos, wraps, or burritos.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are approximate and are based on 1/8 of the recipe. Refrigerate leftovers promptly and use within 4 days.

Nutrition Facts
Carne Asada Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 251 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 77mg3%
Potassium 409mg12%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 103IU2%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 68mg7%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Carne Asada Marinade

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Donna says

    Can you share a link to your basic spice blend again? Thanks!

  2. Erin says

    What’s the right way to make a quesadilla? Help a girl who grew up in Ohio out 🙂

    • Haha! Well, Laura made hers with jack cheese and corn tortillas and fried them in oil. They are super yummy.

  3. Roberta says

    Oh, yum!

  4. Sarah says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I am excited to try. I love carne Asada…and I am going to brave the grill here in Alaska since it is a mild winter=)

  5. Trish says

    yea, would love your secret for the perfect quesadilla. and I know it will depend on lots of things, but can u estimate how long you grill each side? I read up on flap steak and apparently it is awful if undercooked. How did the tenting of the house go?

    • The tenting hasn’t happened! We’re looking at mid to late March. Sigh. But, the bright side is we can make it a spring break vacation.

      Yes, flap steak is pretty tough. Definitely cook it through.

  6. christy says

    I work at our local ymca in the fitness center for early mornings. There is one member who is so opinionated and picky. I had your cookbook sitting on the desk (the thirty minute one) and he asked me why I had it. I said that I really enjoyed all of the recipes in it. To my utter amazement he said he had as many of your recipes as he could find on pinterest pinned to his food board. He said he loved your recipes and cooked often with them.
    Believe me when I say that is a HUGE endorsement from him because he is never ever happy with anything. Thought you might enjoy that little story. Thanks for having such a great sight!

    • I love this story! I think the male Good Cheap Eaters are really quiet. Need to get them to comment more. 😉

  7. Rebekah says

    Can you tell me what that yummy saucy stuff is on your meat? Thanks!

  8. Rachel says

    I made this and was skeptical because there were so few ingredients and thought they seemed a little random, but it was AMAZING! will definitely be using again! thanks!

    • Yay! So glad it won you over. I am finding that you really don’t need a lot to make amazing things. Try the Spaghetti Squash Jambalaya next. It’s so good!

  9. Raquel says

    As someone whose family is from Oaxaca and grew up in Los Angeles I can tell you that your variation on carne asada was great and you nearly nailed the original recipe

  10. 5 stars
    Yum yum yum! This is so good and so simple! What a great combo. Wait…AND it’s freezer friendly?! Craziness, I tell you! Thanks for everything you do to keep our bellies and our pocketbooks full.

    In related news, I am loving the new videos. Clean, simple, informative…dare I say elegant?

    Blessings from my crew to yours,
    Mama K

  11. Amber says

    Can this be made indoors?

    • Sure. It won’t have the smoky char from a grill, but it will still be delicious cooked in the broiler or a grill pan.

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