Enjoy this homemade carne asada recipe marinated in delicious Mexican flavors and spices. This juicy and tender flank steak is grilled to perfection to devour on its own or in any of your favorite Mexican dishes.

This carne asada is bursting with flavor on its own, but I love to use it in place of other meat in some of my favorite Mexican recipes. Try it in these chimichangas, these easy fajitas, or even in a yummy salad. The possibilities for this recipe are endless, so I like to make extra for leftovers because I know I will use it!

Top view of sliced carne asada on a platter.  Garnished with limes, cilantro, sliced avocado, tomatoes, red onion, and sliced japepeno.

What is Carne Asada?

Carne Asada is a thin cut of marinated beef that is grilled and sliced to use in tacos, burritos, nachos, and many other Mexican-inspired dishes. Carne Asada translates as “grilled meat” and is known for how quickly it cooks on the grill at high heat. This recipe is especially delicious because it uses so many different flavors that combined, the taste will knock your socks off!

Whenever I make a Mexican meal with carne asada, it is always a crowd favorite. Everyone who eats it loves the marinated flavors and the charred edges of the grilled beef. Because this thinly sliced tender steak is so delicious, it’s the star of every recipe I use it in! Make this meal complete with my refried beans, homemade tortillas, and Mexican rice.

What Ingredients Do I Need to Make Carne Asada?

Carne Asada may seem like it has a lot of ingredients, but it is actually very easy to put together! All you need is the flank steak and the marinade ingredients. See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.

  • Flank Steak: It’s important to use a high quality meat for carne asada so that it marinates quickly and slices up well when you are ready to eat. You can also use a skirt steak cut of meat. The cut of beef will make or break this dish!
  • Olive Oil: Any kind of oil will work. I prefer olive oil for its nutritional value.
  • Lime Juice: Adding lime creates tender and flavorful meat!
  • Orange Juice: The acid and enzymes from the orange juice help tenderize the steak leaving it very moist.
  • Soy Sauce: I like to use Soy Sauce for its smokey and salty flavor.
  • Garlic: This marinade has a lot of garlic that adds to the flavorful marinade.
  • Oregano: I love using oregano in Mexican dishes, it complements the other spices well.
  • Cumin: A delicious spice used in Mexican cuisine.
  • Chili Powder: This spice is packed with flavor and a hint of heat.
  • Salt: Beef always needs salt to enhance all the flavors happening together.
  • Pepper: The pepper adds a little heat and helps balance out the salt.

How to Make Carne Asada

The best thing about this carne asada recipe is that it’s super easy to make. You just need to allow time for the meat to marinate, but the rest comes together very fast!

  1. Prepare the meat: Place the flank steak In a gallon-sized sealable bag and set it aside.
  2. Make the marinade: In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients listed and whisk until combined.
  3. Marinate your meat: Pour the marinade into the bag with the flank steak. Seal tightly removing any excess air. Store in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight. The longer you can marinate the meat, the more flavorful and tender it will be. Turn the bag occasionally making sure it is marinating evenly on all sides. When you are ready to grill the meat, drain the steak from the marinade and discard the carne asada marinade.
  4. Cook: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Place the steak on the grill and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side only flipping once. Cook time depends on the thickness of your steak. Cook until the internal temperature reads 140-145° Fahrenheit or 130° Farhenheit for medium-rare with a meat thermometer. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  5. Slice: Slice thin strips of steak against the grain. Enjoy the meat as is, or serve in tacos, burritos, nachos, or salads.
4 process photos of how to make carne asada.  First picture is a bowl of the marinade with a whisk.  Seond picture is the meat and marinade in a sealable bag.  Third picture is the bag sealed with meat marinating inside.  Fourth picture is meat cooking on grill.

Ideas for Leftovers

My absolute favorite part of carne asada is how versatile it is! If you have leftovers there are a million other recipes that you can use it in. In fact, take a look at these recipe ideas you can use your carne asada in. You may want to double this recipe so that you can make some of these recipes all week long!

  • Tacos
  • Nachos
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Burritos
  • Salads
  • Sandwiches
  • Enchiladas
  • Chilaquiles
  • Fajitas
  • Chimichangas

Close up photo of a fork holding a slice of arne asada meat.  Garnished with cilantro and onion and jalepeno on the side.

How to Store Leftovers

If you happen to have leftovers, don’t throw them out! You will be so happy to enjoy the leftovers later the next day! After all, the best part of a meal is when it tastes good, if not better the next day so that you don’t have to cook!

  • In the Refrigerator: Store the carne asada in an airtight container. Place it in your refrigerator and it will last for up to five days.
  • In the Freezer: Store carne asada in the freezer to use later in things like soups or stews! Once the carne asada has cooled them place it in a sealable bag or any airtight container. Don’t forget to label it with the date! It can stay in your freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: To reheat from the refrigerator, simply microwave it or warm it up on a skillet. To reheat the meat from the freezer, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, you can heat it in the microwave, on the stove, or put it in just about any recipe.

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