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You are in for a treat with this simple homemade carne asada recipe! Because there’s so much to love about it. Not only is it incredibly versatile, but it’s so simple to make. This easy carne asada marinade takes just 5 minutes to prep and 7 ingredients. And no fancy ingredients needed, the ingredients are very basic and probably already in your pantry. Keep reading to learn how to make carne asada, because once you know how, you’ve got so many options for what to do with it! Then try more easy steak recipes like London broil next.
Try this Mexican carne asada stuffed into tacos, with cauliflower nachos, or with fresh veggies or salads. One bite and I think you’ll declare it the BEST carne asada marinade ever!
There’s something about Mexican food that I just love. Don’t you agree? The bright flavors of lime and cilantro, the hint of spice, the endless ways to turn one dish into so many different meals.
My latest favorite way to make homemade marinades is using the WhiskWare Dressing Shaker. It makes for easy cleanup, plus I can make the marinade ahead – which means less time in the kitchen and more time with my family. It comes in a glass or plastic version – your choice.
What Is Carne Asada?
Carne asada is marinated and grilled steak that is sliced. It literally translates to “grilled meat” and is most often used as a component of other dishes like tacos, burritos, or tortas.
The cut of steak varies from recipe to recipe, but this Mexican carne asada marinade would work on just about any cut! We’re using flank steak for this recipe. It’s a great steak for marinating and slicing thin.
Carne Asada Ingredients
As always, my recipes always have less than 10 ingredients, and this carne asada recipe is no exception.
- Flank steak (or another cut of steak)
- Lime juice
- Olive oil
How To Make Carne Asada
The steps to make this carne asada meat couldn’t be easier!
- Mix together the asada marinade. It’s full of classic flavors like lime, jalapeno, garlic, and cumin. It reminds me a little bit of chimichurri sauce. Just toss everything into the WhiskWare Dressing Shaker and shake it up. There’s a whisk ball inside to help the marinade emulsify.
- Arrange the meat in a glass dish and pour the marinade over it. The Dressing Shaker makes this super convenient and pours easily!
- Marinate the meat in the fridge. I recommend anywhere from 2-8 hours, but no longer as you don’t want to end up with mushy meat. I like to drizzle the marinade over the meat in a glass baking dish. Store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it.
PRO TIP: Remove your Mexican carne asada about 30 minutes before you’re going to cook it. This helps it cook evenly.
- Sear the beef asada in a grill pan. You could grill your meat, but I’m sharing directions on how to cook carne asada in the oven because I think the stove and oven combination works so well for steaks. (I use the same method for cooking filet mignon and top sirloin steak in the oven.) We use a cast iron grill pan to get those grill marks (!!) on the stove top first.
- Finish the carne asada in the oven. After the initial sear on the stove, transfer the grill pan to the oven to finish cooking to your liking.
TIP: An oven-safe probe thermometer works best to ensure you don’t overcook your carne asada. If you don’t have one, use this sirloin steak time chart – the cook times will be about the same.
- Let it rest. Don’t forget to rest the carne asada steak after cooking! This is important because the internal temperature will come up another 5 degrees, and will prevent the juices from leaking out when you cut into it.
- Slice the carne asada thinly against the grain.
How Many Carbs Does Carne Asada Have?
Carne asada is incredibly low in carbs. In my recipe, each 5 oz portion of steak + marinade has just 2 grams of carbs. The full nutrition stats can be found in the recipe card below, but here are the highlights:
- 340 calories
- 2 grams carbs
- 32 grams protein
- 21 grams fat
Is Carne Asada Keto?
Yes! Carne asada is keto. Recipes can of course vary, so you would always want to double check, but this carne asada steak has just 2 grams of carbs per serving. Pair it with some keto-friendly sides, and you’ve got a delicious keto dinner.
Can You Make Mexican Carne Asada Ahead?
You can make carne asada ahead of time, but it will depend just how ahead of time you want to make it.
If you want to make it earlier in the day for serving that night, then the timing will be just about perfect. Make the marinade in the morning or mid day and let the steak marinate until it’s time for dinner. (Just not longer than 8 hours!)
If you want to prep it further ahead than the 8 hours, I would recommend mixing together the marinade, but not putting the steak into the marinade until you’re closer to cooking it. The WhiskWare Dressing Shaker is perfect for this because you can make the carne asada marinade and store it in the same container.
Don’t let the marinate for much longer than 8 hours. Otherwise, the meat can get a bit mushy.
What To Serve With Carne Asada
Traditionally, Mexican carne asada is served as a component of a meal, but you can really go in so many directions with it. You can serve it in tacos, keep it really simple and serve it over a bed of greens and sauteed peppers, or try one of these delicious low carb and keto recipes:
- Lettuce wraps with Mexican fixings like cilantro, tomatoes, jalapenos, avocados, and limes
- Make tacos with Fresh Jicama Tortillas or Coconut Flour Tortillas
- Top it with Creamy Tomatillo Avocado Salsa Verde or Red Homemade Salsa
- Pair it with Low Carb Tortilla Chips
- Serve it instead of ground beef over a Healthy Taco Salad
Tools To Make Carne Asada Marinade + Easy Carne Asada
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- WhiskWare Dressing Shaker – Super convenient for mixing and storing the marinade!
- Glass Food Storage Dishes – These are great for storage, but also for marinating meats.
- Cast Iron Grill Pan – The best pan to take my authentic carne asada recipe from stove top to oven. Cleans up really easily, too!
- Digital Meat Thermometer – You’ll never cook meat without it again. This is the easiest way to tell when meat has reached the proper – and ideal – temperature.
The Best Easy Carne Asada Marinade Recipe
The Best Easy Carne Asada Recipe + Marinade
Learn how to make steak carne asada recipe with marinade at home! Takes just 5 minutes to prep and is perfect for tacos or over a salad.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Whisk together all the carne asada marinade ingredients (everything except the steak) in a WhiskWare Dressing Shaker.
Place the steaks in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Pour the marinade over the steaks and turn to coat.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours. (The meat may get mushy if you do it for longer.)
Cook carne asada using a grill pan followed by the oven - use this recipe for how to cook steak in the oven (this link includes cook times).
Rest for 5 minutes, then slice very thinly against the grain.
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Serving size: ~5 oz steak
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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This was fantastic! I did it in a baggie with the meat and veggies, my non keto man loved it and so do I.
Wholesome Yum A0
Sooo good! Super easy! Will definitely make it again!
Must confess I was leery of this, as I’m not a fan of cilantro or jalapeños, but decided to give it a try. It’s delicious. Definitely going on the keep list.
Marinated two hours
I air fried it at 390 degrees for 18 minutes, turning at the halfway point.
Guess who has a new favorite!
We loved this recipe! We grilled it instead of cooking it in the oven, but it turned out so tender!
I want to try this carne asada. BUt I am confused about how long to have it in the oven.
It says cook time 10 min in the top of the recipe, but the steps in the recipe are vague
as far as grill time and oven time. Thanks for all of your awesome recipes!
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Chris, The recipe refers you to the How to Cook a Sirloin Steak post which give you temperature and timelines depending on how done you like your steak. I hope that answers your question!
I made this last night. I followed the recipe and I found it to be very salty. Wouldn’t make it again. Sorry
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Cheri, Sorry the recipe was too salty for you. If you enjoyed the flavor otherwise, you can always scale back on the salt next time.
Excellent! Turned out great!
Is the 5 oz portion for the serving size cooked or uncooked?
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Angela, The 5 oz portion is cooked.
Hi, love your blog by the way, had a question about replacing the protein. I’d like to use chicken. (I’m an amateur cook) Would this replacement be just as tasty? If so,
1) Could I leave the chicken in marinade over night to absorb the flavor?
2) Can I skip the pan grill and just use the oven? if so, how long 400F / 20mins?
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Luisa, I haven’t tried this with chicken, but yes, I’m sure you could do it. It’s fine to marinate it overnight and go straight to the oven. Here is my guide for how to bake chicken.
Any herb substitution suggestion for cilantro? It tastes like soap to me. Thanks.
Hi Renee, it’s not an authentic substitute but oregano might work here. You can also omit it altogether and add more of the other seasonings.
Really yummy! Thank you for sharing!
I absolutely love carne asada! It’s so easy and convenient. Flank steak is so affordable too! Great recipe for any night of the week. Thanks for sharing!
We love this recipe! Thank you!
What a beautiful fresh meal! Thank you for the recipe!
Carne asada is one of my favorite things to grill during the summertime. This recipe looks easy and delicious – thanks!
This steak was so flavorful and perfect as taco/sandwich filling. 🙂
This is my kind of meal! Your presentation is restaurant worthy, indeed! Delicious!