Carne Asada is one of the most versatile meats in the Mexican cooking toolbox. My quick and easy recipe for this beloved beef requires just a short list of easy to find ingredients and as little as 30 minutes of marinating time! 

carne asada flank steak on a cutting board being sliced  

While you can easily purchase prepared carne asada from your local carniceria, this simple recipe means you don’t have to. Once you see how ridiculously easy it is to make this grilled steak at home, you’re sure to add it to your permanent summer rotation.

Why I Love This Recipe

Before I ever tried to make carne asada at home, I would always purchase the prepared stuff from my local Latin supermercado. While it was quite tasty, it was also more expensive than purchasing meat for cooking myself. I also didn’t know exactly what went into making it, meaning I had no grasp on the sodium levels or whether there were any artificial ingredients.

raw skirt steak on a piece of parchment and lightly sprinkled with salt

This homemade carne asada recipe is so dang quick to make and has such a short list of ingredients that it is a snap to make on even the busiest of days. The fact that it only requires a short 30-minute marinating window means I can whip this up as a last minute “what the heck am I serving for dinner?!?” meal. 

I also love how simple the clean up is for this tasty marinated steak recipe. I do all the marinating in a gallon zip top bag, and throw the meat on the grill. The only things I have to clean are the cutting board and knife! 

TIP: No grill? No problem! Simply opt for a cast iron grill pan and do the cooking on your stovetop.

Making the carne asada on the grill also has a whole host of benefits: first, I don’t heat up my house during the summertime. Second, we get an excuse to hang out with the family outside – BONUS! Third, I’m a huge sucker for that chargrilled taste that you can only achieve from a real barbecue.

Do yourself a favor and try this authentic recipe for homemade carne asada. I promise you won’t regret it!

How to Make My Quick & Easy Carne Asada

In a bowl, combine the olive oil, butter, tequila, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and onion and mix well.
 
Place steak in a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over steak. Zip up the bag and massage marinade around so that the steak is well covered. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.
 
white serving dish with skirt steak carne asada and marinade prior to cooking
 
Tip: Be sure to let the meat come to room temperature before you cook it.
 
Preheat a grill or grill pan to high. Remove the steak from the plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Grill the steak for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.
 
carne asada on the grill
 
Let rest 10 minutes, and then slice the steak against the grain into 1/2-inch pieces. Enjoy!
 
Tip: Let the meat rest for as long as you cook the meat for.
 
Watch this video to see how simple it is to whip up.
 
overhead shot of grilled skirt steak carne asada on a round wooden cutting board with grilled green onions

How to Serve Carne Asada

Carne asada is one of those delightful unicorns that goes well with just about everything. Once the steak is cooked and cut into thin slices or chopped, there are about a gazillion ways to serve it.

That means it is a perfect candidate for meal prep; just make a big batch at the beginning of the week and you’ll have an easy and delicious protein to turn to when life gets hectic.

NOTE: This list is in no way comprehensive, rather is just intended as a springboard for your creativity. Use carne asada in:

If you have a recipe that you usually add an animal protein to, try swapping in your homemade carne asada. It is tender, juicy, and filled with traditional Mexican flavors. I’m pretty sure there are no wrong answers for how to serve this yummy marinated steak.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best cut of steak to use for carne asada?

I personally love to use flank or skirt steak for this recipe, but flap steak will also work quite well!

Can I make carne asada ahead of time?

Absolutely! I love to make a big batch on my meal prep day so that I can add tasty bits of marinated meat to my meals all week long.

The meat only needs about 30 minutes to marinate, but you can leave it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Once cooked, carne asada should keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Can I make this steak without a grill?

While I love the charred taste that you can only get from a charcoal barbecue, feel free to use a cast iron grill pan or cast iron skillet and your stovetop to cook this yummy meat.

Complementary Recipes

Wondering what to serve with your super tasty carne asada? I have LOTS of ideas for you. Here are a few to get you started:

If you tried this yummy recipe for my Quick and Easy Carne Asada, please be sure to rate and review it below!

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skirt steak carne asada being sliced on the bias

 

close up shot of sliced carne asada on a cutting board

Carne Asada

5 (3 ratings)
Carne Asada is one of the most versatile meats in the Mexican cooking toolbox. My quick and easy recipe for this beloved beef requires just a short list of easy to find ingredients and as little as 30 minutes of marinating time! 

Ingredients

Carne Asada:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup tequila, reposado
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 ½-pound flank, skirt, or flap steak
  • kosher salt

Instructions 

  • In a bowl, combine butter, tequila, lemon and lime juice, thyme, serrano, garlic, cilantro, and onion and mix well.
  • Place steak in a large sealable bag and pour the marinade over steak. Zip up the bag and massage marinade around so that the steak is well covered. You can also use a shallow dish if you prefer. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours. 
  • Preheat a grill or grill pan to high. Remove the steak from the plastic bag and generously season with salt. Grill the steak for 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest 10 minutes, and then slice the steak against the grain into 1/2-inch pieces or chop.

Video

Notes

  • Be sure to let the meat come to room temperature before you cook it.
  • Let the meat rest for as long as you cook the meat for.
  • I like my carne asada medium-rare, but feel free to cook yours to your desired doneness.
  • Feel free to chop and cook a bit longer in a skillet, if needed. 
  • No tequila? Replace with beer. Or just omit.
Calories: 238kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 125mg, Potassium: 326mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 360IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 27mg, Iron: 2mg

Photography by Jenna Sparks