by Olena

Carne Asada

Olena Osipov
5 from 3 votes

Carne Asada is thinly sliced grilled steak served with tacos, burritos, salad or rice and beans. This is the best carne asada recipe with easy and super flavourful marinade. Steak pro husband approved.

I have been perfecting the marinade for 2 summers. 🙂 You have to try!

Carne Asada

Carne Asada Recipe

Carne asada literally means “grilled meat”. It comes from Latin America. But I can assure you that anyone can make delicious carne asada using my recipe. 🙂

Do you love steak? Show me who doesn’t?! It is expensive and fatty, so it’s a treat for our family. So, it better be tasty, juicy and flavorful. So, I have made the marinade 5 times over the course of 2 summers.

Carne Asada on the grill with flame up

It consists of simple pantry and fridge ingredients and produces flavorful with a bit of a heat kick steak. And so easy! If this Ukrainian could do it, so can you.

And about whether it is authentic… I have been to Mexico 15 times and believe the recipe I have here is authentic because there are “100 million” ways to grill this meat. At least it tastes just as good and better than any I have tried wink-wink. 😉

Let’s do it!

Carne Asada sliced on a cutting board

What Is The Best Meat for Carne Asada?

Beef. I am using skirt steak – thin and long. Flank steak is similar and is often used to make carne asada.

Wikipedia suggests sirloin, tenderloin and rib steak can be used. Since these are thick cuts of meat, I would stick to 24 hour marinating time.

skirt steak in a tray

What Is Carne Asada Marinade?

After numerous trials, I found the best carne asada marinade consists of:

soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, black pepper and minced jalapeno, garlic and cilantro.

This combination has enough acid to break down tough fibers, and fresh and dried herb and spices to flavor the steak. So good!

Carne Asada marinade in glass bowl

How Long to Marinate Carne Asada?

4-24 hours. I personally tried both times and carne asada was flavorful. However, thicker cuts need more time.

  • Thin skirt or flank steak – 4 hours.
  • Thick sirloin, tenderloin or rib steak – 24 hours.

Carne Asada marinating in baking dish

How to Cook Carne Asada

  • Make marinade by combining soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, black pepper and minced jalapeno, garlic and cilantro.
  • Pour marinade over meat – I love to lay meat in large baking dish for better penetration. Toss around gently to cover all sides.
  • Marinate 4-24 hours – Thin steak could be marinated for shorter time.

Carne Asada marinating in baking dishCarne Asada steak on the grill

  • Grill has to be hot – Make sure to preheat BBQ to at least 500 degrees F. Cook steak covered for about 5 minutes per side. It will get smoky but as long as it’s not burning. You want nice grill marks outside and tender juicy inside. Carne Asada grilled to perfection
  • When is it done? To be honest, I find meat thermometer inserted in the middle of thin steak on the grill not accurate. Instead, cutting in the meat right on the grill or plate checking for doneness works best. Cook until you see desired amount of blood. But keep in mind meat will continue cooking with residual heat during resting.
  • Let it rest for 5 minutes covered with foil or any lid.

Carne Asada thinly sliced and served with lime and cilantro

How to Serve Carne Asada

So many ways, including with mashed potatoes. Why not? 🙂 The juices are perfect for drizzling on potatoes. Ukrainian in me, for sure.

Carne Asada tacos served with lime, cilantro and guacamole

Enjoy! I definitely think this carne asada recipe is great for a BBQ with friends and family. 🙂

More Grilled Meat Recipes

Carne Asada on a serving tray with lime and cilantro

carne asada recipe

Carne Asada

Carne Asada is thinly sliced grilled steak served in tacos, burritos, salad or rice and beans. This is the best carne asada recipe with easy and super flavourful marinade. Steak pro husband approved. I have been perfecting the marinade for 2 summers. 🙂 You have to try!
5 from 3 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 280kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


  • 3 lbs skirt or flank steak
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce I used Bragg's liquid aminos
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 limes 1/4 cup, juice of
  • Handful cilantro minced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jalapeño with seeds minced
  • 2 tsp cumin ground
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper


  • In a medium bowl, combine marinade ingredients: soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, chili powder and pepper. Whisk well.
  • Place steak in a large flat dish with side - I love using Pyrex glass baking dish with a lid.
  • Pour marinade on top and toss steak gently to coat an all sides.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 4 - 24 hours. I tried both and both times we had flavorful steak. Of course, longer marinating, more flavor. Don't exceed 24 hours.
  • Preheat grill to 500 degrees F or medium-high heat.
  • Grill covered for 5 minutes per side for medium rare, longer for more done. Play it by ear and grill like you would steak. Because skirt steak is quite thin, inserting meat thermometer in it while on the grill isn't the best method to check for level of doneness, I found. Instead I like to cut with a knife right on the grill or on the plate.
  • To grill indoors, use well seasoned cast iron grill pan.
  • Let meat rest covered with foil for 5 minutes to allow juices settle.
  • Thinly slice and serve in tacos, with corn avocado salad, rice and beans or mashed potatoes. Why not?! 🙂

Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Freeze for 3 months.



    • I used skirt steak. As per Wikipedia, sirloin, tenderloin or rib steak are good cuts for making carne asada.
    • I would recommend to marinate thicker cuts for 24 hours and thin ones will be fine with 4 hours.
    • When checking for doneness, keep in mind meat will keep cooking with residual heat during resting. I recommend to remove it before desired doneness. For example, I like medium rare steak, so I remove meat from the grill with a bit more blood than I eat.


    Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 665mg | Potassium: 568mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 4mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

    What You Will Find Here

    Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

    A Little More About Me

    Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

    9 comments on “Carne Asada

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    1. 5 stars
      Dear Olena,

      My sister introduced me to your website about half a year ago and since then I have tried over 15 of your recipes. They have all been terrific – easy, healthy and delicious! I really appreciate your efforts to reduce salt, fat and cost without sacrificing taste, your embrace of the Instant Pot and your infectious enthusiasm. I have thought of sending you a happy comment many times, but I rarely do such a thing. However, your recent recipe for carne asada has blown away my reluctance. It is sensational! I grilled two thick sirloin steaks using your technique. They were easily the most tender and flavourful steaks I have ever grilled, just as you promised. Even my wife who is not a fan of beef (definitely not a “steak pro”) was wowed. Instead of offering me her leftovers, as she often does, she quickly squirreled them away for herself.
      I also want to thank you for a low carb and fat white lasagne I recently made. I know that it’s not one of the iFOODreal recipes, but I borrowed your trick of a “cream” sauce based on mashed beans which I picked up from your “Healthy White Chicken Chili” recipe. What a great idea! The lasagne, half of whose noodles were pasta and half zucchini (another favourite ingredient of yours), was wonderful.
      Thank you, Olena, Spasybi!

    2. 5 stars
      Nice flavor for what can be a tough cut of meat. Loved the bit of heat from the jalapeños. Thanks for the recipe.

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