Authentic Carne Asada is all about the marinade and giving the meat time to soak in all the flavors. The fresh cilantro-garlic-lime marinade will become your go-to for Flank Steak. We use this recipe to make the best Carne Asada Mexican Street Tacos!

Thank you to Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff for sponsoring this recipe. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.

Carne asada steak grilled and thinly sliced

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What is Carne Asada?

Carne Asada is a Mexican beef recipe that has been marinated in a well-seasoned marinade then grilled to impart charred flavor. The beef is then thinly sliced and served as a main course or as an ingredient in other dishes like street tacos or nachos. When you start with such a delicious high-quality protein, there are so many different ways you can use Carne Asada.

Mexican street tacos with limes

The Best Cuts of Beef for Carne Asada:

  • Flank Steak – our preferred cut because it is lean, tender, and cooks quickly
  • Skirt Steak – a thinner and tasty cut (be careful not to overcook)
  • Sirloin Steak or Tenderloin Steak can also be used if that is what you have on hand

Flank steak for carne asada

Authentic Mexican Carne Asada Marinade:

An authentic Carne Asada marinade combines the classic Mexican flavors of cilantro, lime juice, garlic and is well-seasoned with chili powder and cumin. The addition of orange juice and soy sauce tenderizes the meat and also adds rich flavor.

Pro Tip: Marinate at least 6 hours but we highly recommend marinating overnight for the best flavor.

ingredients for carne asada marinade

How Long to Grill Carne Asada:

Like any steak, Carne Asada should be grilled to your desired doneness. Depending on the thickness of your steak, you will want to grill over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes per side, flipping once.

Marinating and grilling carne asada

Flank Steak Doneness Chart:

Since Flank Steak is a thinner cut of beef, insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally into the side of the steak in the thickest part. A steak will continue to rise in temperature an additional approximately 5 degrees once off the grill so take it off the grill before it reaches the ideal temperature.

  • Medium Rare doneness – a final temperature of 145˚F. The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145˚F.
  • Medium doneness – the final temperature will reach 160˚F.

checking steak doneness with thermometer

How to Cut Flank Steak:

Always slice a Flank Steak or Skirt Steak against the grain. See which way the meat fibers are running and cut perpendicular to those fibers. Cutting thin slices against the grain will make it much easier to chew the steak.

slicing flank steak against the grain

Make Street Tacos for Tailgating!

Beef is always a great choice for social gatherings and is our favorite fan food for game days! No matter what tailgating might look like for you this year, Carne Asada street tacos are perfect for your next party at home. Beef up your game day menu by making a taco bar with authentic street tacos.

Classic street tacos contain Carne Asada, cilantro, white onion, and hot sauce. If you want to spruce up your taco bar, you can also add some crumbled cotija cheese, Pico De Gallo or Chimichurri Sauce to top these off.

Mexican street tacos served with hot sauce and lime wedges

What to Serve with Carne Asada:

Carne Asada makes an excellent main course for the ultimate Mexican food feast.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Authentic Carne Asada + Street Tacos

5 from 123 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Sliced carne asada on cutting board
You'll love this authentic Carne Asada recipe. If serving as Carne Asada street tacos, you'll also need small corn tortillas, cilantro, diced white onion, lime wedges and cilantro to serve.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 8 people as a main course
  • 2 lb Flank Steak
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, (from 2-3 limes)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, (no pulp)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, (regular, not low-sodium)*
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro, plus more to serve
  • 7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • In a large shallow bowl or casserole dish, combine the marinade ingredients: lime juice, orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, chopped cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Place Flank Steak into the marinade and turn several times to coat.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight. Turn the steak once while marinating.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Place marinated steak onto the hot grill and cook 3-5 minutes per side, flipping once or until the steak has reached the desired doneness (145˚F for medium-rare and 160˚F for medium doneness).
  • Remove from the grill, tent with foil, and rest 5-10 minutes then thinly slice against the grain.

Notes

*Use tamari soy sauce for gluten-free. 

Nutrition Per Serving

292kcal Calories4g Carbs34g Protein15g Fat4g Saturated Fat91mg Cholesterol1025mg Sodium620mg Potassium1g Fiber1g Sugar467IU Vitamin A10mg Vitamin C48mg Calcium3mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Authentic Carne Asada + Street Tacos
Amount per Serving
Calories
292
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
15
g
23
%
Saturated Fat
 
4
g
25
%
Cholesterol
 
91
mg
30
%
Sodium
 
1025
mg
45
%
Potassium
 
620
mg
18
%
Carbohydrates
 
4
g
1
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
34
g
68
%
Vitamin A
 
467
IU
9
%
Vitamin C
 
10
mg
12
%
Calcium
 
48
mg
5
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: carne asada, street tacos
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 292

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Comments

  • Jailyn
    April 4, 2024

    Can the meat be cooked on stove top if grill is not available?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 4, 2024

      Hi Jailyn! Sure, you can cook it on a pan if that’s all you have.

      Reply

  • Lisa K
    March 10, 2024

    I love this recipe! I use flank steak and marinade overnight. The flavor is outstanding!

    Reply

  • Tam
    March 1, 2024

    I follow the recipe exactly and it turns out perfect. Everyone in my family enjoyed it.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 1, 2024

      Hi Tam! I’m so glad this recipe was a hit! Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

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