This marinated carne asada recipe is perfect for Cinco de Mayo and beyond! This carne asada marinade is a savory blend of tequila, citrus, chipotle peppers and herbs and spices… making it an irresistible Mexican marinade!
I’ve always loved carne asada, ever since I discovered the joys of Mexican food. Admittedly, it was a little later in life than I’d like to admit, but now I am a total convert!
Dreaming and planning for Cinco de Mayo flavors is helping to keep me sane during these long days (weeks? months?) at home. I love developing and sharing recipes with you, and Mexican flavors are a major priority around here.
When it was time for a classic, traditional carne asada marinade, I wanted to create something simple, savory, and easy to customize.
Many of the recipes you’ll find online are filled with soy sauce – and while I am sure they are delicious, I wanted to be able to control the salt content a little more for our personal preferences.
This Carne Asada recipe stands on its own when served simply, and it also serves beautifully in a variety of Mexican-inspired dishes.
It can be cooked inside on your stove top or on an outdoor grill, so it’s as flexible as it is delicious. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Ingredients for the Carne Asada Marinade
- Olive Oil – extra virgin olive oil is always ideal but you can use kind you have on hand.
- Tequila – I don’t think you can have a Mexican dish without a little tequila! You can use your favorite type – blanco (silver), joven (gold), reposado (aged) or añejo (extra aged).
- Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice is a key ingredient in the marinade. The acid helps to break down the tough fibers of the steak. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice or purchase in the produce section. You can also substitute lime juice if you prefer.
- Worcestershire Sauce – This condiment adds a wonderful sweet and savory flavor to the meat with a little tang of vinegar.
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo – These pack a lot of flavor and add beautiful color.
- Dijon Mustard – Adds flavor and texture.
- Seasonings – Paprika, oregano, salt and pepper add a lot of flavor to these amazing tacos.
How to Make Carne Asada
Not including the marinade time, this is a true 30 minute dinner!
- Combine the marinade ingredients in the food processor. You can chop adobo peppers and whisk in a bowl if you prefer.
- Place steaks in baking dish. Make 1/4″ cuts 1″ apart to allow marinade to soak into the meat. Combine ingredients and pour over steak.
- Allow to marinate covered and refrigerated for 4-8 hours, up to 24 hours. You can either leave it in the baking dish, covered with plastic wrap, or simply place steak and marinade together into a sealed plastic bag.
- Heat grill or stove top to medium high heat. Add steak and cook four minutes per side (flipping just once, halfway for medium rare) or until it reaches the desired temperature.
- Remove from heat, cover and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Place on cutting board. Slice thin across the grain.
What Cut of Meat is Carne Asada?
Carne asada is most frequently made with skirt steak or flank steak. We tend to use flank steak because it’s a little leaner.
Yes, it’s lean… but because of this acidic, bright marinade, the fibers of the steak break down and turn your carne asada into something incredibly juicy and flavorful.
Tips to Make Carne Asada Tacos
- Allow time to marinade the steak. Set aside at least 4 hours or up to 24. This will really help to tenderize the steak and create that juicy, flavorful steak you crave.
- Slicing your steak before marinating really allows all those spices and liquids to seep inside the meat.
- Once you have cooked the steak, allow it to rest for 10 minutes before you’ll thinly slice it across the grain.
How to Serve this Carne Asada Recipe
Oh let me count the ways! If you love Mexican food as much as we do, there are so many fun ways to use carne asada. It’s great for leftovers, too, because it’s so easy to reinvent in a new way!
Consider the following ways to use your carne asada:
- Simply, with just a side of rice and beans
- Of course, in my carne asada tacos
- Carne asada fries
- Carne asada burritos
- Carne asada nachos
- Go low carb (or even keto) with a side of salad, veggies, or even cauliflower rice.
However you serve this carne asada recipe, you should definitely add a little of my spicy avocado salsa. YUM.
It’s amazing served with Pico de Gallo on top!
Other Ways to Use This Mexican Marinade
When you are preparing any dish that you’d like to shine with Mexican flavors, this marinade will work beautifully! It’s perfect for grilled meats or even anything you’d like to cook on the stove top or in the oven.
It can be used for any type of meat! Turn it into a Mexican chicken marinade, too. Think beyond steak and use it on chicken breasts, pork, fish, shrimp and more.
How Long do you Marinate Carne Asada?
Marinate your Carne Asada for anywhere from 4-24 hours. I like to leave it to marinate overnight, just to make sure it’s absorbed all those juices!
More Amazing Mexican Recipes
- Mexican Street Corn
- Chorizo Burrito Mexican Breakfast Casserole
- Taco Bowls
- Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
- Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Homemade Margarita
- Pineapple Salsa
- Watermelon Salsa
- Pico de Gallo
All this Mexican food can’t happen without the world’s best margaritas! Be sure to check out all my cocktail recipes – and this incredible margarita mix!
If you try this Carne Asada marinade recipe, please come back to share using my 5 star rating in the comments below! Not only do I appreciate it, but I know readers do, too!
Crazy Good Carne Asada Recipe
- 1 flank steak 24 ounces / 1.5 pound
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup tequila
- 1/4 cup lemon juice can substitute lime juice
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 3 chipotle peppers in adobo
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper thick flakes preferred
- Combine the marinade ingredients in the food processor or mixing bowl.
- Place steaks in baking dish. Make 1/4" cuts 1" apart to allow marinade to soak into the meat. Combine ingredients and pour over steak. Allow to marinate covered for 4-8 hours.
- Heat grill or stovetop to medium high. Add steak and cook 4 minutes. Flip and cook 4 minutes or until it reaches the desired temperature.
- Remove from heat, cover and allow to rest at room temperature 10 minutes.
- Slice thin across the grain.
- Allow time to marinate the steak at least 4 hours or up to 24.
- Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing it across the grain.