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We love carne asada! If you want the meat to be juicy and flavorful, then this simple carne asada marinade is the perfect one to use for it!

This is the exact marinade we use to make our favorite Carne Asada recipe. Whatever leftover meat we have is then used for Carne Asada Tacos the next day.

Carne asada marinade recipe in a glass bowl.

A Marinade to Love!

Carne asada is a Mexican-style grilled and sliced beef (usually skirt steak, or a flank steak). It is usually marinated, then grilled or seared to impart a charred flavor.

This marinade is not only simple but makes your meat even more flavorful and delicious, which is perfect for tacos, burritos, chimichangas and more!

Why we love it:

  • Enjoy in a variety of recipes. Serve this tasty and tender meat on its own or as an ingredient in other main dishes. We love it on tacos with corn tortillas!
  • Use on different meats. Carne asada marinade is perfect on any of your favorite meats but is best known for being paired with steak.
  • Made in minutes. Today’s marinade recipe is not only simple with a quick prep time, but adds the perfect amount of flavor to your meat!
Mixing ingredients for carne asada marinade recipe in a glass bowl

Carne Asada Marinade Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • lime juice fresh or bottled
  • fresh cilantro 
  • minced garlic
  • cumin powder
  • chili powder
  • salt and black pepper
A flank steak marinating in a white dish.

how to make carne asada marinade

  1. MIX. Whisk marinade ingredients (olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, minced garlic cloves, cumin, and chili powder) in a small bowl.
  2. MARINATE. Add steak to the bowl or to a baking dish (with marinade poured over) making sure meat is coated and marinate for 2-3 hours.
  3. TO COOK MEAT. Heat grill (or stove top grill pan) to medium-high heat and cook meat for 5-7 minutes on each side. Cook to medium-rare or internal temperature is 145 degrees (check with a meat thermometer). Let meat rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes before cutting against the grain.

A favorite way to use your authentic carne asada recipe is to wrap it in large tortillas with some Pico de Gallo. It also tastes great in a Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice or Mexican rice, on top of salads, Loaded Nachos, or carne asada fries.

Best Cut of Beef to Use

The best meat to use for this carne asada marinade is skirt steak or flank steak. 

  • Flank steak is more lean whereas skirt steak has more fat marbling.  
  • Once cooked allow the meat to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting.
  • For the best cuts, slice the steak against the grain. This means  perpendicular/across the natural lines you see on top of the steak
Carne asada resting on a wood cutting board.

Marinating Tips

A marinade works best when it has time to infiltrate throughout the meat. I suggest marinating your meat for at least 3 hours, but overnight really gives a lot of time for the marinade to work best.

  • Chill. Don’t marinate at room temp. Always place the marinating meat in the fridge.
  • Marinate amount. For every pound of meat, you should have ½ cup of marinade.
  • Even coating. Flip the meat every so often so that every side gets good coverage.
  • Never reuse marinade. Once it has come in contact with raw meat, it needs to be discarded after being used.
  • Expired meat. Marinating a meat does not extend the meat’s “use by” date and should be frozen to extend shelf life.
  • Do not marinate in metal containers as the acids, especially from the citrus juices, react to it and can cause an odd flavor.
Carne asada cut up for Carne Asada fries.

Storage Info

  • Make marinade ahead. Mix up the marinade several days in advance and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge until you add the meat. 
  • Freeze marinated meat ahead of time. Place the meat and marinade in a Freezer Ziploc. Store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and cook within 24 hours.
Marinade used on slices of steak.

For More Marinades:

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5 from 16 votes

Carne Asada Marinade Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
We love carne asada! If you want the meat to be juicy and flavorful, then this simple carne asada marinade is the perfect one to use for it!
Servings: 6
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Marinade Time: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Save This Recipe!
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Instructions 

  • Combine olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, minced garlic, cumin, and chili powder in a small bowl.
  • Add steak to the bowl or to a baking dish (with marinade poured over) making sure meat is coated and marinate for 2-3 hours.
  • TO COOK MEAT: Heat grill to medium-high heat and cook meat for 5-7 minutes on each side. Let meat rest on the cutting board for 5 minutes before cutting against the grain.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 268kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 65mg, Potassium: 415mg, Vitamin A: 155IU, Vitamin C: 3.2mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 2.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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5 from 16 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. eve says:

    We don’t have a barbeque. What would be better– oven or stove? Any idea how long to cook for those ways?

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      You could certainly broil it in the oven or sear it in a skillet on the stove. Either would probably be pretty delicious. I’m sure you could google how long to cook depending on which method you choose. You could still use this marinade and then just cook according to those directions.

  2. Kristina says:

    5 stars
    I love Carne Asada burritos, and with this marinade I am able to make delicious ones at home. I just mix it with some pico de gallo and roll it up in a burrito Yum!

  3. Olivia says:

    5 stars
    I think the marinade is what makes the difference. This is a great recipe and produces great tasting meat.

  4. Allyssa says:

    5 stars
    This tasted so amazing! Thanks a lot for sharing this super easy to make carne asada marinade recipe! Fam really loves it! Will surely have this again! Highly recommended!

  5. Joy says:

    5 stars
    This couldn’t be more tasty!! It adds so much flavor to the meat & is a cinch to make!!