Taco Carne Asada Recipe

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Discover the authentic flavors of Mexico with our Taco Carne Asada Recipe!

This delicious recipe will walk you through creating mouthwatering marinated skirt steak, ideal for filling a warm corn tortilla and serving with your favorite taco toppings and sides.

So, taco lovers, get ready! If you want to cook the best tacos, let’s get cooking and turn your kitchen into a Mexican taqueria!

While you may prefer to skip to the recipe card, we suggest reading the entire blog post to avoid missing valuable tips and substitution suggestions and to ensure you have the necessary ingredients, equipment, and understanding of the steps and timings.

Don’t have time to make authentic carne asada street tacos now? Tap the heart icon in the bottom right of the screen to save it for later!

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A bowl filled with with carne asada, surrounded by other taco fixings. Text overlay says:

The Best Taco Carne Asada Recipe!

If you love Mexican Food as much as we do, you will love our taco carne asada recipe, which transforms an inexpensive cut of beef steak into something extraordinary!

It uses various ingredients, from fresh cilantro, orange juice, and garlic to dried herbs and spices, including smoked paprika, Mexican oregano, and chili powder. The secret ingredient of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce adds a smoky, spicy punch to the marinade.

The prep time is quick, but you must wait at least 6 hours for the marinated steak to absorb all those amazing flavors. But if you prepare the night before you cook it, it won’t feel like a long wait. Plus, the longer the meat marinades, the better the flavor!

Once cooked, serve the sliced meat inside warm tortillas (small corn tortillas are our favorite) with toppings like chopped white onions, cilantro, and crumbled cotija cheese. You can also turn the steak tacos into a street taco bowl with Cilantro-Lime Rice, Refried Beans, and other fixings like Pickled Jalapeño and Red Onions, avocado, and grilled corn.

Or, if you’re feeding a crowd, why not set up a Street Taco Charcuterie Board? It features the carne asada recipe in this post, and different meat options of Al Pastor Pork and Mexican Chicken Adobo. There are additional recipes, too, for Red and Green Taco Sauces, plus a quick Pico de Gallo. (All coming soon!)

How To Make Carne Asada for Tacos

If you want the quick printable recipe card, scroll to the bottom of this post to print it out. But for all the tips, keep reading!

Number of Servings: 8-10
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 6 hours | Total Time: 6 hours 25 minutes

Step 1—Gather Your Ingredients

The ingredients and tools in this recipe are conveniently linked to online retailers like Amazon or Amazon Fresh.

  • Fresh ProduceLimes, Garlic, Cilantro (Fresh Coriander)
  • ProteinSkirt Steak
  • PantryCanola Oilor other vegetable oil such as rapeseed or sunflower.
  • Soy Sauce, Tamari, or Coconut Aminosdepending on your dietary requirements, you may want to use one of the following in this recipe:
    • Soy Sauce the regular stuff made from fermented soybeans and roasted grains.
    • Tamaria gluten-free soy sauce (but always check the label) if this concerns you.
    • Coconut Aminosa soy-free soy sauce made with coconut tree sap and salt, popular in Paleo, Keto, and Whole 30 communities.
  • Orange Juicefrom a carton or freshly squeezed.
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Ground Cumin
  • Mexican Oregano is surprisingly not the same as Mediterranean oregano as they are from different plants. The Mexican variety adds flavor notes to dishes, notably floral, citrus, and anise. If you can’t source Mexican oregano, you could use Marjoram instead. You can read more about the difference here.
  • Chili Powderuse mild or hot depending on your personal tastes and spicy heat preference.
  • Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce are smoked, dried jalapeños packed in a rich, tangy sauce made from tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, and spices. They offer a complex, smoky, spicy flavor that enhances marinades, sauces, soups, and stews. This ingredient is a staple in Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking, adding depth and heat to various dishes. You can find them in the international or Mexican section of the grocery store or online.

The complete list of ingredients with measurements is on the recipe card at the end of this post.

What is Skirt Steak?

Skirt steak is a thin, long cut of beef from the cow’s underbelly, known for its intense beefy flavor rather than tenderness.

Similar cuts of beef include flank steak, hangar steak, flat iron steak, onglet, bavette steak, or flap meat. The name may differ depending on your location in the world!

They are affordable cuts of meat. They are best cooked quickly on high heat and not past medium to avoid toughness. 

Skirt steaks have good fat marbling, which helps the meat stay moist and flavorful. This makes them ideal for fajitas, stir-fries, and grilling.

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Step 2 – Kitchen Tools

You will need these kitchen tools to make this recipe:

The Purple Pumpkin Blog uses both cups and weighted measurements in its recipes, making American cups and kitchen food scales valuable tools for trying all the recipes. We provide US customary, imperial, and metric measurements. Still, it’s important to note that while you can combine cup measurements with weighted measures, never mix US customary/imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.) with metric (kilograms, grams, liters, etc.).

Next Steps…

  • Step 3—Make the Marinade: Place the marinade ingredients into a large blender or food processor and blend on high speed until the ingredients resemble a thick sauce. Set aside.
  • Step 4Prepare the Steak: Cut the steak into strips and place into a large mixing bowl.
  • Step 5Marinate the Steak: Pour the marinade over the steak and toss to combine. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate the sauce-covered steak for 6 hours or overnight for up to 24 hours. Remove the steak from the fridge 30-60 minutes before cooking.
  • Step 6Prepare Baking Sheet: When ready to cook, line a baking sheet pan with aluminum foil and set it aside. Heat your broiler (grill) to high.
  • Step 7Cook the Steak: Add a little oil to a large cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Allow the pan to get hot before adding your steak. Cook the steak for 8-10 minutes, stirring often. Transfer the steak to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Step 8Char the Steak: Place the steak under the broiler (grill) for 4-5 minutes to char the edges. Toss as required.
  • Step 9Serve and Enjoy: Serve the taco carne asada with soft tortillas or taco shells and your choice of taco toppings.
A bowl filled with with carne asada, surrounded by other taco fixings.

Storing Leftovers & Freezing

  • Storing Leftovers:
    • Cool (within 1-2 hours), transfer to an airtight container, and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing Instructions:
    • Cool the cooked steak completely and wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil (or an airtight, freezer-safe container) to help prevent freezer burn and eliminate unwanted freezer smells.
    • Label with the dish’s name, thawing/reheating instructions, and the date to keep track of your food storage.
    • Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
    • To defrost the carne asada, unwrap it completely and place it in the fridge to thaw overnight (or at least 12 hours).
    • Reheat gently in a pan over medium heat to retain the moisture. Ensure the steak is piping hot throughout.
  • With all leftovers, ensure the food looks and smells okay before consuming.
  • Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart for Cooking
  • You can always consult the Food Standards Agency in your country for the most up-to-date advice on storing and freezing foods: Food Standards Agency (UK) | Food Safety (USA).

Printable Taco Carne Asada Recipe Recipe Card

Tap the Add To Shopping List button to save the ingredients list to your phone or email them to yourself.

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A bowl of Carne Asada

Taco Carne Asada

Michelle Ordever
Discover the authentic flavors of Mexico with this Taco Carne Asada Recipe. Marinated skirt steak is cooked to perfection, delivering a juicy, flavorful dish perfect for any taco night. Ideal for family dinners or festive gatherings, this recipe brings bold, rich taste to your table!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 25 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Mexican/Tex-Mex
Servings 10
Calories 394 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 3 lbs Skirt Steak

For the Marinade:

  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp minced cilantro (fresh coriander)
  • ½ Tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Mexican oregano
  • ½ Tbsp chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Instructions
 

  • Place the marinade ingredients into a large blender or food processor and blend on high speed until the ingredients resemble a thick sauce. Set aside.
  • Cut the steak into strips and place them into a large mixing bowl.
  • Pour the marinade over the steak and toss to combine. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate the sauce-covered steak for 6 hours or overnight for up to 24 hours. Remove the steak from the fridge 30-60 minutes before cooking.
  • When ready to cook, line a baking sheet pan with aluminum foil and set it aside. Heat your broiler (grill) to high.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium high heat and add a little oil. Allow the pan to get hot before adding your steak. Cook the steak for 8-10 minutes, stirring often. Transfer the steak to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Place the steak under the broiler (grill) for 4-5 minutes to char the edges. Toss as required.
  • Serve the taco carne asada with soft tortillas or taco shells and your choice of taco toppings. Enjoy!
    A bowl of Carne Asada

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 535mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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Dinner Party Menu Suggestions

You’ve made the main dish, but what about other courses?

Here are additional recipes to create a menu for a dinner party or special meal:

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