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This Easy Carne Asada Marinade is unbelievably delicious while still being super easy to have on hand for dinner any night of the week.
When it comes to a carne asada, there isn't one true recipe because everyone makes it with their own tweaks—some like it more citrusy, and some like it more oil-based, but no matter how you like it. Carne asada is always delicious. Personally, my favorite part about carne asada is that it means that it's nice enough to take taco night outside to the grill.
Fun fact, carne asada actually translates from Spanish to say "grilled meat." When dinner combines the best flavors and the grill, there is no way it won't be amazing.
Why You'll Fall in Love
- Super simple ingredients!
- Easy to make!
- Gluten, grain, and dairy-free!
What's in Carne Asada Marinade
There are really only a few simple ingredients in this marinade.
- Olive or Avocado Oil - I prefer avocado oil, but traditionally it is usually made with olive oil.
- Lime Juice
- Orange Juice
- Onion Powder
What's the best meat for carne asada?
Carne asada marinade is usually done on flank steak or skirt steak. Both work but they are slightly different from each other. Skirt steak is usually thinner and it tends to have a little bit more fat to it. On the other hand flank steak is a little thicker and is also leaner. Both work great for this marinade.
Let's Make a Marinade
- Roughly chop the cilantro.
- Seed and dice the jalapeno.
- Mince the garlic.
- Add all of the above and the remaining ingredients into a shallow baking dish or large Ziploc bag with the steak and marinate for 2-4 hours.
Ready to cook the carne asada?
When it comes to carne asada it really is super simple to do but there are a few tips and tricks that can ensure you end up with a perfectly flavorful and juicy steak when it comes time to eat.
Okay, this might sound odd, considering we just marinated the steak. Trust me, it does. Once the steak is patted, fry from the marinade, lightly drizzle a bit more oil and some coarse salt and pepper and let it sit while you heat the grill.
Flank steak and skirt steak do not take long to cook. Once your grill is hot, cook it for 8-10 minutes on each side, depending on the steak's thickness. For medium-rare steak, take it off the grill at 130 degrees or 140 degrees for medium. I do not recommend cooking flank steak to be well done. This is where a good meat thermometer comes in handy.
Let the meat rest for 5 minutes or so off the heat to allow the juices to redistribute before slicing.
Always slice flank or skirt steak against the grain to ensure it is even more tender when you bite into it.
How to Serve Carne Asada
You really can't go wrong with how you choose to serve carne asada. You can go super simple with something like a side of my cilantro lime cauliflower rice, serve it up in some warm gluten-free tortillas, toss it over a salad, or even make some nachos. The possibilities are endless.
More to Love
Easy Carne Asada Marinade
- 2-3 lbs Flank Steak or Skirt Steak
- ⅓ C Avocado Oil or Olive Oil
- ¼ C Orange Juice
- 1 Lime Juiced
- ½ C Cilantro Chopped
- 4 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 Small Jalapeno Seeded and Diced
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- Chop the garlic, mince the garlic and seed and dice the jalapeno and place them into a shallow baking dish or ziploc bag.
- Add the lime and juice along with the spices to the dish.
- Whisk in the oil until the mixture is combined.
- Set aside ¼-1/2 c of mainade if you want to drizzle it over later.
- Add the flank steak to the marinade to coat.
- Place the meat into the fridge to marinate for 2-4 hours. You can go longer but aim to keep it no more than 8 hours.
Ready to Cook
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Remove the steak from the fridge and pat it dry from the marinade.
- Drizzle a little bit more oil and some fresh salt and pepper and let it rest while the grill heats up.
- Once the grill is hot, cook the flank steak for 5-8 minutes per side, depending on the thickeness. Be sure to check the temperature of the meat so it is cooked to your liking before removing it from the grill.
- Allow the steak to rest at least 5 minutes before slicing it against the grain.