How to Make the Best Carne Asada Marinade

I love carne asada and it’s one of the first things I order from a Mexican restaurant. However, making it at home is easy and so much more flavorful! Thankfully, I have a good friend from Mexico who helped me create this fantastic Carne Asada Marinade.

Carne Asada Taco

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What is Carne Asada?

Carne asada literally means “grilled meat.” It can be as simple as a steak seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled or as elaborate as you make it. My carne asada marinade calls for a variety of spices including cilantro, oregano, and cumin plus lime and orange juice to give it a smokey, tangy rich flavor perfect for carne asada tacos or simply sliced and served along with your favorite side.

Carne Asada Marinade Pin

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Ingredients for Carne Asada Marinade

Steak – I like to use flank steak for my carne asada but other options are skirt steak or chuck steak. Finding a good flank steak can be difficult sometimes as my local grocery store meat counters don’t always have it. However, Farm Foods Market has some amazing products and I love their flank steaks!

Worcestershire Sauce – This adds a depth of flavor! Bonus points if you can pronounce it!

Vinegar – Vinegar not only adds flavor but helps tenderize the meat.

Soy Sauce – Usually, you think of Asian-inspired dishes when you see soy sauce listed, however, it adds excellent flavor here as well!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Seasonings – Cumin, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, oregano, cilantro, salt, and pepper.

Lime and Orange Juice – Fresh citrus juices are always best, however, I’ve been known to grab a bottle of orange juice from the fridge in a pinch.

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Mexican Street Corn

Mix up the Marinade

Carne Asada Marinade

I like to use a gallon-size ziplock bag when making marinades as it’s a quick and easy cleanup!

Simply add all of the carne asada marinade ingredients to the ziplock bag. Mix gently and add the meat!

I usually place my ziplock bag with the meat in the marinade on a cookie sheet before placing it in the fridge to marinade just in case it leaks. Marinade for up to 12 hours.

If you’d like to make carne asada ahead of time, feel free to freeze your flank steak in the carne asada marinade! I do this all the time for camping trips or when I see a great deal on flank steaks!

If freezing, be sure to take the carne asada marinade out the night before and allow it to defrost in the fridge.

You can also mix up the carne asada marinade ingredients the night before and simply add the meat in the morning.

Cooking & Serving Carne Asada

Carne Asada on the grill is the most flavorful way to cook it. The grill lends it a smokey flavor and adds a nice char to the outside, a feature of carne asada.

There are a few ways to serve carne asada. Slice across the grain for carne asada tacos or serve alongside your favorite Mexican side dishes! Dice it and make carne asada nachos or carne asada fries!

Top with cheese, fresh cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, and all your favorite toppings for tacos! Serve your carne asada with Mexican Street Corn (Elotes) or Mexican rice.

Carne Asada Taco
Carne Asada Meat 2

Carne Asada Marinade

By: April
Carne Asada Marinade is simple, and flavorful and makes delicious tacos and nachos or served alongside your favorite Mexican side dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 410 kcal


  • 2 lbs Flank Steak
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • cup Vinegar
  • ½ cup Soy Sauce
  • ½ Cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Lime Juice
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves chopped
  • ½ cup Fresh Orange Juice


  • Add all ingredients except meat to a gallon-size Ziplock bag and mix gently.
  • Add meat to the bag and marinade for up to 12 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Grill Carne Asada until the desired doneness.
  • Serve sliced with your favorite sides, in carne asada tacos, or on carne asada nachos!
Nutrition 410 kcal
Keyword carne asada, carne asada recipe, marinade, tacos


Can I freeze carne asada marinade?

I absolutely love this recipe for freezing! If I find a great deal on Flank Steaks, I add all the steaks to gallon-size zip lock bags and freeze them in the marinade! This is great for camping too since I can just pop them in the cooler and cook over an open fire! Be sure to take the frozen meat in the marinade out the night before and place it in the fridge to defrost.

How do I store leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. I love using the leftover carne asada meat to make Carna Asada nachos for lunch the next day!

Can I make the marinade ahead of time?

Yes, mix all the marinade ingredients ahead of time and store them in an airtight container. Once you’re ready simply add the meat and let it marinate for up to 12 hours.


Have you tried my carne asada marinade? Let me know how you like it in the comments!

About the Author

A picture of me, the owner of Chaos & Wine, with a variety of ingredients on a wooden table.

Hey! I'm April, the owner of Chaos & Wine!

I can't wait to share all my family's favorite recipes and a few random thoughts as a mom!

So let the chaos settle, grab a glass of wine and relax with me or join me for a little chaos in the kitchen!

You can find out more about me here!

This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. For more information please read my full affiliate disclosure.

14 thoughts on “How to Make the Best Carne Asada Marinade”

  1. Love a well seasoned beef. The carne Asada is the pefect marinade for any meat, fish or poultry. Thanks for sharing your marinade recipe.

  2. Mary Grace Floresca

    Yum, this looks like a quick and simple marinade. Can’t wait to try it and add it to our weekly meal prep rotation.

  3. First time hearing of this marinade but it sounds delicious. Love the idea of freezing meat in the marinade for grilling later. And no bonus points for me, definitely cannot get my tongue around, ‘Worcestershire’ !

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