Lisa's Favorite Carne Asada Marinade


This carne asada marinade is our family's favorite — and I've tried many! A 24-hour soak in a spicy citrus and soy marinade ensures your flank steak will be perfectly tender when it comes off the grill.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
1 day 10 mins
Total Time:
1 day 40 mins

A juicy and flavorful carne asada starts with a delicious carne asada marinade. This recipe begins with a 24-hour marinade to allow the flank steak to soak up all the tasty and fresh flavors before grilling.

Whether you serve it as tacos, a salad topping, or simply chow down on the tender, flavor-packed steak by itself, this will be the best carne asada you've ever experienced.

What Is Carne Asada?

Carne asada is a Mexican dish featuring steak that's marinated in a lime juice and seasonings mixture. It literally translates to "grilled meat," so the steak is traditionally grilled.

Learn more: What Is Carne Asada?

What Is Carne Asada Marinade?

This carne asada marinade is packed with delicious ingredients, like:

Fruit Juice
Orange juice, lemon juice, and lime juice add fruity flavor to this marinade.

Soy Sauce
Soy sauce lends a rich, savory flavor to the steak.

Seasonings and Spices
This marinade includes cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, pepper, and oregano.

Chipotle Pepper
The finely chopped chipotle pepper adds a kick of heat.

Olive Oil
Olive oil keeps the steak moist and helps to lock in the flavors.

How to Make Carne Asada Marinade

Making this carne asada marinade is so easy: Just combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Reserve 1 cup of the marinade for use after the steak is cooked. Then place the pounded out steak in the marinade and let it sit for 24 hours.

How Long to Marinate Carne Asada

This recipe calls for a 24 hour marination time, and we agree that 24 hours will produce the most flavorful and moist carne asada. However, overnight, or even a few hours, in the marinade is better than nothing.

How to Make Carne Asada

After your steak has marinated, pop it on a preheated grill and cook to your preferred doneness. About 5 minutes on each side will yield a medium-rare steak. Pour the reserved marinade over the steak and serve.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"I did not have the canned chipotle but I did use everything else and my family loved this. Even my 3 year old son who doesn't like beef loved this over the chicken taco we made for him. He seriously loved it. We made this last week and will be making this again tomorrow," says HollyEP702. "We made fresh Pico De Gallo, added a little more onion and cilantro on top. The rest of our meal brought the spice that this needed but this was great."

"This was so delicious! I think I even liked it better than getting the Carne Asada meat at the local Mexican market. It had a citrus taste which made it seem so light and fresh. It worked really well to grill to medium rare, and it did continue to cook as we pulled it off to become medium. My family absolutely loved it!! It's a keeper," raves dobrown.

"This is amazing. It is perfectly spicy. I have gotten carne asada from several different places. But this recipe is way better. I added red pepper, not paprika, which gave it more heat. I had it marinate for 24 hours. I added a little more garlic and the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce in a can but I can't explain how good it is..... you need to make it," according to Marissa Foster.

Editorial contributions by Bailey Fink



  • ¾ cup orange juice

  • ½ cup lemon juice

  • cup lime juice

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

  • ½ cup soy sauce

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika

  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped canned chipotle pepper

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ cup olive oil

Carne Asada:

  • 3 pounds flank steak


  1. Combine orange juice, lemon juice, and lime juice for marinade in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Add cilantro, soy sauce, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, black pepper, chipotle pepper, and oregano; stir to combine.

  2. Slowly whisk in olive oil until well combined. Remove 1 cup of the marinade and place in a small bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for use after the steak is cooked.

    Combine marinade ingredients into large bowl, leaving some out for serving.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Place steak between two sheets of heavy plastic (resealable freezer bags work well) on a solid, level surface. Firmly pound steak with the smooth side of a meat mallet to a thickness of 1/4 inch.

    Pound steak between two sheets of plastic, with the smooth side of a meat mallet.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  4. After pounding, poke steak all over with a fork. Place steak in the marinade in the large bowl, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

    Once pounded and poked with a fork, place steak in marinade in the large bowl.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  5. When ready to cook, preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate.

  6. Remove steak from the marinade and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade.

  7. Cook steak on the preheated grill to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.

    Cook steak on grill to desired doneness.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  8. Remove steak from grill and slice across the grain.

    Once removed from grill, slice across the grain.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  9. Place on a serving platter and pour the reserved, unused marinade over top. Serve immediately.

    an overhead view of grilled, marinated steak, sliced and served on a platter with reserved marinade being poured on top.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

207 Calories
14g Fat
6g Carbs
15g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 207
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 25mg 8%
Sodium 640mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 17mg 86%
Calcium 31mg 2%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 309mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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