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How to Cook Carne Asada in a Skillet (with Easy Recipe)

If you’ve wondered how to cook Carne Asada in a skillet, this recipe has you covered. Tender and juicy skirt steak that’s been marinated in a flavorful citrusy marinade then seared to absolute perfection stove top!

Less mess, less prep time but with that same wonderfully charred flavor you get from grilling. And the best part is, you can have this classic Mexican dish on the table in under 30 minutes.

An authentic carne asada recipe is grilled. In fact, the name “carne asada” literally means grilled meat. But let’s face it, not all of us are grill masters. Plus, this recipe cooks so quickly, it would take longer to heat up the grill than it does to actually cook the steak.

That’s what so great about this cast-iron skillet recipe! By cooking the steak in a hot cast iron skillet over medium high heat, you don’t have to wait for perfect grilling weather. You can have perfectly charred carne asada anytime the cravings hit. For an extra special meal, serve it with this easy Mexican Street Corn or this easy Cilantro Lime Rice.

carne asada in cast iron skillet with fixings

Ingredients

For the Best Steak Marinade:

  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T. fresh orange juice
  • 1 t. orange zest, preferably organic
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 3 T. tamari, coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 3-4 large cloves fresh garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • ½ t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. Mexican oregano
  • 2 T. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • ½ t. black pepper

For the Steak

  • 1½ lbs. skirt steak or flank steak
  • 8-oz. cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped, divided
  • ½ medium red onion, chopped small
  • 3 T. fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1 large avocado, chopped
  • 5-6 large radishes, trimmed and sliced thin
  • 1 large lime, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 oz. Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 large jalapeño, sliced

Optional: Guacamole, warm tortillas or lettuce for lettuce wraps for low carb

How to Make Authentic Carne Asada in a Skillet

For the Marinade

  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well to combine. Set aside
  2. Take the steak and place into a large freezer bag, then pour marinade over the top. Seal the bag up, getting as much air out as you can, then flip the bag around a few times until the meat is evenly coated.
  3. Allow the steak to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or you can marinate it overnight in the fridge.

Cooking the Steak

  1. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, tablespoon of fresh cilantro, red onion, fresh lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Set it aside.
  2. Add the avocados to a small bowl and toss them with the remaining lime juice to prevent them from turning brown. Set them aside.
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Take the steak out of the marinade draining off any excess marinade. Place steak in the hot skillet and sear for about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare or until it has reached the desired level of doneness on a meat thermometer.
  4. Once cooked, transfer steak to a cutting board and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes before you slice it. When slicing, make sure you’re slicing against the grain.
  5. Serve steak strips while hot with the tomatoes, chopped avocado, sliced radishes, fresh lime wedges and a touch more cilantro. For toppings, add seeded and sliced jalapenos and Cotija cheese.

How Many Pounds of Skirt Steak Per Person?

If you’re hosting a big party and are trying to meal prep to ensure you have enough for everyone, there are just a couple of things to factor in.

raw flank steak on cutting board

If the steak is the main dish you’ll be serving, then you should plan on serving 1/2 lb of cooked meat per person. That means you should plan on buying about ¾ lb of raw steak to allow for the weight it loses while cooking.

If you are serving other proteins along with this carne asada, you could possibly cut that amount back depending on how many other dishes you’ll be serving.

How to Make Carne Asada Tender

Even though this is a super easy recipe, here are three top tips to making sure your carne asada is juicy and tender every time:

  • Skirt and flank steak are two of the most popular cuts of meat used to prepare carne asada in a skillet. Both are great choices for marinades and a quick sear over high heat. For best results, thinly slice steak against the grain, or muscle fibers, to ensure the strips of meat are tender.
  • Regardless of whether you are cooking carne asada steak stove top or outside on a hot grill, overcooking it will cause the muscles fibers to seize up and become tough. Start with the steak coming to room temperature prior to cooking. To make sure it cooks to the right level of doneness, you should go by the internal temperature when tested with an instant read thermometer. Use this guide for a reference when determining which temp you should go by: https://www.certifiedangusbeef.com/kitchen/doneness.php
  • Not only does coconut aminos (or soy sauce) and citrus juice give the steak scrumptious flavor, but it also tenderizes it. However, the key to using a citrus marinade is to not over marinate it. You don’t want the steak to sit in the marinade for more than about 7-8 hours before it begins to give the steak more of a cooked texture. If marinating the steak in the refrigerator, allow time for the steak to come to room temperature, approximately 20-30 minutes, before cooking.
carne asada tacos with all the toppings on a plate

What to Eat with Carne Asada?

You can serve carne asada in a skillet any number of ways with many different sides. Now that you see how to cook carne asada in a skillet, try some of these different ways to serve it.

  • Carne Asada Tacos- This may be one of the most popular ways of serving carne asada. Add thin slices of steak in flour or corn tortillas (or a low carb tortilla if you’re watching your carbs). You can serve them with some of this Spicy Mango Peach Salsa, or some pico de gallo, fresh cilantro, sliced radishes or diced onion. Top them off with a dollop of crema or sour cream.
  • Steak Fajitas Style-Add grilled onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and strips of carne asada either by themselves or with tortillas. Drizzle them with some melted queso fresco for extra cheesy goodness.
  • Burrito Style- For those not watching carbs, you can serve this steak burrito style wrapped along with refried beans, cheese with a side of Mexican rice.
  • Steak Salad- Serve warm strips of steak over your favorite salad with fresh tomatoes, green onion, cucumbers and some of this Creamy Avocado Sauce as a dressing. 

Want More Mexican Inspired Recipes?

carne asada cooked medium rare on stove top

Carne Asada Steak Tacos in Skillet

Published By Stephanie
Tender and juicy skirt steak that’s been marinated in a flavorful citrusy marinade then seared to absolute perfection stove top! Less mess, less prep time but with that same wonderfully charred flavor you get from grilling.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Marinade Time 30 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 278 kcal

Equipment

  • a large cast iron skillet

Ingredients
  

Carne Asada Marinade

  • 3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 T Orange Juice
  • 1 t Orange zest preferably organic
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • 3 T tamari coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 3-4 lg cloves of garlic peeled and smashed
  • 1 t chili powder
  • ½ t ground cumin
  • 1 t Mexican oregano
  • 2 T fresh cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1 t Sea salt
  • ½ t black pepper

Tacos

  • lbs skirt steak or flank steak
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes quarterly
  • 2 T fresh cilantro chopped divided
  • ½ med red onion chopped small
  • 3 T fresh lime juice divided
  • 1 lg avocado chopped
  • 5-6 lg radishes trimmed and sliced thin
  • 1 lg lime cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 oz Cotija cheese crumbled
  • 1 lg jalapeno sliced

Optional

  • Tortillas, lettuce, guacamole

Instructions
 

For the Marinade

  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  • Take the steak and place into a large freezer bag, then pour marinade over the top. Seal the bag up, getting as much air out as you can, then flip the bag around a few times until the meat is evenly coated.
  • Allow the steak to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or you can marinate it overnight in the fridge.

Grilling the Steak Stovetop

  • In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, tablespoon of fresh cilantro, red onion, fresh lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Set it aside.
  • Add the avocados to a small bowl and toss them with the remaining lime juice to prevent them from turning brown. Set them aside.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Take the steak out of the marinade draining off any excess marinade. Place steak in the hot skillet and sear for about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare or until it has reached the desired level of doneness on a meat thermometer.
  • Once cooked, transfer steak to a cutting board and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes before you slice it. When slicing, make sure you’re slicing against the grain.
  • Serve steak strips while hot with the tomatoes, chopped avocado, sliced radishes, fresh lime wedges and a touch more cilantro. For toppings, add seeded and sliced jalapenos and Cotija cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 27gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 569mgPotassium: 577mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 379IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 94mgIron: 3mg
Keyword beef, steak, tacos
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Recipe Rating




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