Carne Asada Tacos: How to Grill Like a Mexican, Part 1

Carne Asada Tacos Video (scroll down for printable recipe card)

One thing that our friend Carlos and I can always always talk about is food. We both love to eat and cook and learn about food, all kinds of food, from all around the world. Carlos is also a seasoned grill-master and pretty much always brings something to put on the grill whenever he comes over. It was one of those lazy days last summer that the idea to make a video series called How to Grill like a Mexican was born. This is the first of the series, wherein he makes carne asada tacos with all — for real, ALL — of the trimmings.

carne asada tacos recipe

Carne asada translates to grilled meat, and it couldn’t be simpler than that. Thinly sliced flank steak is marinated quickly then put on a very hot grill for all of three minutes. Add some grilled cactus, peppers and onions, and you have yourself a complete, balanced meal in hardly any time at all.

I mean, come on! Doesn’t this look yummy-as-hell?!

Make some fluffy Mexican rice and charro beans to go with this meal if you like! I sure do.

carne asada recipe

Carne Asada Recipe – Printable!


Carne Asada

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


  • 2 pounds very thinly cut flank steak (may be labeled as carne asada)
  • Marinade:
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Choose some or all:
  • Bulb onions, 2-3 bunches
  • Jalapeños, 6-12
  • Anaheim or poblano peppers, 2-3
  • Nopales (cactus paddles, de-spined), 3-4
  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo links, butterflied
  • For Quesadillas:
  • Corn tortillas
  • Chihuahua cheese
  • For serving:
  • Salsa, tortillas, cilantro, avocado


  1. Put the meat in a large bowl with the marinade ingredients and mix all together. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for about one hour. In the meantime, get your charcoal started.
  2. Once the charcoal is ready and your grill is very hot (about 450ºF) arrange the vegetables and the chorizo, placing the chorizo skin-side down. Cover and open the vents. Grill for about 10 minutes or until the chorizo are cooked on the bottom and the vegetables are getting soft. Turn everything.
  3. Cover and grill another 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are cooked and the chorizo is brown and crispy. Peppers should be pretty well blackened and nopales turn olive green.
  4. Keep those warm in a low oven (200ºF) while you grill the meat.
  5. Cover the grill again and let it reheat to about 450ºF.
  6. Lay the carne asada out in single layers, grilling for a minute or two on each side until brown with nice grill marks. You will have to do two batches. Keep warm in the oven while you make quesadillas.
  7. Let the grill cool off to around 300-350º to cook the quesadillas and heat tortillas for tacos.
  8. Make tacos! Slice the carne asada against the grain, slice nopales and peppers, and chop the chorizo. Serve with salsa and roasted jalapenos and bulb onions on the side.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

 For more recipes by Carlos, check out these videos:

Choripanes (grilled sausage sandwiches)

Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes in spicy sauce)

Guacamole-filled Vegetarian Enchiladas (Enchiladas Bandera)

Ponche Navideño (Mexican Christmas Punch)

The salsa we used was this creamy Hatch chile sauce recipe of mine, but I made it with two roasted serrano chiles instead of Hatch. The red salsa was from the store and sadly I don not know how to make it.

grilled carne asada tacos


  1. Great Stone Face on April 18, 2015 at 9:50 am

    In the video, did I spy some queso fresco on the tacos? They’d probably be great topped with some cotija, too!

    • Hilah on April 18, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      They would be! We didn’t add cheese, though. Maybe you were seeing the creamy salsa?

  2. Diane on April 18, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Yay for the return of Carlos!

  3. Dustin on April 18, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Awesome! What kind of corn tortillas are you using?

    • Hilah on April 18, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Carlos got the ones made in the grocery store bakery for the episode, but I just used HEB brand for the photos. They’re all good once you get them a little softened and toasted around the edges!

  4. Cynthia on April 19, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    I stumbled on your Carne asada video with Carlos and is awesome! Thank you for this awesome video and please keep making more Mexican food videos with Carlos!

    • Hilah on April 20, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      We will! Already planning the next one 🙂

  5. Micheal on April 19, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Oh my gosh that looks so good. What kind of sauces did you put on them and do you have a recipe for them too?

  6. The Other Randy on April 20, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I am so thrilled to hear that you are doing a series on grilling with Carlos. Living in an apartment I can’t grill outdoors, but my electric indoor grill is always ready to go.

    By coincidence, I hadn’t thought about flank steak in a long time. The thicker cuts of flank steak have disappeared from the grocery store I shop at. I’d never thought to look for it labelled and sliced for carne asada, so I’ve been using skirt steak for making carne asada tacos.

    Also, this will force me to try nopales. I’ve carried a grudge against cactus since I bumped into one when I was a kid.

    • Hilah on April 21, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Ha! Well, be very sure to buy the already-de-spined cactus paddles, then, Randy. I think the next grilling episode we are doing achiote chicken quarters, which is one of my favorites.

  7. Natalie on April 20, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Hey Hilah,

    I came across your vids last year just before you took a break and I’m so glad to see you’re back!!!

    I was actually looking for a fish and chips recipe, being a Kiwi living in France its pretty hard to find a good fish and chip dish when we magically stumble across one.

    I really like this vid and I’ll be trying it out soon!

    Thanks for making great vids!

    • Hilah on April 21, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Oh that’s fantastic, Natalie! Did you try the fish and chips recipe? Hope it was Kiwi-approved 🙂
      Let me know how you like the carne asada, too.

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