This carne asada is a flavorful recipe to grill during the summer! It’s perfect for making tacos, fries, or eating in a burrito bowl.

What is carne asada?

Carne asada is a traditional Latin American grilled beef that’s marinated in fresh citrus, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and vinegar, and it tastes amazing. It has a slight hint of sweetness and citrus, some spice, and is perfect for making tacos and serving for the summer.

Carne asada is generally made with white vinegar and vegetable oil, but this version is going to be paleo, whole30, and easily adaptable for AIP. Yes, you can easily make it nightshade free by omitting the jalapeno and it will still taste just as amazing!

Why you’ll love this carne asada

  • It’s wonderfully tender. No chewy steak here!
  • It’s easy to make! Steak can be intimidating because you really want to get it right, but this recipe is pretty foolproof! The marinade does most of the heavy lifting to make the steak tender, and all you have to do is quickly grill it.
  • It’s the perfect taco meat. You can also make it into burrito bowls.

The Ingredients for the carne asada

  • Flank steak. Flank steak is an unappreciated cut of meat! It can be perfectly tender in recipes like this.
  • Orange juice & lime juice. These add a great citrus flavor and acid while still being just barely sweet!
  • Apple cider vinegar. This adds more acid to the dish and replaces the white vinegar.
  • Avocado oil. This is the oil used to cook the steak, and in the marinade.
  • Cilantro

How to make carne asada

  • Step one.  Combine the orange juice, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, avocado oil, garlic, herbs, and spices and mix well.
  • Step two. Add the steak to the marinade, making sure that the steak is fully covered in the marinade. Place in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours.

  • Step three. Grill the steak.

  • Step four. Rest and slice!

Tips & Tricks

  • Rest the steak. This is crucial for juicy steak! If you slice into it too quickly, the juices will run out and leave less than perfect steak. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes for perfect steak.
  • Slice the steak against the grain. Another important step for juicy steak! Find the natural grain in the steak and cut opposite to the grain for a juicy steak.

What to serve with carne asada

Carne asada pairs well with red onion, avocado, and lots of cilantro! It makes perfect taco meat paired with these ingredients, and can also be used to make burrito bowls. You can even top some sweet potato fries off with carne asada for carne asada fries!

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Carne Asada (Paleo, Whole30, AIP)

  • Author: Michelle
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 5-6 servings 1x


This carne asada is the perfect summertime grilling recipe!


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • Optional- 1 jalapeno, diced (omit for AIP)
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1.5 lb flank steak

To serve

  • Avocado
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Cauliflower rice for burrito bowls
  • Tortillas (for non-whole30 )


  1. Combine the orange juice, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, avocado oil, garlic, herbs, and spices and mix well to combine.
  2. Add the marinade to a large bag or a deep bowl and add the flank steak, making sure that the steak is fully covered in the marinade. Place in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours. Remove the steak from the marinade and allow it to come to room temperature.
  3. Prepare the grill (or grill pan) by setting to medium-high heat. Coat lightly with avocado oil.
  4. Once the grill is hot, add the flank steak to the grill and grill for about 5-8 minutes on each side. The internal temperature should read 145-155F for a medium steak.
  5. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing very thin against the grain.
  6. Serve as tacos, or burrito bowls!


All nutrition facts are estimations and will vary. Nutrition facts do not include optional/’to serve’ ingredients.

  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grill


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 251
  • Fat: 14.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.8g
  • Fiber: 0.2g
  • Protein: 24.6g

This recipe was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2023. Photos by Modern Food Stories.