Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Skillet Carne Asada

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Easy, delicious and ready in no time! This economical recipe for skillet carne asada will make you crave tacos everyday! What are you waiting for?

Even on your busiest day, there's always time for tacos! It's all about making the taco filling as simply as possible without sacrificing flavor. That's where this easy recipe for skillet carne asada comes in. It's both delicious and economical. I don't mind cooking recipes that take time, but there are days when you need a quick home-cooked dinner.

If you're like me, you probably have a cupboard filled with spices. Preparing a quick spice rub, marinade or adobo is so easy. And you can adjust the flavors as you go. The only thing left to do for this skillet carne asada is to make sure you have your favorite salsa and some warm tortillas.


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  1. In a bowl, combine the chile ancho powder, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and chile de arbol powder. Whisk in the 4 tablespoons of lime juice and 4 tablespoons oil until smooth. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the chile marinade over the beef. Use your hands or a brush to make sure all the meat is coated evenly. Cover and marinate for 1-3 hours.
  3. One hour before you cook the beef, prepare your charred onion and chile peppers. Preheat a medium cast-iron skillet or griddle to just below medium heat for 2 minutes. Brush a light layer of oil on the surface of skillet.
  4. Lay the peppers and onions, flat side onto hot surface. Cook for 20 minutes, turning as needed. You should see some charred and caramelized spots. Remove from skillet and transfer to a cutting board to cool.
  5. While peppers and onions cool, let the beef come to room temperature for 20 minutes.
  6. In a clean skillet, add 2-3 tablespoons of oil and preheat to medium for 2-3 minutes. When the oil is hot, cook and sear the beef for 2 minutes per side. Make sure pan is not overcrowded and meat is laying flat as is sears. Cook in two batches if needed.
  7. Transfer cooked carne asada to a plate and tent loosely with foil. While you wait, dice or chop the peppers and onions. Transfer to a bowl. Add cilantro, juice of ½ a lime, salt and pepper to taste. Slice or chop the carne asada into small pieces. Serve with warm tortillas. Garnish with avocado, salsa of your choice, charred onions and peppers.

Chef Notes

The key to a tasty pan-seared steak or carne asada is a hot cast-iron skillet. If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, it would be worth the small investment. It will last you a lifetime! Take advantage of your hot skillet while charring your peppers and onions and add a few lime wedges. It brings out the juice of the citrus!

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