A Spicy Perspective

Quick-Seared Carne Asada

Quick-Seared Carne Asada Recipe –  An easy, authentic carne asada marinade and quick-searing skillet recipe. This flavorful, juicy steak is perfect for making carne asada tacos or enjoying with fresh veggies as a low carb dish!

Perfect Quick-Seared Carne Asada Recipe (Low Carb!)

With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, I’ve been cooking up muchas recetas mexicanas en la cucina. (Many Mexican recipes in my kitchen.)

I know, I know… Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the United States than it is in Mexico. And I realize it’s just an excuse for us to party with margaritas and queso dip. Yet as far as I’m concerned, any holiday worth celebrating should involve lively music and good food, so Cinco de Mayo has got my vote.

All week I’ve got Mexican-inspired recipes for you, to help with the festivities. Today we’re starting with an all-time favorite, Carne Asada Steak.

An authentic Carne Asada recipe usually consists of a heavily seasoned marinade and a slab of skirt steak or flank steak.

The steak soaks in the marinade for hours to absorb the flavors. Then it is grilled and sliced to serve as steak tacos, on salads, and on traditional Mexican platters with rice and beans.

Quick-Seared Carne Asada Recipe (Low Carb!)

However, there are times I want to make Carne Asada, but don’t have time to wait around on the marination process.

I mean, I can’t be expected to plan a day ahead every single time I’m craving good Carne Asada tacos, right?

This Quick-Seared Carne Asada Recipe is my solution to eliminate the long wait-time for Carne Asada seasoning.

How To Make Our Easy Carne Asada Recipe

There are two major tweaks to this recipe that allow you to marinate the steaks rather quickly in just a matter of minutes and still end up with tender, perfectly-seasoned Carne Asada.

First, concentrate the marinade to intensify the flavors.

I used a blend of the following ingredients for our Carne Asada marinade:

  • Fresh lime juice – the acid needed to tenderize the steak
  • Fish sauce – for perfectly salty, savory flavor
  • Ancho chili powder – not too spicy, adding just a bit of smokiness
  • Garlic – because every good marinade needs garlic, amirite?
  • Cilantro – adds a burst of freshness
  • Habanero chiles – provides the vivid flavor palate

Making Quick-Seared Carne Asada Recipe (Low Carb!)

Pro Tip: I recommend using skirt steak to make authentic Carne Asada that is cooked medium-rare in temperature.

However, you can use another thin cut of lean beef, such as flank steak, if you prefer to cook your meat more in the medium to well-done temperature range.

How To: Quick-Seared Carne Asada Recipe (Low Carb!)

My second secret for a quick and easy Carne Asada is to use a fork to poke holes over the entire surface of the steak, allowing the marinade to penetrate the meat in a shorter amount of time.

That’s it… Pores in the meat and a powerful marinade equal authentic Carne Asada flavor in a hurry!

Just pour the marinade over the pitted skirt steak and let in sit for a few minutes. In the time it takes you to heat your skillet and wash out your food processor, the marinading process in done.

How to Make: Quick-Seared Carne Asada Recipe (Low Carb!)

How to Cook Carne Asada in a Skillet

1. After marinating your skirt steak for at least a few minutes, heat a large cast-iron skillet to high heat. Make sure the skillet is long enough to allow the skirt steak to lay flat. If you don’t have a skillet that large you can use a griddle or grill pan.

2. Next, add a little oil to the skillet. Once the oil is piping-hot, lay the steak in the skillet and sear for 3 minutes per side, for a medium-rare interior.

Quick Seared Carne Asada Recipe (Low Carb!)

Seared Carne Asada Recipe (Low Carb!)

3. Be sure to allow the steak to rest at least five minutes after cooking, so the juices can redistribute. Otherwise, all the juices will run out when you cut into the steak.

Perfect Seared Carne Asada Recipe (Low Carb!)

Get the Complete Quick-Searing Carne Asada (Printable) Recipe Below. Enjoy!

4. Lastly, cut the skirt steak against the grain, into thin strips.

This Quick-Seared Carne Asada Recipe creates perfect pink meaty goodness with a spicy crust around the edges.

I’d call that Carne Asada at its finest!

Best Seared Carne Asada Recipe (Low Carb!)

Serve while warm, or allow the steak to cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container as a make-ahead meal prep. Carne Asada will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Use this easy recipe to make zesty, juicy Carne Asada tacos or a healthy low carb steak salad, loaded with fresh goodies like avocado, pico de gallo, and a squeeze of lime.

Best Quick-Seared Carne Asada Recipe (Low Carb!)

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Quick-Seared Carne Asada Recipe (Low Carb!)
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Quick-Seared Carne Asada Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
Quick-Seared Carne Asada Recipe -  An easy, authentic carne asada marinade and quick-searing skillet recipe. Flavorful, juicy steak is perfect for making carne asada tacos or enjoying with fresh veggies as a low carb dish!
Servings: 8



  • Use a fork to poke holes in the skirt steak, covering both sides.
  • Place the lime juice, brown sugar, cilantro, 2 tablespoons olive oil, fish sauce, ancho chili powder, garlic, habanero, cumin and salt in the food processor. Puree until smooth.
  • Place the skirt steak in a large zip bag. Pour the marinade over the steak. Zip the bag and shake to coat the steak on all sides. Let the steak rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
  • Heat an extra large skillet over high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Once hot, sear the steak for 3 minutes per side. Let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes, then slice against the grain into thin strips.



Serve with avocados and pico de gallo, or on a salad, for a low-carb meal. Or serve in tortillas for amazing Carne Asada tacos!


Serving: 4ounces, Calories: 214kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 53mg, Sodium: 728mg, Potassium: 321mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 505IU, Vitamin C: 4.5mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 2.2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Central American, Mexican
Author: Sommer Collier

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12 comments on “Quick-Seared Carne Asada”

  1. Can you use a stainless steel pan and get the same results?

  2. So delicious! It’s so flavor filled and my husband’s favorite.

  3. Love the addition of the brown sugar.

  4. Sooooo good! I love the flavors in this and it’s so easy to prepare!

  5. Looks SO good! Can’t wait to try it!

  6. First time cooking skirt steak didn’t realize it opens up to twice the size too big to cook in a pan do I leave it folded or cut in half

  7. Mmmm! My husband has been asking me to make these for a while now, but I wasn’t sure where to even start! Thank you!

  8. This is so juicy, flavorful and cooked to perfection. Thank you for the amazing recipe!

  9. This sounds so tender and flavorful! Such a great tip about letting it rest. 

  10. This carne asada is bursting with flavor – so delicious!