Carne Asada Fries


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Carne asada fries are a local San Diego specialty. But you can easily make them at home with oven baked fries, grilled carne asada and fresh ingredients. They’re perfect for parties, game days and whenever you’re craving a tasty appetizer or meal.

Fries topped with carne asada, guacamole and sour cream on a plate.

There are many things I love about Southern California – sunshine and gorgeous coastline, fresh farmer’s markets….and the most delicious Mexican food possible.

I’ve traveled quite a bit through Baja and there’s nothing that compares to a plate full of messy and delicious street tacos while you’re sitting on the side of the road, gazing out at the ocean and enjoying life.

Well, there is one thing that does come in a close second…as far as the food goes. Carne asada fries.

Carne asada fries might be known throughout SoCal (as Mexican hotspots in Los Angeles now offer them), but they’re really a San Diego classic. If you’re a native San Diegan, you know what I’m talking about. And if you’re not, let me introduce you to your new favorite gluten-free, corn-free nacho replacement.

Watch this Video of my Carne Asada Fries Recipe

Not only will I show you how to make the fries, but you’ll get some other delicious recipes ideas! Give it a watch.

Chopping a potato and baking fries.
Fries topped with melted cheese and surrounded with bowls of carne asada, guacamole and sour cream.

How to Make Carne Asada Fries

Carne asada fries really are just that – a cross between loaded cheesy fries and nachos. But we’re making them a bit healthier. Because we’re starting with homemade oven baked fries that are golden and crispy with just a hint of paprika.

On top of those homemade fries comes a sprinkle of good quality cheddar cheese. I’ve never been a fan of yellow cheese (why do they make it yellow? milk isn’t yellow?) so I opt for organic cheddar cheese from happy, grass-fed cows that’s natural in color.

But let’s be honest, carne asada fries are really about the carne asada. And this Carne Asada is unbelievably flavorful as it’s marinated in a mix of olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. After it’s marinated, toss it on the grill for 5-7 minutes each side, let it sit for 5 minutes, then chop it up into bite-sized pieces (and try not to eat it all up).

Pile the carne asada on top of the cheesy fries, then dollop some of my Best Ever Guacamole next to a dollop of sour cream. That’s it. Grab a fork, dig into it and imagine you’re in sunny San Diego. Enjoy!

Fries topped with carne asada, cheddar cheese, guacamole and sour cream.

More Healthy Mexican Recipes You’ll Love

Carne asada fries on a plate.
Fries topped with carne asada, cheddar cheese, guacamole and sour cream.

Carne Asada Fries (Best Ever!)

5 from 13 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Carne asada fries are a local San Diego specialty. But this homemade version with baked french fries and grilled carne asada is just as delicious.



Carne Asada Fries


  • Make the carne asada as per the those recipe instructions. Marinate the meat ahead of time, but you can grill it while your baking the fries.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit.
  • To make the fries, slice each russet potato in half, then half again. Slice each quarter into strips, then slice the strips into equally sized fries.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and add the fries. You may need two baking trays to keep the fries on a single layer. Add the olive oil and spices and toss to coat.
  • Bake the fries for 25-30 minutes and use a spatula to flip the fries halfway through.
  • To serve, place the fries on a plate, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and add the carne asada. Top with a dollop of guacamole and sour cream.

Lisa’s Tips


Calories: 398.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 23.7g | Fat: 21.3g | Saturated Fat: 7.4g | Cholesterol: 68.2mg | Sodium: 210.3mg | Fiber: 3.3g | Sugar: 1.9g
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Carne Asada Fries, Carne Asada Fries Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted January 2017, but updated to include new information. 

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Not that this is needed for this recipe however, I purchased the food processor attachment for my vitamix as well as the shoe string french fry blade and tried this recipe with russet potatoes and it was delicious!! Absolutely love your guacamole recipe too! Thank you so much for all of your amazing recipes – always the first place I look when I need a recipe!! (:5 stars

  2. I used to make late night runs to our local 25 hour Mexican Food joint to get this dish. Now living in Washington state, I miss the food so much.
    I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I can’t wait to try it!

  3. I have made several of your recipes and have been happy with the results, however I have never made a good french fry and tried yours. It was AWESOME.

    Thank you soooo much!!5 stars

  4. This recipe is a family favorite! I’ve tried and failed so many times making fries, I followed your step by step instructions on cutting and seasoning the potatoes and they crisp up so nice and evenly! So thankful for this recipe! Super Delicious and Easy to Make!5 stars

    1. Hi Saskia- I’m so glad this recipe finally helped you create the perfect batch of homemade fries :)

    1. Hi Annemarie – Yes, totally agree. Who doesn’t want cheese, meat, avocado, and sour cream all over some french fries?! Yum :)

  5. These fries are exactly what I’ve been craving but didn’t even know it. They look so good I can’t wait to make these.5 stars

  6. It’s been a while since I last enjoyed carne asada fries but I do remember that they were absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to make them at home now that I have your recipe – it seems quite a pleasant process!5 stars

  7. Yum, I need to try this post haste. I can never seem to get my baked fries crispy enough, so I’m curious to know your secret.5 stars

    1. Hi Emily – baked fries don’t come out quite as crispy as fried fries, no matter how hard we try. Ha! But at least they’re still delicious. :) x

  8. These look great! Next time we’re in SD, we’ll absolutely have to get a plate (or two) of them!!5 stars

  9. I LOVE carne asada, and fries, so of course this is a no-brainer. Never thought to put them together in a dish. Thanks!!5 stars

    1. Thanks Geoffrey! Yes, this truly is an amazingly delicious combination of ingredients! ;)

  10. I love San Diego – and I love Carne Asada! I really like how you’ve made these Carne Asada Fries a bit more wholesome – but still absolutely addictive. Wonderful recipe!!

    1. Thanks April! Yes, baking the fries definitely helps to reduce the oils and all of the other ingredients are wholesome, farmer’s market fresh. :)

  11. Oh wow – how have I never heard of these? They look absolutely outstanding. I adore Mexican food and I like that this is baked not fried :D

    1. I know, right? This really is a local specialty, but I’m happy to be spreading the word about it. Carne asada fries are meant to go global! ;) x

    1. The good news is there’s leftover guacamole from this recipe….so you can enjoy it again the next day. :) x