Carne Asada Marinade


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This carne asada marinade is packed with all the essential Mexican flavors. It’s zesty, spicy, and refreshing from the use of six simple ingredients. Just whisk everything together, marinate the steak for a few hours, and voila. You’ll have one juicy and tasty steak in no time.

Carne asada marinade in a mixing bowl.

If you love Mexican cuisine, carne asada is probably no stranger to you. It’s chopped into bits for tacos, mixed in with french fries, and so much more. But what really makes or break a delicious carne asada is the marinade. Without it, it would just be a boring ol’ flank steak.

Once you taste the flavors in this fresh, authentic carne asada marinade, you’ll be marinating steak on the regular, just to enjoy it.

Carne Asada Marinade Ingredients

Best of all? This marinade is so easy to make. All you need are 6 ingredients that you might already have on hand. But, feel free to tweak this recipe to your liking! You can make it sweeter by adding an orange, or more spicier by adding paprika.

  • Olive Oil
  • Limes
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Cumin Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Salt And Pepper
Carne asada marinade all mixed together in a bowl.

How To Make A Carne Asada Marinade

Ready to make your taste buds happy? Here’s how to make and use this marinade:

  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Place the steak in a glass or ceramic baking tray and pour the marinade on top, ensuring both sides are well coated. Then cover the tray with plastic wrap and marinate for 1-4 hours.

How To Store This Marinade

It’s best to make this marinade right before you plan to use it, for the freshest flavor.

According to, you can store marinated meat in the fridge for up to 5 days. But I highly doubt your steak will last that long, as you’ll want to eat it. Just make sure to cover the glass or baking tray while it’s marinating in the refrigerator.

Carne asada marinade on top of flank steak.

More Mexican Seasonings And Dressings

Now that you know how to make the marinade, are you ready to grill a delicious carne asada steak? Head on over to my carne asada recipe for all the details!

Carne asada marinade on top of steak.

Carne Asada Marinade

5 from 12 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


This carne asada marinade is packed with all the essential Mexican flavors! Just mix these simple ingredients together in a mixing bowl for the most flavorful steak.


  • cup olive oil
  • 3 limes, juiced (about 6 tablespoons)
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. 
  • Pour the marinade on top of the steak, ensuring both sides of the steak are well coated.
  • Cover and marinate for 1-4 hours in the refrigerator, before grilling.


Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 156IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Carne Asada Marinade
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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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. I tried the marinade recipe, and it was 🔥. My daughter and son-in-law love, love, loved it. They’re asking me when will I be making it again!5 stars

  2. This is delicious, made meat tender, juicy, flavorful. Will use recipe from now on, thanks for not using soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce. Am inspired to use it on chicken, shrimp, pork chops even.
    Thank you so much, I highly recommend this nice marinade.5 stars

  3. Used this marinade in steak and chicken.  Worked really well for both.  The steak I marinaded for 24 hours and the chicken about 10. Acid didn’t destroy either. Delicious. My husband gave it a thumbs up too.  5 stars

    1. Hi Brenda- It’s always a good idea to marinate for a longer time to allow the flavors to really soak up. Glad both you and your husband enjoyed this recipe!

  4. I just stuck the marinated carna asade in the fridge! Happy Cinco De Mayo!! Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  5. This recipe is so flavorful! I made Carne Asada Fries and my family loved it! It was so delicious and will definitely be making it again!5 stars

    1. So glad your whole family enjoyed this carne asada marinade! Looks like you’ll need to whip this up again for Cinco De Mayo :)

    1. Fresh cilantro really does make all the different! This will help brighten up the rich savoriness of the steak :)