This Instant Pot Carne Asada has everything you love about carne asada, but it’s made quicker and easier by using the Instant Pot. It’s tender, flavorful, and great served in tacos with all your favorite mix-ins!
Carne asada is one of my favorite dishes and this instant pot carne asada does not disappoint — our perfectly seasoned flank steak becomes ultra tender when cooked in the instant pot. To make it even better, this gets served in a fluffy tortilla with all the best taco fixins (bring on the pico de gallo) and an extra drizzle of juices from the instant pot — are you drooling yet?!
What is carne asada?
Carne asada is a classic Mexican dish made up of tender, sliced, slightly charred beef cooked in a tangy, salty marinade. Carne asada can be served on its own, in tacos or burritos, as a burrito bowl, or even on nachos!
This recipe is so simple I’m guessing you have most of these ingredients on hand already!
- Olive Oil and White Vinegar – the base for the marinade. Oil adds moisture while the acidity in vinegar helps break down the meat so its extra tender and can soak in more flavor.
- Orange Juice, Lime Juice, and Lemon Juice – adds additional acidity to the marinade to break down and flavor the meat. I like to use freshly squeezed juice but pre-squeezed will work as well.
- Soy Sauce – adds just the right amount of salty, umami flavor.
- Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Chili Powder, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Dried Oregano, Salt, and Pepper – our seasoning blend! This sweet, spicy seasoning mix is what gives the carne asada its signature flavor.
- Flank Steak – this is the classic cut of beef to use for carne asada, but other cuts will work as well.
- Tortillas, Guacamole, Pico de Gallo, Cotija or Feta, Sour Cream, etc. – for serving!
How to make
Have you ever been able to cook steak in just 6 minutes? Now you can!
- Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, paprika, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper until combined.
- Stir in steak then cover and let sit at room temp for 30 minutes or in the fridge for up to 8 hours.
- Pour the steak and marinade into your instant pot then cover and lock the lid and cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes.
- Allow a natural release for 15 minutes, flip the valve to release the remaining pressure, then serve and enjoy!
How long does it take for carne asada to cook?
Carne asada cooks on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes in the instant pot. Keep in mind, it does take time for the instant pot to build pressure before it starts the count down. Then, you’ll need to let it naturally release for 15 minutes, before flipping the pressure valve and removing the lid.
What meat to use
The most common cut of beef to use for carne asada is flank steak…which is what we’re using for this recipe! It’s relatively affordable and cooking under pressure makes it perfectly tender.
If flank steak isn’t available, feel free to use a different cut of beef such as skirt steak. Keep in mind, a cheaper cut of beef may not get as tender.
How to serve carne asada
I love to serve my carne asada as street tacos topped with guacamole, pico de gallo, cotija (or feta cheese), and sour cream.
You can also serve it in burritos, in quesadillas, over nachos, or straight out of the instant pot. 😉
What to serve with carne asada
Bulk up your tacos with a few simple side dishes!
How to store
Store leftover carne asada in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then microwave to warm and serve as desired!
Instant Pot Carne Asada
Equipment for this recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice about 1 orange
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice about 1 lime
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice about 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup soy sauce or gluten free alternative
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 pounds flank steak sliced against the grain into thin strips (about 1/4 inch thick)
- Taco fixings: tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo, crumbled feta, sour cream, etc. for serving
- Whisk together oil, vinegar, orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, paprika, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper until well combined.
- Stir in steak.
- Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the fridge for up to 8 hours.
- Pour steak and marinade into your 6 quart Instant Pot.
- Cover and lock the lid (make sure the steam releasing handle is pointing to sealing).
- Cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes.
- When the time is up, allow a natural release for 15 minutes, then flip the valve to release the remaining pressure.
- Serve with your favorite taco fixings and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.