The plethora of spices and flavors make this Slow Cooker Carne Asada a must-try for your next taco night. This is one of those delicious recipes that reminds you of classic Mexican food like street tacos—no more wondering what to make for Taco Tuesday!
If you’re having a Mexican-inspired week of meals, add my Slow Cooker Mexican Bubble Up Casserole to your meal plan!
What is carne asada?
Simply put, carne asada is grilled and sliced beef. In most cases, chuck steak is used; however, you can also use skirt steak or flank steak. This can be served on its own or as an ingredient in another dish. This slow cooker carne asada recipe uses skirt steak and does not need grilling.
- Skirt steak: You’ll want to have at least two pounds of steak for this recipe.
- Dry seasonings: sea salt, coarse black pepper, cumin seeds, granulated garlic, and ground cumin.
- Wet ingredients: tequila, olive oil, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, crema, lime juice, and lemon juice.
- Vegetables/Fruits: bell peppers, onion, jalapeno, ancho chile, and garlic.
- Herbs: cilantro and bay leaves.
Step One – Place the seasoned skirt steak into the slow cooker.
Step Two – Chop garlic, dice jalapeños, white onion, and slice the green bell pepper and red bell pepper.
Step Three – Place chopped produce from the previous step on top of the shirt steak. Then, rest the cilantro stems, dried ancho chili pepper, and bay leaves over the top of the veggies.
Step Four – Mix soy sauce, red wine vinegar, olive oil, tequila, lime juice, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
Step Five – Pour the juice mixture into the crock pot—cover, and cook on LOW for 7 hours.
Step Six – Once cooking time is complete, remove and discard the bay leaves and cilantro stems. Set aside the ancho chili pepper and shred the steak.
Step Seven – Add the ancho chili without its stem, cilantro leaves, crema, lime juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper (if desired) to a food processor and puree until smooth.
Step Eight – Add the finished carne asada to a large bowl, then top with chopped cilantro and serve pico de Gallo and the chipotle crema.
How to serve:
- Toppings: In addition to the cilantro and pico de gallo, you can also add Cojita cheese and drizzle chipotle crema over the top. Other toppings to consider are sour cream, sliced avocado, guacamole, shredded lettuce, and/or diced jalapenos.
- Taco Bowls: To make classic taco bowls, simply add a nice helping into the taco bowl and add the toppings of your choice.
- Carne Asada Street Tacos: For traditional street tacos, stuff corn tortillas with the carne asada meat and top with onions, fresh cilantro, and salsa. Add any other toppings to make them regular carne asada tacos.
- Carne asada taco salad: Use the carne asada meat as the topping on a bed of tortilla chips and top with your favorite toppings.
- Carne asada fries: Add a helping of carne asada meat on top of a bed of fries and top it with pico de gallo, salsa, and shredded cheese.
Once you have cooked this, crock pot carne asada can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Place any leftover slow cooker carne asada into an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator.
The flank steak is known as the best to use, but the skirt steak comes in a strong second. If you can’t find either, chuck roast will work well, though I would cook chuck roast for 9 hours on low.
Yes! That is what the slow cooker is for, to save time. Add your steak to the slow cooker without browning along with your other ingredients.
Slow Cooker Carne Asada
- 2 lbs. skirt steak (or flank steak)
- 2 tsp. coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp. coarse black pepper
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- 6 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 jalapeños seeded and diced
- 1 white onion sliced
- 1 green bell pepper sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 handful cilantro divided
- 1 dried ancho chili
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. tequila
- 2 limes juiced and divided
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 cup crema (can use mexican sour cream or sour cream)
- cooked ancho chile (from above recipe after it's done cooking)
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice (from above limes)
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (from above cilantro)
- salt and pepper to taste
- taco bowls can use flour or corn tortillas
- pico de gallo
- cotija cheese
- Season Both sides of the steak with sea salt, pepper, cumin seed, granulated garlic, and ground cumin. Place into the slow cooker.
- Add chopped garlic, diced Jalapeños, white onion, green bell pepper and red bell pepper slices atop the steak. Remove cilantro leaves from the stems and set aside the leaves for step 6. Rest the cilantro stems, dried ancho chili pepper, and bay leaves over the top of the veggies.
- Juice the lemon and limes. Set aside 1 tbsp of lime juice for step 6. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, red wine vinegar, olive oil, tequila, Lime juice, and lemon juice. Whisk well and pour into the crock pot.
- Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves and cilantro stems. Set aside the ancho chili pepper. Shred the steak with meat claws or two forks.
- Remove the stem of the ancho chili and add to a food processor (or blender) with cilantro leaves, crema, 1 tbsp lime juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper if desired. Purée.
- Arrange taco bowls. Add carne asada to the bowl, then top with chopped cilantro, pico de Gallo, and Cojita cheese. Drizzle chipotle crema over the top and enjoy!
- Leftovers last about 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.
- Be creative with the leftovers, we love carne asada fries and nachos for leftovers.
- Can’t find skirt steak or flank steak? Use a chuck roast instead and cook on low for 9 hours.
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.