This slow cooker carne asada recipe makes tender and juicy seasoned flank steak that is packed full of flavor for taco nights. It’s an effortless meal that gives you all the carne asada flavors you love with the convenience of a crockpot.
My slow cooker shredded beef tacos recipe is such a reader favorite that I wanted to try another crockpot beef taco recipe, so today we’re making some slow cooker carne asada. While carne asada usually is marinated steak strips that are grilled, this slow cooker version gives you an easy, hands-off way to enjoy the same flavor profile with just 5 minutes of prep. Instead of strips of grilled meat, you’ll get fall-apart pulled steak that has been simmering for hours in all those spices. It’s perfect for Taco Tuesday or any other day of the week when you feel like having a fun Mexican-inspired meal.
The flank steak is slow cooked with orange and lime juice and a ton of seasoning for maximum flavor. The slow cooker does all the work so you can enjoy the flavors of carne asada without sweating over a hot grill. Use it in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, nachos, or with loaded fries. For more Mexican-inspired recipes, try these slow cooker chicken tacos, instant pot chipotle chicken tacos, baked cheesy chicken tacos, or these sheet pan chicken fajitas.
Ingredients in Slow Cooker Carne Asada
SLOW COOKER CARNE ASADA RECIPE TIPS
- Slow cooker – For big meals like this, you will need a 6 qt. slow cooker to fit everything in comfortably. I like using this Hamilton Beach slow cooker because it’s one of the modern slow cookers that doesn’t run too hot and you can sear roasts directly in the insert.
- Meat – We’re using flank steak because of how tender it is after slow cooking for hours. This cut will practically shred itself. I’ve used it many times in other crock pot recipes like ropa vieja with wonderful results.
- Seasoning – Season the meat directly with salt and pepper for more flavor and pat the seasonings in. I like using coarse sea salt to season with because it’s more forgiving than your average table salt.
- Searing – Searing the steak before slow cooking is optional but highly recommended. Searing locks in the juices and adds more flavor. If you have one of those slow cookers where you can sear directly in the insert, even better. You can save yourself the work of washing another pan but still have the benefit of seared meat.
- Garlic – I like using a garlic peeler to remove the sticky garlic skins but you can also mince your garlic with a reliable garlic press.
- Orange juice and lime juice – These citrus flavors are what make carne asada unique so don’t skip them. Use orange juice without pulp and freshly squeezed or pre-packaged lime juice.
- Toppings – Some ideas for toppings are pico de gallo, avocado or guacamole, shredded lettuce, red onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and cotija cheese or queso fresco.
- Freeze – Once cooked, crockpot carne asada can be frozen for up to 3 months.
What to Pair with Carne Asada
There are many ways to enjoy this recipe. Some quick ideas are:
- Tacos – Put them in flour or corn tortillas and top with your favorite toppings.
- Burritos – Stuff them in a burrito with other fillings like rice, refried beans and salsa. Make it a wet or smothered burrito with some enchilada sauce, queso, or a Mexican cheese blend.
- Enchiladas – Wrap them up in a corn tortilla with other fillings and smother them with enchilada sauce and cheese, then bake until warm and bubbly.
- Taco Bowl – Pair with cooked rice, black beans, tomatoes and corn and add your favorite toppings.
- With Fries or Tater Tots – Load up your fries or tater tots with some of the carne asada meat and some pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream and cheese.
- Add more flavor – Add more flavor by mixing some chopped fresh cilantro with the sauce before slow cooking.
- Add some spice – Spice it up a little with some jalapenos, chipotle chilis, or chipotle chili powder.
- Add some umami – Some recipes swear by adding some soy sauce so if you want to try this, skip adding salt to the recipe and substitute with about 1/4 cup of soy sauce.
And that’s about it! Enjoy your carne asada and let me know how you liked it along with any substitutions you made and what you paired it with in the comments below!
MORE MEXICAN-INSPIRED RECIPES TO TRY
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Mexican Ground Beef Casserole
- Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos
- Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken Tacos
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas