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Easy Carne Asada in the Instant Pot

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Making Carne Asada is easy when you use an Instant Pot. This recipe includes a homemade marinade made from all-natural simple ingredients that boosts the flavor of flank steak resulting in tender meat that is great in Mexican dishes, especially nachos.

Carne Asada on a cutting board.
Carne Asada

What is carne asada?

Carne asada is a popular Mexican dish. Carne is the Mexican word for “meat” and asada means “roast.” Most people understand carne asada to mean “grilled meat.”

What kind of meat is carne asada?

Carne asada is made using cuts of beef like skirt steak or flank stea

This carne asada recipe is made using flank steak, a very lean cut of beef. That means that it does not have a lot of fat which typically helps keep cooked meats nice and juicy. By using the Instant Pot, this carne asada should retain more of its moisture as opposed to that cooked over an open flame.

Ingredients

For this delicious beef recipe, you need the following:

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth

Marinade Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 small jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons avocado oil, divided

How To Make Carne Asada in the Instant Pot

To make it, you start by making a simple marinade by combining lime juice, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, cumin, jalapenos, garlic, cilantro, and 2 tablespoons avocado oil. Spread the mixture on all sides of the beef and refrigerate it covered for at least 1 hour or overnight if time allows.

When you are ready to make it, press the Saute button on Instant Pot. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and then sear the meat for 4-5 minutes on each side. Add the beef broth and lock the lid.

Next, press the Meat button and cook for the default time of 35 minutes. When the timer beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Quick-release any additional pressure until the float valve drops and then unlock the lid.

Remove the meat to a serving platter. Thinly slice and serve.

What To Serve With Carne Asada

This delicious protein is great served with corn tortillas, flour tortillas, shredded lettuce, jalapenos, lime wedges, avocado slices, pickled onions – pretty much whatever your favorite Mexican food is, this meat will probably complement. For side dishes, rice and beans and green salad are good accompaniments. 

Substitution

Can’t find avocado oil? You can use olive oil instead.

Chopped carne asada on a cutting board.

Carne Asada Nachos from The “I Love My Instant Pot” Recipe Book

Making Carne Asada is easy when you use an Instant Pot.  This recipe uses all-natural ingredients to boost the flavor of flank steak resulting in tender meat that is great in Mexican dishes, especially nachos.  
4.42 from 140 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 386kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 small jalapenos seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tablespoons avocado oil divided
  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine lime juice, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, cumin, jalapenos, garlic, cilantro, and 2 tablespoons avocado oil. Spread mixture on all sides of the beef. Refrigerate covered for at least 1 hour or overnight if time allows.
  • Press the Saute button on Instant Pot. Heat 1 tablespoon oil. Sear meat 4-5 minutes on each side. Add beef broth. Lock lid.
  • Press the Meat button and cook for the default time of 35 minutes. When the timer beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Quick-release any additional pressure until the float valve drops and then unlock lid.
  • Remove the meat to a serving platter. Thinly slice and serve.

Notes

Excerpted from The I Love My Instant Pot© Recipe Book: From Trail Mix Oatmeal to Mongolian Beef BBQ, 175 Easy and Delicious Recipes by Michelle Fagone (CavegirlCuisine.com). Used by permission of the publisher, Adams Media, a division of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.
***1/6 of this recipe is approximately 10 Weight Watchers points (based on calculations made using the calculator at https://www.calculator.net/weight-watchers-points-calculator.html).

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 | Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 310mg | Sugar: 7g
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Pressure Cooking

Cooking food with a pressure cooker is not a new phenomenon. It could be said that the history of pressure cookers dates back to 1679 when French physicist Denis Papin invented a “steam digester” in an attempt to reduce the cooking time of food. His invention used steam pressure to raise the water’s boiling point which cooks food more quickly.

Over time, pressure cookers evolved to become efficient devices used in home kitchens. Today’s version – the Instant Pot – has made cooking with pressure not only quick and easy but much safer than in years past.

I put off getting a pressure cooker because of the horror stories of older models exploding. But after hearing from a good friend about how incredible the Instant Pot is, I decided it was time to join the Instant Pot craze. Once I got my new kitchen appliance, I was still clueless about how to use it. The included recipe booklet left much to be desired.

However, that has all changed since the day I was sent The I Love My Instant Pot© Recipe Book: From Trail Mix Oatmeal to Mongolian Beef BBQ, 175 Easy and Delicious Recipes by Michelle Fagone.

The "I Love My Instant Pot" Recipe Book.

I love that this is a real, no-nonsense book. It starts with a short introduction that explains why you should cook with an Instant Pot. No other appliance can stand up to the multi-tasking duties of a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, and saute pan, and also can make yogurt, bake cakes, cook soups, and more.

Michelle then goes on to explain the different settings on Instant Pots, the different cooking methods, Instant Pot accessories, and how to clean your Instant Pot. Then she jumps to the meat of the matter – the recipes.

Asian Sesame Chicken on a glass plate.
Asian Sesame Chicken

Below are the recipes sections and a sampling of the recipes you will find in The I Love My Instant Pot© Recipe Book:

  • Breakfast:  Southern Cheesy Grits, Banana Nut Oatmeal, and Strawberry Cream-Filled French Toast Casserole
  • Soups:  Spicy Chicken Chili, Thai Coconut Carrot Soup, and Creole Gumbo
  • Beans, Rice, and Grains:  Spanish Rice, Creamy Chicken and Broccoli over Rice, and Boston Baked Beans
  • Appetizers:  Sticky Honey Chicken Wings, Savoy Cabbage Rolls, and Salsa Verde
  • Side Dishes:  Maple Dill Carrots, Garlic and Chive Home Fries, and Chow-Chow Relish
  • Chicken Main Dishes:  Herbed Chicken in Lemon Sauce, Chicken alla Diavola, and Bourbon Barbecue Chicken
  • Beef and Pork Main Dishes:  Hawaiian Pulled Pork, Mama’s Meatballs, and Mongolia Beef BBQ
  • Seafood and Fish Main Dishes:  Pistachio-Crusted Halibut, Low-Country Boil, and Steamed Crab Legs
  • Vegetarian Main Dishes:  Taco Salad, Mushroom Risotto, and Penne with Mushroom-Tomato Sauce
  • Desserts:  Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake, White Chocolate Pots de Creme, and Nutty Brownie Cake
Black Bean Dip in a green bowl.
Black Bean Dip

I have made several of Michelle’s recipes, all with good results. Before getting The I Love My Instant Pot© Recipe Book, I had no idea how to use the saute function and didn’t know that I could use it to make desserts. I am looking forward to putting it to good use this summer – it should help keep the heat in the kitchen down compared to using my oven.

Chickpea Hummus on a tortilla chip.
Chickpea Hummus

Why not try one of Michelle’s recipes like her Carne Asada Nacho recipe? I hope you enjoy it!

In addition to being the author of The “I Love My Instant Pot” Recipe Book, Michelle Fagone is also the brain behind the blog CaveGirlCuisine.com. It’s no wonder, then, that many of the recipes in the book are gluten-free and Paleo-friendly. Look for The I Love My Instant Pot© Recipe Book: From Trail Mix Oatmeal to Mongolian Beef BBQ, 175 Easy and Delicious Recipes at your local bookstore or Amazon.com.


Prefer to use your slow cooker/CrockPot? Check out the recipe for Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef. Happy eating!

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16 Comments

  1. 1 star
    I don’t usually leave negative reviews but this recipe was super disappointing. I feel like I threw $40.00 away. The 35 min cook time sounded way too long so I cooked it for 12 and the texture still was chewy. The marinade sat on the steak for 4 hours before cooking it and was so bland. I honestly couldn’t taste a thing.

  2. 2 stars
    Disappointed with this recipe. Followed everything except used red wine vinegar instead of apple cider. Meat is very tough and has almost no flavor even though I marinated for 9 hours. Extra disappointing when beef is SO expensive!

  3. Do you add the marinade to the pot also? I just scooped out the food part to add to the pot and left the liquid out. Wasn’t sure what to do. Mine is cooking now so will let you know how it turned out

  4. That sounds disgusting, stop calling Mexican food to anything you add cumin to, cumin is barely used in Mexican cuisine, carne asada and rice??? What!? No, that so wrongs who does that?? Carne asada is just grilled meat not his, also jalapeño? Of all the kinds of Chiles, jalapeño? You can make a way better salsa with some dried chilies also no cumin in the salsa.
    Lastly did you know that in Mexico they don’t sell enchilada sauce nor taco seasoning?

    1. @Tracey A Ross,

      American food is literally a blend of every other cultures. Things we think are American like Pot roast and mashed potatoes are downright boring compared to Mexican, Indian or Thai food. At least the French know how to add other flavors beside salt.

  5. 1 star
    Soooo bad. Felt the 35 min sounded way to long so I cut it down to 15 min and was still waaaayyy overdone and chewy. Couldn’t even taste the marinade even though I let it sit for 4 hours! Won’t make this again. Big disappointment

  6. 5 stars
    Along with adding a cup of rice to the left over liquid, I added a can of rotel mild tomatoes. It was amazing.

  7. 5 stars
    The liquid that’s left over makes rice…SUPER YUMMY rice. Just add a cup of rice, pressure cook for 5 min, natural release for 10 min. It’s mighty good in burritos.

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