Carne asada fries are full of flavor! Juicy flank steak in a simple-but-incredible marinade on top of homemade fries with your favorite toppings. You’ll love this take on loaded fries.
What Makes These Carne Asada Fries So Good
- Lolita’s Mexican Food in San Diego gets the credit for bringing this incredible concept to life. Carne asada fries are super popular in the American Southwest and Mexico, but if you’re not local to those areas, you might have a hard time finding them. This homemade recipe will help you get your fix until the next time you can get an authentic plate.
- Fries-as-nachos might be one of my favorite things, and this recipe couldn’t be more satisfying. Juicy flank steak marinated in a simple blend of spices… served on top of crispy, homemade fries… finished off with cheese and your favorite toppings. What could be better?!
- While it’s 10,000% worth the wait, this isn’t really a quick recipe – but the actual cooking part doesn’t take very long at all. Carne asada fries start with marinating flank steak in an incredible marinade for 4 to 12 hours. Be sure to factor that in when you’re planning your dinner! If you want to take a shortcut on the steak, though, check out this recipe for Instant Pot Carne Asada from our sister site, Easy Healthy Recipes!
- Carne asada fries can be an appetizer or a meal all on their own! If you’re feeding a large group, you can absolutely double the size of this recipe without any trouble.
Key Ingredients for Carne Asada Fries
Fries – Homemade fries are super easy to make, so that’s what we’re gonna do! Russet potatoes make the best fries since they’re the starchiest potatoes. That means you’ll get perfectly crispy outsides and perfectly fluffy insides. If you’re short on time (or energy) you can use frozen fries instead.
Flank Steak – Really, you could use any steak you want in your carne asada fries. Flank steak is our favorite, though. It’s a leaner cut of steak but it’s still got a ton of flavor and a really amazing texture. See the “Chef’s Tips” section for notes on cutting your steak the right way!
- Don’t cook the flank steak to well done! It’ll be chewy and just all around miserable. Medium is best, and medium-well is fine, but well-done is too far.
- Rule #1 for cutting beef applies here – always cut across the grain. That’s how you end up with tender strips of steak instead of tough, chewy strips, which I guarantee you don’t want on your carne asada fries. To cut across the grain, lay it on a cutting board and look for the parallel muscle fibers running down the meat. Lay your knife perpendicular across the fibers and cut at a slight diagonal.
- When you’re baking the fries, I recommend not using parchment paper on your baking sheet. The fries will crisp up better if they’re directly on the pan.
- Since the marinade is really acidic, don’t marinate your steak too long! 12 hours is the max we recommend. Any longer than that and the muscle fibers can start to break down – when that happens, you end up with mushy meat on your carne asada fries.
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- Best Sheet Pan Fajitas with Steak (Low Carb, Whole30, Paleo)
- Bell Pepper Nachos (Whole30)
- Mexican Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Whole30, Paleo, Instant Pot)
- Epic Paleo Nachos with Carnitas (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Option)
- Instant Pot Burrito Bowls with Chicken
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
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Carne Asada Fries
- Large bowl with lid (or plastic wrap)
- Large bowl
- Baking sheet
- Large skillet
- Sharp knife
For the Carne Asada
For the Fries
For Serving (All Optional)
- sour cream
- guacamole see Notes
- cilantro chopped
- tomatoes diced
- jalapeños diced or sliced
- Place all ingredients for the carne asada marinade in a large bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Add flank steak to marinade. Cover bowl and refrigerate 4 to 12 hours.
- Toward end of marinating time, prepare fries. Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Wash potatoes, then cut into even-sized matchsticks. Place fries in large bowl with avocado oil and seasonings. Toss to coat completely.
- Arrange fries on baking sheet in single layer. Bake 20 minutes, then toss or flip fries. Bake additional 10 minutes or until fries are crispy.
- While fries bake, heat 1 tablespoon or so avocado oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cut steak into thin strips or bite-sized pieces, then add to skillet. Cook 4 to 8 minutes per side or until desired temperature is reached. Thinner strips/smaller pieces will need less time. For medium steak, cook to internal temperature of 145° Fahrenheit.
- To serve, sprinkle Mexican shredded cheese over fries. Return fries to oven for 2-5 minutes to melt cheese, or skip this step and leave the cheese unmelted.
- Divide fries onto plates then top with steak and any desired toppings.
- Make it Vegetarian: Use a plant-based meat instead of flank steak.
- Make it Vegan: Use a plant-based meat, vegan cheese, and vegan sour cream (optional).
- Mash 1 to 2 avocados with lime juice and salt to taste. Add cilantro and/or jalapeños for more flavor.
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Jasmine Comer is a food photographer and recipe developer from North Carolina. She grew up in the kitchen watching her mom cook all types of delicious meals. In 2016 she established Lively Meals, a food blog where she creates healthy recipes. This led to creating recipes for other blogs as well. In her free time she enjoys exploring new places and spending time in nature. Ultimately she’s grateful to be doing work she loves—cooking good food and sharing it with people.