Carne Asada with Rice & Beans

Our recipe for carne asada with rice and beans is simple and straightforward, deliciously tender, and the perfect meal for two.

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We decided that our carne asada recipe was so good that it needed to be the star of the show and not just hide in some street tacos. Not that we don’t love our Carne Asada Tacos, but our Carne Asada with Rice and Beans truly lets this flavorful steak shine bright.

Between our not-so-secret marinade, our spicy dry rub, a new meat thermometer, and our trusty grill pan, we’ve found that we can make the best steak either of us have ever had.

Carne asada steak topped with cilantro-lime crema and queso fresco, served with rice and beans

With the blog hitting one year old this month, we’ve recently spent some time looking back at how far we’ve come. And this meal really showcases that. From creating our own marinade, to balancing the four major components (acid, fat, salt, and flavor), to not just successfully cooking, but properly cooking a good steak.

BUT we’ve also noticed that this has led to a much lesser temptation to eat at restaurants. We find that we can make food just as good, if not better than, some of the restaurants we’ve been to. So we challenged ourselves this week to create a restaurant-quality dinner and presentation that makes it still feel like you’re at a restaurant. 

As we’ve learned more about cooking, we’ve realized how much of an impact presentation has on the dining experience. Here’s what we did to elevate our carne asada from just a grilled steak to a complete restaurant-style meal:

  • Added a schmear of cilantro-lime crema across the steak for some color and contrast between flavors and textures
  • Served our steak with a classic side of black beans and rice for a balanced plate
  • Garnished with queso fresco and a sprig of cilantro to create a focal point
  • Used our awesome new matte black plates from CB2 (really though, a good plate makes a difference!)
A plate of grilled carne asada served with cilantro-lime crema, rice and beans, and queso fresco

While we relied on some staples from our other recipes, this meal pushed us to create a full well-rounded meal in a restaurant-style presentation – a challenge that we think our carne asada stands up to! 

(We decided that if we were ever on Guy’s Grocery Games, this would be our go-to recipe. So that says something.)

If you like this recipe, try our Carne Asada Tacos! We use the same marinade and dry rub, plus a variation on our crema, to make some incredible upscale tacos that are perfect for date night in.

To browse more of our latest recipes and seasonal dishes, visit our homepage here.

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5 from 2 votes

Carne Asada with Rice and Beans

Our recipe for carne asada with rice and beans is simple and straightforward, deliciously tender, and the perfect meal for two.
Servings 2 servings
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes



  • ¾ lb skirt or flank steak


  • cup orange juice
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup soy sauce low-sodium
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ medium onion chopped
  • ½ tbsp minced garlic

Dry Rub

  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground red cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Cilantro-Lime Crema*

  • 2 to 3 medium limes* juiced
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro chopped
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 medium avocado ripe
  • Sea salt to taste

Rice & Beans

  • 2 servings Mexican rice
  • 15 oz canned black beans
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Queso fresco* optional garnish


  • Slice steak into 2 pieces, if necessary, and place in a large resealable bag. Add marinade ingredients, seal the bag, and shake gently to mix. Marinate the steak for 4-6 hours in the fridge.*
  • Remove steak from the marinade and allow to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Combine dry rub seasonings in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Prepare the Cilantro-Lime Crema. Add lime juice, cilantro, sour cream, the flesh from an avocado, and sea salt in a blender. Blend until smooth and transfer to a small bowl, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.*
  • Prepare the rice (see notes below for recipe links) and beans. Add black beans to a small saucepan, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
  • About 5-10 minutes before you're ready to start grilling the steak, preheat a cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat and season the tops of the steak with about half of the dry rub.
  • Transfer steak to pan, seasoned side up, and grill until cooked to your preferred temperature. Flip steaks halfway through and season the other side with the remaining dry rub.
  • Transfer grilled steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Top steaks with a schmear of Cilantro-Lime Crema and a sprinkle of queso fresco, if desired. Serve with a scoop of rice and beans.


Cilantro-Lime Crema: A single batch of this crema will be more than enough for this dish, but we recommend making the whole batch and using it throughout the week! Refrigerate whatever’s leftover and use it on tacos, as a dip for quesadillas or tortilla chips, on our Avocado Cilantro-Lime Chicken, or in a burrito bowl.
Lime juice for the crema: Use enough lime juice so that the crema is pourable but still creamy. You can also make adjustments within this range based on your preference for flavor and texture. You really can’t go wrong!
Refrigerating the crema: Put the crema in the fridge while the steak is resting and cooking so it solidifies just enough to get a nice, creamy texture. This step is important!
Rice: We have two delicious and easy recipes for rice that go great with carne asada – our Mexican-Style Rice and our Cilantro-Lime Rice. You can easily make either one in the time it takes for the steak to rest and cook, and both recipes taste equally good made with brown or white rice. (But we’re also fans of Ben’s Original Spanish-Style Rice for an easy store-bought minute rice!)
Marinating the steak: We use a resealable bag to marinate the steak so we can lay it flat on one side, completely submerged in the marinade, and we usually flip the bag over halfway through.
Grilling the steak: We like to grill on our Lodge cast iron grill pan, so the instructions are based on this method – but our carne asada can also be cooked on a regular grill.
Queso fresco: A garnish of queso fresco really completes this dish. Crumble a little bit and sprinkle it over the steak, or your rice and beans!
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Author: Nicole & Alex
Calories: 1087kcal
Course: Dinner, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: black beans, cinco de mayo, garlic, grilling, lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, queso fresco, rice, skirt steak, soy sauce, summer


Calories: 1087kcal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 20g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 3329mg | Potassium: 2290mg | Fiber: 25g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 2120IU | Vitamin C: 141mg | Calcium: 178mg | Iron: 10mg

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

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