I’ll be the first to admit that I had a late start to the Instant Pot thing. To be honest, I was pretty skeptical about yet another gadget in my kitchen (isn’t the slow cooker enough??). But once I started playing around with my Instant Pot, I completely fell in love with how easy it is to use and how amazing it is for cooking meats!
If you’ve never made Carne Asada in the Instant Pot before, you will absolutely love how juicy and delicious this easy recipe is. While Carne Asada is typically grilled, this Instant Pot version is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight alternative. The soft meat with flavors of lime, smoked paprika, chili powder, and tomato just falls apart in tacos. Add some cilantro, red onion, and feta or cotija cheese to the mix for tacos that the entire family will adore. You’ll definitely want to save this easy recipe and keep it on repeat, friend!
RELATED: Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice
Table of contents
- The backstory
- Cooking Carne Asada in an Instant Pot (for tacos)
- More Tacos Recipes You’ll Love
If I’m being totally transparent, I actually used to be kind of intimated to marinate and cook meats. I felt like I wasn’t good at it, and for the most part my family and I eat semi-vegetarian/flexitarian anyway. But once I really started getting into marinating meats and being able to quickly cook them in the Instant Pot, it was life changing. Yes, you can make AMAZING, delicious, fall apart steak in the Instant Pot!
While I still eat mostly vegetarian, there are days where I feel like my body needs the protein and iron in red meat. Or I just crave it! And hey, everyone needs a taco day in their menu, right? 😉 This Instant Pot Carne Asada recipe is a great way to make tacos that are NEXT LEVEL. They’re loaded with flavor and are a total crowd-pleaser!
The ingredients in this recipe are actually very simple, wholesome, and easy to find. Yay!!
What type of steak is used in carne asada?
Skirt steak and flank steak are both great options for carne asada! I used flank steak in this Instant Pot recipe, but both work wonderfully and are perfect for tacos and fajitas.
It’s all about the marinade!
You guys. This marinade is EVERYTHING! Fresh lime, tomato sauce, soy sauce (or tamari), apple cider vinegar, fresh garlic, and avocado oil (or any kind of oil) make up the base. Add in a seasoning made up of chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, cayenne (optional), and salt/pepper for the best carne asada marinade ever!
What you need for Carne Asada Street Tacos
Carne asada street tacos are best in corn tortillas, but you can also make them in flour tortillas. Aside from the carne asada Instant Pot steak we’re making in this recipe, here are some topping ideas:
- Chopped red onion
- Feta Cheese
- Cotija Cheese
- Lime Juice
- Chopped spinach
- Avocado Lime Dressing
- Diced Pineapple
ADD THESE TO YOUR MENU: 25+ BEST Healthy Taco Recipes
Cooking Carne Asada in an Instant Pot (for tacos)
Making Instant Pot Carne Asada is actually REALLY easy! If this is your first time using your Instant Pot, be sure to complete the initial test run first. Then come back here to make these yummy tacos! Here’s how to cook Carne Asada in the Instant Pot for tacos:
- Marinade the steak.
- Sauté the steak in the Instant Pot.
- Cook on high pressure.
- Add to tacos. So easy!
Marinating the steak
The #1 tip for making the best ever carne asada? Marinate the steak!
It’s best to marinate the steak overnight, if possible. This helps the meat become more tender and soak up the delicious flavors before cooking. If an overnight marinade isn’t an option, then be sure to marinate the steak at least 1 hour prior to cooking!
How long do you cook Carne Asada in an Instant Pot?
To make carne asada, cook flank or skirt steak in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes on high pressure and let it naturally release for another 10 minutes. This results in tender, juicy, fall-apart meat that’s perfect for tacos!
Store Carne Asada in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for up to 3 months! Reheat the meat in the microwave for best results and place in fresh tortillas for tacos.
More Tacos Recipes You’ll Love
- Sriracha Lime Shrimp Tacos Recipe
- Easy Mexican Barbacoa Tacos
- Healthy Sriracha Shredded Chicken Tacos
- 30-Minute Blackened Salmon Tacos
- Healthy Chicken Fajita Tacos
Instant Pot Carne Asada Street Tacos
Instant Pot Carne Asada
- 1 1/2 lbs flank steak (or skirt steak)
- 1 medium lime (juiced)
- 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
- 2 Tbsp tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil (divided)
Carne Asada Tacos
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1/4 red onion (chopped)
- 1/2 cup cotija cheese (or feta)
- cilantro (for topping)
Making the Instant Pot Carne Asada
- Mix the lime juice, soy sauce, tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, salt, pepper, paprika, and 1 Tbsp of the avocado oil together for the marinade.
- Marinate the steak in an airtight container overnight (or at least for an hour before cooking), making sure it is compeletly covered in the marinade.
- When ready to cook, turn the Instant Pot on the "Sauté" feature.
- Add 1 Tbsp of the avocado oil to the Instant Pot and cook the marinated steak for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Turn the "Sauté" feature off and pour in the remaining steak marinade.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, set the pressure release valve to "Sealing" and set to "Manual" (high) pressure for 10 minutes.
- Once the countdown has finished, let the Instant Pot naturally release on the "Keep Warm" setting for another 10 minutes.
- Set the pressure release valve to "Venting" to release any remaining steam.
- Once the float valve has dropped, open the lid.
- Cut the steak into small cubes and place in corn tortillas.
- Top the tacos with freshly chopped red onion, cheese, and cilantro!
- 1 serving = 2 tacos