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person holding a forkful of sliced carne asada

Chipotle Carne Asada Copycat

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Marinating: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Try our Chipotle carne asada copycat recipe and you won't be disappointed.  It's marinaded with a blend of signature spices, seared on the grill, hand cut into tender slices, and drizzled with freshly squeezed lime juice and chopped cilantro.  It's Whole 30 and keto friendly.



For the Marinade

  • 1/2 cup olive oil (120 ml)
  • 4 jumbo garlic cloves, smashed (21g)
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds (We used El Guapo brand)
  • 4 chipotle chili peppers, from 1 can (canned in adobo sauce) (45g)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (60 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (21g)
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce (15 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed

For the Carne Asada

  • 2 pounds skirt steak, cut in three large pieces (907g)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (60 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (30 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Toast: Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in a small skillet over medium high heat.  Roast the smashed garlic for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then add the whole cumin seeds and toast for 1 minute.  Remove from the skillet and allow to cool.
  2. Marinade: Add the chipotle chili peppers, wet ingredients, dry spices, and fresh cilantro to a food processor and blitz for a few seconds, then slowly pour in the remaining oil while the processor is running.  There should be 1 cup of marinade.
  3. Chill: Place the three large pieces of skirt steak side by side in a large zip-top bag, then pour in the marinade.  Squeeze out the excess air, then seal it shut.  Massage the steak, then place it on a cutting board and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to a maximum of 24 hours.  Flip the bag occasionally as it marinates.
  4. Grill: Allow the steak to warm up to room temperature, roughly 30 minutes.  Brush the oil on a cast iron grill pan and place it over medium high heat until the oil is shimmering, roughly 2 minutes.  Carefully place one of the skirt steaks on the grill with tongs and sear the outside of the meat for one minute, then turn down the heat to medium and cook for 2 more minutes.  Flip and cook for 3 minutes.  Skirt steak is thin, so it cooks fast.  Check the doneness using a meat thermometer; the internal temperature should be 135 F for rare or 145 F for medium-rare.  Repeat with the other two steaks.
  5. Rest: Allow the three steaks to rest on a large cutting board tented with foil for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Slice: Thinly slice the skirt steak against the grain, then drizzle the lime juice and cilantro on top.  Chipotle serves their carne asada in long, thin strips, but feel free to slice the strips into shorter lengths for use in burritos and tacos.
  7. Serve: Carne asada tastes best hot, so have your other sides and toppings ready to make your own Chipotle bowl, burrito, salad, tacos, nachos, or quesadillas. Check out all our other copycat Chipotle recipes for lots of delicious ideas.


  • This recipe taste best when skirt steak is used and marinated for 2 to 24 hours.
  • Saute the garlic and toast the cumin seeds to build up the flavor profile.
  • For the most tender results, grill to medium rare.
  • Char some parts of the steaks for the best flavor.
  • Tent the steaks with foil and allow to rest to keep them juicy, then thinly slice the meat.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Chipotle Carne Asada bowl recipe, ingredients, still available