This Instant Pot Carne Asada recipe uses a pressure cooker to make tender slices of seasoned carne asada meat ready in under half an hour.
Carne Asada Instant Pot Recipe
This recipe for tender Carne Asada meat is the simple, everyday recipe you’ve been looking for.
You can have flavorful, tender sliced beef in minutes and use it in many ways. Carne Asada meat is delicious for making nachos, tacos, fajitas, or even breakfast burritos.
Meats are my favorite thing to cook in my Instant Pot, especially beef!
Once I got the hang of how pressure cooking works, I went full speed ahead.
I like to batch-cook meat on the weekends to start the work week with already-cooked meat in my fridge for my family.
What to love
- You put everything into the Instant Pot, then make the Pico de Gallo while the meat cooks.
- I love how Carne Asada meat cooked in an Instant Pot is tender and flavorful.
- My entire family loves Carne Asada meat.
Instant Pot Carne Asada recipe ingredients
- Meat: 2 pounds skirt steak, flank steak, hanger steak, sirloin steak, or tri-tip roast, sliced across the grain into very thin strips.
- Marinade: This flavorful Mexican-inspired marinade uses sliced red onion, lime juice and zest, chili powder, dark brown sugar, garlic, oregano, cumin, beef broth, and minced chipotles (optional).
- Pico de Gallo: Ingredients typically include diced tomatoes, jalapenos, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and lime zest.
- To Serve: Corn tortillas and all the usual taco toppings to taste.
- To make slicing the meat or poultry easier, partially freeze it first. The firmness of the partially frozen meat makes it much easier to slice into the thin strips you want.
- You can marinate the Carne Asada meat for a few minutes before cooking. Or put it into the marinade and let it rest 8-10 hours to make it flavorful.
How to cook carne asada in an Instant Pot
Prepare the Carne (Meat)
Thinly slice one-half of the red onion. Dice the other half and reserve for making the pico de gallo.
Into the Instant Pot inner pot, add the steak strips, sliced red onion, lime zest, lime juice, and minced chipotles.
In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, brown sugar, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle over the meat in the Instant Pot.
Pour in the beef broth. Do not stir.
Be sure not to stir in the ingredients in the Instant Pot once you’ve added the beef broth.
You want the liquid to stay on the bottom and exterior of the pot (not stirred into the ingredients) so it can circulate to create pressure.
Let the beef marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes or cover. Or refrigerate for 8-10 hours and cook later.
Prepare the Pico De Gallo
Think of Pico de Gallo (also known as salsa fresca) as fresh-made. The ingredients are much the same as regular salsa, but the texture is more chunky without all the juice.
While the beef marinates, make the pico. Combine the reserved diced red onion with the tomatoes, jalapeño pepper, and cilantro in a medium bowl.
Add the juice from the 2 limes, then gently toss all the ingredients to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate the Pico de Gallo until serving time.
Pressure Cook the Carne (Meat)
Cover the Instant Pot with the lid, securely locking it into place. Turn the pressure release valve to the sealing position.
Choose manual or pressure cook, then select the high-pressure setting. Set the timer for 6 minutes.
When the timer sounds, use a natural release of pressure for 15 minutes
Carefully turn the pressure release valve to the venting position to release any remaining pressure.
Carefully unlock and remove the Instant Pot lid.
Gently stir the ingredients inside. Use a slopped spoon to lift the cooked beef from the juice when you are ready to serve it.
If you want to add more savory flavor to the carne asada beef, heat a bit of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, add the slices of cooked carne asada to the skillet. Caramelize them in the hot oil.
Serve the Carne Asada meat as desired. We like to tuck it into corn tortillas, topping it with the prepared Pico de Gallo and any additional toppings as desired.
Instant Pot Carne Asada tacos
When you make Carne Asada meat, you can make many Mexican-centric dishes, and tacos are one of them.
Tacos from Carne Asada meat are probably our favorite dish to make, but we have also used the meat for making nacho bowls, enchiladas, salads, and burritos….if you can dream it, you can use Carne Asada in it.
To make the corn tortillas especially flavorful when making Carne Asada tacos, brown them in a bit of hot oil in a skillet.
How long do you pressure cook Carne Asada?
If you want to cook the meat as a whole muscle in the Instant Pot (instead of slicing it first), it will take 10-15 minutes per pound under pressure as a general rule of thumb.
This recipe only takes 6 minutes under pressure because the meat is sliced before cooking, plus a 15 minute natural release.
Carne asada sides
If you’d like a side dish that’s creamy and refreshing, you will enjoy crunchy Mexican coleslaw, too.
Cheddar and sausage cornbread is loaded with layers of moist, dense cornbread, melted cheddar, mild green chilies, and cooked crumbled sausage. Serve topped with sour cream and sliced scallions.
Corn salad might not seem like a Mexican-type side dish, but we enjoy it alongside seasoned slices of beef like Carne Asada.
And this Easy Mexican Corn Dip is always a fun addition to any meal or gathering.
More favorite recipes to enjoy
If you want to add slightly different flavors to your Carne Asada, try my Carne Asada seasoning a try. It includes a bit of brown sugar for added sweetness and red pepper flakes for a kick.
Stovetop carne picada is made in minutes with tender minced beef, a special seasoning, onions, garlic, bell peppers, and jalapenos.
You can make tender and crispy milanesa steak that turns golden brown and crunchy every time.
Fiesta ground beef noodle skillet has hamburger, spaghetti noodles, and taco seasonings, making a perfect weeknight meal everybody loves.
Instant Pot Carne Asada
- 2 pounds skirt steak, flank steak, hanger steak, sirloin steak, or tri-tip roast, sliced across the grain into very thin strips
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 lime, juice and zest of
- 2 Tbs. chili powder
- 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed, may substitute 1 tsp. garlic powder or granulated garlic
- 2 tsp. oregano flakes
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. kosher salt to taste
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 1 tsp. minced chipotles optional, may substitute crushed red pepper flakes
Pico de Gallo
- 4 Roma tomatoes diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and membranes removed diced small
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 limes, juice of
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- corn tortillas, browned in a bit of oil, if desired
- Your favorite toppings, such as crumbled queso fresco cheese, guacamole, chopped cilantro, sliced limes, etc.
Prepare the Carne (Meat)
- Thinly slice one half of the red onion; dice the other half and reserve for making the pico de gallo.
- Into the Instant Pot inner pot, add the steak strips, sliced red onion, lime zest, lime juice, and minced chipotles.
- Combine the chili powder, brown sugar, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl; sprinkle over the meat in the Instant Pot. Pour in the beef broth; do not stir.
- If there's time, let the beef marinate right in the inner pot of the Instant Pot at room temperature for 20 minutes. **Or cover at this point and refrigerate to cook later. This will intensify the flavors, too.
Prepare the Pico De Gallo
- While the beef marinates or as it cooks in the Instant Pot, make the Pico de Gallo. Combine the reserved diced red onion with the tomatoes, jalapeño pepper, and cilantro in a medium bowl.
- Add the juice from the 2 limes, then gently toss all the ingredients to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cover and refrigerate the Pico de Gallo until serving time.
Pressure Cook the Carne
- Cover the Instant Pot with the lid, securely locking it into place. Turn the pressure release valve to the sealing position. Choose manual or pressure cook, then select the high-pressure setting. Set the timer for 6 minutes, bringing the Instant Pot to full pressure. (It can take the Instant Pot up to 10 minutes to fully pressurize.)
- When the timer sounds, use a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes
- Carefully turn the pressure release valve to the venting position to release any remaining pressure that may remain in the Instant Pot. Carefully unlock and remove the lid; use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the juices in the pot.**If desired, you can brown the beef in a bit of hot oil at this point, if desired. This gives the meat a crispy exterior and added flavor.
Serve the Carne Asada
- Serve the Carne Asada meat as desired. We tucked it into corn tortillas, topped with the prepared Pico de Gallo and assorted additional toppings, as desired. Serve at once.