Carne Asada Nachos are tender, juicy bites of steak over a bed of crispy nachos, layered with cheese, avocado, beans, jalapeños, and fresh salsa. Served with all of the fixings, enjoy this as a snack, appetizer, or entree. (This recipe is gluten-free.)
Carne asada nachos are fully loaded with tons of flavor and texture. The savory taste of marinated beef, the gooeyness of melted cheese, and the delightful crunch of baked tortilla chips will make you a fan. These loaded tortilla chips may feel like a treat but with all the toppings, it turns out to be a hearty, satisfying, and delicious meal.
Reasons This Carne Asada Nachos Recipe Works
- Great for Parties! Serve a platter of these hearty nachos at a Super Bowl party, potluck, or your next gathering because they’re definitely a crowd-pleaser!
- Customizable! These nachos are packed with fresh ingredients that you can add, omit, or modify as desired.
- Super Easy! This one-pan meal is so simple to make, even the kids can help you assemble to make the best carne asada nachos!
What is Carne Asada?
Carne asada is the Spanish term for grilled meat. This traditional Mexican dish includes grilled, lime juice-marinated steak that is thinly sliced. Although you can use different cuts of beef to prepare carne asada, it is usually prepared with flank steak or skirt steak.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Flank Steak or Skirt Steak: Marinate the meat for a minimum of two hours but overnight is ideal. Skirt steak cooks a bit quicker than flank steak but either will work for this carne asada nachos recipe.
- Seasoning: You’ll need cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, salt, black pepper, and chili powder.
- Fresh Cilantro: Chopped.
- Garlic Cloves and Onion: Because most savory recipes aren’t complete without them! (Red onion works best for this recipe)
- Jalapeño: For a bit of heat. You can also use habanero or serrano peppers to amp up the heat.
- Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice: The acidity in the juice tenderizes the meat.
- Coconut Aminos: This adds a mouthwatering umami flavor. Use soy sauce instead if you are not sensitive to gluten.
- Olive Oil: To help tenderize the meat and seal in the flavor.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This eliminates any impurities in the meat and enhances the overall flavor.
- Citrus: I use juiced lemon and lime.
For the Nachos
- Tortilla Chips: It may come as a surprise but most tortilla chips are naturally gluten-free. Use 100% ground corn tortillas. Purchase the thick restaurant-style chips so they are sturdy enough to hold all the toppings.
- Cheese: I like to use a block of cheddar cheese and manchego cheese and shred it myself. You can also use a blend of cheeses. (Mexican blend is a popular option.) I always avoid the pre-shredded cheese because it doesn’t melt as well.
- Salsa: My quick 5-minute Homemade Salsa is perfect for these nachos and is just what I use. 🙂
- Roma Tomato: Fresh diced tomatoes add a refreshing pop to the nachos
- Avocado: Cut the avocado into cubes or slice it and serve on the side.
- Guacamole: Skip the store-bought guac and whip up your own while the nachos crisp up in the oven.
- Sour Cream: The sour tang tastes delicious with the beans, steak, and cheese.
- Black Beans: For added protein.
- Jalapeño Slices: Thinly sliced, fresh, or pickled (to taste).
- Fresh Cilantro: I love using this as a garnish on Mexican dishes.
How to Make Carne Asada Nachos
MARINADE. Marinate the Carne Asada using the ingredients listed above. If time permits, marinate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
COOK. Heat a cast-iron skillet with cooking oil or butter over medium heat. Then cook the steak for 3-6 minutes on each side (3 minutes for medium-rare). Remove the steak from the cast-iron and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Prepare The Nachos
Preheat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Spray a large sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
BAKE. Evenly space the tortilla chips in a single layer on the prepared pan. Then sprinkle the cheese on the tortilla chips and place the pan in the oven for about 5-7 minutes to melt the cheese. Make sure to watch it closely so the cheese doesn’t burn.
ASSEMBLE. Slice the carne asada into bite-sized pieces and layer on top of the chips. Then, add the remaining toppings and any other toppings as desired.
Tips To Nail the Recipe
- Carne asada nachos are best served immediately out of the oven. That way they are fresh and crispy, just as intended.
- Use a large baking sheet so the chips can be spread out without too much overlap. Then the chips will be evenly toasted and you’re less likely to end up with soggy nachos.
- Don’t add the steak to the nachos until after they’ve been baked. Otherwise, the beef will be tough and overcooked.
- Grill your steak instead. You can grill for 3-6 minutes per side, or until you reach your desired doneness.
Storage and Reheating
I don’t recommend storing the chips for later but if you must, store the nachos in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Then reheat them in the oven or the air fryer at 350°F for about 5-7 minutes (or until crispy).
However, you can store the steak in a separate airtight container for up five days in the fridge. When you want to reheat them, gently warm the carne asada in the microwave in 30-second intervals.
Can carne asada nachos be made ahead?
Elements of this recipe can be made in advance in order to save some time. You can prepare the steak, guacamole, and homemade salsa ahead of time and then just heat them up when you are assembling the nachos.
Do you put meat or cheese first on nachos?
Add a layer of cheese to the nachos first. Meat is one of the last toppings to go on the nachos because it’s bulkier. You want the cheese to melt and coat the tortilla chips.
What is the best way to eat carne asada?
I Hope You Enjoy This Carne Asada Nachos Recipe!
If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments. Leave a quick review & star rating ★ below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.
More Gluten-Free Mexican Recipes To Try!
- Chicken Pozole Rojo
- Pork Pozole Verde
- Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos
- 5- Minute Homemade Salsa Recipe
- Avocado Crema
Carne Asada Nachos
- 3 lb Flank Steak or Skirt Steak
- 2 tsp Cumin
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 2 tsp Dried Mexican Oregano (or regular oregano)
- ¼ cup Fresh Cilantro chopped
- 5 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Jalapeño diced
- 1/2 cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Coconut Aminos
- 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 1 Lime juiced
For the Nachos
- 8 oz Tortilla Chips
- 8 oz Cheddar Cheese shredded (or a blend of cheese. I use Manchego and Cheddar)
- 1 Roma Tomato diced
- 1 Avocado sliced
- ½ cup Guacamole
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- ½ cup Black Beans
- Thinly Sliced Jalapeño fresh or pickled (to taste)
- Fresh Cilantro to taste
Marinate, then prepare the Carne Asada
- Marinate the Carne Asada using the ingredients listed above. If time permits, marinate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet with cooking oil or butter over medium heat. Cook the steak for 3-6 minutes on each side (3 minutes for medium-rare).
- Remove the steak from the cast-iron and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Prepare The Nachos
- Preheat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Spray a large sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
- Evenly space the tortilla chips on the prepared pan. Sprinkle the cheese on the tortilla chips and place the pan in the oven for about 5-7 minutes to melt the cheese. Make sure to watch it closely so the cheese doesn't burn.
- Slice the carne asada into bite sized pieces and layer on top of the chips. Then, add the remaining toppings and any other toppings as desired.