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Carne Asada Fries (San Diego Style)

Carne Asada Fries (San Diego Style)

San Diego born and raised here at Foodie and Wine, so we know how to make THE BEST Carne Asada Fries Recipe (and Carne Asada Tacos, Street Tacos and Carne Asada Nachos). This is exactly how they make them at San Diego taco shops. Hot and crispy french fries are topped with authentic carne asada, shredded cheese, 4 ingredient guacamole and sour cream! 

Pair these Carne Asada French Fries with our other popular Mexican recipes for a fun Cinco de Mayo fiesta: Birria (or Birria Tacos), Michelada with a Chamoy rim, Mexican Mule, Mango Michelada, Classic Margarita, Refried Bean Dip or Mexican Shrimp Cocktail. Even a Beermosa would pair well!

San Diego Carne Asada

The base for all our carne asada recipes is our classic San Diego-style Carne Asada steak. If you’ve ever been to San Diego and grubbed down on Filiberto’s Carne Asada Fries or Alberto’s Carne Asada Fries, you know what style I’m talking about. Costco Carne Asada and Trader Joe’s Carne Asada it is not.

Our carne asada marinade is unparalleled as it’s exactly what you’ll find at the local taquerias. This carne asada steak recipe has been perfected over the last 12+ years and is beloved by those “in the know”.  Instead of Googling “carne asada fries near me” make your own!

Up close shot of grilled flank steak sliced to make carne asada recipes.

Ingredients For Carne Asada Fries

Carne Asada Steak – Flank Steak, Red Wine Vinegar, Vegetable Oil, Lime, Orange, Cilantro, Garlic, Salt, White pepper, Cumin, Chili Powder, Mexican Oregano and Ground Cloves.

Fries – Frozen french fries (we make them using our Air Fried Frozen French Fries recipe)

Toppings – Cheese, guacamole, and sour cream

What Kind of French Fries Can You Use?

Most taquerias use pre-cut frozen french fries and then fry to order. Why? Imagine the time and man power required to prepare fresh cut french fries. As such, that’s what we’re using. You’ll see tons of recipes out there for homemade seasoned french fries, which probably taste great, but to stick to the original carne asada fries recipes, only salt is used as seasoning. 

Here are other options to consider if you’re looking to mix it up or already have some on hand:

  • Homemade French Fries
  • Crinkle Cut Fries
  • Steak Fries
  • Curly Fries
  • Waffle Fries
  • Tater Tots
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Seasoned Fries

How to Make Carne Asada Fries

Flank steak, carne asada marinade, and orange slices in a Ziploc Bag.

Prepare the Carne Asada

Marinate the steak for a minimum of two hours. Grill for 5-7 minutes per side, let rest for 10 minutes and dice into bite size chunks. To keep the authenticity, heat up a cast iron skillet and brown the carne asada chunks on all sides. You can skip this step if you like. It’s not required, but this is how San Diego taco shops finish their meat. We do this step while the french fries are baking.

Side by side photo showing fries and cheese in a black cast iron skillet. On the right shows french fries with cheese and carne asada steak in a cast iron skillet.

Start Building the Fries

Add a single layer of french fries to a cast iron skillet or quarter size baking sheet and cook according to the directions on the back of the package. Remove the fries from the oven and turn the oven to high broil. Sprinkle half the cheese over the hot fries and broil for 1-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Add the carne asada and another layer of cheese and broil for another 1-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Side by side photo showing fries and steak and unmelted cheese in a cast iron skillet. Right photo shows the same ingredients, but the cheese is melted.

Add the Toppings

Top the steak fries with guacamole and sour cream and get to grubbing!

Side by side photos showing carne asada fries topping with sour cream and guacamole.

Topping Ideas

The toppings we use in this Mexican fries recipe are typical for San-Diego style, however there are a ton of other toppings that would be killer. Here are a few of my favorites:

Homemade Salsa or Hot Sauce

Pico de Gallo or Mango Pico de Gallo

Instant Pot Refried Beans or Slow Cooker Refried Beans

Pickled Peppers or Pickled Banana Peppers

Pickled Red Onions

Mexican Crema 

Shredded Lettuce

Close up of french fries with steak, guacamole and sour cream on them in a black skillet.

What To Serve with Fries with Carne Asada

These Mexican fries don’t need a side dish, but if you’re serving them at a party or splitting them with more than 4 peeps, here are some ideas to bulk up the carne asada plates:

Recipe Tips

  • Play with the proportions until you figure out your favorite mix. Love cheese? Add in another cup. Watching the budget? Half the amount of steak. Love a little heat? Load em up with hot sauce or salsa. You get the idea.
  • Avoid pre-shredded bagged cheese as the coating prohibits the cheese from melting properly. Fantastic cheese options include: Mexican cheese blend, Monterey Jack, Colby, cheddar, pepper jack or even Oaxaca. 
  • The guacamole, steak and fries already have a ton of salt in them, so we do not add extra salt to the fries. Be our guest if you’re a salt fiend. We won’t judge.
  • Make sure to check out our San Diego-style Recipes for Carne Asada Tacos and Carne Asada Nachos as well!!

Side by Side photo showing carne asada tacos on the left and carne asada nachos on the right.

Can I Make This In Advance

The carne asada steak, yes. The guacamole, eh. The fries themselves, nope. This homemade carne asada fries recipe is best straight from the oven. Even 10 minutes sitting on the stove will mean cold and/or soggy fries and cold steak. As for the guacamole, making it in advance risks it turning brown and unsightly. It would still be edible, just not as appetizing. 

More Delicious Mexican Recipes:

 

I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a recipe rating, snap a pic and use the hashtag #foodieandwine, after you’ve made the recipe, and post to social media! 

Carne Asada Fries in a black cast iron skillet with a corona, bowl of salsa and slices of lime next to it.
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Carne Asada Fries

The BEST San Diego Style Carne Asada Fries Recipe!! Exactly how they make it at San Diego Taco Shops!! Hot and crispy French fries are topped with authentic carne asada meat, cheese, guacamole and sour cream!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Carne Asada Recipes, French Fry Recipes, Mexican Recipes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 489kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $20

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb Carne Asada (*Note 1)
  • 1 28 oz Frozen French Fries
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheese (*Note 2)
  • 1 Cup 4-Ingredient Guacamole
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream

Instructions

Carne Asada Steak:

  • Prepare a half batch of the carne asada steak recipe linked to above. When the steak is resting, proceed to the below.

Carne Asada Fries:

  • Add the french fries, in a single layer, to a baking sheet or cast iron skillet. Bake the french fries according to the directions on the back of the package (usually 10-12 minutes per side).
  • Remove the fries from the oven and turn the oven to high broil. Sprinkle half the cheese over the hot fries and broil for 1-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  • Add the diced carne asada and the remaining cheese and broil for another 1-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  • Remove the fries from the oven. Divide onto smaller serving plates and top with the guacamole and sour cream. Enjoy immediately for best results.

Notes

Note 1 - Preparing the Steak
OPTIONAL: To keep the authenticity, heat up a cast iron skillet and brown the carne asada chunks on all sides. You can skip this step if you like. It's not required, but this is how San Diego taco shops finish their meat. We do this step while the french fries are baking.
We recommend cooking the meat to medium to medium-well as this makes for the best texture and firmness. You'll see medium-rare quoted elsewhere, but check out the next carne asada burrito you grub down on. I guarantee you won't see tons of pink. 
Note 2 - Avoid pre-shredded bagged cheese as the coating prohibits the cheese from melting properly. Fantastic cheese options include: Mexican cheese blend, Monterey Jack, Colby, cheddar, pepper jack or even Oaxaca. 
The quoted time is based on using already cooked carne asada steak.

Nutrition

Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 431mg | Potassium: 428mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 828IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 354mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating




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