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Slow Cooker Carne Asada

Summer is over and you’re probably starting to switch things up in the kitchen, menu-wise. If you spent the last few months standing by the grill, making homemade ice cream, or enjoying frozen cocktails at happy hour, it’s time to get ready for fall. If you made carne asada this summer it was likely on the grill. This slow cooker carne asada is perfect for fall and winter months, when you want to stay warm but don’t want to sacrifice your favorite recipes.

Slow Cooker Carne Asada

Yield: 6-8
Author: Hamilton Beach Test Kitchen


  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and cut into ½-inch slices
  • 2 pounds flank steak, cut into 4 pieces
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried ancho chili pepper


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion and cook until tender.
  2. Remove onion to a small bowl. Add ground beef. Stirring occasionally, cook until browned.
  3. Combine onion and beef in slow cooker crock.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine ketchup, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, seasoning
  5. and salt.
  6. Pour over beef in crock. Stir to thoroughly coat beef with sauce.
  7. Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 1 to 2 hours or LOW for 3 to 4 hours. Turn to WARM for
  8. serving.
  9. Serve meat on sandwich buns or slider rolls. Top with desired toppings.


  1. Arrange onion in single layer at bottom of slow cooker crock and top with steak.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together juice, oil, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and ancho chili pepper. Pour over steak
  3. Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours or LOW for 5 to 6 hours.
  4. Remove meat to a cutting board. Using 2 forks, shred meat. Reserve juices. Transfer shredded meat back to crock and spoon juices as desired over meat to moisten. Set slow cooker to WARM to keep meat warm for serving.

Arrange onion slices in a single layer at the bottom of the slow cooker crock and place the flank steak on top. We used two pounds of flank steak and cut it into four pieces for quicker, even cooking.

Then make the zesty marinade to flavor your steak (this is the real star of the show). Mix lime juice, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika and smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and ancho chili powder. Pour the spicy mixture over the flank steak in the slow cooker crock.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours or on LOW for 5 to 6 hours.

When the steak is fully cooked, remove it and shred the meat – reserving the juices. Transfer the steak back to the slow cooker and spoon the marinade back over top to moisten and flavor before serving. Add a little garnish of cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice to complete the dish.

Serve this slow cooker carne asada as a taco filling on Taco Tuesday or use it to make loaded nachos and feed the fans at your house on gameday. Making carne asada in the slow cooker is also a great meal prep option for the week. Store it in the fridge to quickly throw into quesadillas, burrito bowls, or to stir into macaroni and cheese throughout the week.

Prefer the grill, even on chilly fall nights? Use the same marinade for your grilled carne asada and enjoy tasty grilled carne asada all year long.

Other Test Kitchen recipes you might like:



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