Since my first and only visit to San Diego, I've wanted to recreate my own Paleo Carne Asada Fries Recipe.
And now, my version of carne asada fries is ready to share with the world! With baked sweet potato fries, saucy carne asada, thin guacamole, fresh pico de gallo, and pickled red onions, this entree is definitely LOADED.
Likely, you're here because you've had carne asada fries and you want to make your own version at home.
But if you popped in because the idea intrigues you but you've never had the pleasure of diving face-first into a heaping mound of fries topped with thinly-sliced carne asada, guacamole, diced tomatoes, diced onion, cilantro, pickled veggies, and more wondrous toppings, this creation will certainly blow your mind.
The Case for Dried Chiles
It all starts with excellent carne asada.
Now, I include a recipe for carne asada for EPIC tacos in Tacos Every Damn Day — my free e-book for subscribers with 20 paleo and gluten free taco recipes.
Buuuut I'm sharing essentially the same carne asada recipe here for these fries.
Still, you get access to way more recipes in that e-book, including maple chipotle chicken, pulled pork, and slow cooker barbacoa beef brisket. So. Get your hands on that e-book NOW — I guarantee I'll eventually retire it!
Back to the carne asada.
Like in many of my recipes, this carne asada uses dried chiles in the marinade. Honestly, dried chiles are the way to go.
I know many people get intimidated by dried chiles because you likely don't already buy them. BUT the benefits outweigh the nervousness here. First off, they last a long, long time. So you can buy a package and keep it in your pantry for up to a year. That's a lot of carne asada.
Secondly, they're super easy. Just like working with fresh chiles, you stem and de-seed them. After that, toast 'em in the microwave or in a hot dry skillet for a few seconds, and you're ready to toss it in the blender for this big beautiful marinade.
Seriously, you get SO much more bold, irresistible flavor seeping into that steak when you use dried chiles instead of chili powder or something like that. Trust me.
Hot Mess In A Bowl
Okay. I want to talk about these pictures for a moment. Yes, I talk about food photography quite a bit on this blog—but bear with me before we get to the recipe.
Each and every time I take out my camera, I try to improve. But in this case, I struggled NOT to make carne asada fries look like a hot mess.
Because frankly, this boatload of awesome kind of is a hot mess. The carne asada fries I remember devouring in San Diego were a pile of haphazardly put together food that tasted absolutely fantastic. So in that sense, perhaps I captured the right feeling?
More Smothered Fries Recipes
- Buffalo Chicken Smothered Sweet Potato Fries
- Pork Belly Benedict Smothered Fries
- BBQ Chicken Smothered Sweet Potato Fries
Carne Asada Fries Recipe
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 4-5 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: Grilled, baked
- Cuisine: Mexican
Homemade carne asada and baked sweet potato fries make this Paleo Carne Asada Fries Recipe boom with flavor. There's a bit more prepwork than your average meal, but the hot mess of deliciousness is worth it!
For the Carne Asada
- 3 whole dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 3 whole dried arbol chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 2 whole dried chipotle peppers, stems and seeds removed
- ¾ cup fresh orange juice (2-3 oranges)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 6 medium garlic cloves
- 1 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only, divided
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 pounds skirt steak
For the Sweet Potato Fries
- 2 medium-large white sweet potatoes, cut into fries
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Diced tomato
- Diced red onion
- Diced jalapeño
- Finely chopped cilantro
- Limes, quartered
- Pickled red onions
- 1 avocado, mashed with the juice of 1 lime and thinned with a little water or coconut milk
- Crumbled feta cheese (optional)
For the Carne Asada
- Put dried ancho, arbol, and chipotle chiles on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 10 to 20 seconds, until the chiles are pliable and smell toasty. Transfer to a blender, adding orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, coconut aminos, fish sauce, garlic cloves, cilantro, cumin, coriander, and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend for about 1 minute, until a smooth sauce has formed. Measure out about ¼ cup of the sauce to use as a topping for the fries and transfer to a sealed container. Place the sealed container in the fridge.
- Add the remaining 2 teaspoons salt to the salsa that’s left. Coat the skirt steak in the sauce,
dredging the meat on each side before transferring to a gallon-sized zip-top bag or shallow sealed container. Pour any excess marinade in with the steak. If using a zip-tip bag, squeeze all air out of the bag and seal. Refrigerate and let marinate for 3 hours to overnight.
- When ready to cook, heat half the burners of a gas grill to the highest heat setting. Cover and let
preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate before cooking the steak.
- Remove skirt steak from the marinade, discarding excess marinade. Add the steak directly over the hot side of the grill and cover. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until steak is well-charred on the outside.
- Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice against the grain into thin strips, then chop the strips into bite-size pieces.
For the Fries
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss sweet potato fries in avocado oil and salt. Place all fries on baking sheet, making sure none are touching. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Putting It All Together
- Add about ¼ of the sweet potato fries to a bowl or plate. Top with ¼ of the carne asada pieces. Now add your toppings — load it up with tomato, onion, jalapeño, pickled onions, and cilantro. Drizzle on the thinned guacamole and reserved excess marinade.
Keywords: Paleo Carne Asada Fries Recipe
Mallory Acosta says
I really want to make this recipe--it is bursting with color and flavor! I don't have a grill of any kind though and am new to the world of cooking steak (former vegetarian here!), so I would love some advice on another way the carne asada could be cooked if there is an alternative to the grill. Thanks for sharing your creativity and deliciousness!
Absolutely, Mallory! You can make it in a sturdy skillet, like cast iron. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Once it's hot, add the marinated steak and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Done!
Here's the skillet I use, in case you don't have one yet: https://amzn.to/2OIZowB (that's an affiliate link - just a heads up!)