What To Do With Leftover Carne Asada – 10 Best Recipes

Turn leftover carne asada into magic in the kitchen with these 7 tasty recipes!

Marria Beklavac By Marria Beklavac

The carne asada is loved all over the country thanks to its rich taste, texture, and unmistakable flavor that few other recipes can match. What used to be traditional Mexican cuisine is now a grilled meal that’s enjoyed any backyard barbeque. 

This classic marinated beef recipe has become so essential to my kitchen menu that I often end up with substantial leftovers after a family get-together or a relaxing cookout. So, I’ve gotten used to repurposing the meal into creative new recipes (and become quite good at it, if I might add!). 

The carne asada’s tender texture, complementary ingredients, and savory marinade make it versatile enough to blend flawlessly with other culinary items and palates. Here are ten of my favorite go-to recipes for transforming leftover carne asada into mouth-watering menus. 

1. Carne Asada Burritos 

There’s nothing like a well-made burrito to serve as a quick snack or a hearty meal. They’re delicious, easy to make, and do not require a lot of expensive ingredients (if you source items correctly). 

Burritos provide the on-the-go convenience of a sandwich and the rich, flavorful taste of traditional Latino food. And the carne asada’s beef serves as the perfect, savory filling for a quick homemade burrito recipe. 

Here’s how you can put together a delectable burrito recipe simply by salvaging the leftover carne asada from the previous night. 

  • Grab some of your favorite flour tortillas and warm them up for about 30 seconds to get them wrap-ready. 
  • Add some cooked Pinto beans to the tortillas before the beef.
  • You can use a knife or spoon to tatter and shred the marinated beef before spreading it over the beans on the tortillas. 
  • Add a blob of salsa on the beef and spread it across evenly for added spice and tomato flavor.
  • Keep the tortillas firm at the edges and roll the contents into a nice, firm burrito. 

Consider adding cooked white rice and some cheese to the spread if you want a more filling burrito. I usually put brown rice when I wish to avoid the extra carbs, but cheese is non-negotiable if it’s a burrito. You can skip the rice and decrease the bean quantity if you want a light snack instead. 

If you’re having it immediately after preparation, you can add fresh ingredients like avocado and cucumber for more depth. But remember avocados do not freeze well if you plan on storing the burritos for later. 

Either way, you have the option of preparing a hearty meal that keeps you fueled for the entire afternoon or a light, quick snack that tides you over till the next proper meal. 

2. Carne Asada Tacos

Tacos are the quick, easy route to a comfort meal that you can enjoy almost anywhere and anytime. 

With a leftover carne asada dish, you’ve already got the core ingredient ready to eat. All you have to do is grab a few veggies, do some slicing and dicing, and bake the tacos for a few minutes before your meal is ready to go. 

Here’s how you can drum up a tantalizing taco with a few additional ingredients.  

  • Grab a few corn tortillas and soften them up by throwing them into the microwave for about 30 seconds. 
  • Chop a couple of onions and dice up some cilantro to add greens and fresh taste to the mix
  • Chop and shred the carne asada so that it’s easier to spread and stuff the tortillas as a filling.
  • Add the carne asada filling to the center of the wrap and top it off with the sliced veggies.
  • Add a dash of zesty lemon by squeezing a few drops to the mix and wrap up your taco. 
  • Preheat your oven to about  375 degrees and bake for about 10 minutes to get a nicely rounded taco that looks inviting, tastes, amazing, and serves as a healthy meal. 

The corn tortillas are simply a personal preference for me. You can stick to any other taco shells based on taste and preference. Also, feel free to play around with different combinations of vegetables and fresh items.

For instance, I have a friend who enjoys shredded lettuce over cilantro in her tacos. Most times, I also enjoy a small, sliced tomato and some Cheddar cheese grated on the carne asada for some extra rich taste. 

Remember you can create your garnishing and flavors with preferred veggies, sauces, or salsa. As long as you can use the carne asada as the primary beef filling, the rest of the ingredients remain an open culinary world where you can experiment and flirt with different flavors. 

3. Carne Asada Quesadillas

If you’re craving a crispy snack instead of a filling sandwich, you can prepare an easy quesadilla with the leftover carne asada. 

Quesadillas are an excellent option if you already have some Mexican cheese like Oaxaca lying around. They don’t require extensive preparation like pizzas and they’re easier to make compared to complex taco recipes. 

Explore these simple steps to see what quesadilla recipe you can drum up. 

  • Get some corn or flour tortillas from your kitchen shelf (or make a quick trip to the store). 
  • Dice up the leftover carne asada ensuring that the beef is shredded and spreadable. 
  • Place the beef on one of the tortillas (if using two shells) or place it on one side if you’re using only one tortilla. 
  • Grate some cheese on top of the beef (feel free to be generous here). 
  • Hold the other edge of the tortilla firmly and fold it over the fillings to create a nice wrap. 
  • Place the wrap on a frying pan and heat the quesadilla for a minute or two. Observe to see when the tortillas harden into a crispy shell and the cheese melts over the filling. 

Once again, the Oaxaca cheese is simply a personal preference. Feel free to use varieties like Monterey Jack if you wish to add a more American spin to your quesadillas.

Plus, Monterey Jack and Cheddar are both known to melt quickly and remain ideal for quesadilla-style recipes. 

Many chefs enjoy adding some sautéed spinach or other veggies like bell peppers and mushrooms to the filling.

I like to keep quesadillas simple because the carne asada already holds a lot of flavor with the marinated and seasoned beef. However, you can add vegetables and additional seasonings to taste when preparing the fillings. 

4. Carne Asada Salad

No hearty meal is complete without a blooming salad that tastes good, prevents excess calories, and comes packed with nutrients. 

For the health-conscious homemaker, you can repurpose your carne asada into a fiber-rich, healthy salad that’s packed with vitamins and brimming with leafy goodness.

Choose the kind of leafy greens that contain the type of vitamins and minerals you wish to add to your diet. 

Your carne asada’s seasoned beef already contains a lot of protein and calories. So, it’s a good idea to throw in generous quantities of vegetables to the mix.

Here’s how I do it. 

  • Shred the carne asada beef into bite-sized chunks.
  • Chop some tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, spinach, corn, and lime. 
  • Grab a bowl and toss all these ingredients into a nice, healthy mix. Remember to toss the ingredients well and evenly to ensure a good mixture of the cooked carne asada with the fresh veggies. 
  • Add half a teaspoon of ground cumin and kosher salad for some spicy goodness. You can also use peppers and spices that suit your tastes. 
  • OPTIONAL: Add a couple of lime wedges and slices of jalapeno pepper for final garnishing. 

That’s it! Your leftover carne asada is now a green, healthy salad that offers all the flavor of shredded beef and the green goodness of your favorite leafy vegetables. 

The diced lettuce and spinach are a personal favorite. So, I recommend including them in your salad. Plus, the crispy freshness of the leaves always pairs well with the savory aroma of the beef. So, you get the best of both culinary worlds! 

You can consider adding cheese to the tossed salad for extra fat and flavor. But I prefer doing without in my salads to retain a healthier recipe while still making use of the carne asada. 

5. Carne Asada Enchiladas

Enchiladas are a favorite way to salvage my leftover carne asada because this classic Mexican dish can go from mild to spicy and recreate a delectable contrast of taste and texture depending on how you prepare it. 

Enchiladas can be a component of any menu or they can also serve as stand-alone meals that keep you full and provide considerable nutrition (if you choose ingredients wisely). 

Follow this recipe for a carne asada enchilada that combines a simmering sauce, tangy veggies, and a creamy filling that’ll leave your mouth watering and drooling at first sight! 

  • Start by preparing a few corn tortillas for the wrap
  • Smear the carne asada beef evenly on the tortilla
  • Add some chopped onions, diced tomatoes, and squeeze half a lemon into the mix
  • Grate some of your favorite cheese on top of this mixture
  • Place the prepared wrap on a cooking dish and drench it in salsa roja or salsa verde (or your favorite enchilada sauce)
  • Preheat your over to about 300-350 degrees and add some chili sauce to the bottom of the dish
  • Place your dish into the oven and bake till you see the cheese melting and dripping over the wrap (Usually takes about 20 minutes). 

Smearing some sour cream after baking the wrap can add a pop of colorful flavor to your enchilada and additional veggies like diced cilantro can serve as garnishing before you serve the dish. 

These enchiladas will make great snacks that you can pass around while watching a movie at home. Alternatively, they serve as excellent side dishes if you already have a spicy grilled menu going on in the backyard. 

Either way, this recipe promises to create an enchilada that is simmering with flavor, filled with savory goodness, and guarantees to have guests clamoring for more! 

6. Carne Asada Pizza

One of my favorite ways to create new recipes from leftovers is to blend dishes from different culinary cultures into a creative new dish. And the carne asada pizza remains a winner in this category! 

This dish is especially ideal for situations where you have a lot of mouths to feed but not enough carne asada beef to go around. The pizza adds volume and quantity of Italian feasts while the carne asada brings the savory goodness of Mexican spice. 

Remember you can create your homemade spin on these recipes. Here’s the process that I follow. 

  • Grab a pre-baked pizza crust 
  • Top it off with the leftover carne asada (shred the beef if necessary)
  • Add chili, jalapeno, and peppers to taste
  • Add shredded cheddar and mozzarella (to taste)
  • Add a few diced red onions and slices of tomato over the mix
  • Bring up your oven to about 450-500 degrees. Place your carne asada pizza and heat for about 5-10 minutes (till cheese melts). 

 That’s how you get a mouth-watering pizza going in less than 30 minutes with some leftover carne asada. 

I’ve used this recipe dozens of times especially when friends and family come over with children. The little mouths love the pizza, adults enjoy a slice each, and my leftover carne asada gets repurposed to good use. It’s a win-win-win all around! 

You can create your pizza sauce with tomatoes, onions, herbs, and condiments. Also, feel free to choose parmesan or other cheese varieties depending on your preference. 

You can even bake two or three pizzas if your leftover carne asada is substantial. Alternatively, you can combine one of these pizzas with carne asada fries or nachos to make the meal a fun combination of delectable snacks. 

7. Carne Asada Nachos

Carne asada nachos are a great alternative when you don’t have the time or energy to put together fancy meals but still crave the indulgence of tasty food that can get you fueled and filled. 

Nachos are such versatile snacks that you can make them calorie-rich bites or create healthier recipes that would impress your nutritionist.

The recipe I follow for leftover carne asada leans more on the protein and caloric-rich side. However, you can tweak the ingredients to lessen the meat and drive up the veggies if you wish to cut down on the calories. 

Here’s how to put together a nimble nacho recipe that saves time and energy while offering taste and nutrition. 

  • Get some tortilla chips ready
  • Add the beef from your leftover carne asada to the chips
  • Add some pinto beans to the layer and include a generous blob of salsa to retain the spicy, Mexican flavor. 
  • Dice up some jalapenos and pepper to the mixture
  • Grate the cheese of your choice over the ingredients and prepare for baking
  • Crank up your oven to a nice 350 degrees and place the chips inside.
  • Bake for three to five minutes and retrieve once you notice the cheese melted and flowing through the ingredients. 

You can transfer the nachos to a nice bowl for presentation if you have guests over. If it’s just family, I use the baking pan to serve the nachos directly. It saves me additional work on doing the dishes after the meal. 

I recommend avoiding those paper-thin tortilla chips. The carne asada’s beef is meaty and rich. So, you need crispy chips that can scoop the ingredients firmly without breaking off within the bowl. 

With fewer spices and jalapenos, carne asada nachos are an ideal snack for the kids too. You can spice up the dips separately for adults if you have children sharing the meal too. 

8. Carne Asada Fries

Fries are a classic snack that fits into any gathering, get-together, or family barbeque. They’re easy to make, loved by all, and a treat to the palate. In our case, the best part is that they go surprisingly well with carne asada’s scrumptious beef. 

Also, fries will complement every other leftover carne asada recipe mentioned here. So, you can include it as a part of the meal instead of a substitute for the other recipes on this list. 

For this recipe, you’ll need to make the fries separately and use the carne asada as a dip, filler, or part of a larger meal. But trust me, they go together like bread and jam. 

Here’s how I put together this menu when I have leftover carne asada. 

  • Prepare a bowl of your favorite French fries recipe.  
  • Chop and dice the leftover carne asada so that the beef and ingredients are all shredded. 
  • Grate and shred some of your favorite cheese over the carne asada. 
  • Add some guacamole to the bowl or a separate container to serve as a dip. 
  • Mix some ketchup or sour cream to complement the guacamole as a secondary dip. 

The carne asada fries are a simple and quick recipe that gets food on the table without too much effort. Whether you’re binging on Netflix or chatting over a backyard barbeque, it blends in well with any menu and get-togethers of any size. 

Remember to salt your fries to taste or play around with additional condiments and sauces. I’ve tried the carne asada fries with mayo, chili sauce, garlic sauce, and even ranch dressing. The fries and beef go well with any savory sauce that gets your taste buds watery and ready to eat. 

You can also add side dressings or a burger to make it a heavier meal for one or two people. 

9. Carne Asada Breakfast Hash

If you’re someone who likes a good breakfast hash, you know that it’s a dish that liberates the chef in you and doesn’t follow any strict rules in recipes.

With some leftover carne asada, the breakfast hash becomes an even more versatile and universal meal that works for any occasion or time of the day. 

Most people use something traditional like corned beef for their breakfast hash recipe. In our case, the carne asada provides the protein so we only need to get the other ingredients ready. 

  • Slice a few potatoes and onions.
  • Sauté them on a pan over a nice, low flame for an even cook. 
  • Add some bell peppers and jalapeno before the onions get cooked completely. 
  • Shred the carne asada and add it to the dish 
  • Fry up a nice poached egg and place it on top of the beef to add the final touches to your recipe. 

The breakfast hash sounds like a morning meal you prepare and consume in a hurry. However, you can carry it around for brunch or lunch later on if packed properly. 

The beauty of the carne asada breakfast hash is that it provides taste, substance, and volume to keep you filled and energetic for the entire day.

So, it’s especially handy as a morning recipe if you prepared carne asada the previous night and had considerable leftovers in the morning. 

For added calories, I like adding a British twist to this breakfast recipe. I add a few slices of bacon, a couple of sautéed sausages, and my favorite baked beans as a side.

Altogether, these ingredients add the power of protein and include enough calories to help me get through the day on light snacks and a small meal in the evening. 

10. Carne Asada Stuffed Peppers

A simple foray into Google for stuffed peppers and you’ll find a thousand recipes – one for any occasion or meal of the day. 

So, there’s no shortage of ideas you can drum up or look up when it comes to stuffed peppers. Also, peppers are almost universal as a side ingredient in any dish. However, using them as the main ingredient falls to a specific taste, and not everyone enjoys such servings of bell peppers. 

I’m sharing a simple and easy-to-create recipe here for stuffed peppers. However, please do not consider this mix as a hard and fast rule.

Stuffed peppers can include almost any ingredient depending on your preference. So, they’re good opportunities to try out new combinations of ingredients and preparation styles. 

  • Collect a few plump bell peppers
  • Slice off the top and remove the seed sac.
  • Take a scoop of the leftover carne asada (shredded) and stuff it into the hollow bell pepper
  • Add  a small serving of cooked white rice to make it extra wholesome
  • Grate your favorite cheese over the mixture
  • Preheat your oven to about 450 degrees.
  • Place the bell peppers into the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes (watch for the cheese melting to see if ready). 

The carne asada stuffed peppers are an ingenious recreation of a classic dish. With the leftover carne asada already ready to eat, preparing and baking the rest of the ingredients takes about 30 minutes at the most.

So, you have a filling meal that’s ready in no time and is still packed with nutrients and enough calories to count as a proper meal. 

Bonus Tips for Leftover Recipes That Top Chefs Swear By

I’m adding a few more pointers for transforming your leftover carne asada into tantalizing and irresistible meals (tried and tested by yours truly). 

  • Explore different combinations of leftover recipes when you have a considerable amount of carne asada to reuse. For instance, a carne asada salad can serve as one item in a meal that includes a carne asada burritos as the main dish. 
  • Keep the rice as an optional ingredient. I was on a stringent fitness and nutrition program a few years back. So, cutting down on unnecessary calories meant removing ingredients like rice from many of my recipes. Trust me when I say your stuffed peppers will be just as filling with beans in place of rice. 
  • Don’t hold back on your veggies when trying out new leftover recipes. Mexican food can accommodate a wide range of greens and vegetables that include green tomatoes, zucchini, corn, mushrooms, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, etc. Most of the recipes described here do not include many of these staple items. So, don’t hesitate to mix your recipes up by adding more vitamins and nutrition to the bowl. 
  • Store all your leftover carne asada incorrect, air-tight containers that can preserve the taste and integrity of the dish. Improper storage will lead to poor results in experimental recipes the next day. 
  • Pay close attention to temperature exposure when baking or reheating your leftover carne asada in a new recipe. Remember your the beef is already seasoned and cooked. Any further baking should consider minimal and optimal exposure to heat to avoid overcooking. 
  • Don’t stick only to Mexican cheese. Many home cooks make the mistake of believing that these Mexican recipes only work with specific cheese varieties. If you find the correct dosage, cheese comes down to personal taste and preference. 
  • Experiment with different sauces. Whether it’s Mexican fire-roasted salsa, enchilada sauce, or Queso, most of your leftover recipes will go well with even the most generic Mexican sauces. Try different dips and accompanying sauces to find the best possible combination in taste and texture. 
Share This Article
By Marria Beklavac Owner
Hey there! I'm Marria Beklavac, a barista by trade and a cook by heart. My culinary journey started at 12, inspired by my grandpa, who first introduced me to the wonders of cooking. His passion sparked mine, leading me to a life where each meal is an adventure. In Terra's Kitchen, I blend my love for coffee with my zeal for cooking to share my culinary exploits with you. This blog is my space to share the joys, discoveries, and lessons from my kitchen to yours. Welcome aboard – let's cook up some magic together!