Recipe: Air fryer carne asada fries

Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 5:13 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - While the concept of carne asada fries originated in San Diego, the surfside classic is right at home in the Midwest. Savory pieces of finely chopped steak are added to a pile of fries and combined with guacamole and your favorite cheese to make a comfort food dish that will steal your heart and reward your taste buds.

  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Serving Size: 4


  • 8-12 oz Top Sirloin Steak
  • Frozen French fries
  • Shredded cheese or cotija cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Steak seasoning


  1. Pre-heat air fryer to 360 degrees.
  2. Dry Sirloin Steak with paper towel and season liberally with your favorite steak rub or our Southwest-style dry rub. Spray a small amount of cooking spray on both sides of steak.
  3. Cook steak at 360° F steak setting for 4 minutes; flip steak; cook additional 4 minutes or until 130° F for medium-rare. Remove from tray and let rest for 10 minutes on foil-covered plate.
  4. Wipe tray clean with a paper towel and add French fries. Cook at air fryer recommended setting, stopping halfway through to shake the basket.
  5. Top french fries with shredded cheese. If using cotija cheese, wait until after step 8 to add cheese.
  6. Dice sirloin steak into small pieces and place on top of cheese.
  7. Cook for 30-60 seconds on air fry setting to melt cheese.
  8. Remove from basket and add your favorite toppings.


Carne asada is usually a marinated skirt or flank steak cooked over a flame or in a cast iron skillet. These thin cuts of beef shine with an overnight marinade and quick heat. However, thin cuts of beef run the risk of being dried out with the air fryer. Instead of flank or skirt steak, the Wisconsin Beef Council recommends using thicker cuts of beef like the top sirloin steak or flat iron steak , which have a great combination of flavor and tenderness and are also easier to cook to the desired temperature.

Authentic carne asada fries use a finely chopped steak to make sure every bite has at least some beef in it, so you’re really not going to notice much of a difference, texture wise, between a heavily marinated flank steak or a seasoned sirloin steak.

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