Juicy, tender and full of flavor, this Vegan Carne Asada will blow you away! Enjoy in tacos, burritos or bowls for a Mexican-inspired vegan feast.

cast iron pan full of mock seitan meat that looks seasoned

Once I created this juicy and tender Vegan Steak, I knew I had to transform it into vegan carne asada. So that’s exactly what I did, and the results are incredible!

Instead of using the steak marinade, I used a combination of orange juice, lime, garlic, cilantro, jalapeño and a few other seasonings like salt, pepper and white vinegar. This is more of a traditional seasoning for carne asada meat.

The recipe does take a little bit of time to prepare, mostly due to the fact that the longer you marinate the cooked seitan, they more flavorful the end result will be.

Seitan based carne asada is pretty straightforward and easy to make. If you haven’t made homemade seitan “meat” before, don’t be intimidated. It’s not that difficult at all!

Tips & Substitutions

  • Soy curls – Instead of seitan, you could also make vegan carne asada with soy curls. I would use half of a bag of soy curls and first soak them in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain, squeeze out any excess water, then marinate and pan fry.
  • Jackfruit – While you could use jackfruit, it’s not my favorite option here. Make similarly to my Jackfruit Carnitas.
  • Marinate for at least a few hours or overnight, if possible. This will give you the most flavorful vegan meat for throwing into tacos!
  • Fresh orange juice – If possible, use fresh squeezed orange juice from an orange or two. But if you need to, bottled will work.
pan full of vegan seitan meat

How to serve vegan carne asada

Stuff this seitan meat into warm corn or flour tortillas with chopped onions, cilantro, and perhaps a bit of vegan cheese. My recipe for Vegan Feta actually tastes a lot like cotija cheese and is perfect on these tacos. Vegan Sour Cream or Shreddable Mozzarella would also be good additions.

Serve with a side of Mexican Rice and Refried Beans.

More vegan tacos to love

square image of carne asada made vegan in a black pan
4.75 stars (4 ratings)

Vegan Carne Asada

Juicy, tender and full of flavor, this Vegan Carne Asada will blow you away!
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Marinating time: 2 hours
Total: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings




  • 1/2 cup orange juice fresh squeezed is best
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice from about 2 limes
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, minced, seeds removed for less heat
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

For serving


  • Make the seitan steak, but do not make the marinade with the recipe. Instead, use this carne asada marinade.
  • In a large ziplock type bag (wash and reuse after to reduce waste), add all marinade ingredients. Alternatively, use a container with a lid.
  • Once the steaks have steamed, cut them up into slices and add to the bag with the marinade.
  • Seal and squish the bag around to coat. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, overnight preferred, in the refrigerator.
  • Heat a grill pan or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Place the marinaded seitan steak pieces in the pan, saving the excess marinade. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until a bit blackened. Add a little more marinade right before removing from the pan, for extra flavor.
  • Remove from heat and serve in corn or flour tortillas with toppings of choice. I like chopped white onion, chopped cilantro and crumbled vegan feta (not traditional, but Violife's vegan feta reminds me of cotja cheese!) Enjoy!


  1. Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for about 4 days. Simply reheat in the microwave or stovetop until warm.
  2. Seitan carne asada can be frozen as well.


Serving: 1of 4 servings | Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 294mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1212IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican-inspired
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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    1. This would work with soy curls! I would use half of a bag of soy curls and first soak them in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain, squeeze out any excess water, then marinate and pan fry. Enjoy!

  1. I made it my brother came over with his girl and had no idea it wasn’t meat. We had steak and fries and a salad.

  2. Hi Nora, thanks for this recipe. I made it using Upton’s Naturals seitan chunks (unflavored), and I sliced/broke them up a little bit. I marinated them overnight, then cooked them on a cast-iron griddle. Served in corn tortillas & topped with dollops of a green goddess-y dip + tomatoes. SO GOOD. The flavor of the seitan, with the marinade on it, was fabulous.

    1. You are welcome! Thanks for sharing your feedback and meal experience! I’m thrilled you loved the flavors!

  3. This was awesome! Definitely hit the carne asada craving.

    My only difficulty was when I added the lentils and other ingredients to the food processor to create the dough. The ingredients came together so quickly that my food processor slowed as it all coagulated into a singular ball. The problem was that it came together so quickly that all the lentils didn’t get pulverized, so I ended up picking them out of the dough one-by-one. In the future, I would blend the lentils down first, then add the other ingredients to make the dough.

    Also, since I don’t have a steamer basket, and my attempts to rig my own haven’t been successful, I eventually had to just bake these.

    And finally, I had to add a bit more marinade ingredients to get everything wet.

    Flavor was wonderful, and very tough meaty texture. Definitely scratched my itch for carne asada, and husband loved it too. Made for a delicious Mexican feast with all the accoutrements. Another great recipe!

  4. I just grilled up my carne asada tonight and it was so delicious! I’m Mexican and have grown up on carne asada, and you’ve totally nailed the flavor!! I will have to say I started it last night before reading all the instructions and was super bummed to read I would have to let it marinade overnight but it was worth the wait, so yummy! ?

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the vegan carne asada! Yes, I’m a bit of an impatient cook but marinating this one makes all the difference. 🙂 Thank you!

    2. I have a QUESTION! This marinade sounds delicious 🤤! COULD I USE IT WITH SOY CURLS?? I love soy curls and have used them as a chicken substitute but I’m thinking this marinade might be just as good on them too!

      1. Yes, for sure! I would use half of a bag of soy curls and first soak them in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain, squeeze out any excess water, then marinate and pan fry.

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