Carne asada seasoning is a spice blend specifically designed to enhance the flavor of carne asada which is a grilled meat dish from Mexican cuisine. Make a large batch and store it for up to 6 months in your pantry!

If you love carne asada as I do, then let me tell you, making your own seasoning is the way to go! You won’t believe how delicious and easy is to make.

You just need a handful of spices you probably already have in your pantry. Mix it all up, and you’ve got yourself the most lip-smacking carne asada seasoning ever!

Just rub it on your beef, let it sit a bit, then grill it up to perfection. Use the meat to make fajitas, street tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and pretty much anything you want!

Close-up of carne asada seasoning dry rub.


  • Garlic powder: Provides a savory and pungent taste. I like to use granulated for a grainier texture.
  • Onion powder: It adds a slightly sweet flavor to the rub. Use granulate instead of powder if you want.
  • Cumin: A warm and earthy spice that adds depth of flavor to the seasoning rub. It has a slightly nutty and peppery taste.
  • Chipotle powder: It adds a mild, slightly sweet, and smoky flavor and gives the meat a reddish color. You can substitute it with paprika.
  • Chili powder: To add a spicy kick. You can leave it out or substitute it with cayenne pepper.
  • Dried oregano: An herb with a strong and slightly bitter flavor. It adds an earthy and aromatic note to the seasoning blend.
  • Black pepper: Adds a mild spiciness and a subtle warmth. It also enhances the flavors of other spices.
  • Salt: A good pinch of salt to tie everything together and make those flavors sing.
  • Tajín (optional): This is a popular Mexican seasoning blend that combines chili peppers, lime, and salt. It adds a tangy, spicy, and savory kick to grilled meats. You can find this ingredient at Mexican grocery stores or on Amazon.

How To Make Carne Asada Seasoning

Place garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, ground chipotle or chili powder/paprika, tajín powder, black pepper, and salt in a mixing bowl.

Mix well until thoroughly combined then use it immediately or store in a jar with a thigh lid, or in a resealable bag.

Carne asada seasoning in a bowl with a hand whisk.

To use immediately: Sprinkle the seasoning generously all over the meat. Rub it in with your hands, so every inch of that beef steak gets coated with the flavorful goodness.

If you have the time, cover the seasoned meat with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or even better, overnight. This will allow the flavors to penetrate the meat even deeper.

Grill the meat over medium-high heat until cooked to your desired level of tenderness.

Tips & Notes

  • Whenever possible, use fresh spices instead of ones that have been sitting in your pantry for a long time. Fresh spices have more vibrant flavors and can make a significant difference in the taste of your seasoning.
  • Adjust the spice levels according to your preference. If you prefer a milder seasoning, reduce the amount of chili powder or paprika. If you like it hotter, increase the amount of spice or add additional heat sources like crushed chile de árbol peppers.
  • While the seasoning rub alone can add great flavor to carne asada, consider adding other ingredients like lime juice, vinegar, orange juice, or oil. Marinating can tenderize the meat and infuse it with even more flavor.
Carne asada seasoning in a white bowl with more small bowls on the side with dry spices.

Recipe Variations

You can make a few variations of this carne asada seasoning rub, those below are my favorites:

  • Cilantro: Add 1 teaspoon of ground coriander seeds or use whole lightly crushed to add a bit of texture as well.
  • Sweet & smoky: Add a bit of piloncillo powder or packed brown sugar for a smoky and lightly sweet kick.
  • Add more spicy: There are so many Mexican chiles to use, my favorites are guajillo or morita chile powder, but also ancho powder adds an amazing flavor.

How to Use

Carne asada seasoning is used to rub on flank steak or skirt steak to make the famous Mexican grilled meat called carne asada. You can add a drizzle of olive oil or a squeeze of lemon juice to help the mixture to stick to the meat.

But did you know you can also use this spice mix to season chicken, pork, and even shrimp?! That’s right, the type of spices used are so hearty and delicious that can add flavor to many proteins or even to vegetables.

I often use this seasoning to make pollo asado (grilled chicken), fajitas, brochetas de camarón (shrimp skewers), or carne asada fries.

Carne asada platter with beans, pico de gallo salsa, guacamole, and cebollitas.

Storage Suggestions

Transfer the carne asada seasoning rub to an airtight container, such as a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid or a resealable plastic bag.

Clearly label the container with the name of the dry rub and the date of preparation. This will help you keep track of its freshness.

Place the container in a cool, dry, and dark location, such as a pantry or a cupboard. Exposure to heat, moisture, and sunlight can degrade the flavors and quality of the spices.

Minimize opening the container unnecessarily to prevent moisture and air from entering. Each time the container is opened, the rub is exposed to air, which can cause the spices to lose their potency and flavor over time.

Spices gradually lose their potency and flavor over time. It is recommended to use the carne asada seasoning within 6 months. After this period, the flavors may start to diminish.


What is carne asada seasoning made of?

Carne asada seasoning is usually made of a flavorful blend of powdered spices that may include garlic, onion, cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper.

What goes good on carne asada?

There are so many tasty toppings and sides that go like a match made in heaven with carne asada! Here are some mouthwatering ideas:

Cebollitas (grilled onions).
Mexican cowboy caviar.
Flour tortillas.
Street corn slaw.
Salsa roja.

More Mexican-Inspired Recipes

Calling all food enthusiasts! We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment and rating on this recipe. You can also follow this blog on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram for more Mexican recipes.


Carne asada seasoning recipe.

Carne Asada Seasoning

6 Tablespoons
Homemade carne asada seasoning brings an incredible burst of flavor to beef and is simply ideal for crafting delicious carne asada at home. It's a breeze to mix and can be made with simple pantry ingredients.
prep 5 minutes
total 5 minutes


  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle chili powder (or paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Tajín (optional )
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons table salt


  • Place all ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Use a hand whisk to mix the ingredients until combined.
  • Use the rub right away or transfer to an airtight container or jar and store for up to 6 months.


  • Adjust the spice according to your preference. If you prefer a milder seasoning, reduce the amount of chili powder or paprika. If you like it spicier, add more.
  • When you rub the meat with the seasoning, add a drizzle of olive oil or a squeeze of lemon juice to help the mixture to stick to the meat.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1 Teaspoon | Calories: 17kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 417mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 513IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I love how this seasoning is very customizable! I made mine spicier than the recipe and it was the best. Can’t wait to try this with shrimp!

  2. 5 stars
    Best seasoning ever! Super easy to make and it really adds flavor to beef. I haven’t tried with chicken but can’t wait!

  3. 5 stars
    So, if you’re looking to elevate your BBQ game, I highly recommend giving this carne asada seasoning a shot. It’s a game-changer, and your taste buds will thank you! Happy cooking and even happier eating!

  4. 5 stars
    I let the seasoning work its magic on the meat for a whole night, and the result was a tender, juicy, and oh-so-tasty carne asada that had my family begging for seconds. The aroma while grilling was almost too good to handle – it drew everyone to the backyard like a magnet.

  5. 5 stars
    Tried it out last weekend, and oh boy, it took our grilling game to a whole new level! The combination of spices was the perfect balance of flavors that made the meat incredibly savory and satisfying. I added a pinch of sugar for a hint of sweetness.

  6. 5 stars
    Even if you think this recipe is so simple, give it a try. I made a small batch (half the recipe) yesterday just to test it and used it in my steak for dinner. It was DELICIOUS! The combination of spices really elevate the flavor of a simple steak into something amazing.