7 Easy Steps to Make Homemade Carne Asada Seasoning

Carne asada is a beloved dish in Mexican cuisine, known for its savory, bold flavors and versatility.

This grilled beef, often marinated and seasoned to perfection, is a staple at gatherings and celebrations. The right seasoning can elevate carne asada from good to unforgettable.

Making your own homemade carne asada seasoning not only allows you to control the flavors but also ensures that you use fresh, high-quality ingredients.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

Carne Asada Seasoning Ingredients

The first step to making a delicious homemade carne asada seasoning is gathering all the necessary spices. Here’s what you’ll need:

Spice Description
Chili Powder Opt for Mexican varieties like arbol, ancho, or pasilla for an authentic taste.
Ground Cumin Adds a warm, earthy flavor.
Paprika Provides color and a mild, sweet pepper flavor.
Garlic Powder Essential for a savory depth.
Onion Powder Complements the garlic with its slightly sweet undertones.
Dried Oregano Preferably Mexican oregano for its distinct, aromatic flavor.
Black Pepper Freshly ground for the best potency.
Cayenne Pepper Optional, but adds a nice kick if you like it spicy.
Tajín Classico Optional, for a chili-lime flavor.
Celery Salt Optional, for a subtle, unique twist.
Ground Coriander Optional, adds a citrusy, floral note.

Gathering fresh, high-quality spices is crucial. Fresh spices will ensure your seasoning blend is fragrant and flavorful. If possible, try to source spices from a reputable supplier or a local market that sells Mexican ingredients.

Step 2: Measure the Spices

Once you have all your ingredients ready, it’s time to measure them out for the perfect blend.

Here’s a standard batch recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of Tajín Classico (if using)
  • 1 teaspoon of celery salt (if using)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander (if using)

Measuring out the spices accurately ensures consistency in flavor every time you make this seasoning. Feel free to adjust the quantities to suit your taste preferences, especially if you prefer more heat or a tangier flavor.

Step 3: Mix the Spices

Carne Asada Seasoning - Mix the Spices

Now that your spices are measured, it’s time to mix them.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Combine:
    • Place all the measured spices into a mixing bowl.
  • Mix:
    • Use a spoon or a whisk to thoroughly mix the spices until they are well combined. Ensure there are no clumps and the blend is uniform.
  • Consistency:
    • Mixing thoroughly ensures that every pinch of your seasoning will have a balanced flavor.

Mixing the spices yourself can be quite therapeutic and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Plus, the aroma that will fill your kitchen during this process is absolutely delightful!

Step 4: Store the Seasoning

Storing Seasonings

Proper storage is key to maintaining the freshness and potency of your homemade carne asada seasoning.

Here are some tips:

  • Container:
    • Transfer the mixed spices into an airtight container or spice jar.
    • Mason jars or repurposed spice jars work great.
  • Label:
    • Label the container with the date and name of the seasoning.
    • This helps you keep track of its freshness.
  • Storage:
    • Store the container in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

By following these storage tips, your seasoning will stay fresh and flavorful for several months, ready to use whenever you crave carne asada.

Step 5: Using the Seasoning

Using Carne Asada Seasoning

Now comes the fun part – using your homemade carne asada seasoning.

Here’s how to apply it to your meat:

  • Season Generously:
    • Sprinkle the seasoning generously on both sides of your steak (flank, skirt, or chuck are great choices).
  • Massage:
    • Massage the seasoning into the meat to ensure it penetrates and flavors the meat thoroughly.
  • Optional Step:
    • Squeeze fresh lime juice over the meat before applying the seasoning for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Marinate:
    • Let the seasoned meat sit for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours.
    • If you plan to marinate it for longer, place it in the refrigerator.

Letting the meat rest allows the flavors to meld and penetrate deeply, resulting in a more flavorful and tender carne asada.

Step 6: Cooking Tips

Cooking your carne asada to perfection is crucial.

Here are some methods to consider:

  • Grilling:
    • Heat your grill to medium-high.
    • Grill the meat until it’s charred and cooked to your desired doneness.
  • Pan-Searing:
    • Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat.
    • Sear the meat on both sides until it’s cooked to your liking.
  • Smoking:
    • If you have a smoker, use it to add an extra depth of flavor to your carne asada.
    • Smoke the meat at a low temperature until it’s tender and flavorful.

Each method has its own unique benefits, and you can choose the one that best fits your equipment and taste preferences.

Step 7: Serving Suggestions

Carne Asada is incredibly versatile.

Here are some serving ideas:

  • Steak Portions:
    • Serve the carne asada in steak portions with sides like Mexican rice, guacamole, and salsa for a traditional meal.
  • Tacos:
    • Slice the meat thinly and use it as a filling for tacos. Top with onions, cilantro, and your favorite salsa.
  • Burritos and Fajitas:
    • Carne asada works wonderfully in burritos and fajitas. Pair it with grilled vegetables and wrap it in a warm tortilla.
  • Sides:
    • Serve with grilled vegetables, fresh avocado slices, and lime wedges for a complete and satisfying meal.

Experiment with different serving styles to keep your meals exciting and varied.


Making your own carne asada seasoning is simple and rewarding.

With just a few steps, you can create a blend that enhances the flavor of your dishes and brings the vibrant tastes of Mexican cuisine to your table.