Carne Asada Seasoning (Dry Rub)

This Carne Asada Seasoning dry rub features chili powders for smoky heat, chili and lime seasoning for zesty tanginess, and garlic, cumin, and coriander, for savory, earthy, and citrusy flavors.

Carne Asada Seasoning vs Carne Asada Marinade

Carne asada dry rub and carne asada marinade are two distinct methods of flavoring and preparing this popular Mexican dish.

The key difference lies in how they impart flavor to the meat.

A carne asada spice rub consists of a blend of dry spices and seasonings that are generously sprinkled and pressed onto the meat’s surface.

This dry rub adheres to the meat and forms a flavorful crust when grilled. It’s a convenient option if you prefer a quicker preparation as there’s no need for marinating time.

On the other hand, carne asada marinade involves immersing the meat in a flavorful liquid mixture, often composed of ingredients like lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and various spices.

The meat is left to soak in the marinade for several hours or overnight.

This method imparts a deeper, more penetrative flavor to the meat, making it tender and infused with the marinade’s complex flavors.

More Beef Recipes To Try

Chipotle Barbacoa Beef Recipe
Ground Beef Broccoli Stir-Fry
Ground Beef and Rice
Olive Garden Steak Gorgonzola
Simple Beef Shanks

Why You’ll Love This Carne Asada Spice Blend

  • It has authentic Mexican flavors that are zesty and spicy.
  • You can use the rub on different meats or veggies, making it flexible.
  • It’s easy to follow, even for beginners.
  • You can use it straight away, without marinating time.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

Chili powder (arbol and ancho): Use a combination of these chili powders for a balanced flavor, but if you can’t find them, substitute with regular chili powder or other Mexican chili powders like guajillo or pasilla.

Chili & Lime spice blend (Tajín): Tajín Clásico is a popular Mexican seasoning blend that combines chili, lime, and salt. If you don’t have any on hand, make your own by mixing equal parts chili powder, lime zest, and salt.

Celery salt: If you don’t have celery salt, you can use regular salt and add a pinch of celery seeds for a similar flavor. Plain salt works just as well, but you’ll miss out on the extra bit of savory celery flavor.

Mexican oregano: You can use regular oregano, but the flavor will be a bit different. Use less, as it can be stronger than Mexican oregano.

Coriander powder: I don’t recommend skipping the coriander powder, because it adds a citrusy, slightly sweet flavor that’s hard to replace.

How to make Carne Asada Dry Seasoning

There really is only one step to making this grilled meat rub. Simply mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl, decant into an airtight glass container, and store until needed.

If you happen to use fresh ingredients as substitutes, you may want to refrigerate them to preserve their freshness.

How to use Carne Asada Rub

To use this dry rub, first pat the meat dry with paper towels to ensure and ready for seasoning.

Generously sprinkle and press the dry rub mixture onto both sides of the meat, allowing the spices to adhere to its surface for a flavorful crust.

Although not necessary, I do like to rest the seasoned meat in the refrigerator while I’m preparing side dishes to go with the meal, to allow the flavors to intensify a bit, before grilling.

Carne Asada Dry Rub FAQs

Do I have to marinate the meat?

While marinating is optional, it’s recommended for deeper flavor. However, you can still get great results with just the dry rub.

Can I use this dry rub for other grilled dishes?

Absolutely! This versatile dry rub can enhance the flavor of various grilled meats and vegetables.

Carne Asada Seasoning (Dry Rub)

This Carne Asada Seasoning Dry Rub features chili powders for smoky heat, chili and lime seasoning for zesty tanginess, and garlic, cumin, and coriander, for savory, earthy, and citrusy flavors.
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: carne asada dry rub, carne asada seasoning


  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Chili & Lime spice blend Tajín Clásico or similar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander


  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all the dry rub ingredients: chili powder, Chili & Lime spice blend, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, celery salt, Mexican oregano, ground black pepper, and ground coriander.
  • Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly until you have a well-combined dry rub.

This grilled meat seasoning couldn’t be easier to make, and adds a ton of zesty, spicy flavors to any dish. Go ahead and give it a try, and let me know how you like to use your carne asada spice rub!

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