Carne Asada Seasoning (San Diego-Style)

Individual spices on a white plate with a silver spoon.

Our San Diego-Style Carne Asada Seasoning is the PERFECT blend of spices to replicate the authentic Carne Asada Recipes and Mexican recipes found in San Diego.

Through 15 years of testing(!!!), we’ve come up with this unique blend of traditional Mexican spices.

side by side photos showing carne asada fries and carne asada quesadilla.

Carne Asada Recipes

All our 5-star rated San Diego-Style carne asada recipes utilize this spice mix as the basis: 

Carne Asada Marinade (Read The Reviews From SD Locals!)
Carne Asada Tacos
Street Tacos
Carne Asada Fries
Carne Asada Nachos
Carne Asada Quesadilla
Carne Asada Platter

Check out our “What To Serve With Tacos” or “what to serve with carne asada” guides for side dish ideas!

Side by Side photo showing carne asada tacos on the left and carne asada nachos on the right.

Carne Asada Seasoning Recipe

This Mexican steak seasoning mix requires 8 different spices, however many you probably already have in your pantry. Each plays an essential part in the flavor, so try not to omit any, if possible: 

  • Garlic Powder
  • Garlic Salt
  • White Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Mexican Oregano
  • Coriander
  • Ground Cloves

Carne Asada seasoning mixed together on a white plate with silver spoon.

Low Sodium Version

Looking for a low sodium carne asada rub? Just omit the salt altogether and add, to personal preference, after the meat is cooked.

Carne Asada Marinade

Prefer a marinade over a dry rub?  This spice rub can easily turn into a marinade. Visit our Carne Asada Marinade post for details!

Close up of flank steak marinating in a ziploc bag next to lime, cilantro and garlic.

How To Season Steak

Season your big slab o’ beef as you would steak. Pat dry with a paper towel, coat in olive oil followed by a healthy dose of spice mix. The recipe below is for two 1 lb pieces of meat. Double or half as needed.

Marinate the meat for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours, to ensure flavor absorption. The longer it marinates in that time frame the better.

flank steak coated in steak run on a silver baking sheet.


Store the spice mix in an airtight container, for up to 6 months.


This dry rub can easily be adjusted to your taste buds and spice cabinet components. Here are a few common variations:

  • If you can’t find Mexican Oregano, traditional Mediterranean Oregano is just fine.
  • Don’t have white pepper? Just use regular black pepper.
  • If you’re into an earthy and smoky flavor, replace the Chili Powder with equal parts Ancho Chili Powder.

Cooked beef on a silver baking sheet with cilantro garnish.

Best Carne Asada Seasoning

Carne asada seasoning is an essential part of Mexican cuisine, transforming ordinary steak into a flavorful and unparalleled mouthwatering dish.

All seasoning mixes aren’t the same, however. While our spice mix ingredient list is longer than other recipes, the payoff is worth it. We know carne asada. 

Individual spices on a white plate with a silver spoon.

Carne Asada Seasoning

Our San Diego-Style Carne Asada Seasoning is the PERFECT blend of spices to replicate the authentic Carne Asada Recipes and Mexican recipes found in San Diego.
5 from 40 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 Use
Calories: 48kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $2.00


  • ¾ tbsp garlic salt
  • ½ tbsp dried Mexican oregano
  • ½ tbsp chili powder
  • tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • tsp ground cloves


  • Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an air tight container for up to 6 months.


Note 1. Let the carne asada marinade for a minimum of two hours, preferably up to 24 hours.


Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 12282mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1270IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @foodieandwine or tag #foodieandwine!

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Recipe Rating

5 responses to “Carne Asada Seasoning (San Diego-Style)”

  1. Jeneil Avatar

    5 stars
    This is the best carne asada seasoning that I have ever made and tried! This really gives so much flavor to the meat. I would recommend giving this a try!

  2. Margaret Avatar

    5 stars
    I love this! It tastes just like what I remember eating growing up in San Diego. I’ve since moved away and I love being able to get the taste of home in my own kitchen.

  3. Claire Avatar

    5 stars
    I am one Mexican food lover and this seasoning just made it easy to make Mexican recipes with all it’s flavors. I used this to marinate the pork bellies I was prepping up for our barbeque night and it really tasted soo good! My friends who are Mexican food lovers like myself enjoyed it! thank you!!

  4. Flora Avatar

    5 stars
    This was my first time marinating a dish for 24 hours and wow I now realize why the pros do it. It came out so succulent and the flavour was literally in every bite. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Annabelle Avatar

    5 stars
    I used this seasoning recipe to make Carne Asada loaded fries and it is SO flavorful! I can’t wait to use it in other recipes.