Keep this simple and versatile Tex-Mex spice rub and seasoning on hand to add seasoning to not only grilled and roasted meat, poultry, and fish, but also to vegetables, bean dips, and even salads.
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Are spice rubs part of your cooking arsenal?
I never used to use them until I created my Basic All-Purpose Spice Rub almost on a whim after reading about spice rubs.
In the beginning, I simply rubbed them on meats, chicken, and fish before grilling or baking. It was SO delicious - and much easier than opening a bunch of different spices and herbs for each meal.
But then I started experimenting and found that using spice rubs elevated my regular recipes like roasted or grilled potatoes, hamburger patties, and even vinaigrettes to a new level.
My family raved about these dishes like never before. I think it's that umami thing (Don't know what I mean-? Go here for the definition.), spice rubs simply enhance flavors and cover a lot of tastes - sweet, spicy, herby and savory.
Tex-Mex Spice Mix
Most of the ingredients are basic pantry staples - the only one that you may not have is ground coriander. It's worth it to stock coriander, though, because it's dried cilantro seeds and really helps bring a southwestern flavor to the spice mix.
In addition you'll need:
- Salt - Sea salt or kosher (Kosher is more standard for rubs, but I stopped using it when I realized it was more processed than sea salt - I give amounts for both in the recipe, so you can choose.)
- Chili Powder - I like this brand because it doesn't use silicone dioxide and doesn't include odd things like cloves (believe it or not, this is hard to find!). You can also make your own.
- Black Pepper
- Dried Oregano
- Cumin (best price...)
- Brown Sugar
- Cayenne Pepper (Adjusted to your heat preference.)
Measure out your spices and mix everything in a small bowl well, breaking up any clumps if needed.
Store in an airtight container in a dark, cool place.
Tex-Mex Spice Mix FAQs
I call this a rub and a seasoning because it is great rubbed on meats - but it also works for coating vegetables for grilling or roasting, adding to beans, etc.
It's a little different from taco seasoning, which typically has dried onion pieces and sometimes thickeners like potato starch so you can add water with it. This spice mix also includes brown sugar, which is a typical rub ingredient.
This rub/seasoning as written is only mildly spicy. It's easy to adapt it to less or more spice by decreasing or increasing the cayenne pepper. You can also choose a more spicy or less spicy chili powder.
The spice mix is best used within six months, though it's okay to use it after that - the seasonings just might not be as potent.
Ways to Use Tex-Mex Seasoning
I developed this spice mix to go with any Southwestern, Tex-Mex recipes. Use it for:
- Rubbing onto chicken and pork before cooking.
- Adding to homemade refried beans (fantastic flavor).
- Tossing with oil and vegetables before roasting or grilling vegetables.
- Adding to a basic vinaigrette to give coleslaw served with tacos and pulled meats a southwestern flavor.
- Tossing pieces of fish with spice before cooking for easy fish tacos.
- Seasoning cut potatoes with olive oil before roasting or making Grilled Potato Planks.
- Adding to rice and tomatoes for a quick version of Spanish rice.
- Add to ground meat before shaping into patties or meatballs (SO good).
There are lots more - try it and let me know what other things you like to use it on!
Tex-Mex Spice Rub & Seasoning
- 1/4 cup kosher salt (or 3 tablespoons sea salt)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper*
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl (or directly into a lidded jar that you will store it in), mixing well with a spoon and breaking up any large clumps.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place for up to 6 months.
- Rub onto chicken and pork before cooking.
- Add to homemade refried beans (fantastic flavor).
- Toss with oil and vegetables before roasting or grilling vegetables.
- Add to a basic vinaigrette to give coleslaw served with tacos and pulled meats a southwestern flavor.
- Toss pieces of fish with spice before cooking for easy fish tacos.
- Season cut potatoes with olive oil before roasting or making Grilled Potato Planks.
- Add to rice and tomatoes for a quick version of Spanish rice.
More Pantry Basics to Try
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published in August 2013.Disclosure: affiliate links in this article will earn commission based on sales, but it doesn't change your price. Click here to read our full disclaimer and advertising disclosure.
Hi Jami, I've enjoyed your website immensely.
We live in Tasmania, Australia.
My question today is regarding salt.
This is in regards to the dry rub recipes you have shared.
Do you think in your experience - that I could successfully reduce the salt (for heart health), and still achieve a good cooking result?
Sure, Susan! The best thing about making them yourself is being able to adjust them to your tastes and needs. I'd make a half batch with less salt and see how you like it and then lessen it until you're happy with it.
Thank you for replying, Jami - I'll definitely have a go for sure.
Do you store your spice rubs in the fridge or in a cupboard?
I just store them in a cupboard, Nancy. We use them fairly often, so maybe they're stored about 2 months?
I REALLY like your website!!!
Thank you, Leslie!
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We have a few baggies of premade spice blends like this too! It makes cooking way easier to just grab one for certain dishes instead of mixing all spices together each meal.