This Homemade Carnitas Seasoning blend is the PERFECT combination of flavors. The key ingredient is small but makes all the difference! This DIY seasoning mix makes perfect pork carnitas for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, bowls and more! You can even use it to season other meats like chicken, beef, turkey etc. Make this recipe from scratch in as little as 5 minutes to start an easy homemade meal!
Homemade Carnitas Seasoning – The EASY Way!
Homemade seasoning mixes can add a TON of flavor to food, with just a tiny bit of time and effort.
This Carnitas Seasoning mix is no exception! Once you try it you will realize it really is the BEST carnitas seasoning out there. Totally worth the small bit of extra time.
The great thing about homemade seasoning is that it takes as little as minutes to make (depending on how organized your spice cabinet is!) and then you can pop it in an airtight container and it will stay good for UP TO A YEAR!
You can easily make a single batch of this carnitas seasoning, or if you enjoy it as much as me, you can make a double or triple batch in the same amount of time so you can always have it on hand.
How to use Carnitas Seasoning
Carnitas seasoning mix carries the flavor of authentic carnitas throughout the protein you use it on. Traditional carnitas are made from a pork roast. You can see our Crock Pot Carnitas recipe here, or opt for baked carnitas, or Instant Pot carnitas. This seasoning mix is perfect for making carnitas any way you choose to prepare them.
To use carnitas seasoning as a dry rub:
Rub all sides of meat with the seasoning mix. Cook as desired.
To use carnitas seasoning as a marinade:
Combine 1 tbsp seasoning per pound of meat with 1 tbsp oil and 1/2 cup orange juice.
Meats to use carnitas seasoning mix with
Although pork roast is the most traditional cut of meat to make carnitas out of, this seasoning mix will flavor all sorts of meats deliciously. Try using it on:
- Chicken breast
- Chicken thighs
- Chicken Tenderloins
- Whole Chicken
- Beef roast
- Ground Beef
- Ground Turkey
- Pork Chops
What to make with Carnitas
You can eat pork carnitas simply over rice, or use the meat to make some of our favorite meal ideas:
- Carnitas Street Tacos
- Carnitas Enchiladas
- Pork Carnitas Quesadilla
- Loaded Carnitas Burrito
- Carnitas Bowl – With all the good stuff!
- Carnitas Nachos– perfect for weekends and game day
This Carnitas Seasoning Mix recipe is as simple as promised! Just mix together some key spices and seasonings and you have the signature Mexican carnitas flavors.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
All spices and seasonings in this blend are dried. If you only have fresh on hand, I would recommend either drying them to be used in this seasoning blend, or grabbing the dried version the next time you are at the store. Fresh spices do not work well for this recipe.
- Ground cumin
- Chipotle chile powder
- Dried oregano
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Ground black pepper
One of the best parts is that this seasoning mix is made from commonly found spices and there shouldn’t be anything you have to hunt down. You may even have every single one already in your spice cabinet!
- Key Ingredients! The chipotle chile powder has a unique flavor that lends a more authentic flavor to the carnitas recipe than a standard chili powder. If you are in a pinch you can use regular chili powder, which is good, but you will get a slightly different flavor.
- Mix to combine– There is no special magic here. To make this, you just dump it all together and mix it up. To make it even easier, you can use a mason jar or other container and dump, then shake. Then all you get messy is a couple of measuring spoons!
- Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. When stored like this the Carnitas Seasoning Mix should stay fresh for up to a year. Some also recommend putting it in the freezer to further extend the life but I have never found that necessary. I run out long before it would ever go bad.
- Double, triple, or more! This recipe can easily be scaled up to make a big batch of Carnitas Seasoning. This will allow you to keep it on hand for longer periods of time, especially when you start throwing it in everything as your “secret ingredient” like I do!
One of the best parts about this recipe is that not only is is AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS, but it is also very healthy! It naturally meets many dietary needs.
As always, check all store bought ingredients for compliance on specific dietary needs. The notes below are a general guide.
- Gluten free: This recipe is naturally gluten free.
- Dairy free: Carnitas Seasoning Blend is naturally dairy free
- Nut free: This recipe is naturally nut free
- Egg free: This Carnitas Seasoning recipe is naturally egg free
- Low carb/Keto: This recipe is low carb at 0g net carbs per serving.
More Homemade Seasoning Mix Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my Easy recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite seasoning mixes recipes below.
- Ranch Seasoning Mix
- Italian Dressing Mix
- Best EVER Taco Seasoning
- Tex-Mex Fajita Seasoning
- Chicken Taco Seasoning
- Cajun Seasoning blend
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp chipotle chile powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Make the dry rub by combining all of the ingredients and mixing to combine.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Seasoning mix can last up to a year when properly stored.