Mexican Marinade

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Introducing the BEST EVER Mexican Marinade. Combining a variety of spices with olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh lime juice – this marinade will be your go-to for all your Tex-Mex recipes.

For other Tex-Mex Recipes, try my Mexican Street Corn Salad, the best Cornbread Tamale Pie, and some Grilled Salsa!

Side shot of a bag of the marinated chicken.

Best Marinade for Tex-Mex

Over the course of living in Texas for the last 29 years, I’ve became a total Tex-Mex girl. I’m pretty happy with some chunky guacamole, a swirl margarita, and some grilled shrimp tacos.

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In my opinion, bold seasonings are key to flavor, which is why this marinade is so tasty. Contrary to one particular reader’s review, I’ve received so many positive comments on this recipe. The lime juice is a nice final touch, and can be added right before grilling the meat.

I use this marinade so often, that I decided to create a separate recipe card. I use it for many of my Tex-Mex recipes, including:

  • Chipotle Chicken Fajita Bowls. That meal we make TOO often, according to our youngest son. Poor kid. He never gets a variety of meal choices in my kitchen. 😀
  • Carne Asada Burrito Bowls – The best steak bowls that make great leftovers too!
  • Flank Steak Fajita Salad. The marinade gives the steak a perfect smoky flavor with a touch of heat. Not too spicy though, I promise.
  • We also use it in a variety of meats for a variety of Tex-Mex dishes. If you can wrap it in a tortilla or put it on a chip, it will taste great using the BEST EVER marinade.

Ingredients Used

  1. Chili Powder
  2. Cumin
  3. Garlic Powder
  4. Red Pepper Flakes
  5. Kosher Salt
  6. Black Pepper
  7. Sugar
  8. Olive Oil
  9. Worcestershire Sauce
  10. Lime Juice – freshly squeezed is best!
A board with the marinade ingredients, labeled.
A jar of the seasoning mix for the best Mexican marinade.

How to make Mexican Marinade

Step 1
Add ingredients to bowl. In a small bowl or jar, combine the dry ingredients – the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, ground pepper, and sugar. Add the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and freshly lime juice.

Step 2
Whisk ingredients. Use a wire whisk to mix the ingredients together very well.

Step 3
Add marinade to meat. Pour the marinade over the meat, and massage it into the meat.

Step 4
Let rest. Make sure you let the meat marinate for several hours, or even overnight.

I always use a resealable bag, and place it in a pan in the refrigerator. The marinade is BRIGHT orange, and will make a huge mess in your fridge if it’s not sealed correctly. Trust me. I’ve made a few orange messes in my kitchen.

Overhead shot of a bag of marinated chicken plus a bowl after adding marinade.

We grilled this chicken breast (after marinading) on our Big Green Egg, and it was excellent! Try it and you’ll see for yourself!

A board of fajita chicken after grilling.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

9-Inch Whisk

xoxo ~Sue

Side shot of a bag of marinated chicken.

Mexican Marinade

Introducing the BEST EVER Mexican Marinade. Combining a variety of spices with olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh lime juice – this marinade will be your go-to for all your Tex-Mex recipes.
4.46 from 24 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 recipe (for 3 pounds of meat)
Calories: 1106kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf


  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 large lime – freshly squeezed


  • Combine marinade ingredients, and whisk well.
  • Place meat in a storage bag, pour marinade over top, massage the bag, and store in refrigerator.


  1. We use this marinade for chicken, beef, pork, and shrimp. It makes the best marinade for any Tex-Mex dish.
  2. You can marinate the meat for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. This can also be combined with meat, and frozen up to three months.


Calories: 1106kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 110g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Sodium: 3003mg | Potassium: 746mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 3040IU | Vitamin C: 6.6mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 9.2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!


  1. Suebee, the marinade was absolutely delicious! It was fresh tasting and very flavorful. We marinated steak, cooked it on the grill, sliced it thinly and made steak soft tacos. My family loved it, excited for something new. We are currently marinating fresh Florida wild shrimp to serve with Spanish rice. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  2. Adams, Donnie says:

    The marinade is awesome! I used it on grilled steak. Fabulous! Some questions: How do you use it on shrimp? Do you peel shrimp or leave shell on? How long to marinate shrimp? Again, Love it, love it, love it!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      You can marinate it with or without the shells. So glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Excellent marinade – I added teaspoon of smoked paprika and it was excellent.

  4. Only marinade I’ve used on steak & chicken since I found this recipe. So good!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I’m so happy to hear this, Kristina!

  5. This is the perfect marinade, thanks for posting!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thank you Lewis!

  6. CypressHunter says:

    Easy simple and has multiple uses. I found this marinade and used it for some of the meat in my chili. Added a unique flavor and helped take second overall in a chili cookout.

  7. Jan Bancarz says:

    Outstanding! Chicken is so tender and flavorfull! Even our son commented on how good it was! Thanks!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      We love it too! Thanks for your feedback, Jan!

  8. Beth Whisler says:

    Have you ever used lemon instead of lime? Lime isn’t my favorite🤷‍♀️ I even use lemon instead of lime for guacamole

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I actually prefer lime, especially on guac!

  9. Rob Reding says:

    Love, love, love this marinade. Put this in chicken breasts and flank steak. Outstanding! Nice job SueBee.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks Rob! I’m so glad you enjoy the marinade. We do too! 🙂

  10. I am sorry, but this was one of the most flavorless marinades I’ve ever tried. I followed your recipe exactly, let it sit overnight, and apart from the spicy after taste that burns your mouth, it doesn’t taste like anything. I consider myself to have an eclectic palate and enjoy spicy food but this was just awful. My entire family hated it and I felt like I wasted food. Very perplexed by the 5 star ratings here. I ended up throwing about 1-1/2 pounds of chicken away. What a waste. Worst Recipe Ever.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Gosh, I’m so sorry you had a bad experience with this marinade, Jason. It IS one of our favorites, and I’ve been using it on all things Tex-Mex for years. My family loves it too!

  11. how much meat can we use for this recipe?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      You can use it for about 3 pounds of meat. Good luck!

  12. I make this regularly! It’s so yummy and easy!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks Jessica! I’m so glad it’s a regular for you! 🙂

  13. Can you use marinade afterwards? Boil it down and reduce. Use as a sauce?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I don’t normally do that, but if you boil it, I believe it’s ok to use. I often just make extra and reserve some sauce.

  14. This marinade looks so easy and delicious!!! Definitely giving this a try.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks Sheenam! Let me know if you do! 🙂

  15. Letting the meat marinate makes a huge difference. Thanks for the tip! Love it!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      You’re welcome!

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