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Spicy Cowboy Steak Seasoning Recipe: A Lazy-Day Secret

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Preview: This Spicy Cowboy Steak Seasoning recipe is a spicy homemade steak rub seasoning mix that perks up grilled or roasted meat and veggies.

Sometimes I’m a lazy cook. Can you relate? Don’t bother me with a recipe and don’t make me pull out a cookbook. Just give me some sparkle dust (seasoning mix) to transform my plain meat or veggies into something wonderful and marvelous.

My favorite homemade seasoning mix is slightly adapted from A Cowboy in the Kitchen by Grady Spears of Reata Restaurant fame. Yes, there are a bazillion rubs and seasoning mixes on the market (see my cabinet for a few half-empty jars of mystery spices), but I prefer to make it myself so the ingredients will be fresh, and then I know exactly what’s in it.

Don’t think this mix is just for the grill and/or steaks. We love it on chicken, ribs, pork roast, fresh corn, squash, and almost any Mexican recipe that calls for chili powder-type flavors.

SPICY COWBOY SPARKLE DUST --scattered on brown paper

How to make this Spicy Cowboy Steak Seasoning Recipe:

guajillo peppers

Dried peppers are readily available at my grocery store–for cheap. Experiment with other types of chilies, especially if this specific kind is not available.

splitting peppers

Pull off the stems and dump out the seeds. Grinding the seeds along with the peppers will yield even more heat if that’s what you’re after, but not me, so I throw them away.

browning pepper pods

I don’t use this coffee grinder for coffee ever since I discovered this German coffee online. The grinder has been repurposed solely for grinding spices.

collection of ingredients needed to make Cowboy Sparkle Dust

My latest obsession is a label maker. Can you tell?

ribs with western type seasoning

Here’s one example of the way I use this seasoning mix. Sprinkle over the top to your taste. Grill, bake, or cook as desired.

Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating inside the recipe below. No comments required.

Hope to see you again soon!

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: paula at

Yield: 1-1/2 cup

Spicy Cowboy Steak Seasoning Recipe


A blend of ground chili peppers, salt, and other seasonings add flavor to meats and veggies.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 1-1/2 ounce package dried guajillo peppers
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground thyme


  1. Remove stems from peppers, split them, and take out the seeds.
  2. Place into a skillet set on medium and cook until dark and crispy. Be careful not to let them burn.
  3. Remove skillet from stove and allow peppers to cool. Break crispy peppers into smaller pieces and use a coffee grinder to grind into a powder.
  4. In small bowl, combine ground peppers and remaining ingredients.
  5. Store in a covered jar in the pantry. Does not need to be refrigerated.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 11Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1059mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

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