Copycat Mesquite Grill Seasoning
Copycat McCormick's Mesquite Seasoning

Recipe At-A-Glance

This Mesquite Seasoning copycat recipe means you can always have your favorite grill seasoning anytime!

Vegan, Gluten-Free

Ready in 5 minutes

When I do copycat or knock-off recipes, I try to have a reason behind them. Maybe the original version isn’t that healthy, and I want to make it more nourishing. Maybe the store-bought version is crazy expensive and my cheapskate ways take over. Maybe the product is hard to track down, and I create a homemade version out of necessity.

None of those reasons apply to this seasoning mix. I made this knock-off just because I wanted to see if I could.

Copycat Mesquite Grill Seasoning

Mesquite seasoning was a staple in my house growing up, and McCormick’s makes a very good, affordable, all-natural version that is absolutely delicious on just about anything and everything you put on the grill. But I really wanted to test my spice knowledge and see if I could come up with a mix that was similar on my own. It took some trial, error, and some serious creativity, but I finally landed on a mixture that tastes remarkably similar to the mesquite seasoning you find in the bottle.

Copycat Mesquite Grill Seasoning

If you don’t know what “mesquite” is, it’s actually a tree that lives in the desert.  And to get that smoky, nutty, mesquite flavor in your food, you’d cook your ribs, chicken, or whatever over mesquite wood. I don’t know about you, but we don’t have any mesquite trees kicking around Southern Indiana. You can order mesquite powder and mesquite smoke extract online, and add it to your foods, but I wanted to see if there was a way to approximate the flavor without placing an Amazon order.

And you know what I figured out the key is? Dried mushrooms and sundried tomatoes.

Copycat Mesquite Grill Seasoning

I know not everyone has jars of dried mushrooms and tomatoes in their pantry, but we always do, and when ground up in a coffee grinder, they ended up adding the perfect smoky, rich flavor to the spice rub. You could definitely leave them out and have a delicious grill seasoning, but if you happen to have some dried mushrooms and tomatoes around the house, this would be a great way to use them up.

In fact, mushroom and tomato powder are great ways to impart a whole lot of flavor into many dishes. Just a few teaspoons of tomato powder added to soup or pasta sauce equals a few cans of tomatoes flavor-wise. It’s a great way to store extra tomatoes or mushrooms (we actually wait until mushrooms go on manager’s special, and then buy them all and dehydrate them for use later).

Copycat Mesquite Grill Seasoning

Like I said, this stuff is absolutely delicious on pretty much everything that hits the grill, but my favorite way to use it is on a super yummy chicken sandwich recipe that was a staple in my house growing up. I’ll be showing you that recipe next week, so either use the recipe below to make your own mesquite seasoning, or head out to the store and grab a bottle—because trust me, you’re gonna want to pull the grill out of winter storage and make this chicken sandwich.

Mesquite Chicken Sandwiches

I won’t fault you if you just run out and buy your own jar of mesquite seasoning. I understand not everyone has the strange desire to remake perfectly good products at home like I do. Enjoy!

Copycat Mesquite Grill Seasoning

Copycat Mesquite Grill Seasoning

Yield: 1/2 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This McCormick's Grill Mates Mesquite Grill Seasoning copycat recipe means you can always have your favorite grill seasoning anytime!


  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons tomato powder (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons mushroom powder (optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a coffee grinder, and grind until no large chunks remain. Transfer to an airtight container for storage.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 teaspoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 3Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 89mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.




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  1. Hi! If I were to use this as a marinade with oil, do you know how long it would be best to marinade it for to get the most flavor? Thanks!

    1. Hi Tamara! That’s definitely going to take some experimenting! The amount of time you’ll need will depend on what you’re marinating and how thick it’s cut. A good place to start would be to take a similar marinating recipe and use it as a guide then adjust to suit your tastes. Let us know how it turns out for you!

  2. have you ever seen the mesquite marinade? can this be used the same way? mixed with oil and let marinade?

    1. Hi, Denise! You could definitely use this seasoning as a dry rub or as a rub mixed with oil as you suggest. It will give you lots of added flavor, but it’s not quite the same as a marinade (which usually has a lot more liquid and some acidity to help tenderize things). Hope this helps!

  3. This is so great!! Does it matter what type of mushroom? I’m looking at getting some premodern powder, but didn’t know if one mushroom flavor is better than another?

  4. I don’t have a coffee grinder. Is there another way to grind mustard seed into powder? I have most of the other ingredients already.

    1. You can try a spice grinder or mortar & pestle, or you can buy ground mustard instead!

  5. Sounds amazing! Just wondering if you would use regular paprika or smoked paprika?
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Cassie made them by putting dried mushrooms and sundried tomatoes in her coffee grinder to create a powder!