Homemade copycat Old Bay Seasoning made with sweet paprika, celery salt, dry mustard, and a few more secret ingredients. This is a copycat recipe that replicates store-bought Old Bay Seasoning. Perfect for shrimp, crabs, chicken, and vegetables.
What is Old Bay Seasoning?
Old Bay Seasoning is an iconic American spice blend marketed by McCormick & Company. It was created in Maryland in 1939, but today it’s so popular all over the US that you can find it sold in its classic yellow jar in every grocery store.
The ingredients of Old Bay Seasoning are not clearly disclosed on the pack, and it’s said that the original version contained 18 ingredients!
Throughout the years, many have tried to replicate it, and what we know from the McCormick Old Bay Seasoning pack is that it contains celery salt, red pepper, paprika, and black pepper. But what are the rest of the ingredients?
To achieve the closest flavor possible I spent a lot of time testing out different blends in my kitchen. And I came up with a very close version to share with you!
What does Old Bay Seasoning Taste Like?
It has layers of complex flavors, and while the celery seed flavor is obvious, you can also taste the sweetness of paprika with a kick of cayenne and the warmth of cinnamon.
What is Old Bay Seasoning Used For?
I call this ‘seafood seasoning’ as it’s perfect for seasoning seafood in general, but you can use it for more than just seafood. Here are a few ideas:
- Roasted vegetables
- Fried and baked fish.
- Crab cakes and crab boil.
- Sprinkle over dinner rolls for a lovely flavor.
- And it can also be used in any recipe that calls for sweet paprika, just adds extra flavor!
- Spices lose flavor over time, so I recommend that you consume any spice blend within 6 months and preferably within 3 months.
- Never store spices near your stove or in open containers or racks, instead, store in sealed containers in a dark place.
When a recipe calls for Old bay seasoning, and salt, be careful not to oversalt your dish as the seasoning contains salt already. I recommend adding the seasoning, then have a taste, and decide if you need to add more salt or not.
If some of the ingredients that you have are whole, you can grind them in a spice grinder and add them to the ground ingredients to make the blend.
If you’re looking to buy a really good electric spice grinder, then I can recommend this Cuisinart spice grinder (currently on sale for just $36, it went down from $70).
This is the grinder that we used at the cookery school when I did my chef training, it’s so efficient and the reason why I love it because it comes with a removable stainless steel bowl (most cheaper spice grinders come with built-in bowls which makes them so difficult to clean). And you can just put the bowl in the dishwasher! It’s also great for grinding nuts.
More Homemade Seasonings
- Italian Seasoning
- Shawarma seasoning
- Baharat seasoning
- Stone house seasoning
- Fajita seasoning
- Taco seasoning
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Garam Masala
I don’t feel like I say this often enough, or that I could ever thank you enough. But THANK YOU for all of your support, for visiting my blog, commenting, and sharing my recipes with your friends and family. I am SO thankful for you!
If you make this recipe or any of my recipes, then don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below. I would LOVE to hear about your experience and your comments just make my day!
I hope that you love every recipe that you make! – Diana x
Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- Collect ground spices, combine them, and place them in a jar.
- If using whole spices, then place in a grinder and pulse until you reach the desired texture.
- Store in an airtight jar in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.
- You can easily double or triple this recipe.