Our copycat Old Bay Seasoning recipe is made from flavorful herbs and spices, blended together to make a savory all-purpose seasoning for crab, shrimp, fish & more. Save money and make this seafood seasoning at home with spices you already have in your spice cabinet!
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Why You Need This Homemade Old Bay Seasoning Recipe!
With just a few simple ingredients, you can recreate the iconic flavor of Old Bay Seasoning in the comfort of your own kitchen! Here’s why you’ll love it:
- Homemade Goodness: Making your own Old Bay Seasoning at home allows you to control the quality and freshness of the ingredients.
- Versatile Flavor: Old Bay Seasoning is known for its versatility. You can use it in all kinds of dishes, from seafood to pork chops and beyond. It adds that perfect savory kick to your favorite recipes.
- Customizable: This recipe gives you the flexibility to adjust the blend to your own liking. For instance, you can easily dial up the heat with extra cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, or make it sodium free.
- Cost-Effective: Buying pre-made seasoning blends can be expensive. By making your own, you’ll not only save money, but also have a stash of this flavorful spice mix on hand whenever you need it.
- Long Shelf Life: Properly stored in an airtight container, this seasoning blend can last up to 6 months.
What Is Old Bay Seasoning?
Old Bay Seasoning is something truly special in the culinary world. With savory, salty, spicy, and herby notes, it was originally meant for seafood, but quickly became a beloved seasoning for everything from crab and shrimp to veggies, meats, and even popcorn!
Plus, it’s got a deep cultural history, especially in the Chesapeake Bay region, where it’s been used in crab and shrimp boils for ages. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just experimenting in the kitchen, Old Bay is a winner for balanced, bright flavor.
The secret to Old Bay Seasoning’s magic lies in its precise blend of spices. For full ingredient amounts and directions, scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Celery Salt: This seasoned salt blend gives a savory, celery-like flavor to dishes.
- Crushed Bay Leaves: Bay leaves are often used whole, but in this recipe, you’ll want to crush them up or purchase them already crushed.
- Celery Seed: For additional light, herbal, celery flavor.
- Smoked Paprika: This gives good color and a smoky, slightly sweet flavor and aroma.
- Ground Mustard: More color, plus a tangy bite. Don’t skip it!
- White Pepper and Black Pepper: Using both adds a piquant “heat” that’s not too spicy.
- Cayenne Pepper: Feel free to increase or reduce the amount depending on your taste.
- Cardamom: This warm, aromatic spice has citrusy and herbal undertones, which really enhance the blend.
- Nutmeg: This sweet, fragrant adds depth and complexity.
- Ground Allspice: Allspice spice tastes similar to other warm spices like cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
How to Make Old Bay Seasoning
Making your own Old Bay Seasoning is a breeze. Just follow these simple steps:
- Combine: Measure and combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Mix: Shake or stir well to blend.
- Use or Store!
Tips for Success
These helpful tips are all you’ll need to perfect your own Old Bay seasoning blend. Here’s what you need to know:
- Crushing: To crush the bay leaves, you can use a spice/coffee grinder, a sharp knife, or place them in a ziplock bag and crush them with your fingers. Make sure to remove any large pieces before adding them to the seasoning mix.
- Food Processor: You can also make this in your food processor. Just pulse the bay leaves first until crushed, and then pulse in the rest of the spices.
- Nutmeg and Allspice: You can replace nutmeg and allspice with mace seasoning, if you happen to have it. This is what is used in store bought Old Bay Seasoning, but is not a commonly found spice at the grocery store.
- Heat: If you prefer a spicier kick, add an additional 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or you can also add some crushed red pepper flakes.
- Always Stir: Before using, always give this a stir or a shake to redistribute the seasonings.
What Is Old Bay Seasoning Used For?
Old Bay Seasoning isn’t limited to just seafood. You can use it to add irresistible zesty-herby-salty flavor to basically anything! Here are a few ways you can use it:
- Seafood Boil: If you’re making this easy shrimp boil or crawfish boil, you definitely want some Old Bay to go in the pot!
- Fish: A little Old Bay Seasoning will make any piece of fish irresistible, try it on our favorite air fryer mahi mahi!
- Chicken Cutlets: We love chicken cutlets – they’re easy to cook and satisfy even picky eaters. Try making these crispy air fryer chicken cutlets with Old Bay in the breading. So yummy.
- Cabbage and Sausage: If you love fried cabbage and sausage, try making this old-school meal with a little Old Bay for extra flavor. This is a mouthwatering and simple weeknight dinner.
Storing Guidelines for Maximum Freshness
To keep your homemade Old Bay Seasoning fresh, store it in a cool, dark place in an airtight container. When stored properly, it can maintain its quality for up to 6 months.
Can I Freeze This?
Yes, for even longer storage, you can keep this in the freezer. Make sure to seal tightly in an air-tight container. Take it out and let the spices warm up a little before adding to your favorite recipe.
More Must-Have Seasoning Blends
- Homemade Ranch Seasoning
- Chili Seasoning Recipe
- Chicken Taco Seasoning
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Pork Chop Seasoning
- Homemade Chili Seasoning
Old Bay Seasoning Recipe
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or use a jar with a secure lid. Mix well.
- Store in a cool dark place in an airtight container for up to 6 months.