Old Bay Seasoning Recipe

Homemade Old Bay Seasoning
Old Bay is a blend of herbs and spices that is often used to season seafood. It was created in Maryland in the 1940s. Now, it is often considered the best seafood spice. There are several ways to use Old Bay for cooking.

Table of Contents

In this post, we will be looking at traditional and non-traditional ways to use Old Bay. One of the recipes we suggest taste absolutely amazing with the help of this spice mix. In fact, this spice blends well with many different foods that you wouldn’t expect.

Seasoning background. Spice and herb seasoning with fresh and dried

This homemade old bay seasoning recipe has half of the sodium as your normal old bay seasoning. Store this spice blend in an airtight container in a dark place to make it last.

If you don’t have an airtight container, you can use an old spice mix container. Just clean it out before you use it so that you don’t get any flavor crossover.

It’s perfect for deviled eggs, roasted potatoes, clam chowder, mixed with sour cream, red potatoes, or for your next shrimp boil or crab boil.

If you make this recipe at home please comment below and let us know if you added any herbs and spices that we didn’t.

All the ingredients you need can be mixed in a small bowl. We hope you will add this old bay recipe to your list of favorite recipes.



The Old Bay Seasoning brand was named after the old Baltimore Spice Company, founded in 1939 by a Jewish-German immigrant named Gustav Brunn.

The business was founded in Wertheim, Germany, where Brunn began a wholesale spice and seasoning company selling to the food industry, seeing an opportunity as spices were in short supply during hyperinflation following World War I.

The business was moved to its current location in Halethorpe, Maryland where Gustav’s wife and daughter helped run the newly opened factory.

McCormick & Co

In 1990, McCormick & Co acquired the rights to Old Bay seasoning. In keeping with tradition, the company sold the product Old Bay in a yellow can.

In an effort to decrease packaging expenses, McCormick made the transition from metal cans to plastic bottles in 2017.

Various spices, seasonings and herbs


Our Old Bay seasoning recipe is a unique blend of spices that can be used on a variety of foods including, white fish, crab cakes, salmon patties, tuna tartar sauce, as well as a cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, and seafood batter mix.

Just a few shakes in a bloody mary can really spice up your morning. Throw on some white pepper and cayenne pepper for a recipe that will blow your top.

It also pairs well with other seasoning mixes incorporating Old Bay seasoning with garlic, lemon, brown sugar, herbs, and blackened seasonings. McCormick has produced a low-sodium variation of Old Bay Seasoning.

Spices and seasonings

This homemade recipe has a very short prep time. We promise you will love this homemade recipe so if you do please connect, follow us on Pinterest.

The smoked paprika really brings out the cajun seasoning flavor of this spice blend. Spice blends that use ground ginger are really good dry mustard because those spices have a taste profile that is synergistic.

If you make homemade old bay seasoning recipes frequently, you will know that fried shrimp and french fries are just calling for this recipe.

Food Seasoning and Spices

Homemade Old Bay Seasoning Recipe

If you make Old bay seasoning, you have to use celery seed and pink salt. If you have to use kosher salt, that is also good. Make sure you have fresh dry mustard and fresh ground cloves. If you can’t find these items in your spice cabinet, you can certainly get them at the grocery store.

Use Old Bay Seasoning

The major benefit of making this spice blend recipe at home is that you can get all of the old bay seasoning mix ingredients and then have them for other seasoning recipes as well. Further, if you are on a low sodium diet, you can opt for the salt free version.

Celery salt and red pepper flakes go great with a pinch of ground cardamom.

Celery seed and sweet paprika taste great on strawberries… bet you didn’t know that

Other seasoning blends that are noteworthy are when making your own hot sauce. You can use old bay seasoning in your next serving of sweet corn as well.

Our homemade version uses real bay leaves, and ground black pepper. This spice recipe tastes great with corn as well.

Deep History:

The seasoning is in a white spoon on a wooden table.

Old Bay Seasoning is named after the Old Bay Line, a passenger ship line that plied the waters of the Chesapeake Bay from Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia in the early 1900s.

The origins of the company began in Wertheim, Germany where Brunn started a wholesale spice and seasoning business selling to food industries seeing an opportunity as spices were in especially short supply amidst hyperinflation in the aftermath of World War I.

Due to rising antisemitism as Nazi Party rose to power, the company moved to Frankfurt but on night November 10th, 1938 Gustav was arrested by Nazi soldiers and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp due to antisemitism. Gustav’s wife paid a lawyer for him to be released.

It Wasn’t Always Called “Old Bay”

Seasoning dish

There, with only a small spice grinder, he produced the “Delicious Brand Shrimp and Crab Seasoning” which was later renamed Old Bay. The rights to the seasoning brand were purchased by McCormick & Co in 1990. McCormick continued to offer Old Bay in the classic yellow

McCormick & Co purchased the rights to the seasoning brand in 1990 and continues to offer it in the classic yellow can. McCormick has a range of other products under this banner including canned salmon, crab cake mix, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, and fried batter mix.

Other Seasoning Recipes

They also make other seasoning blends that combine Old Bay with garlic, lemon, brown sugar, herbs, and blackened seasonings.

McCormick has offered a lower sodium version of Old Bay Seasoning. The company has also recently changed the packaging from metal cans to plastic containers in an effort to reduce costs.

Old Bay Seasoning is a fantastic spice to use when cooking seafood. It really brings out the flavor of the seafood and makes it taste amazing. I love using it on crab salmon patties, and tuna tartar sauce. It’s also great as a cocktail sauce or tartar sauce.

Seasoning, Pistachio and corn

Low Calories

Another thing I really like about Old Bay Seasoning is that it has hardly any calories. Just 5 calories per serving. So if you are broiling fish to reduce fat (like salmon) this is a great way to bring out the flavor without adding calories.

Old Bay Seasoning has been around for a long time. It was created in the 1940s and has been a popular choice for seafood ever since.

Some people like to sprinkle Old Bay seasoning mixed with a little bit of paprika on steamed clams. I think it’s delicious! You can also use some Old Bay Seasoning on your next steak to give it extra flavor.

Old Bay is considered part of the “Baltimore” style of cooking, but they are most known for their crab cakes and seafood dishes. I’ve lived in Maryland for most of my life and we love using Old Bay seasoning on our delicious Maryland Blue Crabs.

Other Recipes Using Bay Leaves

There are plenty of other recipes that use bay leaves, check them out and see if any of them meet your fancy.

Most people know that Old Bay is used on seafood, but it’s also great for adding an extra little bit of flavor to your roasted or grilled chicken. You can use it on your Thanksgiving turkey too! Just sprinkle a little bit of Old Bay Seasoning on your bird and you’ll have a delicious, flavorful turkey.

Three Different Varieties

Old Bay Seasoning comes in three different varieties: Original, Hot, and Lemon Pepper. I like using the Original the most, but the Hot and Lemon Pepper are good too.

Just depends on what flavor you’re in the mood for! I really love using the lemon pepper on chicken recipes. I think it tastes great with the seasoning.

Spices and seasonings on a wooden background

Black Pepper and Celery Salt

Black pepper and celery salt are key ingredients in Old Bay Seasoning. The celery salt adds a nice flavor and the black pepper gives it the spicy kick that we all know and love!

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are an important ingredient in Old Bay Seasoning. They are what gives it that nice, spicy flavor.

Your Favorite Recipes, But Better

I hope you enjoy using Old Bay Seasoning on all of your best recipes, you will love making recipes with this.

Recipes using pepper bring out the flavors of the food. This is why pepper is an essential ingredient in some dishes. Even if you are not a fan of black pepper, there are substitutes in the market that you can consider.

Homemade Old Bay Seasoning

Old Bay Seasoning Recipe

Old Bay is a blend of herbs and spices that is often used to season seafood. It was created in Maryland in the 1940s. Now, it is often considered the best seafood spice. There are several ways to use Old Bay for cooking.
4.41 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Course Seasoning
Cuisine Cajun

Calories Per Serving

Calories: 8kcal


  • 2 T bay leaf powder
  • 1 T ground celery seed
  • 1/2 T pink salt
  • 1 T dry mustard
  • 2 t black pepper
  • 2 t ground ginger
  • 2 t smoked paprika
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • 1 t ground allspice
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t ground cardamom
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon


  • Combine all ingredients together
  • Store in airtight container
Keyword Old Bay Seasoning
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