Homemade Old Bay Seasoning Recipe

If you're a fan of seafood boils, crab cakes, seasoned potatoes, or just love the flavors of the East Coast, then you're in for a treat with this homemade Old Bay Seasoning recipe. Old Bay seasoning is a classic spice blend that originated in Maryland and has been a staple in kitchens for decades. Known for its unique and bold flavor profile, this seasoning adds a zesty, tangy, and slightly spicy kick to a wide variety of dishes. 

Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe and says, "I use a lot of spices in my cooking and love to make fresh blends at home. Most people think of Old Bay Seasoning for seafood recipes only, but I have found it to be a wonderful addition to creamy dips, roasted vegetables, soups, and even sprinkled on popcorn. I also love it in these zucchini crab cakes."

Gather the ingredients for homemade Old Bay seasoning

To make this recipe we are going to need a whole slew of spices. If you have a well-stocked spice cabinet, it's going to get lots of activity today! Even though the specific combination of spices used in Old Bay seasoning may vary, these are the spices that are typically included. To start with we'll need some celery seed. "In this recipe you can use celery seed or celery salt. If you choose to use celery salt, then you can omit the salt that I have added separately. I prefer to use celery seed because I can then control the salt added and if you are on a salt-restricted diet, you can just omit it altogether. If you are using the seed form and prefer it to be very fine, you can add it to a spice grinder and break it down first," Hahn explains. Then we'll need some paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, dry mustard, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, ground cloves, powdered ginger, and nutmeg.

Measure out the spices

So now you have 12 bottles of spices in front of you so let's get measuring. Pull out a small bowl and measure out the celery seed, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and dry mustard. Then we'll add just a pinch of allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, ground cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. So, how much is a pinch you may be wondering? A pinch is somewhere in between an eighth and a sixteenth of a teaspoon. "The spices that require a pinch are all very strong so be careful to not go overboard here unless one of these is one of your favorite spices and you don't mind an extra focus on it," Hahn explains.

Stir the spices

Now simply stir to combine all of these great spices. Some will naturally clump up so break them down as you stir.

Store the spice blend

Now that your homemade Old Bay seasoning is complete you can seal it up in a jar with a lid and find a new home for it in your spice cabinet. If the container you are using is air-tight the spice blend should last up to a year. Even though your homemade spice blend won't be stored in the iconic yellow and blue tin with the classic ship on the label, it will be your new favorite spice to jazz up just about anything!

Homemade Old Bay Seasoning Recipe
5 from 23 ratings
Learn how to make your own Old Bay seasoning mix to use when cooking dips, seafood, veggies, and more.
Prep Time
Cook Time
old bay seasoning in jar
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons celery seed
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 pinch allspice
  • 1 pinch cardamom
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch powdered ginger
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  1. Gather all of the spices and measure them out into a small bowl.
  2. Stir to combine the spices and break down any clumps.
  3. Pour the mixture into a jar with a lid for storage.
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