Old Bay Seasoning Recipe

Old Bay seasoning is exactly what you want to sprinkle on shrimp, crab boil, fish, fries, chicken…heck, you can dump this homemade spice blend on anything, really.

Old Bay Seasoning Recipe

You may know Old Bay seasoning best as an indispensable ingredient in a crawfish or shrimp boil. As kitchen maverick Todd Wilbur explains, seafood was the start of Old Bay back in 1939, when Gustav Brunn, who had settled on the Chesapeake Bay where steamed crabs are a staple, honed his top secret blend of spices. It became the most used seasoning on steamed crabs, shrimp, lobster, fish and all manner of seafood for generations to come. But it’s so simpleminded to think of it exclusively in the domain of seafood. Go on. Shake the seasoning on everything else… This recipe has been updated. Originally published August 28, 2012.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Use Old Bay Seasoning

Mixed into crab cakes, natch
Sprinkled on sweet corn
Shaken or stirred into a Bloody Mary
Dumped on fries
Incorporated into the flour for dredging pan-fried fish
Incorporated into the flour for dredging pan-fried chicken
Dumped into gumbo
Stirred into gazpacho
Strewn atop a baked potato
Dusted daintily over naan
Stirred into egg salad
Rubbed on grilled fish that’s destined to be wrapped up in soft corn tortillas (that is to say, fish tacos)
Melded into hot crab dip
Tossed with popcorn
Whisked into egg white omelets
Swirled into seafood soups and stews
Stirred into tartar sauce
Dissolved in a brine for pork or poultry
Sprinkled in bread crumbs for, well, just about anything
Mashed into deviled eggs
Injected into chicken or turkey
Mixed into the coating for onion rings
Heaped on homemade potato chips
Added to mayo for a quick dip
Mashed with butter, garlic, and Parmigiano-Reggiano and slathered on warm bread
Rubbed between the meat and skin of a hen prior to roasting
Sprinkled on homemade tortilla chips as they’re pulled from the oil
Tossed with oven fries
Incorporated into stuffing or, if you prefer, dressing (and we’re quite certain you know the difference between them…right?)
Combined with hummus
Strewn on crawfish anything
And, if you live in Maryland, lavished on just about everything else you can think to eat

Old Bay Seasoning Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • 2 tablespoons


  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch ground dry mustard
  • 1 pinch ground mace (may substitute a teensy pinch nutmeg)
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cardamom
  • 1 pinch ground allspice
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground ginger


  • 1. Stir together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Transfer to a container of some sort that has a tight-fitting lid—a glass jar with a screw-top lid works spectacularly. Set aside in a cool, dark place and use within a couple months.
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