Best old bay seasoning substitute

Best old bay seasoning substitute

When you hear old bay seasoning substitute, you should know that old bay seasoning majorly relates to seafood. A seafood lover is most likely to be familiar with old bay seasoning.

If you aren’t, this article will enlighten you more about old bay seasoning, and if you do, you’ll be learning some more things you need to know about it.

What is old bay seasoning?

The renowned flavor mix called old bay seasoning initially came to Baltimore in 1939, when Zest dealer Gustav Brunn had barely gotten away from Nazi Germany and moved to the United States.

Brunn consolidated 18 flavors and herbs to make the now eminent formula known as old bay seasoning.

The secret behind the old bay seasoning formula is extremely guarded and not many are aware of the exact ingredients of its commended flavor mix.

Although many copycat recipes have been able to figure out the flavoring code which recommended it is a mixture of the following spices: Paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, ginger, and cinnamon.

The old bay seasoning was produced in Maryland and sold by the McCormick company. It is also a secret ingredient in many local dishes.

Old bay seasoning is best known as an indispensable ingredient in a crawfish or shrimp boil. This isn’t wrong but there is so much more you can use this seasoning for, so go ahead and shake it into other meals.

How does old bay seasoning taste?

Old bay seasoning offers a lot of flavors. A combination of sweet paprika-dried mustard and changing measures of celery seed, salt, dark pepper, garlic powder and so much more.

It has a tangy, spicy kick similar to celery salt which makes it perfect for seafood dishes like crab, shrimps, steamed vegetables, and also non-seafood recipes like crab cakes, shrimp salad, and Chesapeake soup.

The flavoring adheres to the shells and flavors the meat with a tangy zest that waits on your tongue and lips.

Nutritional facts of old bay seasoning

0.6g (1/4) tsp of old bay seasoning contains;

Calories                  0

Total fat                 0g

Cholesterol           0mg

Sodium                  140.0mg

Carbohydrates      0g

Fiber                      0g

Protein                  0g

old bay seasoning substitute

Are there substitutes for old bay seasoning?

Yes, there are substitutes for old bay seasoning so if you still want related flavors and can’t get hold of this seasoning or you need something similar for a different kind of meal.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

  1. Cajun seasoning

Cajun seasoning shares a similar flavor profile with old bay seasoning.

The major difference is that it is a lot spicier. If you are looking for a little more hotness in a  substitute, you should consider Cajun seasoning.

  1. Chinese five spice

Chinese five-spice consist of 5 Chinese ingredients which include; star anise, cloves, fennel, Szechuan peppercorns, and cinnamon. It gives the five basic flavors; spicy, sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.

You may need to add a bit more of this mixed spice instead of the same measurement you would have used if it was old bay seasoning.  This is because the spice is less concentrated.

  1. Seasoned salt

Seasoned salt also makes a suitable substitute for old bay seasoning. It is a combination of herbs and spices including garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, paprika, and celery salt, perfect for seafood.

  1. French four spice

French four spice is a popular French seasoning used in French meals from seafood to meat and vegetables.

This spice is made with equal amounts of ground cloves, white pepper, ginger, and nutmeg but can also include cinnamon, cardamom, mace, pepper, and ginger.

It shares similar ingredients and flavor profile with old bay seasoning hence can make a great substitute.

Food suggestions you can use old bay seasoning substitute for

There is no doubt that most of the dishes that old bay seasoning is used for are seafood-related.

Below are other meals old bay seasoning can be used in;

  1. Potatoes
  2. Pickled eggs
  3. Coleslaw
  4. green beans
  5. Baked beans
  6. Bean soup
  7. Cream cheese
  8. Relish tray
  9. French fries
  10. Broccoli, and
  11. Cheddar cheese

How healthy is old bay seasoning?

Here’s a question a lot of people would want to ask, so we must discuss it.

Old bay seasoning is a great and healthy seasoning that adds flavor to your meals. Most of the ingredients in old bay seasoning are healthy compounds.

  1. Black pepper is a rich source of B-complex vitamins, including thiamine and niacin.
  2. Celery seed provides phytonutrients in the form of flavonoids which contain luteolin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound used to treat inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
  3. Black pepper has been shown to help ailments like depression and dementia.


Old bay seasoning has a broad flavor profile, tour substitute for it should be based on your preference.

Celery salt, Cajun seasoning, seasoned salt, and others mentioned above are all suitable replacements for old bay seasoning.