Old Bay Seasoning Mix

Old Bay
Steve Snodgrass/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 24 servings
Ratings (20)

Make your own Old Bay Seasoning mix to store in your pantry. Old Bay Seasoning is a classic mix of many different kinds of spices that is used to flavor seafood dishes. You can also mix it into mashed potatoes, vegetable dishes, and stir-fries, and it's excellent with chicken as well. Try it on simple pan-fried pork chops, or mix it with sour cream to make an appetizer dip.

You can change the amounts and proportions of the ingredients in this recipe to your liking. If you like spicy foods, use more of the dry mustard and crushed red pepper flakes. If you prefer a smokier flavor, use smoked paprika and increase the amount. This recipe can be doubled or tripled if you use a lot of this type of seasoning. And it's fun to make it yourself!

This mix will keep about 6 months stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Remember to never store spices near the stove, because the heat makes them lose potency more quickly, and store them in the dark, since sunlight, especially direct sunlight, can affect the flavor as well.

And make sure to label any spice or seasoning mix, or any homemade mix for that matter, with the name of the mix, the date it was made, and the date it should be discarded. These mixes can all look alike when several are stored together!

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon ground dried bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

How to Make It

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Store in an airtight container and store in a cool place. Use with seafood or chicken.
  2. If you want to make this with fresh spices you grind yourself, use this recipe for Whole Spice Old Bay Seasoning Mix. And, as always, adjust the spices to your own taste.
  3. You can sometimes find ground bay in your supermarket, but you may have to grind it yourself. Be sure to use dried bay leaves, not fresh, because they grind more easily, and completely grind to a powder. The stiff spine in the center of the bay leaf can injure your esophagus if you swallow it, but if it's reduced to a powder that risk is eliminated.