The 7 Top Substitutes For Old Bay Seasoning

Old Bay Seasoning next to the shrimp and corn.

The Old Bay Seasoning is an American blend of herbs, pepper, herb, salt and spices. Invented in Maryland, 18 herbs and spices are shrouded in mystery, and no one knows the exact combination. Agree that Old Bay Seasoning can be deliciously combined with seafood, especially shrimp and mussels or oysters.

If you don’t have Old Bay Seasoning in your closet, you need an alternative. We’ve compiled a handy list of Old Bay herbal alternatives so you can prepare any dish without the original ingredient. You can also try our future recipe lower on this page, which most people can’t distinguish from reality.

How do I replace Old Bay herbs in the kitchen?

Cooking crab, marinated herbs or Cajun herbs are the best replacements for the Old Bay season. There are a number of other spice mixtures that you can also use, but to get the most authentic taste, we advise you to make your own mixture at home.

1. Boiled shrimps

The cooking water of the crab is used to flavor the water in which mussels, lobsters, crabs or crayfish are cooked. You can buy this product in stores or online in most areas of the United States.

As with most spice mixtures, it is easy to cook them yourself. There are many recipes, but we offer a mix of coriander, cayenne pepper, mustard, dill, spices and bay leaves. If you use whole spices, put them in the spice mill or in a solution and melt them into a powder.

Use as much boiling water for the crab as you would use Old Bay herbs.

2. Savoury sauces

Pickling spice is a blend of spices used to marinate food and add flavour to stews and soups. It is a good alternative to Old Bay herbs and is ideal for seasoning seafood and shrimp.

In the section spices you will find marinated spices sold in supermarkets or on the internet, you will find many possibilities. But maybe you already have the necessary herbs at home to create your own marinade flavor. The combination of cloves, herbs, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, bay leaf, ginger and red pepper flakes is all you need.

Use marinated herbs in the same quantities as you would use Old Bay Seasoning.

3. Cajun Seasoning

Cajun spice is from Louisiana and is an excellent replacement. In many parts of the United States they are easier to find in supermarkets. The taste profile is similar to that of Old Bay, although you will notice more spices of some brands of Cajun herbs.

Common ingredients are pepper, chilli, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and oregano. For those who do not like spicy and hot food, we offer another alternative on this list.

Old Bay seasoning replaces 4. Todd Mudd

If you like hot food, you can try a product called Crabby Dirt. It is part of Todd’s Dirt’s range of herbs and has an aromatic profile similar to Old Bay Seasoning. If you look at the list of ingredients, you may see other ingredients such as chipotle powder and cayenne pepper. These are ideal ingredients that you can put in boiling water for your next crab, but expect your food to be spicy and warm.

5. Sea salt

Seasonal salt is a cheap and easily accessible ingredient that you can use to replace the old seasonal berry when you are in a difficult situation. Although it tastes different, it is excellent for seasoning fish, pork, poultry or beef. It enhances the flavour of any dish and is deliciously sprinkled with popcorn or eggs.

6. Chinese five spices

If you don’t like Old Bay herbs, try something completely different and use Chinese 5 Spice. It is a mixture of star anise, cloves, fennel, pepper and cinnamon seed. It is a milder spice mix, but it is versatile and can be used as an additive for red meat, seafood or poultry.

7. Old Bay Wannabe season

Old Bay Seasoning is a patented blend that is carefully monitored so that no one but the manufacturer’s employees know the real ingredients. However, we have experimented with certain flavours and developed the following recipe, which tastes the same and is quick and easy to prepare.

We used ground spices, but if you want to improve the taste, buy whole spices and grind them in a spice mill or solution and crush them.


  • 1 ½ tablespoon celery salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon mustard
  • 1 ground cardamom
  • 1 pinched eye
  • 1 ginger, minced meat
  • 1 fragrant ground pepper
  • 1 ground nutmeg
  • 1 point of the ground cinnamon knife


  1. Put all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until well mixed.
  2. Pour the herbal mixture into an airtight container and store in a cool, dry place until needed.

What is Old Bay Seasoning used for?

  • Steam seafood or add boiling water to shrimps.
  • Make a delicious marinade by combining a mixture of herbs with butter and lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle with crab cakes, scones or lava flakes.
  • Mix it with rice or your next slow boiling chili con carn.
  • Foam it on roasted corn on the cob or give fried vegetables a new flavour.
  • The next time you have fun, sprinkle it with peeled eggs for a delicious appetite.

Quick facts

  • The Old Bay brand was acquired in 1990 by McCormick and Co.
  • When Old Bay was founded, Baltimore had a lot of crabmeat, so the bars offered free seafood. Spicy herbs have been added to liberal cans to stimulate beverage sales.
  • The spice is most popular in Maryland, but is also widely used in the southern states, the Central Atlantic states, the Gulf of Mexico and New England.
  • It sticks to the shells of the seafood and makes the fingers and lips red during the meal.
  • An ingredient that can be used to flavor French fries, meat, fried vegetables and much more.

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Old Bay seasoning has many uses in the kitchen, but it is especially appreciated for cooking shrimp and seasoning seafood. If you don’t have crabs in your larder, the best options are boiling crab water, marinated herbs or Cajun herbs. For an authentic tasting we advise you to make a mix of imitations at home.

Which dish is prepared with Old Bay herbs? Please let us know in the comments below.

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