If you need Old Bay seasoning in a recipe but don’t have any on hand, you’re in luck! There are many great spices that can give your food that same delicious flavor. Here are some of the best substitutes for Old Bay seasoning.

Bowls of old bay seasoning and other spices.

Overview of Old Bay Seasoning

Old Bay Seasoning is a popular spice blend that originates from the Chesapeake Bay region in the United States. It is most commonly used to season seafood, but can also be used on meats, vegetables, and in soups and stews.

It is a key ingredient in my Air Fryer Crab Cakes.

The main ingredients in Old Bay Seasoning are Celery Salt, Spices (Red and black pepper) and Paprika.

What it tastes like

Old Bay Seasoning is a classic American spice blend and is beloved for its unique mix of savory, sweet, and earthy flavors.

The base of the seasoning is made up of celery salt and paprika, which are then blended with other spices like mustard, black pepper, cloves, allspice, and ginger. This mix of spices creates a flavor that is both complex and perfectly balanced.

Where it originated from

Old Bay Seasoning was created in 1939 by Gustav Brunn. He started his own spice company and began selling his seasoning blend to local markets. The popularity of Old Bay Seasoning quickly spread up and down the East Coast, and it has been a staple in American cooking ever since.

Old Bay Seasoning is a taste of the Chesapeake Bay that everyone can enjoy.

What is in it

This seasoning blend is a mixture of celery salt, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and mustard, and it’s been a staple in the region for nearly a century.

Metal spoons with paprika, pepper, and cayenne spices.

How it’s used

Old Bay Seasoning is a condiment that can be used in a variety of dishes, from seafood and crab cakes to chicken, pork, beef, and vegetables.

When cooking with Old Bay, it is important to use it to test it out at first, as the flavors can be quite strong. Once you have determined the ideal amount of seasoning for your taste buds, you can enjoy the flavor in all your favorite dishes.

Best Substitutes for Old Bay Seasoning

1. Paprika & Celery Salt

Paprika and celery salt is a great substitute for Old Bay seasoning. To make your own Old Bay seasoning, mix together paprika and celery salt.

You can use this blend to season seafood, meats, vegetables, soups, and stews. Dial it to taste.

To substitute one teaspoon of old bay seasoning, use 1/4 teaspoon of paprika and 1/4 teaspoon of celery salt.

Silver spoon spreading paprika spice on white plate.

2. Cajun Seasoning

If you’re looking for a spice blend that will give your food a similar flavor to Old Bay seasoning, try Cajun seasoning. This blend typically contains paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.

You can use Cajun seasoning in any recipe that calls for Old Bay seasoning. Be careful with this one, as it tends to be spicier than Old Bay.

To substitute one teaspoon of old bay seasoning, use one teaspoon of Cajun seasoning.

Cajun seasoning container on spice rack.

3. Seasoned Salt

Seasoned salt is another great substitute for Old Bay seasoning. This blend typically contains herbs, spices, flavorings and sometimes MSG. Read the label if you want to avoid MSG. Use sparingly.

To substitute one teaspoon of old bay seasoning, use 1/2 teaspoon of seasoned salt.

Clear glass container of Seasoning salt.

4. Crab boil

Crab boil is a spice blend that typically contains ginger, chives, celery seeds, red pepper flakes, peppercorns, pickling spices, sea salt, and mustard seeds. I recommend putting it into the water when boiling shellfish.

You can use crab boil to season seafood, meats, vegetables, soups, and stews.

To substitute one teaspoon of old bay seasoning, use one teaspoon of Crab Boil.

Crab boil with corn, shrimp, and seasonings.

5. Chinese Five Spice

If you’re looking for a spice blend that will give your food a similar flavor to Old Bay seasoning, try Chinese Five-spice. This blend typically contains star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel, and depending on the recipe, one of three other ingredients: Sichuan peppercorns, ginger, or white pepper.

It’s a sweeter spice blend and great for poultry, seafood, or meat. I would recommend using smaller amounts first.

To substitute one teaspoon of old bay seasoning, use 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese five-spice.

Bowl containing Chinese five spice powder seasoning.

More Best Substitutes Articles You Might Like

Conclusions

There are many great substitutes for Old Bay seasoning. Do your own research to find the perfect blend of spices for your dish. Some of my favorites include paprika and celery salt, Cajun seasoning, and Chinese Five-spice.

No matter which blend you choose, be sure to use it sparingly at first to test the flavors. Once you’ve found the right amount for your taste buds, enjoy the flavor in all your favorite dishes!

If you like this post, consider following me on social media so we can stay connected. I’m on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube!