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Old Bay Seasoning Mix

User Rating 4 Star Rating (7 Reviews)


Old Bay
Steve Snodgrass/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Make your own Old Bay Seasoning mix to store in your pantry.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Makes about 1/4 cup


  • 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


Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Store in an airtight container and store in a cool place. Use with seafood or chicken.

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.

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.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Good mixture, Member olen1009

Note, I did use mostly pre-ground spices, except for the celery seed which was freshly ground. I do recognize another reader's comments about the relevant strengths between pre-ground and freshly ground spices. Taking that into account, here are my changes. This is one of those mixtures that could be varying infinitely and still be good. In fact, just adding equal proportions of every spice listed on the Old Bay can (except for reducing the peppers and salt) also tastes good! Here is how I modified this particular recipe: I doubled the allspice & cloves ratios, as I love ""Jerk"" seasoning that works with all meats or seafood to me. In fact, I would consider adding even more allspice, but that's my taste. I increased the black pepper by 1/2 teaspoon, left out the white pepper; replaced the red-pepper flakes with twice as much ground red pepper (not cayenne) and left out the cardamom. Cardamom is expensive and hard to find and in a mixture like this is adds little more than a peppery taste, so I find it is a waste. And, white pepper and black pepper are the same spice...The black is on the outside of the white interior. It is just a bit more bitter than the white. In this mixture, It is a waste, in my opinion, to add 4 different peppery tastes and hot mustard too! For the same reason, I also doubled the nutmeg and left out the mace. Mace is another hard to find spice that comes from the surface of the same ""meg"" that is ground up and is not noticeably different than nutmeg in this preparation, but it is hard to find. Except for saffron, cardamom and mace are among the most expensive spices that can still be considered non-exotic. I added 1 tablespoon of salt and added 1 1/2 teaspoon of celery seed. I added a tablespoon of regular paprika along with the suggested smoked paprika. I ground up 1/4 teaspoon of anise seed and added that. Note: There is a reason why recipes require whole bay leaves. It helps if the grinder is mostly full, but they tend to just get partly crumbled and then fly around, but not actually powdered. Then, because the pieces never get soft with cooking, they end up like pieces of cardboard or plastic in the food. Added whole, they can be removed later, but it is inconvenient to add to BBQ sauces, rubs, etc. So, I purchased it online, ground, and love it. It holds its aroma and a little goes a long way...allowing me to use it in all sorts of rubs & marinades. DON'T, however, overdo it, because it can be both overpowering and very bitter. But in the right proportion, it is a fascinating taste.

52 out of 57 people found this helpful.

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