Homemade Old Bay Seasoning


Hello blogosphere, I am back from the dead flu and extremely happy about it! I can truly report that the nasty virus has finally decided to leave me be, and that my dear husband did not catch it from me, which is a huge relief for both of us. I’m also ecstatic to get back to cooking, something I couldn’t really do whilst feeling so yucky.

I, like so many others, feel very strongly about not using those spice and flavoring packets you find in most grocery stores. They are mostly sodium and chemicals. Your food will be healthier and taste much better if you just use the pure spices themselves. But, a few months ago, as I was looking for something in my pantry, I came across my box of Old Bay seasoning. It got me wondering if it’s all that different from using one of the spice packets I abhor so much. Truth be told, probably not.


So I knew I must fix that hypocritical aspect of my pantry by making it from scratch. I did quite a bit of research online and adapted my own from a combination of several sources and a bit of trial and error. I’m so glad I did this! Homemade is so much better than the store-bought stuff. And I know for certain because I did a side by side comparison with a sautéed piece of flounder. We got two fish fillets, spiced one with the boxed commercial stuff and one with the homemade version. We both definitely noticed a difference and we infinitely preferred the homemade Old Bay. So give this a try, especially if you use lots of Old Bay in your cooking. It’s really worth it.


*Note: you may have trouble finding ground bay leaves in your regular grocery store, but they can easily be obtained online.

Adapted from several different sources

1 tbs celery salt
1 scant tbs ground bay leaf powder
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. It works best to just use your fingers. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in a cool dark place. Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

5 responses to “Homemade Old Bay Seasoning

  1. I’m heading to a Penzey’s while I’m at my son’s sled hockey tournament this weekend, so I’ll be sure to look for ground bay leaves. And celery salt–I think I have everything else.

    Thanks!–and glad you’re feeling better!

    • Texan New Yorker

      Thanks so much. Were you able to find the ground bay leaves? My regular grocery store didn’t have it, and they have a LOT of different spices. I went to a specialty store in Manhattan, the one I linked to in the post. Fortunately they will ship.

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