10 Best Old Bay Seasoning Substitutes That Taste The Same

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You must be looking for the best old bay seasoning substitutes because you are a big fan of seafood. You must have relished that good-old shrimp with Old Bay Seasoning for sure. 

Old Bay Seasoning

But do you know what to do in a code red situation when you are out of Old Bay Seasoning? Let us discuss a bunch of substitutes for Old Bay Seasoning in this article. Do you know any of them? Some of the best old bay seasoning substitutes are cajun seasoning, seasoning salt, celery salt with paprika, crab boil, and Chinese five-spice.

Old Bay Seasoning is a very popular classic seasoning agent used for perking up the taste of seafood, salads, poultry, or meat. That’s not it! You can also use this magical spice blend to sprinkle on your popcorn, roasted veggies, meat, or mix it in a cocktail to enhance the spiciness.

Old Bay Seasoning comes with all deliciousness and goodness. Take a deeper look at what Old Bay Seasoning is and its list of alternatives in the following scribbles.

Quick Peek: Old Bay Seasoning

Old Bay Seasoning

The following scribbles tell you what old bay seasoning is, its flavor, texture, culinary uses, and health benefits.

What Is Old Bay Seasoning?

Old bay seasoning is an American seasoning agent with a distinctive blend of herbs and spices. I must tell you that the number is 18. Yes! Eighteen flavorful ingredients are used to create this yummy seasoning. These include celery salt, paprika, red pepper flakes, mustard, black pepper, cinnamon, and ginger, to name a few.

Origin of Old Bay Seasoning

Care for a little dig into its origin? Gustav Brunn, a Jewish-German immigrant, is the man (brain) behind this delicious spice blend. He had prepared this spice blend as part of his spices business, and it was an instant hit once sold. Brunn named this lucky baby Old Bay.

Describing Old Bay Seasoning: Flavor and Texture

Old bay seasoning renders rich, profound layers of intense flavors brimming with the hottest spices. You get a salty, fiery, peppery flavor that gives your seasoned vodka or roasted potatoes a delicious touch.  

Uses of Old Bay Seasoning

‘Delicious Brand Shrimp’ and ‘Crab Seasoning,’ as Old Bay was first called, are undoubtedly the most popular for seasoning shrimps and crabs. As a versatile seasoning agent, it upgrades the taste of whatever you are using it with to an ultimate level of deliciousness. 

You can use Old Bay to sprinkle on fries, dinner rolls, stuffed eggs, fried shrimp, and many more. It can be used as dips, marinades, and ingredients in sandwiches or chicken wings. Add it to butter and smear it over anything for a mouth-watering taste and flavor!

Old Bay Seasoning On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Old bay seasoning as a seasoning ingredient doesn’t have much to boast about its health benefits. But that doesn’t mean you can completely disregard it to be unhealthy. It comprises several spices which are loaded with antioxidants and have potential health benefits of their own.

Red pepper flakes help prevent the formation of blood clots, and black pepper has anti-inflammatory properties. Paprika aids in proper digestion, and celery salt reduces the risk of cancer and blood pressure.

Why Should We Substitute Old Bay Seasoning?

Old Bay seasoning has so many perks that you begin to wonder if it is possible to replace it. There is truly no substitute that can match it in the flavor profile. Yet, some ingredients as substitutes can do the trick and create wonders in your recipe. 

You need these ingredients in cases where you are out of old bay seasoning but very much need it for continuing with your recipe. Trying to swap old bay seasoning with its best substitutes can actually help in your experimentation game in the kitchen. So, shall we now talk about the best old bay seasoning substitutes?

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

10 Best Old Bay Seasoning Substitutes

The best ten substitutes for Old Bay Seasoning are as follows:

1. Cajun Seasoning

Cajun Seasoning

Cajun seasoning is a spice blend that constitutes paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, pepper, and oregano. It has a spicy, earthy flavor, making it an all-purpose seasoning ingredient. 

Cajun seasoning is easy to find, less costly, and the best Old Bay seasoning substitute. It is much saltier and spicier than Old Bay, and therefore, you may want to reduce the amount when choosing to replace Old Bay.

2. Seasoning Salt

Seasoning Salt

As the name tells you, seasoning salt combines salt, herbs, and other spices. It is used as a flavoring agent in dishes. With an authentic flavor available from different brands, seasoning salt can be used as an alternative for Old Bay. 

If you want the same flavor of Old Bay, make sure you add celery seed, mustard powder, and pumpkin spice to the seasoning salt.

3. Crab Boil

Crab Boil

Crab boil is a seasoning spice blend made using red pepper, bay leaves, cloves, black pepper, and thyme. (You thought I was going to talk about the event where crabs are boiled and eaten? Duh. Get your focus on spices here!) Crab boil seasoning has a balanced, spicy flavor with a piquant taste, making it one of the best old bay seasoning substitutes.

4. Celery Salt and Paprika

Celery Salt and Paprika

Celery salt can give you a yummy garlicky flavor akin to Old Bay Seasoning when mixed with paprika. Do you know why? Celery salt and paprika are two major ingredients that constitute Old Bay Seasoning. You may not be able to simulate the exact flavor of Old Bay, but using the combo of celery salt and paprika can surely save your day.

5. Chinese Five Spice

Chinese Five Spices

Chinese Five Spice is an Asian spice blend predominantly used in Hawaiian and Vietnamese cuisines. It is a fine blend of five different spices; anise, clove, peppercorns or white pepper, cinnamon, and fennel seeds. 

Thus, it carries a distinctive flavor profile with sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and umami notes. Chinese five-spice makes a near-to-ideal substitute for Old Bay Seasoning in seafood and poultry recipes.

6. Pickling Spice

Pickling Spice

Pickling Spice is a merger of a few easily available spices; mustard seed, coriander seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, ginger, and red pepper flakes. It is commonly used to add a burst flavor to dishes, soups, and stews. Adding celery salt, paprika, and red pepper to pickling spice will get you a near flavor of Old Bay Seasoning in your recipes. 

7. Todd’s Dirt

Todd's Dirt

Todd’s dirt seasoning is a blend of 20 different herbs and spices. Some of the spices are paprika, celery, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder. Apart from these, the presence of ingredients such as chipotle powder and cayenne pepper makes this seasoning a spicy addition to your dishes.

For taste and flavor, Todd’s Dirt can be used as an alternative to Old Bay Seasoning, keeping in mind the peppery sensation!

8. Phillip’s Seafood Seasoning

Phillips Seafood Seasoning

Phillip’s Seafood Seasoning is a flavorsome blend of celery salt, pepper, mustard, allspice, bay leaves, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and paprika. It has an intense flavor that can enhance the taste of seafood and non-seafood recipes.

Philip’s seafood seasoning can be used to substitute Old Bay Seasoning in the same ratio in your recipes that demand to season.

9. French Four Spice

French Four Spice

Also known as Quatre Épices (Four Spices) in French, four spice is a spice mixture used to season soups, dishes, pâté, sausages, and terrines. It is the French allspice mix, prominently used in French cuisine but has also been popularly used in Middle Eastern cuisine as well.

Four spice is made of ground pepper (white, black, or both), cloves, nutmeg, and dried ginger. It basically has a peppery flavor, but a sweet version of the same is also available for use in cakes and puddings. Adding paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, and celery salt to French four spice can be a good alternative for Old bay seasoning.

10. Pacific Seafood Seasoning

Pacific Seafood Seasoning

Pacific seafood seasoning is a flavorful blend of celery seed, white pepper, bay leaves, clove, sea salt, allspice, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, and mustard powder.

Pacific seafood seasoning is similar to old bay when it comes to the ingredients, making it a considerable alternative to old bay seasoning. The only downside is that it is a bit expensive. Make sure to add salt to pacific seafood seasoning when choosing to replace the old bay.

DIY Recipe For Old Bay Seasoning

In case you want to make some Old Bay seasoning at home, here’s a quick DIY recipe for that. Add a kick of flavor to your seafood with this amazing seasoning!

DIY Old Bay Seasoning

DIY Old Bay Seasoning Recipe

Too tired to buy those alternatives for Old Bay seasoning? Alright. Storm off to your pantry, grab these ingredients and make your own Old Bay Seasoning using this copycat recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Seasoning
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • Spice Blender


  • 1 tablespoon Celery Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Paprika
  • teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 pinch Ground Dry Mustard
  • 1 pinch Ground Mace
  • 1 pinch Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 pinch Ground Cardamom
  • 1 pinch Ground Allspice
  • 1 pinch Ground Cloves
  • 1 pinch Ground Ginger


  • Place these ingredients in a spice blender or small jar.
  • Grind them until you get a smooth powder.
  • Behold your Old Bay Seasoning! Store in a tight container and use it as and when needed.


Serving: 0.25teaspoon | Sodium: 140mg
Keyword Old Bay Seasoning, Seasoning
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Short Recap

That must have been an exhaustive read on the best old bay seasoning substitutes, right? Let me make it easy for you to remember the details with the help of some points.

Flavor: Old bay seasoning substitutes which are closest in flavor to old bay are cajun seasoning, crab boil, and celery salt mixed with paprika. 

Health Benefits: Old bay seasoning substitutes, which are healthy alternatives, are French four-spice, Chinese five-spice, and cajun seasoning.

Availability: Old bay seasoning substitutes which are easily available are seasoned salt and cajun seasoning.

How To Use Old Bay Seasoning Substitutes In A Recipe

Old Bay Seasoning

Old Bay Seasoning Substitutes

Old Bay Seasoning is a very popular classic seasoning agent used for perking up the taste of seafood, salads, poultry, or meat. You can also use this magical spice blend to sprinkle on your popcorn, roasted veggies, meat, or mix it in a cocktail to enhance the spiciness. Thus, finding a substitute for it is important.
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  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Crab Boil
  • Celery Salt and Paprika
  • Chinese Five Spice
  • Pickling Spice
  • Todd’s Dirt
  • Phillip’s Seafood Seasoning
  • French Four Spice
  • Pacific Seafood Seasoning


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Final Musings

Laying your hands on substitutes for Old Bay Seasoning wasn’t a tedious task to accomplish, right? If that’s demanding, try to prepare your own Old Bay Seasoning (the actual blend, being a secret even now) and relish your food with an extra, savory flavor. Let me know in the comments which substitute you deem best. Merry seasoning!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What kind of salt is in Old Bay seasoning?

Celery salt is the salt used in old bay seasoning.

How much sodium is in a tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning?

A tablespoon of old bay seasoning has 6 mg of sodium.

Is there MSG in Old Bay Seasoning?

Old bay seasoning doesn’t have MSG in it.

Does Old Bay Seasoning expire?

Old bay seasoning has a shelf life of 540 days if stored in a cool, dry place.

Can I have Old Bay seasoning on keto?

Old bay seasoning can be consumed in a keto diet.

Does Old Bay seasoning contain gluten?

Old bay seasoning doesn’t contain gluten – it is gluten free.

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