Old Bay Seasoning Recipe - Capture the
Authentic Flavours of Chesapeake Bay

If lobster, crab, shrimp and other shellfish are on the menu, then this Old Bay seasoning recipe is the recipe for you. This seasoning dates from the 1940's and is a blend of coarse sea salt and spices that makes an excellent boil, rub or general seasoning. (See the bottom of the page for other recipes)

Note: To add the best flavours, I advise using whole spices when you can for this recipe. Sometimes this is not convenient, so if you don't have whole, just use pre-ground powders. Just halve the quantities it says in the ingredients. So for 2 tablespoons mustard seeds you use 1 tablespoon ground mustard. Reduce any others you don't have whole by half as well.

Homemade Old Bay Seasoning Recipe

What You'll Need: (makes about 14-15 tablespoons)

8 tbsp cup coarse sea salt
5 tbsp paprika (any variety)
8-10 dried bay leaves
2 tbsp mustard seed
2 tbsp green cardamom pods
1 tbsp ginger powder
4 tsp whole black peppercorns
4 tsp chili powder (more if you like a bit of heat) 
2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp grated nutmeg

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Crack open the cardamom pods and remove the seeds
  • Crumble the bay
  • Combine the cardamom seeds and bay with the salt and other whole ingredients and coarsely grind in your spice grinder
  • Add to a bowl
  • Stir in in the ginger, chili, nutmeg and paprika

Store your Old Bay seasoning in an airtight jar out of sunlight. Use it within 3 months before making up a fresh lot.

Note: I recommend lightly toasting some of the whole ingredients before grinding. This greatly intensifies the flavours and aromas.

For this recipe you could toast the cloves, mustard and peppercorns.

See the grinding page for step-by-step info and photos. (Link opens in new window)

Image Links to Other Seasoning Recipes You May Enjoy

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Perfect For Apple
Pie and All Desserts!

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Preserving Fruit and
Veg the Traditional

Spice Mixes
Collection - Add
Fab Taste to Your
Home Cooking

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