Seafood Seasoning (Old Bay Substitute)

5 from 4 votes

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Seafood seasoning is in short supply and high demand right now. Can’t find Old Bay in stores? Make this recipe from K-Paul’s for an Old Bay seasoning substitute!

seafood seasoning in small glass jar

Back in 1979, Chef Paul Prudhomme was well known for his delicious seafood dishes and smoked meats. He is also responsible for creating blackening seasoning, as well as Cajun and Creole cooking as we know it today.

Chef Prudhomme’s famous restaurant, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, was a hot spot for four decades, but as a result of the global pandemic, K-Paul’s permanently closed in 2020. 

The late chef’s popular Magic™ seafood seasoning blend lives on through retail sales. However, it and other popular blends like Old Bay™ seasoning are all but impossible to find in stores these days.

Fortunately, I have an easy solution for making your own seafood seasoning! This is a very special, “magic” recipe.

Seafood Seasoning

In the mid-80’s, one of the chefs at K-Paul’s restaurant was a house guest and gave me the kitchen recipe while on a visit, and now I’m sharing it with you! This recipe makes a great substitute for Old Bay seasoning!

He also was the first to make me a pan-seared filet stuffed with boursin cheese with a red wine sauce! A-mazing!

The seafood seasoning recipe given to me was written in pound measurements (amounts to yield 6 cups of spice blend), obviously for commercial kitchen use. I’ve adjusted the amounts down to yield 1 cup of seasoning. This is more in line with what you need for a home pantry.

jar of spice blend tipped over on counter

Old Bay seasoning substitute

If you look at the Old Bay ingredient label, you’ll notice that it’s very different from most other seafood seasoning recipes. It does include many of the spices that are in the recipe shown below, but there are some unique ingredients too.

For instance, bay leaves, clove, and allspice are in Old Bay, but not in my seafood seasoning recipe. This doesn’t mean you can’t use it as a substitute for Old Bay seasoning though! It’s perfect for times when you can’t find it in the store.

mixing spices in bowl as substitute for old bay seasoning

Uses for seafood seasoning

What I like most about this spice blend is its versatility. You can use it as Chef Paul intended, as a dry rub for dishes like blackened mahi mahi or shrimp. But there are plenty of other ways to use the seafood spices!

  • Seafood salads – Sprinkle a bit of the seasoning into the mixture for crab stuffed mushrooms or tuna fish salad for a nice punch of flavor.
homemade seafood seasoning in small glass bowl

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This post, originally published on Kevin is Cooking Mar. 13, 2013, was last updated with new content on Oct. 30, 2021.

seafood seasoning in small glass jar

Cajun Seafood Seasoning

5 from 4 votes
Cajun Seafood seasoning is in short supply now. Can’t find Old Bay in stores? Make this recipe from K-Paul’s for an Old Bay seasoning substitute!
Servings: 16 tablespoons
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes



  • Add spices to small bowl and whisk to combine; bottle in airtight container.
  • If kept in cool, dry location away from direct light, seafood seasoning will stay fresh for 8-10 months. Useable after that, but will be less potent.


  1. This recipe yields 1 cup seafood seasoning (16 tablespoons) and nutritional information shown is for 1 tablespoon serving.


Calories: 12kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 894IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: spice blends
Cuisine: Cajun, Southern
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image: homemade old bay substitute


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. 5 stars
    I used this since I ran out of oldbay with king oyster mushroom as a scallop replacement and this recipe gave it the seafood taste that I was looking for, thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Fantastic flavor! I didn’t need so much so I used 1/4 of the amount of all ingredients except the salt (*I did not add salt at all) and it was perfect! I made crab cakes with king crab leftover from New Years Eve and they were delicious! I have about 1/3 cup of seasoning mix and will use it to make more crab cakes in the summer. Thanks for the great recipe!

    *As there is salt in the bread crumbs and (natural) sodium in the king crab, my recipe did not require additional sodium, thus I omitted the salt completely in the seasoning mix. If I was not making crab cakes I definitely would have added the salt.

    January 3, 2023

    1. Brian, thanks for inquiring, but I only use this as a seasoning when cooking seafood like shrimp or fish. This isn’t specifically for a boil, although I’m sure you could add it. I just have no idea on the amounts.