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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Soups – The spices pair really well with clams and scallops. Add a bit to New England clam chowder!
- Fish seasoning– Use it to add flavor to baked salmon patties; just mix it right in with the other ingredients. Or, sprinkle it onto fish filets for the best ever broiled swordfish!
This post, originally published on Kevin is Cooking Mar. 13, 2013, was last updated with new content on Oct. 30, 2021.
Seafood Seasoning (Old Bay Substitute)
- 5 tbsp salt
- 5 tbsp paprika
- 2 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 4 tsp cayenne powder
- 4 tsp black pepper
- 4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 cup dried oregano
- 1/4 cup dried basil
- 1/4 cup dried thyme leaves
- 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.
- This recipe yields 1 cup seafood seasoning (16 tablespoons) and nutritional information shown is for 1 tablespoon serving.
- 1 lb salt
- 1 lb paprika
- ½ lb garlic powder
- ½ lb onion powder
- ¼ lb ground cayenne
- ¼ lb black pepper
- ¼ lb ground coriander
- 12 oz leaf oregano
- 12 oz leaf basil
- 12 oz leaf thyme
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.