Do you have a recipe that calls for Old Bay and you have none in-house? Or are you just not a fan of Old Bay, and you’re looking for a packaged Old Bay seasoning substitute with a slightly different flavor?
Luckily, you have options either way!
Option #1: Make a homemade Old Bay substitute.
You can craft a similar heat and taste from spices in a well-stocked spice rack. Some of the ingredients in Old Bay you may not have around, but many are spice rack staples.
Start with hot pepper-based paprika. That’s where Old Bay gets its spiciness. The other ingredients include cloves. allspice, ginger, mace, mustard, nutmeg, bay leaf, and cardamom. You may not have all of these around, but even a few of them mixed together can create a comparable taste. Be prepared to play with proportions to get the right taste for you. Again, it may not be perfect, but just a few of these spices together will work in a pinch as a substitute.