Is Old Bay Gluten-Free?

Old Bay Seasoning, a beloved staple in many kitchens, has garnered widespread popularity for its distinctive blend of flavors that elevate various dishes to new heights. 

Whether it’s sprinkled over seafood, used as a rub for meats, or incorporated into dips and sauces, Old Bay adds a unique zing that tantalizes the taste buds. 

However, for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, the allure of this iconic seasoning raises an important question: is Old Bay gluten-free? 

In this article, we embark on a quest to uncover the truth behind Old Bay Seasoning’s gluten content, exploring its ingredients, and healthy alternatives. 

By the end, we aim to provide clarity to those who need to adhere to a gluten-free diet, allowing them to savor the flavors of Old Bay with confidence and peace of mind.

Ingredients of old bay

Old Bay Seasoning is a distinctive blend of spices and herbs that infuses a wide range of dishes with its iconic flavor. 

While the exact recipe remains a closely guarded secret by its producer, McCormick & Company, the key ingredients that typically make up Old Bay Seasoning are known to include celery salt, mustard, paprika, red and black pepper, bay leaf, cloves, allspice, ginger, and cardamom. 

These carefully selected ingredients work in harmony to create a savory, slightly spicy, and aromatic profile that has become synonymous with seafood dishes.

Is old bay gluten-free? 

Yes, Old Bay Seasoning is generally considered gluten-free. While the specific recipe remains a secret, the key ingredients used in Old Bay Seasoning, such as celery salt, mustard, paprika, and spices, do not inherently contain gluten. 

McCormick & Company, the producer of Old Bay Seasoning, states that they do not add any gluten-containing ingredients to the blend. 

Additionally, the seasoning is commonly used on seafood, meats, and vegetables, which are naturally gluten-free. However, it is essential to be cautious when purchasing any seasoning or spice blend, as cross-contamination can occur during the manufacturing process.

Can celiacs consume old bay? 

For individuals with celiac disease, consuming gluten can have serious health implications. While Old Bay Seasoning is typically considered gluten-free based on its ingredients, it’s important for celiacs to exercise caution because there is a risk of cross-contamination during the manufacturing process. 

Cross-contamination can occur if the seasoning is processed on equipment that also handles gluten-containing products, leading to trace amounts of gluten in the final product.

Gluten free alternatives for gluten sensitive people 

There are several gluten-free alternatives available to add similar flavors to their dishes. Here are some popular gluten-free alternatives to Old Bay Seasoning:

  • Simply Organic Bay Seasoning: This certified organic blend is gluten-free and offers a combination of bay leaf, celery seed, black pepper, and other spices.
  • Frontier Co-op Organic Seafood Seasoning: This gluten-free seasoning combines organic spices like paprika, mustard, garlic, and more to enhance the taste of seafood dishes.
  • McCormick Perfect Pinch Original All-Purpose Seasoning: This gluten-free seasoning offers a mix of herbs and spices that can be used as an alternative in various recipes.
  • Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends Seafood Magic: A gluten-free option that blends herbs and spices to elevate seafood dishes.
  • Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute: A versatile gluten-free seasoning blend that contains a variety of spices, including onion, black pepper, celery seed, and mustard seeds.

DIY recipe for making gluten free old bay seasoning at home

Making gluten-free Old Bay Seasoning at home is a simple and satisfying way to ensure the ingredients are safe and tailored to your taste preferences. Here’s a basic DIY recipe for gluten-free Old Bay Seasoning:


1 tablespoon celery salt

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1 teaspoon ground bay leaf

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, adjust to desired heat level)

Preparation method:

  • In a small bowl, combine all the spices and mix well until thoroughly blended.
  • Taste the seasoning and adjust the ingredients to your liking. You can increase the heat by adding more black pepper or cayenne pepper, or adjust other spices for a milder flavor.
  • Transfer the homemade Old Bay Seasoning to an airtight container, and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Use your gluten-free Old Bay Seasoning to flavor seafood, chicken, vegetables, popcorn, or any other dishes.


What is the main flavour of old bay seasoning?

The main flavor of Old Bay seasoning is a savory and slightly spicy blend with a dominant taste of celery salt. This unique combination is complemented by notes of mustard, paprika, and black pepper, which contribute to its distinctive and iconic flavor profile.

Is Cajun seasoning the same as old bay?

No, Cajun seasoning and Old Bay seasoning are not the same. Cajun seasoning hails from Louisiana and typically features a combination of paprika, cayenne pepper, and other spices, delivering a spicy and robust taste. On the other hand, Old Bay seasoning, with its roots in Maryland, incorporates celery salt, mustard, and a blend of spices, offering a savory and slightly spicy profile often used with seafood.

Can you put an old bay on eggs?

Yes, you can certainly sprinkle Old Bay seasoning on eggs to add a delicious and unique flavor. The savory and slightly spicy notes of Old Bay complement the eggs’ natural taste, creating a tasty combination that enhances the overall breakfast experience.

Do old bay go with lemon?

Yes, Old Bay seasoning pairs wonderfully with lemon. The zesty and citrusy notes of lemon beautifully complement the savory and slightly spicy flavors of Old Bay, creating a harmonious and refreshing combination.


Old Bay Seasoning stands as a timeless and beloved spice blend with a unique and captivating flavor profile. Its iconic mix of spices, including celery salt, mustard, and paprika, has made it a staple in kitchens across the United States, particularly for enhancing the taste of seafood dishes.

 As a versatile seasoning, Old Bay continues to be a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike, delivering its signature taste to a variety of culinary creations. 

Its enduring popularity and distinct taste make Old Bay a true culinary treasure, enriching meals with its savory and slightly spicy essence.

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