Seafood Seasoning

Here’s how to make the best seafood seasoning! This homemade mix is easy to make and takes fish and shrimp to new heights.

Seafood seasoning

Looking for a perfect blend to season your fish or shrimp? Try this seafood seasoning! It’s truly the best blend of flavors: a mix of savory, smoky and aromatic spices that makes for irresistible flavor. This one’s almost like a combination of Old Bay and Cajun seasoning, without the heat. Try it on shrimp or salmon and it will blow you away! It was also fantastic on grilled and roasted veggies (Alex and I loved it on grilled brocolli). It’s truly magical.

How to make seafood seasoning

Seafood seasoning doesn’t have an official definition: there are many ways to make it! For our “secret blend” of spices, Alex and I pulled from a few sources: Old Bay, a popular seasoning for seafood, and both Cajun seasoning and blackened seasoning, which are also used as fish seasoning. We came up with a blend that uses the best of all of them, but without the heat (for flexibility). Just mix together the following seafood seasoning ingredients:

  • Smoked paprika or sweet paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Thyme
  • Celery seed
  • Cumin
  • Allspice
  • Salt
Seafood seasoning

Is seafood seasoning spicy?

Some seafood seasonings are spicy, like Cajun seasoning. But for this seafood seasoning recipe, we wanted to kept it mild. This provides the most flexibility to adjust for various tastes. (We have a kid, so it’s even better to have mild options!)

Want to make this a spicy fish seasoning? No problem. Just add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne to this mixture!

What’s smoked paprika?

Use smoked paprika if you can find it for this seasoning! It adds a subtle smoky flavor that’s hard to replicate. Smoked paprika is a Spanish version of paprika made of dried pimiento peppers that are smoked over a fire, then ground. You can find smoked paprika in the spice aisle in most grocery stores (it can be labeled as pimentón, Spanish smoked paprika or sweet smoked paprika). Or you can buy it online here.

Think you might not use up a jar? We’ve got many Smoked Paprika Recipes to choose from (it’s one of our favorite spices to use in the kitchen).

Seasoning blends
Try all our seasoning blends!

How long to store homemade seafood seasoning

You can store your homemade seafood seasoning mix in an airtight container for 6 months to 1 year. Of course, it’s best when it’s the freshest. Spices generally last in a cool, dry place for 8 months to 1 year. You can use this spice blend to add new life to spices that you’ve had for a while.

Need spice organization tips? If your spice cabinet is always overcrowded (like ours!), go to How to Organize Your Spices…the Minimalist Way. It’s a helpful way to keep tabs on your spices.

Ways to use seafood seasoning

This seafood seasoning is designed for fish, but it’s tasty on veggies, too! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Shrimp: Sprinkle it onto Grilled Shrimp or Sauteed Shrimp it’s over-the-top good.
  2. Salmon: Add it to Baked Salmon or Cedar Plank Salmon for big flavor.
  3. Veggies: It’s great on veggies to add intrigue in flavor! Try with any of our grilled vegetables or roasted vegetables.
  4. Corn on the cob: Try it on Perfect Grilled Corn or Oven Roasted Corn.
  5. Fried potatoes: It would be fabulous on these Pan Fried Potatoes. Or even Baked Fries!

This seafood seasoning recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten free, vegan, plant based, dairy free, naturally sweet, refined sugar free, low carb, and keto.

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Seafood seasoning

*Magic* Seafood Seasoning

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (64 votes, average: 3.75 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About 6 tablespoons 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Here’s how to make the best seafood seasoning! This homemade mix is easy to make and takes fish and shrimp to new heights.


  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika or sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice


  1. Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Transfer to an airtight container or jar. Store for 6 months to 1 year in a cool, dry place.
  • Category: Seasoning
  • Method: Mixed
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Seafood seasoning

More seasoning blends

Making DIY seasoning mixes at home is so easy! They taste incredible—much better than storebought—and are fun gifts, too. Try all our seasoning blends (listed by style):

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    November 9, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    This just may be the seafood spice I am looking for. Should I use ground or dried thyme? Ground or dried celery seed? Will this work for marinated, fried catfish? Sorry for all the questions but I want my fried catfish to taste really good. Thanx for your response

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      November 9, 2020 at 2:11 pm

      I think it’d be great on catfish. We use dried thyme and dried whole celery seed.

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