This classic shrimp boil contains fresh shrimp, potatoes, corn and sausage, all boiled in a flavorful broth. A complete meal in one pot that’s perfect for feeding a crowd!

Shrimp is always a quick and easy meal option, whether it’s grilled shrimp skewers, shrimp pasta or this impressive looking shrimp boil.

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Shrimp boil with tender shrimp, corn on the cob, potatoes and sausage.

When I’m looking to enjoy some fresh seafood, I often end up making a shrimp boil. It’s a great option because everything gets tossed into one pot, it’s fun to eat, and of course, it’s super flavorful.

How do you make a shrimp boil?

This recipe contains shrimp, potatoes, corn and sausage. All of the ingredients are boiled in a seasoned broth, then tossed in a little butter. Add a sprinkling of parsley and some lemon wedges, and dinner is served.

Raw shrimp, corn, sausage and potatoes on a sheet pan.

Tips for shrimp boil

  • I recommend buying the largest shrimp you can find for this recipe. I use 16-20 count jumbo shrimp.
  • You can boil your shrimp with or without the shells. I typically remove the shells and just leave the tails on as it’s easier to eat this way.
  • Fresh corn on the cob tastes best in this recipe – you can use white, yellow or bi-color corn.
  • I use small red potatoes, but Yukon gold potatoes are also a great choice.
  • You can use kielbasa or andouille sausage. Andouille sausage can be a bit spicy, so I’d recommend using that variety if you prefer a little heat.

Sausage, shrimp, corn and potatoes in a red pot.

How long to boil shrimp

Shrimp cook very quickly, and it only takes about 2-3 minutes to boil shrimp. You can tell when your shrimp are done because they’ll be bright pink and opaque.


This recipe calls for raw shrimp which are cooked in seasoned boiling water. I typically buy my raw shrimp with just the tail attached, but many shrimp also come still in the shell. If your shrimp have shells on them, you can easily remove them by pulling the main part of the shell and legs off with your fingers. I like to leave the tails on for a nicer presentation. You may also need to devein your shrimp. If you see a dark line running across the top of the the shrimp, you can remove it by using a paring knife to cut a slit along the top of the shrimp, then use the knife or a wooden skewer to remove and discard the vein.

A spoon serving up shrimp in a pot.

What to serve with shrimp boil

A shrimp boil can be served as-is, but some people prefer to add more side dishes to round out the meal. Some great options include a green salad, french or sourdough bread, coleslaw or potato salad. I typically keep things simple with a loaf of garlic bread and sometimes a green veggie such as asparagus, broccoli or green beans.

You just can’t go wrong with a shrimp boil, especially for a party. The tender shrimp pair so well with the creamy potatoes, smoky sausage and sweet corn. Everyone will be coming back for seconds!

Shrimp boil in a pot garnished with lemon and parsley.

More great seafood recipes

5 from 67 votes

Shrimp Boil

AuthorSara Welch
Shrimp boil with tender shrimp, corn on the cob, potatoes and sausage.
This classic shrimp boil contains fresh shrimp, potatoes, corn and sausage, all boiled in a flavorful broth. An complete meal in one pot that's perfect for feeding a crowd!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 6


  • 3 lemons divided use
  • 1/2 cup Old Bay seasoning plus more for garnish
  • 6 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 onion peeled and cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 pound small red potatoes halved
  • 4 ears corn on the cob cut into 3-4 inch pieces
  • 2 pounds shrimp peeled and deveined (leave tails on)
  • 1 pound smoked sausage cut into 1 inch pieces, kielbasa or andouille are preferred
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  • Cut 2 of the lemons into quarters. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges and reserve the wedges for later use.
  • Fill a large pot with 12-14 cups of water. Place the 2 quartered lemons in the water along with the Old Bay seasoning, garlic and onion. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the potatoes to the pot and cook for 10-12 minutes or until just tender. Add the corn and sausage and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes or until pink and opaque.
  • Drain the shrimp mixture from the pot, reserving 1 cup of the broth.
  • Melt the butter and whisk it into the reserved broth. Pour the broth over the shrimp mixture.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges. Sprinkle with additional Old Bay seasoning to taste, then serve.


Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 450mg | Sodium: 1892mg | Potassium: 923mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 48.4mg | Calcium: 316mg | Iron: 7.3mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    We love this!
    We do 1.5 servings per person and round down. We found we love the gluten free andouille sausage at Sam’s and bump the portion to what the shrimp is.
    The problem with the recipe is that it does not adjust for water or seasoning. Just adjust proportionately with the example given.
    This is now the family favorite for large gatherings. We use a turkey fryer setup with a basket and that works great.
    The amount of water depends on the dimensions of your pot. I got a super large pot (80qt) and one needs more water to cover all the goodies. Don’t worry, just add water till you cover the stuff by a couple inches. Fudge it.

    We have done this for 6 people (9 servings) in the house on the stove. The gas cooktop does not put out the BTUs of the turkey fryer but it still works fine on high.

  2. 5 stars
    This turned out awesome…cut my recipe in half …made for me and hubby .. leftovers were just as good as night of
    Will say I cooked my corn separate…then added it..
    Was amazing 😍
    This is a keeper

  3. So my husband and I LOVED this recipe… however it was too spicy for the kiddos. Should I just scale back the amount of Old Bay Seasoning? (We already omitted the sausage and just added more shrimp.)

  4. Hi! Plan to triple this recipe for 18-20 people. After reading other reviews about lots of salt, should I triple the Old Bay or use something else? Also, if tripling, what size (qt) outdoor boiler should I use? How much water? I plan to keep all cooking times the same, right? Thanks!

    1. You can triple the Old Bay seasoning, and when it comes to the pot size and water amount, there’s some wiggle room there. You just want to make sure the pot is big enough so that the seafood isn’t packed in there so the hot water can circulate, and the water should cover most of the seafood.