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 teriyaki shrimp stir fry, orange shrimp and broccoli, grilled shrimp skewers, shrimp Alfredo or this impressive looking shrimp boil.

A pan of shrimp boil made with corn, 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.

Shrimp Boil Ingredients

Bowls of ingredients including shrimp, corn, potatoes, sausage and seasonings.

To make this recipe, you will need lemons, Old Bay seasoning spice, garlic, onion, potatoes, corn, large shrimp, sausage, butter and fresh parsley.

How Do You Make A Shrimp Boil?

Place lemons, Old Bay seasoning, garlic and onion in a large pot of water and bring everything to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, then add the corn and sausage to the pot to cook. Finally, add the shrimp. Drain the shrimp and vegetables, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Whisk the butter into the liquid, then pour the mixture over the shrimp, sausage and veggies. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Step by step process shots showing vegetables and shrimp going into a pot of boiling liquid.

Tips For Shrimp Boil

  • 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 has the most flavor – 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 sausage or andouille sausage. Andouille sausage can be a bit spicy, so I’d recommend using that variety if you prefer a little heat.
  • This dish is best when served immediately. Leftovers will stay fresh in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Quick Tip

I recommend buying the largest shrimp you can find for this recipe. I use 16-20 count jumbo shrimp.

Process photos showing reserved broth mixed with butter and poured over shrimp.

Recipe FAQs

How long do you 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.

How do you peel shrimp?

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.

What do you 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 arugula salad, sourdough bread, broccoli slaw or dill potato salad. I typically keep things simple with a loaf of garlic bread and sometimes a green veggie such as air fryer asparagus, sauteed broccolini or green beans with bacon.

What is shrimp boil seasoning made of?

I use Old Bay seasoning in this recipe, which is made of celery salt, red pepper, black pepper, paprika, and other spices.

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A shrimp boil with potatoes and corn in a red pot.

Flavor Variations

This recipe is fabulous as-is, but you can add other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.

  • Seafood: You can use one pound of shrimp and one pound of some other type of seafood such as clams, mussels, crab, lobster, crawfish or scallops to make a seafood boil. Scallops and crawfish will cook in the same amount of time as shrimp. Clams or mussels will take 6-8 minutes.
  • Creamy: Make your broth creamy by stirring in a half cup of heavy cream when you add the butter to the reserved boiling liquid.
  • Spicy: Feel free to turn up the heat by adding some crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce to the boiling liquid.
  • Vegetables: Although not traditional, sometimes I add some fresh veggies during the last few minutes of the cooking time. Some great options include green beans, broccoli, carrots or asparagus.
  • Flavorings: You can add other ingredients to the boiling liquid such as black pepper, lemon juice, bay leaves, beer or a pinch of salt. Instead of Old Bay seasoning, you can use Cajun seasoning.
A spoon serving up a large cooked shrimp.

You just can’t go wrong with this shrimp boil recipe, 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!

More Great Seafood Recipes

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5 from 122 votes

Shrimp Boil

AuthorSara Welch
A pan of shrimp boil made with corn, 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!
Time
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  1. I recommend buying the largest shrimp you can find for this recipe. I use 16-20 count jumbo shrimp.
  2. 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.

Nutrition

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

Hello! I’m Sara!

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  1. 5 stars
    Best dinner ever. They flavors just came together so well. We added some clams and crab legs too. Cannot wait to make it again.