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Cajun Shrimp Boil

This Bold and Zesty Cajun Shrimp Boil is perfect for gatherings or a festive family dinner. This dish features plump shrimp, corn, potatoes, and a homemade blend of spicy Cajun seasonings. Follow quick and easy steps and tips to bring a taste of Louisiana to your table. 

shrimp boil with andouille sausage, red potatoes, and corn on the cob drizzled with lemon butter sauce
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Key Ingredients

  • Shrimp
  • Potatoes
  • Sausage
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Lemon
  • Spices
fresh corn on the cob and sliced red potatoes in separate glass bowls

How it’s Cooked

To make a shrimp boil, a large pot of water is brought to a boil and seasoned with a mixture of spices, such as Old Bay seasoning, cayenne pepper, garlic, and lemon. The shrimp are added to the pot along with vegetables like corn on the cob and potatoes. It’s served hot, typically on a large platter or directly on the table.

They are typically eaten with your hands, making them a fun and interactive meal. They are a great option for large gatherings, as they can be easily scaled up to feed a crowd and are a fun and festive way to enjoy delicious seafood.

What Type of Shrimp to Use

Here are some things to consider:

  • Freshness: Look for fresh shrimp that have been properly stored and handled. Ideally, you want to use shrimp that were caught and processed as recently as possible.
  • Size: Choose a size of shrimp that is appropriate for the dish. Large or jumbo shrimp work well as they hold up better during cooking and are easier to handle.
  • Deveined or not: If you purchase shrimp that is already deveined, this will save you some time during the prep. Deveining is the process of removing the digestive tract or “vein” that runs along the back.
raw peeled shrimp in a glass bowl

Do You Leave the Shells on?

Some people prefer to use shell-on shrimp for a shrimp boil, as the shells can add flavor to the dish. However, others prefer to use peeled shrimp for convenience. Both options are fine, it just comes down to personal preference.

How to Season it/Spices You Will Need

  • Old Bay seasoning: A classic blend of herbs and spices that includes celery salt, pepper, and paprika.
  • Smoked Paprika: Regular paprika can be substituted. Adds a subtle smoky flavor.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Optional for spicy, Cajun flavor paired with the remaining spices.
  • Onion Powder: Adds a delicious savory flavor.
  • Garlic Powder: Adds a delicious savory flavor.
  • Lemon: Add brightness and acidity to the dish.
  • Bay leaves: Dried or fresh bay leaves can add a subtle, earthy flavor to a shrimp boil.
Cajun spices, bay leaves, and fresh lemon on a flat surface

You can also feel free to use your favorite Cajun seasoning and rub.

How to Make a Cajun Shrimp Boil

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Bring a large pot to boil with water. Add enough water to cover the shrimp and vegetables.
  2. Add the spices, halved lemons, and bay leaves, to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  3. Add the halved corn on the cob, halved red potatoes, and andouille sausage to the pot. Stir well to ensure that everything is submerged in the water.
  4. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  5. Add the shrimp to the pot and stir well to ensure that they are evenly distributed.
  6. Use a strainer to remove the shrimp, corn, potatoes, and sausage from the pot and drain the excess water.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy!
shrimp boil and vegetables in a Dutch oven

Cook Time/How Long to Cook

The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the shrimp. Shrimp cooks very quickly, usually taking only 2-3 minutes to cook through.

The cooking time for vegetables can vary depending on their size and hardness. Corn on the cob and potatoes will take longer to cook than softer vegetables like onions and bell peppers. Corn on the cob and potatoes will need around 10-15 minutes of cook time.

shrimp boil with andouille sausage, red potatoes, and corn on the cob on a flat surface with newspaper

How to Know When the Shrimp and Vegetables are Done

When the shrimp turn pink and opaque, they are done. Overcooked shrimp will become tough and rubbery.

You can test the doneness of the vegetables by piercing them with a fork or knife. If the vegetables are tender and easily pierced, they are done.

It’s important to not overcook the vegetables, as they can become mushy and lose their texture and flavor. It’s also important to not undercook them, as this can make them difficult to eat, they will be hard in texture.

Keep a close eye on the shrimp and vegetables while they are cooking, and remove them from the pot as soon as they are fully cooked.

shrimp boil with andouille sausage, red potatoes, and corn on the cob on a flat surface with newspaper

Can You Add Other Seafood?

Absolutely! As a seafood lover, I encourage you to add more.

  • Crab legs: Adding crab legs adds a sweet and savory flavor that pairs perfectly with the shrimp.
  • Lobster tails: Lobster tails can be added and cooked for a few minutes until the meat is tender and juicy.
  • Clams and mussels: Adding clams and mussels can add a delicious briny flavor that complements the sweetness of the shrimp.
  • Crawfish: Crawfish is a popular addition to a shrimp boil, especially in Southern cuisine.
  • Scallops: Scallops will need to cook for a few minutes until they are tender and cooked through.
  • Oysters: Oysters will need to cook for a few minutes until they open up, revealing their briny, flavorful meat.

Keep in mind that cooking times may vary for different types of seafood, so it’s important to add them to the boil at the appropriate time to ensure they are cooked through but not overcooked.

shrimp boil with andouille sausage, red potatoes, and corn on the cob on a flat surface with newspaper

Substitution Ideas and Add-Ins

  • Onions: Onions can be quartered and added, they will release their sweetness and flavor into the broth.
  • Garlic: Garlic will infuse the broth with a savory flavor.
  • Celery: Celery can be added for a crunch and a mild, fresh flavor.
  • Bell peppers: Bell peppers can be sliced and added for a sweet and slightly spicy flavor.
  • Okra: Okra is a great addition and a classic in Southern cuisine.
  • Green beans: Green beans can be added for a crisp, fresh flavor.
  • Broccoli: Nutritious addition.
  • Mushrooms: Savory flavor.
  • Thyme: Classic southern spice for flavor.

How to Store Leftovers

  • Remove the shrimp and other seafood from the broth and store them separately from the vegetables and potatoes.
  • Store the seafood and vegetables in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. Leftovers can be stored for up to 3-4 days. When you store them together, the shrimp and vegetables can become soggy and overcooked, which can affect their texture and taste.
  • If you have leftover broth, it can be stored separately in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The broth can be reheated and used as a base for soups or stews, or it can be used to make a flavorful sauce for pasta or rice dishes. Use it in my Crab Risotto and Crab Bisque recipes!

How to Reheat

  • Stovetop: Place the shrimp, vegetables, and potatoes in a large pot and add a bit of water or broth to prevent the food from drying out. Heat over medium-low heat until the food is heated through, stirring occasionally.
  • Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the shrimp, vegetables, and potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Microwave: This is my least favorite method and I caution against it. You risk overcooking the shrimp resulting in dry rubbery texture. Place the shrimp, vegetables, and potatoes in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a damp paper towel or lid. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the food is heated through.

Freezer Tips

You can freeze leftovers tightly covered and sealed for 2-3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.

shrimp boil with andouille sausage, red potatoes, and corn on the cob on a flat surface with newspaper

Pair With These Recipes

Southern Coleslaw
Collard Greens with Ham Hocks
Southern Baked Beans
Southern Soul Food Potato Salad

Smoked Baked Beans with Ground Beef and Bacon
How to Make Shrimp Cocktail
Seafood Jambalaya with Shrimp
Southern Red Beans and Rice

More Seafood Boil Recipes

Seafood Boil Sauce
Seafood Boil in a Bag
Cajun Crawfish Boil

Cajun Shrimp Boil

This Bold and Zesty Cajun Shrimp Boil is perfect for gatherings or a festive family dinner. This dish features plump shrimp, corn, potatoes, and a homemade blend of spicy Cajun seasonings. Follow quick and easy steps and tips to bring a taste of Louisiana to your table. 
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, Cajun, Southern
Keyword Cajun shrimp boil, shrimp boil, shrimp boil recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 379kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds raw shrimp Shells on or off, your preference.
  • 1 pound red potatoes Sliced in half.
  • 6 oz smoked sausage Sliced into 1 inch rounds. I use andouille sausage.
  • 6 ears mini corn on the cob
  • 1 lemon Sliced in half

Cajun Seafood Spices (You can also use a store-bought Cajun seasoning if you wish).

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot to boil with water. Add enough water to cover the shrimp and vegetables.
  • Add the spices, halved lemons, and bay leaves, to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  • Add the halved corn on the cob, halved red potatoes, and andouille sausage to the pot. Stir well to ensure that everything is submerged in the water. Taste the water repeatedly and add additional spices to suit your taste.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Add the shrimp to the pot and stir well to ensure that they are evenly distributed.
  • Cook for 2-4 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and opaque.
  • Use a strainer to remove the shrimp, corn, potatoes, and sausage from the pot and drain the excess water.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

Air Fryer Instructions

  • The potatoes and shrimp have separate cooking times. So you will need to prepare the dish in stages. You should also cook it in batches based on what will fit in your air fryer.
  • Sprinkle all of the ingredients with the spices. Omit the bay leaves if air frying. Drizzle the lemon juice throughout.
  • Air fry the potatoes for 7-8 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • Open the air fryer and add in the corn on the cob, sausage, and shrimp (keep the potatoes in the air fryer). Air fry for an additional 7-10 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender and the shrimp pink is opaque.
  • Every air fryer cooks at varying speeds. Your timing may differ. Keep a close eye and monitor progress.

Notes

Omit the cayenne pepper if you don’t want a spicy flavor.
Tasting the water is important. This is what will season the vegetables and shrimp. Ensure it meets your liking.
Some people prefer to use shell-on shrimp for a shrimp boil, as the shells can add flavor to the dish. However, others prefer to use peeled shrimp for convenience. Both options are fine, it just comes down to personal preference.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 6oz shrimp with vegetables | Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 11g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Recipe Rating




Judie

Saturday 29th of June 2024

Sounds just like southern low country boil?

staysnatched

Sunday 30th of June 2024

Yep!