This flavorful Seafood Boil contains smoked sausage, shrimp, crab legs, juicy corn, tender potatoes, and more! There’s truly something for everyone in this filling seafood dinner recipe.
Easy Seafood Boil Recipe
If you can’t decide what to have for dinner tonight, this Seafood Boil is going to solve all of your problems. It’s got everything, and by everything, I mean shrimp, crab legs, sausage, corn, and potatoes. That’s a mouthful, no?
The corn and potatoes are boiled until absolutely tender, the meat is seasoned to perfection in a flavorful broth, and full, happy stomachs are guaranteed all around.
The best part about this meal is that the whole thing can be made in just under an hour. With all of that food you would think that it would take a lot longer, but the process is actually pretty quick! And, once everything is cooked, you just choose your favorite garnishes, serve it with lemon, and then you can enjoy.
So, whether you’re a huge fan of seafood or just looking to try something new, it’s a good idea to make room for an easy seafood boil on the meal plan. You won’t be sorry you did! Best part? You don’t even need to pull out plates and utensils! Read on:
What You’ll Need
What do you need to make this dinner a reality? Good question! Here are all of the seafood boil necessities that you’ll want to gather up:
- Vegetable Oil: For cooking the sausage in. You can also use whatever other cooking oil you have on hand (canola, olive, etc.).
- Smoked Sausage: Cut your sausage into ½-inch slices before starting.
- Garlic: For great flavor.
- Seasoning: I like to keep it pretty simple and just use old bay seasoning and bay leaves.
- Broth: My go-to for this recipe is low sodium chicken broth. You can also use vegetable broth, if you want.
- Water: To mix in with the broth and the beer.
- Beer: Use your favorite light beer. (Pale lagers tend to work well.)
- Corn: Cut your corn into 2-inch pieces before starting – it cooks faster this way.
- Potatoes: I like to use fingerling potatoes or yukon gold potatoes.
- Seafood: Round up some pre-cooked snow crab legs and raw shrimp.
- Butter: Melted. It can be salted or unsalted.
- For Garnish: I like to garnish this meal with fresh ground black pepper and chopped fresh parsley.
- For Serving: This is optional, but I generally serve a seafood boil on layers of newspaper, with lemon wedges and hot sauce.
How to Make a Seafood Boil
While seafood boils do require a lot of ingredients, the cooking process remains pretty simple. First you’ll brown the andouille sausage, then you’ll form the broth. Next, the rest of the ingredients are added, and once all of the components have been cooked through, you can begin serving!
Here’s how I go about constructing my seafood boils:
- Cook the Sausage: Heat oil in a large stockpot set over medium-high heat. Add the sausage pieces to the hot oil and cook until browned on all sides. Add garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
- Stir in Old Bay Seasoning: Then stir in broth, water, beer, and bay leaves. Add corn and potatoes and bring to a boil.
- Let Simmer: Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
- Add Crab Legs and Shrimp: Continue to cook until shrimp are cooked through. Remove from heat and drain, reserving 1 cup of the liquid. Whisk the melted butter into the 1 cup reserved liquid. Pour the butter mixture over the seafood.
- Prepare to Serve: Spread a couple of newspapers over a table and arrange the seafood boil right on top of the newspapers. Season with fresh cracked pepper. Garnish with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce on the side.
How to Long to Boil Seafood
Even though you just read through the whole process, I thought it would be helpful to break down the specific cooking times for each piece of seafood. Since they’re all different, and can be hard to time everything so that each ingredient cooks perfectly.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Snow Crab Legs will need between 3 and 5 minutes to boil since they are precooked. If you decide to use fresh crab, it can take up to 20 minutes to cook through.
- Raw Shrimp usually takes between 2 and 3 minutes to boil.
- Also, though it’s not seafood, Smoked Sausage should take about 2 minutes to brown.
Tips for Success
Isn’t this meal so colorful and fun? I just love how it looks when it’s served on newspapers with all the garnishes, too.
Anyway, here are a couple of quick tips to help you get the best results with your seafood boil:
- Do I Have to Keep these Same Ingredients? No, feel free to switch it up! You can add lobster, clams, mussels, other kinds of sausage, etc. The truth is that pretty much any protein works in this dinner.
- Use Fresh Vegetables: While using frozen seafood works fine here, I would recommend using fresh corn for the best-tasting results. Additionally, feel free to throw in extra vegetables as you see fit – green beans or peas could be a fun twist!
- Don’t Overcook the Shrimp: Overcooked shrimp becomes rubbery (gross! :/) so if the crab is taking longer to cook than anticipated, you’ll probably want to remove any fully-cooked shrimp from the pot.
- Cook the Potatoes Separately: Potatoes can take a long time to boil, so if you’re worried about them not becoming tender enough, feel free to boil them separately and add them in after the corn boils. However, if you follow the recipe instructions, this should not be an issue.
- For a Spicier Boil: Add some red pepper flakes if you want your seafood to be a little spicier.
I know it’s already a lot of food, but you can serve this seafood boil with sides if you want to! Here are a few ideas if that sounds good to you:
- Salad: I like to make a big green salad for everybody to share, or sometimes some coleslaw if it’s warm out. Potato salad is a winner as well!
- Bread: My littler ones always appreciate garlic bread if it’s available, or even just some toasted bread with butter.
- Roasted Vegetables: Roasted broccoli, asparagus, and other veggies pair perfectly with this dish.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Refrigerate this meal in an airtight container for 3-4 days. It makes for great leftover lunches!
- To reheat, add a little extra chicken broth to a stockpot with your leftovers, and cook over low heat until everything is warmed through. I don’t recommend microwaving your leftovers.
Seafood Boil with Garlic Butter Sauce
- 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 14 ounces smoked sausage, like andouille, cut into ½-inch slices
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup old bay seasoning
- 10 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 12 ounces light beer
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 ears of corn, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 pound fingerling potatoes, halved (or you can use yukon gold potatoes)
- 1 pound precooked snow crab legs
- 1 pound raw shrimp
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- salt, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, for garnish
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- lemon wedges, for serving
- hot sauce, for serving, optional
- newspapers, for serving the meal on, optional
- Heat oil in a large stockpot set over medium-high heat.
- Add the sausage pieces to the hot oil and cook until browned on all sides. Add garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
- Stir in old bay seasoning; then stir in broth, water, beer, and bay leaves. Add corn and potatoes and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a steady simmer and cook, uncovered, for 18 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes and corn are tender.
- Add crab legs and shrimp; continue to cook for 3 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked through.
- Remove from heat and drain, reserving 1 cup of the liquid. Discard bay leaves.
- Whisk the melted butter into the 1 cup reserved liquid.
- Pour the garlic butter mixture over the seafood.
- Spread a couple of newspapers over a table and arrange the seafood boil right on top of the newspapers.
- Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Garnish with parsley.
- Serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce on the side.