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Seafood Boil

This flavorful Seafood Boil recipe features smoked sausage, shrimp, crab legs, juicy corn, tender potatoes, and more! There’s truly something for everyone in this filling seafood dinner recipe.

Image of seafood boil with crab legs, shrimp, corn, potatoes, and sausages.


Welcome to the delightful world of seafood boils! This culinary tradition, celebrated across coastal regions worldwide, is an exciting blend of flavor, community, and the joy of a shared dining experience. Thus, if you can’t decide what to have for your dinner party, this recipe for a seafood boil will solve that problem. It’s got everything—shrimp, crab legs, sausage, corn, and potatoes—all tossed with garlic butter sauce.

The best part about this meal is that it can be made in just under an hour. With all that food, you would think it would take a lot longer, but the process is pretty quick! Once everything is cooked, you choose your favorite garnishes, pass around the lemon wedges, and enjoy. If you need an even quicker boil, try my Shrimp Boil in Foil Packets.

Why You Should Make This Recipe

  • Customizable: You can tailor a seafood boil to your taste preferences by choosing different types of seafood, seasonings, and extras like corn or potatoes.
  • Social Meal: Great for gatherings, a boil can bring people together and make mealtime more engaging, perfect for backyard parties!
  • Easy Preparation: This easy seafood boil is relatively simple to prepare, and there’s some flexibility in the ingredients and quantities used, so you can scale up or down.
Corn on the cob halves, shrimp, crab legs, sausages, and potatoes arranged on newspapers.

Seafood Boil Ingredients

While this recipe requires a number of ingredients, the cooking process remains pretty simple.

  • Cooking Oil: Vegetable or any other, for sautéing the sausage.
  • Smoked Sausage: Sliced into ½-inch pieces.
  • Garlic: Enhances flavor.
  • Seasoning: Keep it simple with old bay seasoning and bay leaves.
  • Broth: Preferably low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth.
  • Water & Beer: To blend with the broth. A light beer, like a pale lager, is recommended.
  • Corn: Sliced into 2-inch pieces for quicker cooking.
  • Potatoes: Opt for fingerling or yukon gold potatoes.
  • Seafood: Pre-cooked snow crab legs and raw shrimp.
  • Butter: Melted. You can use salted or unsalted.
  • Garnish: Fresh ground black pepper and chopped fresh parsley.
  • Serving: Optionally, serve on newspaper layers with lemon wedges and hot sauce.

How To Make A Seafood Boil

Follow my simple guide below to whip up the best seafood boil, featuring a hearty mix of sausage, crab, shrimp, and veggies, all soaked in a flavorful broth, garlic, and butter.

  1. Cook the Sausage: In a big pot, brown the sausage in oil over medium-high heat. Toss in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
  2. Add Seasoning and Veggies: Mix in Old Bay, broth, water, beer, bay leaves, corn, and potatoes. Bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer: Turn down the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Add Seafood: Add crab and shrimp, cooking until done. Drain but save 1 cup of liquid. Mix melted butter with the liquid and pour over the seafood.
  5. Ready to Serve: Lay newspapers on a table, spread out the seafood boil, and season. Add parsley and serve with lemon and hot sauce.

How Long to Boil The Seafood

I think it’s helpful to break down the specific cooking times for each piece of seafood since they’re all different.

  • Snow Crab Legs will need between 4 and 5 minutes to boil because they are pre-cooked. If you decide to use fresh crab, it can take up to 20 minutes to cook through.
  • Raw Shrimp usually takes between 2 to 3 minutes to cook.
  • Lobster Tails, if using, need to cook in the boil for 8 to 12 minutes or 1 minute per ounce of tail.
  • Clams, if using, will need about 5 to 7 minutes.
Crab legs, shrimp, and corn served on a baking sheet.

Recipe Tips

This vibrant meal is a feast for the eyes, especially when served on newspapers with garnishes. Here are a few pointers for this easy seafood boil recipe:

  • Versatility of Ingredients: No need to stick to the recipe strictly. Add other proteins like lobster, clams, or different sausages to your liking.
  • Fresh Veggies: While frozen seafood is acceptable, use fresh corn for the best flavor. Don’t hesitate to include other vegetables, like green beans or peas.
  • Avoid Overcooking Shrimp: Overcooked shrimp turns rubbery. If the crab needs more time, remove the cooked shrimp from the pot.
  • Cook Potatoes Separately: If concerned about the potatoes cooking thoroughly, boil them separately and add them with the crab legs.
  • Adding Heat: Include some red pepper flakes for a spicier seafood boil.
  • Serve Immediately: I suggest serving that seafood boil right away – it tastes the best when it’s fresh.
Close-up image of seafood boil with crab legs, shrimp, corn, potatoes, and sausages.

What To Serve with Seafood Boil

I know it’s already a lot of food, but you can serve this seafood boil with extra sides if you want to!

More Seafood Recipes

shot of seafood boil with crab legs, shrimp, corn, potatoes, and sausages

Seafood Boil Recipe

Katerina | Diethood
This flavorful Seafood Boil features smoked sausage, shrimp, crab legs, juicy corn, tender potatoes, and more! There's truly something for everyone in this filling seafood dinner recipe.
4.92 from 23 votes
Servings : 8
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 14 ounces smoked sausage, like andouille, cut into ½-inch slices
  • 6 cloves garlic, 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 fresh 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 the old bay seasoning; then stir in the chicken 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 the potatoes and corn are tender.
  • Add the 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 and serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce.


  • Ingredient Subs: The recipe is versatile – you can substitute or add lobster, clams, or different sausages.
  • Fresh Veggies: Frozen seafood is acceptable, but fresh corn is recommended for superior flavor. Add other vegetables as desired.
  • Shrimp: Avoid rubbery shrimp by removing them from the pot if the crab needs more time to cook.
  • Potatoes: If you’re concerned about potatoes cooking through, boil them separately and add them with the crab legs and shrimp.
  • Heat Adjustment: Add pepper flakes if you like spicier seafood.
  • Storing: Refrigerate this meal in an airtight container for 3 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.


Calories: 478 kcal | Carbohydrates: 25 g | Protein: 40 g | Fat: 24 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 229 mg | Sodium: 1194 mg | Potassium: 1040 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 349 IU | Vitamin C: 20 mg | Calcium: 165 mg | Iron: 4 mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: seafood boil, shrimp boil
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