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Low Country Old Bay Shrimp Boil Recipe

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This EASY old bay shrimp boil recipe is a classic for a reason! My low country shrimp boil takes a few shortcuts to make it a little easier to eat, but tastes just as good! And better yet? There are just 9 basic shrimp boil ingredients needed. See below for tips on how to make it, how to serve it to the whole family, and some frequently asked questions.

plate with low country shrimp boil and old bay

Shrimp Boil Ingredients

This shrimp and sausage boil is made with just 9 basic ingredients:

  • Light beer – Use a light lager or pilsner or leave it out completely if you don’t have any
  • Old bay seasoning – The best shrimp boil seasoning around! (I also love old bay on grilled trout!)
  • Lemons – This adds bright flavor to both the cooking liquid and the lemon butter for serving
  • Onion – Helps flavor the old bay low country boil with sausage
  • Corn on the cob – Self explanatory…right?!
  • Red potatoes – Use baby if you can find them, otherwise cut them so they cook quicker
  • Shrimp – More shrimp suggestions below!
  • Andouille sausage – Sliced sausage brings everything together
  • Melted butter – Serve up shrimp and potato boil with melted butter and extra old bay if desired. YUM!
shrimp and sausage boil on plates

How to Make A Shrimp Boil:

This shrimp boil recipe with old bay seasoning is a show-stopper, and also incredibly easy to make! The trick is that you add the shrimp boil ingredients at different times which will ensure that everything is perfectly cooked at the end.

Grab a timer (stop watch on your phone will work well!) and let’s get cooking!

  • Boil low country shrimp boil cooking liquid. In a large pot, combine light beer, water, lemon, and sliced onion into a large stock pot and bring to a boil.
  • Prep ingredients. While cooking liquid is heating, prep other ingredients: peel and cut corn; wash and cut potatoes if necessary; slice andouille sausage; add butter to a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Cook old bay shrimp boil recipe. Grab your timer, as we’ll be adding the ingredients in at an interval so they finish cooking at the same time. (See exact cooking times below.)
  • Serve. Drain the shrimp boil ingredients, discarding liquid. Serve with lemon butter and additional old bay seasoning if desired.
shrimp boil in a pot

Old Bay Shrimp Boil Recipe FAQs:

What are the best shrimp for low country boil?

For the easiest eating experience, look for raw shrimp that is peeled, but still has tails. You’ll still get great flavor but won’t have to deal with peeling the shrimp at the table. (Or let’s be real, have to peel it for your kids AND yourself.)

If you want a more traditional, peel-and-eat shrimp experience, use shrimp with peels on. It will give you the best flavor.

Can you use frozen shrimp in a low country boil?

Yes, you can absolutely use frozen shrimp in a shrimp boil with potatoes and corn – that’s exactly what I use. Cooking it in the old bay and beer mixture will give it great flavor.

What are the best potatoes for shrimp boil?

Classic old bay shrimp boil recipes call for red potatoes. We’re keeping it traditional, but I recommend using baby red potatoes if you can find them! Otherwise cut them so they are about 1-inch in diameter.

If you get baby red potatoes, some may be small enough, and some may need to be cut in half. The important thing is that they are about the same size so that they can cook evenly.

corn and potatoes for old bay shrimp boil

How to Serve Low Country Shrimp Boil:

Traditionally, low country shrimp boils are served outside on a picnic table topped with newspaper or paper bags. If that feels like a lot for a weeknight dinner (hi, me too) you can serve it on plates – inside or out.

How to Store Low Country Shrimp Boil Leftovers:

This old bay seasoning seafood boil keeps better than I expected and it happens to make great leftovers for lunch…clearly I know this from experience!

Store the cooked shrimp boil ingredients (not the lemon butter) in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Reheat in the microwave or a hot skillet until just heated through. Shrimp is not the best re-heated, so I recommend heating everything else first and then adding the shrimp at the last minute so it doesn’t get too rubbery.

How to Serve Shrimp Boil Recipe to the Whole Family:

  • Serving Suggestion – Instead of serving the shrimp sausage boil all together, separate the items onto a plate – shrimp and sausage together, potatoes, and corn. Let the kids drizzle with the lemon butter.
  • Sides – Serve old bay boil with milk, fruit, and a slice of bread with butter if there are portions of this meal that your kids don’t like.

Nutrition + Substitutes:

The full nutrition stats can be found below. If you want to swap out any of the ingredients, here are a few ways you can add even more nutrition to this dish:

  • Add veggies – My favorite way to add in some extra nutrition to any meal! Add some cauliflower florets into the pot when you add the corn.
  • Lighten it up – I personally don’t think this is necessary, but you could always skip the lemon butter and just finish the low boil recipe with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  • Shrimp – Can’t eat shrimp? Leave it out and add extra andouille sausage.
classic shrimp boil dinner

More Easy Shrimp Recipes:

If you like this old bay shrimp boil recipe, you might also like some of these other easy shrimp recipes:

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low country shrimp boil on a plate

Low Country Old Bay Shrimp Boil Recipe

  • Author: Emily Dingmann
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: American
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EASY old bay shrimp boil recipe needs just 9 basic ingredients. This classic low country shrimp boil sounds fancy, but it’s easy enough for a weeknights!


  • 12 oz. light beer
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. old bay seasoning + more for serving
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 ears corn, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 lb. baby red potatoes, washed and cut in half
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, thawed (tail-on)
  • 12 oz. smoked andouille sausage, cut in 2″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter


  1. Fill a large stock pot with beer, water and 2 tablespoons old bay. Slice one lemon in half and squeeze both sides into pot. Place lemon halves in the pot after you squeeze them. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add potatoes and cook for about 7 minutes.
  3. Add sausage and onion, cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add corn and cook for another 5 minutes, until corn and potatoes are tender.
  5. Add shrimp and cook for about 1-3 minutes, until pink and cooked through.
  6. While shrimp boil is cooking, melt together butter and juice from remaining lemon. Season lemon butter with a sprinkle of old bay.
  7. Drain and serve with lemon butter sauce and additional old bay for sprinkling. 


  • Get your kids involved! They can: add water and old bay to pot, peel corn, wash potatoes, carefully cut sausage (with kid-safe knife).

Keywords: low country shrimp boil, old bay shrimp boil, shrimp boil recipe

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