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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 and it’s so much fun to eat. Boil up a big pot of seasoned water (with Old Bay of course, lemon, beer, and onion) and let the tender shrimp, baby potatoes, smoky sausage, and sweet corn all cook together for a meal that is great for a large group and full of delicious flavor. Serve with melted butter and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a cold beverage, and plenty of napkins. It’s my favorite way to eat shrimp in the summer, and might become yours, too!

If you love this low country shrimp boil, be sure to try my Old Bay steamed shrimp, shrimp kabobs, shrimp ceviche, or shrimp quesadillas next time. We love how quick, easy, and nutritious shrimp is and serve it frequently.

Big bowl with old bay shrimp boil potatoes, sausage, corn, and shrimp.
Photo Credit: Loren Runion for My Everyday Table.
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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

What You’ll Love About this Old Bay Shrimp Boil Recipe

  • Amazing flavors and textures
  • Delicious meal for a crowd
  • Classic shrimp boil recipe
  • Incredibly easy-to-make
  • All made in a large pot
  • Has a little something for everyone
  • Cooks up in just 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Light beer – Use a light lager or pilsner or leave it out completely if you don’t have any. You could also use your favorite NA beer if you prefer.
  • Old bay seasoning – The best shrimp boil seasoning around! (I also love old bay on grilled trout and air fryer lobster)
  • Lemons – This adds bright flavor to both the cooking liquid and the lemon butter for serving. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.
  • Onion – Helps flavor the old bay low country boil with sausage. I’ve used a yellow onion, but a sweet Vidalia onion would also be delicious.
  • Corn on the cob – Self explanatory…right?! Fresh corn is best, but frozen can work if you can’t get it fresh. Cut corn cobs in half.
  • Red potatoes – Use small red potatoes if you can find them, otherwise cut them so they cook quicker. I would recommend using a potato that doesn’t require peeling like a yukon gold or red potato.
  • Shrimp – More shrimp suggestions below! But large shrimp or jumbo shrimp is best. Look for peeled and deveined shrimp with tail on. You can use fresh or frozen, it will depend on where you live and where you buy your seafood. Buy the best you can!
  • Andouille sausage – Look for andouille smoked sausage that is already cooked and just requires reheating. Buy the best quality you can.
  • Melted butter – Serve up shrimp and potato boil with melted butter and extra old bay if desired. YUM!
  • Hot sauce – Serve with Louisiana hot sauce on the side if you like some heat.
Ingredients to make Old Bay shrimp boil.

How to Make a Shrimp Boil

This is an overview on how to make a shrimp boil, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card. 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 stockpot, combine light beer, water, lemon, and sliced onion into a large stock pot and bring water to a boil.
Old Bay broth mixture for old bay shrimp boil recipe in dutch oven.
Prep ingredients. While cooking broth 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.
Boil ingredients. Lower heat to medium and 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 in the recipe card.)
Dutch oven with low country shrimp boil ingredients boiling.
Serve. Pour contents of pot through a colander to drain cooking liquid (or use a slotted spoon) and place the shrimp boil ingredients in a mound on a large platter (or newspaper!) with lemon wedges, butter, fresh parsley and additional old bay seasoning if desired.
Big bowl with old bay shrimp boil potatoes, sausage, corn, and shrimp.
Photo Credit: Loren Runion for My Everyday Table.

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.

FAQs

How much shrimp for a shrimp boil?

Because this old bay boil is also made with potatoes and sausage, you don’t need as much shrimp, but you can double the recipe if you’re cooking for a crowd and want to be sure you have enough. I would generally recommend 1/4 pound of shrimp per person.

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 I use frozen shrimp for shrimp 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.

Can I use other seafood?

Yes, you can really use any type of crustaceans for shrimp fests! Crab legs, clams, and lobster also work well, but cooking time may need to be adjusted.

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.

What is the best beer for seafood boil?

You want to use a light lager-style beer like Miller-Lite or Bud-Light, or my personal favorite NA beer – Untitled Art.

Storage Instructions

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.

How to reheat

Reheat in a hot skillet (preferred method) 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.

Bowl with shrimp boil and corn on the cob.

What to Serve with this Old Bay Seasoning Shrimp Boil

Cold beer! Ha! This is a meal-in-a-pot, so sides aren’t really necessary. If you’re stretching it out for a crowd or serving it with a party, here are some great summer sides:

How to Feed Shrimp Boil to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in.

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. Serve the meal with a few items you know your kids will eat, like fruit, milk, and/or bread and butter.

Want More?

Follow Emily on Instagram or TikTok for family dinner recipe videos and tips for feeding kids.

Bowl with old bay shrimp boil

More Shrimp Recipes

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

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This done-for-you plan can easily be customized and your grocery list is made with the click of a button – all while you sit in the school pick up line.

You’ll save time, save money, waste less food, and go into meals calm instead of stressed. Your dinner is planned and your grocery list is made and everything is conveniently delivered to an app so you can print it out, access from your phone, or computer.

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Bowl with shrimp boil and corn on the cob.

Old Bay Shrimp Boil Recipe

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Description

This shrimp boil recipe is sure to impress, it’s so delicious. Corn, andouille sausage, potatoes, and shrimp are cooked in an Old Bay broth. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 oz. light beer or NA 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 shrimp peeled and deveined )
  • 12 oz. smoked andouille sausage, cut in 2″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter

Instructions

  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 over high heat. 
  2. Add potatoes and cook for about 4 minutes.
  3. Add sausage and onion, cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add corn and cook for another 5 minutes, or until corn and potatoes are tender.
  5. Add shrimp and cook for about 1-3 minutes, until it turns pink and is 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 shrimp boil over a colander and transfer to a large platter. Serve with lemon butter sauce and additional Old Bay for sprinkling. 

Notes

  • 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

Food styling and photography by Loren Runion.

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Comments

  1. Ally

    I followed the recipe exactly and it came out incredibly bland.. It tasted like normal corn, potatoes, sausage, and shrimp with no seasoning. I had to put SEVERAL more tablespoons of seasoning on top at the end to add some sort of flavor. My potatoes also got too mushy and were nearly falling apart. 🙁






    • Emily

      So sorry it turned out that way for you, Ally. I adjusted the cooking time to ensure the potatoes aren’t over-cooked. I do recommend serving it with the lemon butter and extra Old Bay to taste.

  2. Sarah M

    I make this all the time now! It is so easy to make and the flavor is amazing! It has become a fan favorite with family and guests!






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