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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. We loved this recipe and also love Old Bay steamed shrimp for a delicious upgrade on shrimp cocktail. Serve it with napa cabbage slaw if you want another summer side dish.

While you can certainly make this shrimp boil any time of the year, it’s often eaten outside, so for my Minnesota climate, that means summer! If you’re grilling, be sure to try my grilled chicken thighs, grilled drumsticks, grilled potato foil packets, grilled salmon in foil, and grilled tilapia in foil – ALL summer hits.

Bowl with shrimp boil and corn on the cob.
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Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

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

  • Amazing flavors and textures
  • Incredibly easy-to-make
  • One pot dinner
  • Has a little something for everyone
  • Cooks up in just 30 minutes

Shrimp Boil Video

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. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.
  • Onion – Helps flavor the old bay low country boil with sausage.
  • Corn on the cob – Self explanatory…right?! Fresh corn is best, but frozen can work if you can’t get it fresh.
  • Red potatoes – Use baby if you can find them, otherwise cut them so they cook quicker.
  • Shrimp – More shrimp suggestions below! But large shrimp or jumbo shrimp is best.
  • Andouille sausage – Sliced smoked sausage brings everything together.
  • 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 this Shrimp Boil Recipe

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.
  • Cook old bay shrimp boil recipe. 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.)

TIP: Shrimp turn pink when cooked.

Dutch oven with low country shrimp boil ingredients boiling.
  • Serve. Pour contents of pot through a colander to drain cooking liquid and place the shrimp boil ingredients in a mound on a large platter with lemon, butter, fresh parsley and additional old bay seasoning if desired.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

You can also double the shrimp if you’re feeding shrimp lovers.

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, 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.

Big bowl with old bay shrimp boil potatoes, sausage, corn, and shrimp.

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 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 Low Country 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. 😉

  • 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.

All of my articles on feeding kids can be found here and if you want a FULL list of all of the videos I have with hacks, tips, scripts, and ideas for feeding kids, check out my instagram or tiktok page.

Substitutes + Nutrition

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.
Platter of old bay shrimp boil corn, potato, sausage, and shrimp with parsley garnish.

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, serve it with my almost-famous napa cabbage slaw.

More Easy Shrimp Recipes

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

Helpful Tools to Make this Old Bay Shrimp Boil Recipe

  • Dutch Oven – Using a large dutch oven or stock pot will ensure you don’t lose anything over the sides.
  • Old Bay Seasoning – Obviously can’t make a old bay seafood boil without it!

In a dinner time rut? Overwhelmed with the task of meal planning?

Hand over meal planning to a pro!

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 because your dinner is already planned.

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Bowl with shrimp boil and corn on the cob.

Low Country Old Bay Shrimp Boil Recipe

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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 shrimp peeled and deveined )
  • 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 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 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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  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!