Here's a great Shrimp Boil Recipe, also known as a Low Country Boil Recipe to feed from 6 to 200 people along with tips and tricks to help. While shrimp boil is common on the Gulf coast, you can also make it at home, wherever you are in the world.
When we moved Texas to start our vineyard, it took another 5 years for our house in Alabama to sell! When it did, it was paaaarrrty time!
And, what better way to party than with the perfect shrimp boil recipe!
Shrimp Boils or Low Country Boils are very common on the Gulf coast. But for some reason, there are just not that many of them in West Texas! But our location and lack of coastline didn't stop us.
The Perfect Shrimp Boil Recipe
Our oldest daughter and her husband vacationed on the Texas coast and brought back shrimp. A lot of frozen shrimp! As a result, they have had quite a few shrimp boils.
Her husband worked out the proportions of the ingredients for the following recipe. It was great - I didn't even have to worry about researching to create the perfect recipe!
All I had to do was tell him how many people I wanted to feed and viola. He provided the recipe!
Entertaining the Easy Way
In this recipe, I'm providing proportions to feed from 6 to 200 people.
For our celebration, we expected around 110 people and 100 ended up attending.
Not only is this shrimp boil recipe delicious, it's deceptively easy to make. Whether you are serving a large crowd or a small gathering, this meal lends itself to minimal work the day of your event.
Most of the work is done beforehand by cutting and chopping the meat and vegetables. You can definitely delegate that work to a trusted child or teenager if you need extra help getting everything done.
After the shrimp boil is cooked, drain the water and empty the contents of the pot onto a table with a festive plastic tablecloth.
Or you can put all the cooked food into serving containers, which is what I did.
Shrimp Boil Seasoning
It was recently brought to my attention that my international readers may not have access to the Zatarain's spice mix that I use. So, I came up with a Shrimp Boil Seasoning that works great!
The following mix is equal to 1 bag of the Zatarain's spice mix. Be sure to increase the amounts for the quantity you are making.
Shrimp Boil Seasoning:
4 tablespoons each:
- dill seeds
- coriander seeds
- mustard seeds
- cayenne (this has a nice kick to it but not super hot)
- 8 bay leaves
Shrimp Boil - Step by Step
This is an easy recipe that just requires a bit of time. Be sure to have everything washed, cut and kept separately - this can be done the day before.
Bring water to a boil. Add potatoes and seasoning bags. Wait 10 minutes. Photo 1 - 2
Add carrots, corn, and sausage. Wait 10 minutes. Photo 3 - 5
Add bell peppers, celery, jalapenos and habaneros. Let cook 5 - 10 minutes. Photo 6 - 8
Add the frozen shrimp. Wait for 5 - 8 minutes. The shrimp should be pink and tender. Photo 9
Drain the water and dump the shrimp boil onto a table with a festive plastic tablecloth or place in serving dish - allow everyone to help themselves!
Serving Suggestions for Side Dishes
While this Shrimp Boil or Low Country Boil is a meal to itself, you can certainly serve side dishes if you want. Here are my top suggestions:
- Creamy Coleslaw Recipe
- Bread - Sourdough Bread or Whole Wheat Bread are both delicious and you can even make the dough into rolls if you choose.
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Shrimp Boil Recipe vs. Low Country Boil Recipe
Turns out, this recipe goes by many different names!
I really was amazed at all the different varieties there were of this dish. For example, in some places it's called Frogmore Stew??
There are two kinds of social gatherings in coastal Georgia and South Carolina that revolve around shellfish. One is very much like a Louisiana boil, usually involving shrimp, corn on the cob, sausage, and red potatoes, and sometimes ham, and is considered part of Low Country cuisine. Known variously as Frogmore Stew, Beaufort Stew, a Beaufort boil, a Low Country Boil, or a tidewater boil, they tend to be a bit milder than their Louisiana cousins. For example, it is not unusual for a Low Country Boil recipe to call for a mixture of hot and mild boil seasonings, whereas a Louisiana recipe may start with crab boil packets and add large amounts of cayenne pepper. While shrimp are most often used, crabs or crawfish may be included if available. This is also a bit different from a Louisiana boil, which usually involves just one kind of shellfish at a time.
Frogmore is name of a community in the middle of St. Helena Island, near Beaufort, South Carolina. Although there are many versions of this dish around, the name Frogmore Stew was coined in the 1960s by Richard Gay, one of the owners of Gay Fish Company, circa 1948, on St. Helena Island. Frogmore Stew became far more well-known after it was featured on the cover of Gourmet Magazine in the 1980s, and is enjoyed by all, with this name, to this day. In 2005, The Travel Channel featured Richard's brother, Charles Gay, cooking Frogmore Stew in its popular program Taste of America with Mark DeCarlo.
I had no idea this recipe has such an interesting history!
Helpful Tips For Making This Shrimp Boil Recipe
- First, be sure to purchase shrimp that is in the shell and de-veined. Why? When you are boiling the shrimp in a pot of water, it will dry out and not taste as good if you use pre-shelled ones.
- Second, if you are cooking in large quantities, make sure you plan ahead with your supplies and time. We used 10-gallon stockpots over propane burners. Obviously, that is a lot more water than people normally boil, so be sure to allow plenty of time. It took us about 30 minutes to get the water to boil.
That's it! While we had a bunch of fun making and eating our shrimp boil, the sweetest part was celebrating and enjoying the company of our friends and family.
To Serve 6
- 2 bags seasoning I use Zatarain's - See Notes for options.
- 3 lbs red potatoes
- 1 bags baby carrots
- 1 large bags of small corn on the cob frozen
- 1 bell pepper
- ½ bunch celery
- 1 jalapeños
- 1/10 habanero pepper
- 3 lbs shrimp
- 3 lbs sausage
To serve 25:
- 7 bags seasoning I use Zatarain's - See Notes for options.
- 13 lbs red potatoes
- 3 bags baby carrots
- 3 large bags of small corn on the cob frozen
- 3 bell peppers
- 1 bunches celery
- 2 - 3 jalapeños
- ½ habanero pepper
- 13 lbs shrimp frozen
- 13 lbs sausage
To Serve 50:
- 15 bags seasoning I use Zatarain's - See Notes for options.
- 25 lbs red potatoes
- 5 bags baby carrots
- 6 large bags of small corn on the cob frozen
- 6 bell peppers
- 3 bunches celery
- 4 - 6 jalapeños
- 1 - 1 ½ habanero pepper
- 25 lbs shrimp frozen
- 25 lbs sausage
To Serve 100:
- 30 bags seasoning I use Zatarain's - See Notes for options.
- 50 lbs red potatoes
- 10 bags baby carrots
- 12 large bags of small corn on the cob frozen
- 10 bell peppers
- 5 bunches celery
- 8 - 12 jalapeños
- 2 - 3 habanero pepper
- 50 lbs shrimp frozen
- 50 lbs sausage
Keeping everything separate:
Wash and cut potatoes into large chunks
Wash and cut celery and bell peppers into large slices
Cut sausage into ¾" - 1" slices
We cook in batches using the amounts for 25 people. Total cooking time is 60 minutes after the water boils and you begin adding the ingredients.
Bring water to a boil.
Place seasoning bags in a mesh bag or cheesecloth.
Add potatoes and seasoning bags.
Wait 10 minutes.
Add carrots, corn, and sausage.
Wait 10 minutes.
Add bell peppers, celery, jalapenos and habaneros.
Let cook 5 - 10 minutes.
Add the frozen shrimp.
Wait for 5 - 8 minutes. The shrimp should be pink and tender.
Drain the water and dump the shrimp boil onto a table with a plastic tablecloth or place in serving dish - allow everyone to help themselves!
Helpful Tips For Making A Shrimp Boil
- First, be sure to purchase shrimp that is in the shell and de-veined. ]
- Second, if you are cooking in large quantities we use 10-gallon stockpots over propane burners. Obviously, that is a lot more water than people normally boil, so be sure to allow plenty of time. It took us about 30 minutes to get the water to boil.
If you do not have access to Zatarain's spice mix: Use the following tied in a muslin cloth to equal 1 bag of the Zatarain's mix.
- 4 tablespoons dill seeds
- 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 4 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 4 teaspoons cayenne (this had a nice kick to it but wasn’t super hot)
- 8 bay leaves
Low country boil calculator
Wondering how much of each ingredient to use for a given number of people? We've included a handy calculator tool in the recipe card above.
You can increase or decrease the number of servings (people) to recalculate all the ingredients automatically! Change it to 20 people, 30 people, or 100 people!
When Do You Have a Shrimp Boil?