Summer Shrimp Boil


You might find yourself this weekend thinking how can I do something different for a summer dinner. Typically summer night dinners or get togethers during the day consists of hamburger, hotdogs, sausage on the grill and fresh veggies. Why? Because it is easy and simple and you don’t have to put a lot of time and effort into preparing a hamburger pattie or cutting up fresh corn but this time around I dare you to bring out your old handy fryer or cast iron stockpot and boil up the most EASY delicious, spicy and juicy batch of shrimp you have ever laid your eyes on.

Nothing gets people in the South together better than a good old fashion boil, whether that be crawfish or shrimp. It is a Louisiana tradition and it’s so not hard. It takes no time to prepare and everyone can sit around the big old pot watching the men boil the seafood. Think easy for you- the woman, the caretaker. Buy everything your man needs at the store this weekend, place it all in a nice little line or in a small cardboard box that he can easily see and get into. Give him my directions below and with “supervision” (they always need supervision right? (I say that jokingly- well kind of) allow him to proceed with the boil.

In all seriousness, this shrimp boil is so yummy and so easy that you just must give it a try this summer. The recipe came from my favorite go to seafood book, The Encyclopedia of Cajun Cuisine. Just roll up your sleeves and enjoy a big steaming pile of juicy jumbo shrimp and spicy veggies.


Summer Shrimp Boil


5 lbs (21-25 count) shrimp

2 1/2 gallons of water

3 medium onions, largely chopped or sliced

2 heads of garlic

4-5 stalks of celery, cut into thirds

4 lemons, sliced

6 bay leaves

1 bottle of crab boil

1 lb country sausage, cut into pieces or left in links (your choice)

1 cup salt ( I know this seems like a lot but trust me!)

2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 lbs red small potatoes

6 ears frozen corn

1/2 bag of ice


In a heavy 20-quart stockpot, bring water to a rolling boil. Drop in all ingredients but the shrimp,potatoes and corn. Cover and rapidly boil at least 10 minutes to create a flavored seasoning stock. Add potatoes, return to a boil and cook for another 5 minutes. Now add the corn and boil for another 10 minutes. Add shrimp the the pot, cover and return to a boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes tops. Immediately remove pot from the heat and add ice. Let the shrimp, sausage and veggies soak in the water for 15-30 minutes.  The longer they soak the more flavor they absorb. Drain off water before serving and pile on a huge platter of layered newspapers, paper towels or whatever you can get your hands on easily. You are going to be hungry!



  1. Three-Cookies

    1 cup salt! I guess its not that much considering there is 5 lbs shrimp and 2 1/2 gallons of water. This is not dinner for two for sure.

    11 . Jul . 2011
  2. Patti

    Hi K! Thanks for stopping by and Welcome! I’m following you as well. This shrimp boil looks great! Now I know what i’m making this week :o)

    11 . Jul . 2011
  3. Greg

    That looks so fabulous. Reaching for my Old Bay right now!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  4. Bonnie

    Yum! Can’t wait for our corn (mid-west) to come in. This is a great pot of goodness!


    11 . Jul . 2011
  5. lindsay

    yay! i love beaufort boils! (that is what we call them…or lowcountry boils) just had this last night! 🙂

    11 . Jul . 2011
  6. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    Oh I love shrimp and this looks so delicious! It is one of those dishes that looks so pretty with all of the different colors of the veggies mixed in!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  7. yummychunklet

    Ah, I remember these from growing up! Yours looks so tasty, and I just love shrimp!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  8. Erica

    I have never done an at home boil! What a great idea!! I totally just book marked this.

    11 . Jul . 2011
  9. SharleneT.

    I wondered about the salt, too! But, you’re right (you knew that, didn’t you). This is delicious! Thanks for sharing.

    11 . Jul . 2011
  10. Jane

    It of course looks yummy. You tempt me all the time. I have never made a recipe with one cup of salt, but will trust you. My printer is hot when your recipes come in. This looks like am amazing recipe for the summer. Something new and different for my part of the woods…

    11 . Jul . 2011
  11. purabi naha

    What a delicious-looking dish…your photography is fantastic. Loved your blog and would like to come back again.

    11 . Jul . 2011
  12. The Slow Roasted Italian

    Wow, this certainly looks easy and delicious! Sure to be a crowd pleaser.

    11 . Jul . 2011
  13. Jihane @Sinful Sundays

    Your shrimp boil looks delicious! 🙂

    I love shrimp and crawfish boils. There’s nothing better than eating delicious food in a backyard with a bunch of people you like while the man cooks.Good times.

    11 . Jul . 2011
  14. val

    Now, this is living!!! This kinda meal leaves ya speechless!! Amazing.

    11 . Jul . 2011
  15. Chinadoll

    Shrimp and corn are my favorite! This is really mouthwatering….yum! 🙂

    11 . Jul . 2011
  16. Food Glorious food

    I can imagine how tasty the shrimps and how sweet are the corns… yummmy! Love the recipe!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  17. kitchen flavours

    I love shrimps! And these look so full of flavour! I know that I will love these! Yummy!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  18. Shawn

    This is going to be on my mind until I make it! Looks Delicious…I can almost smell it!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  19. Kelli

    How funny, all I can say is great minds think alike. Love it! My Thursday post will feature shrimp. This looks amazing!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  20. Sandie

    Your photos are just stunning!!! (I really mean that)

    11 . Jul . 2011
  21. Caroline

    I wish I were at our place in South Carolina right now indulging in a shrimp boil like this. Nothing says summer like it! This sounds amazing. 🙂

    11 . Jul . 2011
  22. Heather @ Mrs. Southern Bride

    That sounds perfect for a summer evening dinner!!! Yum. 🙂

    11 . Jul . 2011
  23. kankana

    This plate looks so colorful and flavorful with all that veggies and my fav shrimp!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  24. Maris(In Good Taste)

    Looks like a very special feast! Bookmarked!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  25. Cooking lite

    Love love love it! A keeper and super pretty!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  26. Shea

    Not only does this look delicious, but it also looks like so much fun! Now I totally want to do this!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  27. Summer Wind


    11 . Jul . 2011
  28. Joyti

    Looks delicious – very very flavorful and a great (and balanced) one-pot meal.

    11 . Jul . 2011
  29. Maureen

    What a clever pot of goodness!! Delicious meal – you’ve done it again!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  30. Veronica's Kitchen

    Your shrimp is new to me. It’s simple, low fat and pack with flavour. It’s a crowd pleaser for hot summer day!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  31. Anna and Liz

    Wow what a great recipe! and you make the shrimp taste amazing packed with all the flavors! Great job!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  32. Alli

    Please make me southern in my next life. You are killing me!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  33. Silver Strands

    Those lemons make this look so refreshing and inviting … even more inviting: my men can do the work!

    11 . Jul . 2011
  34. Maria @ Scandifoodie

    This looks perfect for the summer parties!

    12 . Jul . 2011
  35. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

    I can see why boils are so popular. It looks great. So easy and delicious.

    12 . Jul . 2011
  36. Kristy

    Wow! This looks amazing! I love the colors too. And I’m pretty sure I could finish off a huge heaping plateful of this meal. Delicious!

    12 . Jul . 2011
  37. Carole Ann

    Your pictures are just simply amazing. You make the food look even better than it sounds. Definitely trying this before the summer ends.

    12 . Jul . 2011
  38. Linda

    This is really sounds like a fun dinner party! How interesting that ice is added at the end, and it doesn’t cool it too much? And I’m assuming the sausage is a pre-cooked variety? sorry, can you guess I’ve never done this before?!! I love the idea of throwing it all on newspaper! Sounds so Louisiana dining!!

    12 . Jul . 2011
  39. The Harried Cook

    I don’t think I’ve ever made anything with 1 cup of salt, but this sure looks tasty! Thanks for sharing this 🙂

    12 . Jul . 2011
  40. Leslie

    Love Love Love! You are brilliant- how much fun

    12 . Jul . 2011
  41. Candace

    Mmmm……even better than the delicious catfish you featured recently is my most favorite of all….boiled shrimp!! Absolutely fantastic looking meal!

    12 . Jul . 2011
  42. April@The 21st Century Housewife

    This looks SO good! I have never made anything like it, but I sure do want to try it. My Mom and Dad used to boil shrimp indoors to serve cold in shrimp cocktail, but other than that I have never boiled them – and I love all the other tasty ingredients too. Thank you for a great post, and for linking up to Feed Me Tweet Me Follow Me Home!

    12 . Jul . 2011
  43. gopika

    Perfect summer treat you have got there 😀 Wowww..

    12 . Jul . 2011
  44. Mary

    It just skrieks SUMMER!!
    SO delicious
    Mary x

    12 . Jul . 2011
  45. Alea Milham

    Wow, this looks really good. This would make a lovely dish for a cookout with friends.

    12 . Jul . 2011
  46. Amanda

    I agree with everyone- perfect for a night with friends. Your pics look entirely too good to eat though! LOL!

    12 . Jul . 2011
  47. Jody Brettkelly

    Wow, your photos are incredible, feel like I can reach out and touch those prawns, wonderful!

    12 . Jul . 2011
  48. daphne

    shrimp boil? you surprise me always! i wouldnt have thought of it but it does sound easy- oh and i agree that they need supervision always. just that we do it so well and discreetly LOL

    12 . Jul . 2011
  49. Marguerite

    Now you’re speaking my language! 🙂 I love a good shrimp or crawfish boil and yours looks fab! Great photos, too!

    12 . Jul . 2011
  50. Amelia

    Blogwalking, my 1st visit here. Lovely blog and I love the delicious shrimp. 🙂

    12 . Jul . 2011
  51. Nami @ Just One Cookbook

    I love shrimp dish! Never ate it this way though. It’s great weekend food when we can peel shrimps and have conversation. 🙂

    13 . Jul . 2011
  52. Blond Duck

    Oh that looks heavenly!

    13 . Jul . 2011
  53. Joanne

    I LOVE the idea of this! The ULTIMATE one-pot meal.

    13 . Jul . 2011
  54. Suzy

    Absolutely beautiful and delicious

    13 . Jul . 2011
  55. Taylor

    The pictures look amazing. Mouth watering. I could eat this whole plate.

    13 . Jul . 2011
  56. Shawn

    so funny you posted this because we just had a shrimp boil last weekend but it was not that good. Our guy friend really messed it up without putting enough seasonings. the 1 cup of salt is right on- you have to have it!

    14 . Jul . 2011
  57. Torrie @ a place to share...

    Ahhhhhh… I’ve been dreaming of this meal!!!!!!!!

    I’m thinking tomorrow would work… Just 2 questions-

    1) Should the sausage be cooked or uncooked?
    2) Would you recommend fresh corn if you’ve got it?

    If I wasn’t going to a book club dinner, I’d make (or should I say, “prep”) this TONIGHT!!

    14 . Jul . 2011
  58. To the Kitchen

    great looking photos- they just keep getting better. Shrimp and crab boils are my favorite

    14 . Jul . 2011
  59. yummydiner

    I love this boil! So fresh and perfect for the summer and upcoming football season

    18 . Jul . 2011
  60. Alicia

    Amazing! Simply amazing recipe and pictures. Your blog is just wonderful

    18 . Jul . 2011
  61. khushi

    that is simply delicious…you have all the ingredients here which will make me crazy 🙂
    I will love to follow you

    21 . Jul . 2011
  62. Jane

    QUESTION: I realized that I don’t know where I can get CRAB BOIL. I live in northern Ca. Googled it, and wow lots of options if I want to send for it. Or if I move to the south where you live!

    Can I use a substitute and get somewhat of the same taste?
    REALLY wanted to make this for dinner tonight.
    I do have a bottle of Clam Juice, will that work?
    Will go out to another store because I need lemons.
    Hope you can get back to me asap…

    Can’t wait to try this one,


    09 . Aug . 2011

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