Saturday, May 7, 2022

Our Favorite Seafood Boil Recipe

This Seafood Boil Recipe includes fresh shellfish, sausage, and veggies all cooked in a seasoned broth. Have it on the table in 35 minutes!

titled (and shown): our favorite seafood boil
Juicy shrimp, succulent clams and lobster tails, savory potatoes and sausage, and sweet corn on the cob — this is one feast you won’t want to miss!

Invite your friends and family over to share in this meal that’s packed to the brim with flavor. In fact, the event itself shares the same name!

overhead: seafood boil ingredients

Seafood Boil Recipe

With so many hearty and delicious ingredients to choose from, everyone can find something they like about this dish.

Even better, it all cooks in the same pot so you can spend more time visiting and less time cleaning up the kitchen.

There are so many incredible ways to prepare seafood, from a simple shrimp skillet meal to a decadent lobster mac and cheese.

No matter what you’re craving, there’s sure to be something that delights your taste buds!

carrots, corn on the cob and potatoes in strainer

What’s the difference between a seafood boil and a Low Country boil?

There are several different types of seafood boil, each originating from a different coastal region of the South or Eastern Seaboard, but they often consist of shellfish cooked with other meats or veggies and seasonings.

Despite the name, these dishes can be prepared in a variety of ways: boiling, steaming, and even baking!

A Low Country boil is just one type of seafood boil. It’s specific to Georgia and South Carolina, where shrimp is their shellfish of choice.

The dish also contains sausage, corn, and potatoes for one complete meal.

lobster tail in strainer to make a seafood boil

How To Make A Seafood Boil

Because each component has a different cooking time, it’s important to pay close attention and add each ingredient at just the right time!

First, bring your liquid to a boil. Combine water in a large stockpot with lemons, onions, garlic cloves, and Old Bay seasoning.

Once it’s bubbling, carefully add the potatoes and corn and cook for 8-10 minutes.

Next, add the lobster tails and cook for 5 minutes.

Lower the clams into the pot using a strainer to avoid splashes. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Finally, toss in the sausage and shrimp. These cook fast, so watch carefully! Once the shrimp are pink and the clams have opened, it’s done.

Remove from heat and drain off the liquid. Transfer everything to a platter or spread it out family-style on a table covered in butcher paper.

Before you dig in, don’t forget the Old Bay butter sauce! Heat on the stove until melted, then pour over everything. Serve with your choice of lemon wedges, fresh parsley, and cocktail sauce!

overhead: stock pot simmering with vegetables, lobster tail and shrimp

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Avoid overcooked shrimp. Watch them very closely at the end, since they can go from perfect to tough and rubbery in a flash!

  • Toss unopened clams. Pick through the pot before serving and discard any clams that didn’t open when cooked. Do not try to force them open — they are most likely no longer safe to eat.

  • Using precooked seafood? You’ll need to adjust the cooking times since this seafood boil recipe calls for raw shellfish.

overhead: boiled clams in the shell

What You’ll Need For This Seafood Boil Recipe

ladling seafood boil from stock pot

Seafood Boil Recipe FAQ

What goes in a seafood boil?

For this particular seafood boil recipe, you’ll be cooking up shrimp, lobster tails, and clams along with smoked sausage and veggies. Other popular choices include:
  • Crawfish
  • Mussels
  • Crab

What do you serve with a seafood boil?

Many would agree that melted butter and hot sauce are all that you need to enjoy an authentic seafood boil recipe.

That said, coleslaw is a popular side dish — it can chill in the fridge while you work on the main feast, and the fresh flavors add balance to your plate.

Cornbread and plenty of sweet tea can often be found at Southern boils, but you can easily add your favorite green veggie and call it a day!

brushing clarified butter over boiled seafood

Prep Ahead Instructions

I recommend preparing and serving this seafood boil recipe on the same day, both for the best flavors and for food safety.

If you’ll be using frozen shellfish, be sure to thaw it first. Lobster tails and shrimp can both be thawed overnight in the refrigerator.

You can also thaw shrimp quickly by rinsing them under cold water for 5 to 7 minutes. Just be sure to check the packaging, especially if you purchased different weights than what is listed in the recipe.

How To Store Seafood Boil

The USDA recommends refrigerating any leftover cooked shellfish for up to 3 or 4 days.

Everything can be stored in the same airtight container and reheated in the oven or on the stove.

using tongs to serve fresh boiled lobster tail


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overhead: seafood boil recipe ingredients, cooked

Yield: 4-6
Author: Donna Elick
freshly boiled seafood closeup

Our Favorite Seafood Boil Recipe

This seafood boil recipe includes fresh shellfish, sausage, and veggies all cooked in a seasoned broth. Have it on the table in 35 minutes!
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min


  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 1 yellow onion, trimmed, peeled and quartered
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into halves
  • 4 ears of corn, husked, cleaned and cut in half or thirds (depending on the size)
  • 4 lobster tails, 4 ounces each
  • 1 pound Littleneck clams, cleaned (about 16 littleneck clams)
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 pounds extra-large raw shrimp, (55 to 60) peeled and deveined with tails left on
  • 9 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup Old Bay seasoning
Old Bay Butter
  • 1 stick unsalted butter(8 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
For Serving
  • additional Old Bay seasoning
  • chopped flat leaf parsley
  • lemon wedges
  • cocktail sauce


  1. Fill a large stockpot half full with water. Add in quartered lemons and onions, whole garlic cloves, and Old Bay seasoning. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add in the potatoes and corn. Cook for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add lobster tails and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Next, carefully lower the clams into the pot and cook for 5 more minutes.
  5. Then, add in the smoked sausage and shrimp. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and all clams have opened.
  6. Remove from heat and drain the liquid. Remove and discard any clams that have not opened. Return the seafood to the stock pot.
  7. Transfer to a serving pan, or spread out over butcher paper to serve family-style. Top with additional Old Bay if desired, as well as lemon wedges and parsley.
  8. In a small saucepan, add the old bay butter ingredients. Heat on medium-low, stirring to combine. When butter has melted, remove from heat and pour over the seafood mixture.
  1. Shrimp cook very quickly, so just make sure you watch them closely at the end. If they are overcooked, they tend to become tough.
  2. If you are purchasing frozen seafood, just be sure to thaw before including in this recipe. All seafood was cooked from thawed/raw. Lobster tails can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator, so just be sure to transfer them the night before you want to make your seafood boil. Shrimp thaws much faster and can be done under running water for 5-7 minutes. Just be sure to check the packaging or check with your local seafood specialist at the grocery store if you aren’t sure how long to thaw or cook your food, especially if you purchased different seafoods in different weights from what is shown in this recipe.
  3. If you are purchasing pre-cooked seafood, you will need to adjust your cook times since we used raw seafood. Shrimp normally takes about 1-2 minutes to cook through from raw, so you could decrease your time if you bought pre-cooked.
  4. Any clams that have not opened while cooking, throw them away in the trash. Do not force them to open. They are most likely not good to eat if they have stayed closed, so it’s better to be safe in this instance.
  5. I recommend eating this the same day you cook it for the best flavors and for safety. The USDA recommends refrigerating any cooked leftovers for up to 3-4 days.

titled pinterest image for seafood boil recipe

Originally published May 2022

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds delicious, I’m going to plan this for Father’s Day instead of a BBQ!


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