November 1, 2022| By

Old Bay Shrimp Boil

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
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This Old Bay Shrimp Boil Recipe is a hearty, flavorful one-pot recipe of succulent shrimp, smoked sausage, sweet juicy corn, and tender potatoes in a perfectly seasoned broth.

The seafood is then smothered in a homemade Old Bay butter sauce for a finger-licking good time! Set the table and roll up your sleeves because this mouthwatering feast is a seafood lovers dream!

For more seafood boil recipes, try this Cajun Seafood Boil with Garlic Butter Sauce and Low Country Boil!

old bay shrimp boil on a serving platter.
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I love a classic shrimp boil recipe. It's a delicious meal that brings the entire family together like no other. This recipe is a traditional shrimp boil with a bit of a twist. Instead of using cajun seasoning like in my seafood boil recipe, old bay is the star ingredient for this one!

In my humble opinion, as a naturalized Marylander, old bay the BEST seasoning for seafood. I've made a South Carolina style shrimp boil (or Frogmore Stew) and crab boil with Zatarain's crab boil seasoning and it's amazing, but there's just something about old bay!! Both are delicious in their own rite, no shade to my friends down south!

a piece of shrimp on a plate with corn, sausage, and potatoes.

Old Bay is a delicious blend of herbs and spices that complements everything from shrimp and crab to mussels and lobsters. It deserves all of the accolades in this easy shrimp boil recipe!

Best part - I also made an old bay seafood boil sauce to go on top for added buttery deliciousness that is just too good - you have GOT to try this sauce!

It's the best shrimp boil you'll ever make and is a complete meal all on its own! This tasty shrimp boil recipe will be the star of the show!

Shrimp Boil Ingredients

ingredients to make a shrimp boil - jumbo shrimp, corn, beer, chicken broth, bay leaves, old bay, garlic powder, yellow onions, smoked sausage, potatoes, lemons, garlic, and butter.

All of these wonderful flavors come together in one large pot on the stove! Here are the main ingredients needed:

Old Bay Broth

  • Chicken broth: For added flavor.
  • Water: The base of the broth.
  • Beer: This may come as a surprise! A cold beer isn't just for sipping. Beer actually enhances the flavor of the broth. It also tenderizes the shrimp too! Use your favorite kind (I like using Blue Moon for the orangey citrus flavor)
  • Lemons: Brightens the broth. You can use lemon juice too (about ¼ cup will do).∂
  • Bay leaves: For a subtle herby and peppery flavor. It adds a nice blend of flavors.
  • Garlic & Onions: This recipe calls for lots of fresh garlic so make sure you have plenty! I like using a lot because the garlic and onion make such a flavorful broth.
  • Old Bay seasoning: A delicious seasoning blend of celery salt, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and ginger, make a delicious seafood seasoning mix. It adds a depth of flavor that is unmatched.
  • Garlic powder: For an extra garlicky taste, don't skip this in your Old Bay shrimp boil!

Shrimp Boil

  • Potatoes: Use new potatoes, baby potatoes, or red potatoes cut in half.
  • Fresh Corn: you can also use frozen sweet corn, just be sure to cut the ears of corn into 2-inch pieces so it will cook faster. Note - frozen corn takes about 5 minutes longer to cook, so keep that in mind if using frozen.
  • Smoky sausage: Andouille sausage is the best sausage for a shrimp boil but if you prefer something milder, use kielbasa. These also add so much flavor to the broth.
  • Jumbo shrimp: Use the biggest shrimp you can find. Now is not the time to skimp! You can use fresh shrimp or frozen shrimp here. The best shrimp are the colossal shrimp or jumbo shrimp. Also, you can use peeled or shell-on shrimp, depending on your preference. (The bigger the shrimp the better!) Just make sure the shrimp is deveined. 

Old Bay Butter Sauce

As the other ingredients boil, make this savory, spicy, buttery seasoned butter sauce that perfectly complements the fresh ingredients. It's so delicious when poured over the juicy shrimp!

  • Salted Butter
  • Reserved broth from above (you can also use chicken broth)
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Fresh parsley
  • Red Pepper flakes, optional for a little spice

Tips for the Best Old Bay Shrimp Boil

  • Be sure to use a very large pot. I recommend using a 15-20 quart pot. If you don’t have a pot large enough, use two pots and divide the ingredients equally among both pots.
  • Don't overcook the shrimp. Shrimp cooks quickly so watch it closely! You'll know it's done when the shrimp turn pink and curl slightly.
  • The potatoes tend to cook faster than the corn. Either add them in 5 minutes after the corn or watch them closely and temporarily remove them if they soften too soon.
  • Use fresh, non-frozen ingredients in order to minimize prep time.

How to Make Old Bay Shrimp Boil

shrimp boil on a serving platter with drawn butter and sliced bread.
  • Combine water, chicken broth, and beer in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then add lemons, bay leaves, onions, garlic, old bay seasoning, and garlic powder. Carefully stir boiling water together and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Add potatoes, corn, and sausage and boil for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
  • Add shrimp and cook for 2-5 minutes, until the shrimp is pink and slightly curled. Cooking times will vary with the size of the shrimp.
  • Remove seafood from the pot and add on top of newspapers or a large serving tray. Save 2 cups of the broth.
shrimp boil in a large pot.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan and add diced garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes then old bay and 1-2 cups of the reserved broth. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Pour sauce on top of shrimp and garnish with fresh parsley. Use any leftover sauce for dipping or serve with additional melted butter, fresh lemon, and hot sauce. Add additional old bay seasoning on top if you wish!
old bay shrimp boil butter sauce in a saucepan.

How to Serve Old Bay Shrimp Boil

Typically, you place newspaper or butcher paper on the picnic table prior to sprawling the seafood onto the table to eat. It makes clean-up a lot easier. You can also use aluminum pans, a sheet pan, a large serving tray, or heat-resistant nylon bags.

Enjoy this shrimp boil with:

Storing Leftovers

old bay shrimp boil on top of newpaper.

Some say that this shrimp boil is even better the next day! Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days but avoid the microwave. When you are ready to reheat, simply add some water to a pot with the leftover Old Bay shrimp boil.

Cook it over low heat until it is evenly warmed.

The Old Bay butter sauce can be stored and frozen for up to 2 months. Simply scoop and microwave when you want to use it.

Recipe FAQs

How long should you boil shrimp for?

Shrimp boils between 2-5 minutes, depending on the size. It's done when the shrimp is pink.

Is it better to use peeled or unpeeled shrimp for a shrimp boil?

For the best flavor, shrimp should be boiled with the peel on. It also helps the shrimp from cooking too fast.

What should be served with a shrimp boil?

This Old Bay Shrimp Boil is a meal in and of itself but there are so many delicious add-ons. A few would be garlic bread, potato salad, and fried okra. Check out my list of side dishes for seafood boils for more ideas!

More Seafood Recipes

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Let's stay connected on social media and continue to cook together! Also, if you decide to make this recipe, please leave a star rating on the recipe card and leave a comment below! Tag @BritneyBreaksBread on Instagram and hashtag #britneybreaksbread so I can see your creations! I hope that you love this recipe as much as we do!

a piece of shrimp on a plate with corn, sausage, and potatoes.

Old Bay Shrimp Boil

Old Bay Shrimp Boil is a hearty, flavorful one pot meal of smoked sausage, sweet corn, tender potatoes, and succulent shrimp. Set the table and roll up your sleeves because this mouthwatering feast is ready in just thirty minutes!
Serving: 8
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Calories: 882kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 cups Chicken broth
  • 8 cups Water
  • 2 12 oz cans of Beer
  • 2 Lemons (sliced)
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 2 Yellow onions (roughly sliced)
  • 6 Garlic cloves (smashed)
  • ½ cup Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tbsps Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 2 lbs New potatoes or baby potatoes
  • 6 pieces Corn on the cob (cut into thirds)
  • 2 lbs Smoked sausage (sliced)
  • 3 lbs Jumbo shrimp

Old Bay Butter Sauce

  • 1 cup Butter
  • 6 cloves Garlic (diced)
  • 1-2` cups Reserved broth (from above)
  • ¼ cup Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tbsps Brown Sugar
  • Fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Directions

  • Add chicken broth, water, and beer to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil then add lemons, bay leaves, onions, garlic, old bay seasoning, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Stir together and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Add potatoes, corn, and sausage and boil for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
  • Add shrimp and cook for 2-5 minutes, until the shrimp is pink and slightly curled.
  • Save 2 cups of the broth. Drain the pot and add the contents onto a serving tray.
  • Make the old bay butter sauce - Melt butter in a saucepan and add old bay, brown sugar, and 1-2 cups of the reserved broth. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add red pepper (optional). Pour sauce on top of shrimp and garnish with fresh parsley. Use any leftover sauce for dipping and serve with additional melted butter and hot sauce.

Notes

  • Be sure to use a very large pot. I recommend using a 15-20 quart pot. If you don’t have a pot large enough, use two pots and divide the ingredients equally among both pots.
  • Don't overcook the shrimp. Shrimp cooks quickly so watch it closely! You'll know it's done when the shrimp turn pink and curl slightly.
  • The potatoes tend to cook faster than the corn. Either add them in 5 minutes after the corn or watch them closely and temporarily remove them if they soften too soon.
  • Use fresh, non-frozen ingredients in order to minimize prep time.

Nutrition

Calories: 882kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 361mg | Sodium: 3038mg | Potassium: 1316mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1627IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 227mg | Iron: 6mg
Course: Main Course, Seafood
Cuisine: American

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Recipe Rating




  1. 5 stars
    We've been having such great weather in Chicago recently that I decided we should enjoy one more shrimp boil outside and OMG am I glad I did. This was BOMB.

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks for the step by step details, Britney. I have never attempted a recipe like this but everyone raved about the result!

  3. 5 stars
    Fellow naturalized Marylander here and I approve of this recipe! Haha, in all seriousness, I love a good seafood boil and this Old Bay Shrimp Seafood Boil is my go-to. The only thing I omitted was the brown sugar in the butter sauce. This is a recipe I will use again and again!

  4. 5 stars
    This was so delicious, rich and extremely easy to make too!! I made this because my mom was craving a shrimp boil, which we served with some cornbread.

  5. 5 stars
    The Old Bay butter sauce on top of everything made this the absolute best shrimp boil ever. My family has already requested I make it again.

  6. Britney! This is another home run! I love how everything cooked together so perfectly....no dry seafood AT ALL and the flavor is TO DIE FOR! Thank you for the recipe!

  7. Seafood recipes are always my thing. When I saw this, I knew I had to try..my mouth was watering just from the pictures! It came out fantastic and was a hit with the family! I'll be storing the butter as well to use in the future.

  8. 5 stars
    This shrimp boil took me back to my days living in Baltimore. I love Old Bay and the addition of beer made this recipe so flavorful and addictive. Definitely going to make this a regular recipe in my meal rotations.