This Cajun Seafood Boil with Garlic Butter Sauce is a flavorful feast of shrimp, crab, lobster tails, mussels, clams, sausage, and potatoes. Best part, it's prepared in under an hour! This easy seafood boil recipe is the perfect meal for entertaining guests.
Now that summer is in full swing, fourth of July is just around the corner! Nothing says 'summer' to me like burying my bare hands into a classic cajun seafood boil. It's the perfect outdoor meal to entertain with, a delicious meal made with plenty of love and a dash of hot sauce.
It's also a great option for the holidays and so much fun to indulge in a New Orleans style approach to family gatherings!
Different from a typical crawfish boil, we're using fresh shellfish and creole seasoning with lemon halves and yellow onion in the pot for great flavor. A mix of a few pounds of seafood and traditional ingredients and you have a crab boil full of cajun flavors.
Don't forget the delicious cajun sauce! It's an easy yet amazing garlic butter seafood boil sauce that you need to drown absolutely everything in.
Ingredients for Cajun Seafood Boil
Beer: This may come as a surprise but beer actually enhances the flavor of the broth. Use your favorite kind.
Water: To mix with the other liquids.
Seasoning: I used a combination of Old Bay, smoked paprika, Cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and dried thyme.
Garlic cloves: This recipe calls for lots of fresh garlic so make sure you have plenty!
Red potatoes: If you don't have access to red potatoes, Yukon potatoes are comparable.
Andouille sausage: This is the best sausage for a seafood boil but if you prefer something milder, use kielbasa.
Sweet Corn: Use whatever variety of corn you'd like as long as it's fresh. Cutting the corn into thirds will ensure they cook faster.
Jumbo shrimp: Use the biggest shrimp you can find. Now is not the time to skimp! You can use peeled or shell-on shrimp, depending on your preference.
Snow crab clusters: these are the bodies broken into pieces with legs attached, but you can just find the snow crab legs on their own at your local fish monger! IF you can't find snow crab, try king crab legs or even dungeness crab legs!
Clams: Before serving, discard any clams that didn't open up.
Garlic Butter Sauce
This rich buttery sauce perfectly complements the fresh seafood.
Butter: The base of this sauce. You can use salted or unsalted.
Garlic cloves: I told you we'd be using a lot!
Cajun seasoning: Be generous with this essential seasoning!
Old bay seasoning: This is added for flavor and color.
Sugar: The hint of sweetness will balance out the other flavors.
Salt: Just enough to taste.
Reserved broth: If you want a thicker sauce, use less of this. If you want a thinner sauce, use a bit more.
How do you cook a Seafood Boil?
After reading the list of ingredients, you'd think the cooking process would take forever. However, you really just throw everything into a pot, little by little. An hour later, you'll have a heap of seafood sprawled on a table in front of you.
Make the Broth
Firstly, add beer, and water to a large stockpot. Bring it to a boil and then add bay leaves, Old Bay seasoning, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, thyme, salt, lemons, garlic, and onions. Stir together and boil for 5 minutes in order to allow flavors to come together.
Add Potatoes, Sausage, and Seafood
Add halved red potatoes and sweet corn to the pot and allow them to cook until the potatoes are tender but not mushy (about 15 minutes). Then add sausages, lobster tails, crab legs, mussels, and clams. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow everything to boil together for 15 minutes. Stir together, save 2 cups of the broth, then drain.
Roll out newspaper or a large serving tray and finally, place the seafood on top.
Prepare the Garlic Butter Sauce
Melt butter over medium-low heat, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Then add cajun seasoning, old bay seasoning, onion powder, sugar, and salt. Add 1 cup of the reserved broth and simmer on low for 3-5 minutes, until sauce thickens. (If you want a thinner sauce, then add 2 cups instead.) Add a little bit of lemon juice and hot sauce if you like a little heat!
Tips for making a Seafood Boil
Be sure not to overcook your shrimp. You'll know when the shrimp is finished when it turns pink and curls a bit. If it appears your shrimp is cooking faster than everything else, take them out of the pot.
Customize this recipe to your liking! If you have a seafood that you'd like to add, throw it in the pot for the seafood boil. Just be mindful of cooking times so that you don't overcook any of the ingredients.
Try to use as many fresh ingredients as possible! Fresh
I would not recommend making this dish ahead of time, it tastes best from out of the pot.
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 seafood boil. Cook it over low heat until it is evenly warmed.
The garlic butter sauce can be stored and frozen for up to 2 months. Simply scoop and microwave when you want to use it.
What do I need to make a seafood boil?
You will NEED a large stockpot. I recommend at least 30 quarts.
What is a seafood boil made of?
This recipe contains Shrimp, Lobster, Crab Legs, Mussels, Clams, Corn, Potatoes, and Andouille Sausages in a flavorful broth with old bay, bay leaves, garlic, lemon, and onions.
What is seafood boil sauce?
The garlic butter sauce for this seafood boil is a buttery, slightly spicy sauce that's made with reserved seafood boil broth, spices, butter, and fresh parsley.
When is seafood boil season?
We always had seafood boils in the summer but you can have a seafood boil whenever you want! A lot of people have them to celebrate the holidays, birthdays, graduations etc.
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This Cajun Seafood Boil with Garlic Butter Sauce is a flavorful feast of shrimp, crab, lobster tails, mussels, clams, sausage, and potatoes. Prepared in under an hour, this easy seafood boil recipe is the perfect meal for entertaining guests.
Prep Time: 15mins
Cook Time: 40mins
Total Time: 55mins
Large Stock Pot
Large Sauce Pan
Newspaper or Aluminum Serving Pans
1 cupOld Bay Seasoning
2tbspCayenne pepperless or more as desired
10Garlic clovespeeled and smashed
2Large onionspeeled and sliced
6earsCorncut into thirds
10Snow crab clusters/legsabout 2 lb
4Lobster tailsabout 1-1 ½ lbs
Seafood Boil Sauce
8Garlic clovesdiced finely
2tbspOld bay seasoning
1tbspRed Pepper Flakesoptional
Saltto taste (I used 1 tsp)
2cupsReserved brothfrom above
½cupHot saucefor serving
Add beer, and water to a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and then add bay leaves, Old Bay seasoning, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, thyme, salt, lemons, garlic, and onions. Stir together and boil for 5 minutes to allow flavors to come together.
Add halved red potatoes and corn to the pot and allow them to cook until the potatoes are tender but not mushy (about 15 minutes). Then add sausages and allow them to cook for another 5 minutes.
Add crab legs, lobster tails, mussels, clams, and shrimp. Cover the pot with a lid and allow everything to boil together for 10 minutes. (The mussels and clams will pop open once they are finished and the shrimp will be pink) Stir together, save 2 cups of the broth, then drain.
Roll out newspaper or a large serving tray and place seafood on top.
Make the sauce. Melt butter over medium low heat in a large sauce pan, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Then add cajun seasoning, old bay seasoning, red pepper flakes, onion powder, and salt. Add 1 cup of the reserved broth and simmer on low for 3-5 minutes, until sauce thickens. (For a thinner sauce, add 2 cups) Add freshly diced parsley and remove from the heat.
Pour sauce over the seafood and enjoy! Serve with hot sauce (optional)