June 20, 2022| By

Cajun Seafood Boil with Garlic Butter Sauce

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
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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. Best part, it's prepared in under an hour! This easy seafood boil recipe is the perfect meal for entertaining guests.

Shrimp, Lobster, Crab Legs, Clams, Corn, Mussels, and Sausages on a piece of newspaper with garlic butter sauce
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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 beer, lemon halves, garlic, 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.

f you'd like to try more Cajun recipes, then check out my Cajun Shrimp Tacos with Garlic Lime Ranch and my Cajun Chicken and Rice.

Ingredients for Cajun Seafood Boil

ingredients to make a cajun seafood boil on a white surface
  • 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.
  • Bay leaves - they
  • Seasonings: I used a combination of Old Bay, smoked paprika, Cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and dried thyme.
  • Lemons
  • Garlic and Onion: 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.
  • 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 for roughly 2-inch pieces 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. (the bigger the shrimp the better for this seafood boil recipe)
  • 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!
  • Lobster tails
  • Mussels
  • Clams: Before serving, discard any clams that didn't open up.
garlic butter sauce for cajun seafood boil with a hand holding a spoon

Garlic Butter Sauce

This rich buttery sauce perfectly complements the fresh seafood. It's the perfect compliment to this seafood boil!

  • 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.
  • Fresh parsley
a person holding a large bowl of seafood

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, the seafood boil will be finished and 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 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!

cooked seafood in a large bowl with newspaper

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 ingredients are key to a delicious seafood boil.
  • I would not recommend making this dish ahead of time, it tastes best from out of the pot.
  • If you can't find cajun seasoning, try this homemade cajun seasoning recipe.

What goes with Cajun Seafood Boil?

You can definitely enjoy this seafood boil recipe without any additions but here are some ideas for sides:

hands reaching into a bowl full of seafood

Storing Leftovers

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.

FAQs

What do I need to make a seafood boil?

You will NEED a large stockpot. I recommend at least a 20-30 quart pot.

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.

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!

cajun seafood boil recipe in a large bowl with newspaper

Cajun Seafood Boil with Garlic Butter Sauce

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.
Serving: 8
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Calories: 765kcal

Equipment

  • 20-30 Qt. Large Stock Pot
  • Tongs
  • Large Sauce Pan
  • Newspaper or Aluminum Serving Pans

Ingredients

  • 2 12 oz Beer , use your favorite beer
  • 8 qts Water
  • 5 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 tbsps Smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp Cayenne pepper , less or more as desired
  • 1 tbsp Black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Dried thyme
  • 2 Lemons , sliced
  • 10 Garlic cloves , peeled and smashed
  • 2 Large onions , peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsps Salt
  • 3 lbs Red potatoes , halved
  • 6 ears Corn , cut into thirds
  • 1 lbs Andouille sausage
  • 10 Snow crab clusters/legs , about 2 lb
  • 4 Lobster tails , about 1-1 ½ lbs
  • 1 lb Mussels , optional
  • 1 lb Clams , optional
  • 2 lbs Jumbo shrimp

Seafood Boil Sauce

  • 2 cups Butter , 4 sticks
  • 8 Garlic cloves , diced finely
  • ¼ cup Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Old bay seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Red Pepper Flakes , optional
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • ½ tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt , to taste (I used 1 tsp)
  • 2 cups Reserved broth , from above
  • Fresh parsley , garnish
  • ½ cup Hot sauce , for serving

Directions

  • 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, brown sugar, 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)

Notes

Tips for making a Seafood Boil
  • If using frozen seafood, you may need to boil it longer than 10 minutes. 
  • You will need a large stock pot for this recipe! At least 20-30 Qt stockpot. If you don't have a large stock pot, divide the recipe between two pots as needed.
  • 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 ingredients are key to a delicious seafood boil.
  • I would not recommend making this dish ahead of time, it tastes best from out of the pot.

Nutrition

Calories: 765kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 334mg | Sodium: 3780mg | Potassium: 1057mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3991IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 241mg | Iron: 7mg
Course: Dinner, Seafood
Cuisine: American

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  1. 5 stars
    Loved this so much, this is my third time I following this recipe! Close to doing this recipe with out looking….Love love love it!!!!

  2. 5 stars
    I make this recipe at least once per month. We love it so much. I’ve also made your low country boil and that was delicious too. I can’t wait to cook my way through your site, you have not let me down not even once!

  3. 5 stars
    This Seafood Boil was absolutely amazing. My family always does something different (no turkey) at Christmas and since I'm hosting this year, I'll be making this again!

  4. 5 stars
    So I was skeptical about making my own seafood boil but this recipe was so simple and easy. It came out perfectly and my family loved it. I didn’t have any leftovers which only makes me want to make this again!

  5. 5 stars
    This seafood boil recipe was off the hook! I used shrimp lobster and crawfish and girl, that sauce on top was everything!! Delicious!!