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 fresh shrimp, crab, lobster tails, mussels, clams, smoky sausage, and tender potatoes. Best part, it's prepared in under an hour! This easy seafood boil recipe is the perfect meal for entertaining guests!

For more seafood recipes, try this Low Country Boil Recipe, Old Bay Shrimp Boil, and Creamy Salmon Pasta Recipe!

Shrimp, Lobster, Crab Legs, Clams, Corn, Mussels, and Sausages on a piece of newspaper with garlic butter sauce
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This is best seafood boil recipe! Not only does it have a variety of seafood with the best flavors but it's the ultimate complete meal that the entire family will love! Seafood boils are the perfect outdoor meal to entertain with especially when made with plenty of love, one of the best garlic butter seafood boil sauces, and a dash of hot sauce.

Now that summer is in full swing and fourth of July is just around the corner, I'm gathering all of my favorite seafood and making this cajun boil. Nothing says 'summer' to me like burying my bare hands into a classic cajun seafood boil and lathering every piece in garlic butter.

This cajun seafood boil recipe is also great way to celebrate the holidays and so much fun to indulge in a New Orleans style Louisiana Crab Boil approach to family gatherings!

Different from crawfish boils, we're using creole seasoning with beer to make a seasoned broth along with lemon halves, garlic, and yellow onion in the pot for great flavor. We're also throwing in some fresh corn, smoky sausage, fresh shellfish, A mix of a few pounds of seafood and traditional ingredients and you have a fantastic seafood 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.

If 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, old bay seasoning, corn, shrimp, onions, lobster, smoked sausage, crab legs, potatoes, mussels, lemons, garlic, bay leaves, cajun seasoning, and clams.

For the Seasoned Broth

  • 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 add subtle herby and peppery flavors.
  • Seafood boil seasoning: I used a combination of Old Bay, smoked paprika, Cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and dried thyme.
  • Lemons
  • Garlic and 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. If you don't feel like chopping up a bunch of garlic, use garlic powder instead.

Seafood Boil Ingredients

  • Red potatoes: If you don't have access to red potatoes, Yukon potatoes, baby potatoes, or small new potatoes work too.
  • Andouille sausage: Andouille is a slightly spicy sausage. In my opinion, it's 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! Colossal shrimp or jumbo shrimp are the best. Also, 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 - you'll want to Maine Lobsters or North Atlantic Lobsters, also known as cold water lobsters. They have the best flavor and don't taste fishy like other breeds.
  • Mussels: this is optional. I like using pre-cooked mussels, they don't need to boil as long as raw 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

As the seafood cooks, make this rich and buttery sauce that perfectly complements the fresh seafood. It's so delicious when poured on top of 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
  • Red pepper flakes - this is optional. Use if want an extra kick of spice!
a person holding a large bowl of seafood

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 different 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.
  • Pro tip: 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 right out of the pot.
  • 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)
  • If you can't find cajun seasoning, a great option is this  homemade cajun seasoning recipe.
  • If using frozen shrimp, thaw the shrimp for about 15-20 minutes in cold water prior to throwing in the boiling water.
  • Be sure to discard any clams that didn't open up. They're a pain to find in the seafood boil!

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 all types of seafood sprawled on a table in front of you.

Make the Broth

Firstly, add beer, and water to a large stockpot. Over high heat, bring everything to a rolling 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.

a pot full of broth with ingredients to make the cajun seafood boil

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. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges.

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 to the melted butter.

Add 1 cup of the reserved broth and simmer on low for 3-5 minutes, until sauce thickens. If using, stir in red pepper flakes and remove from the heat. (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

What goes with Cajun Seafood Boil?

You can definitely enjoy this seafood dish any additions but it's also a great dish with these sides:

For drinks, I love a nice crisp cold glass of white wine or making a large batch of my white wine sangria. You can also make it a party and try these:

hands reaching into a bowl full of seafood

Storing Leftovers

Some say that this seafood 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 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

Seafood Boil

  • 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. 

Garlic Butter Seafood Sauce

  • 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! Use any leftover sauce as a dip for the seafood. 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
    My family was blown away ! Made this for my son birthday dinne. Nobody wanted to use napkins, because they were licking their fingers. I used mussels, clams, giant grilling shrimp (U10) and snow crab clusters. I paired it with a beautiful Ceasar salad with big pumpernickel croutons and warm French bread. We cooked on an outside burner so the house wouldn’t smell. My son kept going outside even after dinner and dunking the bread in the pot of broth. Just enough spice to satisfy everyone.

    • I'm so happy that you loved this recipe! Pairing with a ceasar salad and pumpernickel bread sounds delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    I am so happy that I could this recipe! We made this last night and it was delicious! The steps were easy to follow and that sauce was so so good!

  3. This recipe looks amazing and I'm getting ready to try it for New Year's Eve...question I saw a recipe for a Surf and Turf boil and it got me to thinking about adding steak. I didn't like their recipe as much as yours...do you think it would work with your recipe?

    • Hi Stacey! I've never boiled steak before so I can't say whether or not it would be successful. I do not recommend it as boiling steak in water as it may turn out tough and dry, however, you can cook the steak separately and enjoy it with the boil instead. I hope that you enjoy this recipe and have a wonderful New Year!

  4. Thank you for this recipe! It sounds amazing! This is my first time doing a seafood boil and I’ll be using your recipe.? I only have one question do I crack the lobster tails and separate them from their inner skeletal shell before putting them into the boil OR do I just toss them in just the way they are? Thank you again for this amazing recipe!

    • Hi Darci! Thanks so much for stopping by! You do not have to crack the lobster tails prior to cooking. Cook the lobsters with the shells on and then crack it open when you're ready to eat them. I hope that you love this recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    I randomly found your recipe and trusted you even though I was questioning the recipe in my mind the whole time. Listen...!!! I am so happy I did. This was the best seafood boil everrrr. Today is the day before Christmas Eve 2022 and I'm on the way to grocery store to grab a few ingredients in -3° weather because this is Christmas Dinner. We are a seafood family and I'm saving this recipe for life. Thank you, Lady. Merry Christmas:)

    • Aww this has made my day!! I'm so happy that you trusted the recipe and that you enjoyed it!! Thanks so much for letting me know and have a wonderful holiday!!

  6. 5 stars
    Tonight I gave it a go…… made this delicious Cajun Seafood Boil and I am so incredibly impressed. Recipe is so easy to follow and just the right amount of spices. My family loved it and can’t wait to make again to share with friends during our next gathering. Thank you Britney.

  7. 5 stars
    Loved this seafood boil! I was surprised at how easy it was and how delicious it tasted. The sauce on top was incredible. 10/10