This classic shrimp boil contains fresh shrimp, potatoes, corn and sausage, all boiled in a flavorful broth. A complete meal in one pot that’s perfect for feeding a crowd!

Shrimp is always a quick and easy meal option, whether it’s orange shrimp and broccoli, grilled shrimp skewers, shrimp Alfredo or this impressive looking shrimp boil.

A pan of shrimp boil made with corn, potatoes and sausage.

When I’m looking to enjoy some fresh seafood, I often end up making a shrimp boil. It’s a great option because everything gets tossed into one pot, it’s fun to eat, and of course, it’s super flavorful.

Shrimp Boil Ingredients

Bowls of ingredients including shrimp, corn, potatoes, sausage and seasonings.

To make this recipe, you will need lemons, Old Bay seasoning, garlic, onion, potatoes, corn, shrimp, sausage, butter and fresh parsley.

How Do You Make A Shrimp Boil?

Place lemons, Old Bay seasoning, garlic and onion in a large pot of water and bring everything to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, then add the corn and sausage to the pot to cook. Finally, add the shrimp. Drain the shrimp and vegetables, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Whisk the butter into the liquid, then pour the mixture over the shrimp, sausage and veggies. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Step by step process shots showing vegetables and shrimp going into a pot of boiling liquid.

Tips For Shrimp Boil

  • You can boil your shrimp with or without the shells. I typically remove the shells and just leave the tails on as it’s easier to eat this way.
  • Fresh corn on the cob has the most flavor – you can use white, yellow or bi-color corn.
  • I use small red potatoes, but Yukon gold potatoes are also a great choice.
  • You can use kielbasa or andouille sausage. Andouille sausage can be a bit spicy, so I’d recommend using that variety if you prefer a little heat.
  • This dish is best when served immediately. Leftovers will stay fresh in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Quick Tip

I recommend buying the largest shrimp you can find for this recipe. I use 16-20 count jumbo shrimp.

Process photos showing reserved broth mixed with butter and poured over shrimp.

Recipe FAQs

How long do you boil shrimp?

Shrimp cook very quickly, and it only takes about 2-3 minutes to boil shrimp. You can tell when your shrimp are done because they’ll be bright pink and opaque.

How do you peel shrimp?

This recipe calls for raw shrimp which are cooked in seasoned boiling water. I typically buy my raw shrimp with just the tail attached, but many shrimp also come still in the shell. If your shrimp have shells on them, you can easily remove them by pulling the main part of the shell and legs off with your fingers. I like to leave the tails on for a nicer presentation.

What do you serve with shrimp boil?

A shrimp boil can be served as-is, but some people prefer to add more side dishes to round out the meal. Some great options include arugula salad, sourdough bread, broccoli slaw or dill potato salad. I typically keep things simple with a loaf of garlic bread and sometimes a green veggie such as air fryer asparagus, sauteed broccolini or green beans with bacon.

What is shrimp boil seasoning made of?

I use Old Bay seasoning in this recipe, which is made of celery salt, red pepper, black pepper, paprika, and other spices.


A shrimp boil with potatoes and corn in a red pot.

Flavor Variations

This recipe is fabulous as-is, but you can add other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.

  • Seafood: You can use one pound of shrimp and one pound of some other type of seafood such as clams, mussels, crawfish or scallops. Scallops and crawfish will cook in the same amount of time as shrimp. Clams or mussels will take 6-8 minutes.
  • Creamy: Make your broth creamy by stirring in a half cup of heavy cream when you add the butter to the reserved boiling liquid.
  • Spicy: Feel free to turn up the heat by adding some crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce to the boiling liquid.
  • Vegetables: Although not traditional, sometimes I add some fresh veggies during the last few minutes of the cooking time. Some great options include green beans, broccoli, carrots or asparagus.
  • Flavorings: You can add other ingredients to the boiling liquid such as black pepper, lemon juice or a pinch of salt. Instead of Old Bay seasoning, you can use Cajun seasoning.
A spoon serving up a large cooked shrimp.

You just can’t go wrong with a shrimp boil, especially for a party. The tender shrimp pair so well with the creamy potatoes, smoky sausage and sweet corn. Everyone will be coming back for seconds!

More Great Seafood Recipes

Love this Recipe?

Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

5 from 83 votes

Shrimp Boil

AuthorSara Welch
A pan of shrimp boil made with corn, potatoes and sausage.
This classic shrimp boil contains fresh shrimp, potatoes, corn and sausage, all boiled in a flavorful broth. An complete meal in one pot that's perfect for feeding a crowd!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 6


  • 3 lemons divided use
  • 1/2 cup Old Bay seasoning plus more for garnish
  • 6 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 onion peeled and cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 pound small red potatoes halved
  • 4 ears corn on the cob cut into 3-4 inch pieces
  • 2 pounds shrimp peeled and deveined (leave tails on)
  • 1 pound smoked sausage cut into 1 inch pieces, kielbasa or andouille are preferred
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  • Cut 2 of the lemons into quarters. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges and reserve the wedges for later use.
  • Fill a large pot with 12-14 cups of water. Place the 2 quartered lemons in the water along with the Old Bay seasoning, garlic and onion. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the potatoes to the pot and cook for 10-12 minutes or until just tender. Add the corn and sausage and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes or until pink and opaque.
  • Drain the shrimp mixture from the pot, reserving 1 cup of the broth.
  • Melt the butter and whisk it into the reserved broth. Pour the broth over the shrimp mixture.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges. Sprinkle with additional Old Bay seasoning to taste, then serve.


  1. I recommend buying the largest shrimp you can find for this recipe. I use 16-20 count jumbo shrimp.
  2. You can boil your shrimp with or without the shells. I typically remove the shells and just leave the tails on as it’s easier to eat this way.


Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 450mg | Sodium: 1892mg | Potassium: 923mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 48.4mg | Calcium: 316mg | Iron: 7.3mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

Learn more about Sara

Related Posts

Free Bonus

5 Secrets to Meal Planning + Free Toolkit!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Always a crowd pleaser….
    we add 1lb. mussels (microwaved) at the end just for more good eatin’
    sometimes add scallops too. YUM, YUM!

  2. 5 stars
    This in indeed my favorite way to prepare shrimp. The flavors are incredible and it comes out perfect every time. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    We love this!
    We do 1.5 servings per person and round down. We found we love the gluten free andouille sausage at Sam’s and bump the portion to what the shrimp is.
    The problem with the recipe is that it does not adjust for water or seasoning. Just adjust proportionately with the example given.
    This is now the family favorite for large gatherings. We use a turkey fryer setup with a basket and that works great.
    The amount of water depends on the dimensions of your pot. I got a super large pot (80qt) and one needs more water to cover all the goodies. Don’t worry, just add water till you cover the stuff by a couple inches. Fudge it.

    We have done this for 6 people (9 servings) in the house on the stove. The gas cooktop does not put out the BTUs of the turkey fryer but it still works fine on high.

  4. 5 stars
    This turned out awesome…cut my recipe in half …made for me and hubby .. leftovers were just as good as night of
    Will say I cooked my corn separate…then added it..
    Was amazing 😍
    This is a keeper

  5. So my husband and I LOVED this recipe… however it was too spicy for the kiddos. Should I just scale back the amount of Old Bay Seasoning? (We already omitted the sausage and just added more shrimp.)

  6. Hi! Plan to triple this recipe for 18-20 people. After reading other reviews about lots of salt, should I triple the Old Bay or use something else? Also, if tripling, what size (qt) outdoor boiler should I use? How much water? I plan to keep all cooking times the same, right? Thanks!

    1. You can triple the Old Bay seasoning, and when it comes to the pot size and water amount, there’s some wiggle room there. You just want to make sure the pot is big enough so that the seafood isn’t packed in there so the hot water can circulate, and the water should cover most of the seafood.