Cajun Seafood Boil with Butter and Garlic

You guys can make the most delicious seafood boil recipe at home with this one. It is cooked in a flavorful broth made with aromatics and cajun spices and is packed with ingredients like crab, jumbo shrimp, andouille sausage, potatoes, eggs, and corn on the cob. A killer garlic butter sauce smothers and drowns all that hearty flavor. This recipe for a delicious seafood boil is simple to prepare and can feed a large group of people.

Seafood boils are just irresistible, particularly in the summertime. The mouthwatering mixture of shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn, all flowing from your fingers and covered in sauce—whew. I mean, the whole thing is really enjoyable and fun. Fasten your seatbelts and let’s begin this recipe!

Cajun Seafood Boil w/ Garlic Butter Sauce 😋

This easy to make boil is brimming with all the meaty, hearty bites like andouille, shrimp, and crab. And then there’s filling elements like potatoes, corn, and hard-boiled eggs to amp up the fullness of it all. In my honest opinion, a seafood boil is questionable if it doesn’t include big flavor and spices- just keeping it real. You’ll love the heaps of flavor from Cajun seasoning and Old Bay spices all throughout: in the boil itself and in the luscious garlic butter sauce, swoon.

⇢ Whether it’s this miso shrimp scampi, my mahi mahi w/ butter sauce, or this dreamy, soul-hugging Cajun gumbo, I just love me some seafood dishes!

seafood boil with corn and potatoes on large silver baking sheet

Seafood Boil Recipe Highlights

⇢ First, let’s discuss some main highlights that you’ll appreciate here:

  • SOOO EASY, YAY: One of my favorite things about a seafood boil is how effortless they are when it comes to cooking. Plus, there’s also very little hands-on work you’ll have to do here: it’s what I call a low-effort, high reward recipe! Therefore, it makes this Cajun seafood boil clutch for busy weeknights, entertaining, and everything in between. Yes, indeed.
  • LIP-SMACKING FLAVA: Over on this corner of the internet, there’s no skimping on flavor. The seafood boil ingredients cook up in a well-seasoned and extra flavorful boil broth. Next, that same boil is smothered in a flavor-filled garlic butter sauce that’ll make you wanna do a little jiggy-jig, ayyeee.
  • PERFECT FOR GATHERINGS: The summer is all about having cookouts, hanging with your family + friends, and connection galore. Well, a good ole seafood boil screams community and social gatherings, y’all. This recipe is the quintessential, communal meal to devour with a cozy group! 🫶🏾
ingredients for seafood boil laid out on baking sheet

Ingredients Needed For This Recipe:

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • For the Cajun seafood boil: Water, beer (optional), Cajun + Old Bay seasoning, hot sauce, onion, lemon, andouille sausage, baby potatoes, snow crab leg clusters, large shrimp, corn on the cob, and hard-boiled eggs (optional).
  • For the garlic butter sauce: Butter, garlic, lemon juice, Cajun + Old Bay seasoning, chopped parsley, smoked paprika, and hot sauce.

What’s The Key To A Good Boil?

Excellent question, let’s talk about. The key to a really phenomenal seafood boil is to make the liquid as flavorful as possible, friends. Without that deep penetrating flavor the ingredients will be bland and sad, oof. Beer is one of the elements that adds a little razzle dazzle to enhance the boil broth. In addition to the beer, plenty of spices and aromatics make the liquid sing in flavorful notes. However, if beer is not your thing, you can surely proceed without it, too.

⇢ I recommend using lagers, IPAs, or pilsners for choices of beer! 👍🏾

onions and lemons simmering in broth in yellow pot

How To Make This Cajun Seafood Boil:

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Prepare the boil. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, combine the water and beer (if using). Bring the liquid to a boil. Season the boil with the Cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, and a few dashes of hot sauce- to taste. Add the sliced onion and lemon wedges into the pot. Stir to combine and let the mixture boil for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the andouille & potatoes into the pot, stirring well. Let the andouille and potatoes cook for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  3. Add the seafood & corn. Nestle the snow crab clusters into the pot along with the shrimp and corn on the cob. Continue boiling for another 5-7 minutes, cooking until the shrimp is pink. Meanwhile, make the sauce.
  4. Make the garlic butter sauce. On a separate burner, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, garlic, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, parsley, Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, and hot sauce- to taste. Stir and simmer the sauce until the butter melts and the sauce is well combined, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Assemble cajun seafood boil with sauce. Line an extra large baking sheet with newspaper or foil/parchment paper. Use a spider strainer to remove the seafood boil contents from the pot and place onto the prepared baking sheet along with the hard boiled eggs (if using). Pour the garlic butter sauce over the seafood boil ingredients and toss to coat.
  6. Serve this Cajun seafood boil immediately as-is on the baking sheet or divide the boil onto individual plates to serve if you prefer. Enjoy!
cajun seafood boil with garlic butter sauce on baking sheet

FAQs & Tips + Tricks For Recipe Success

Here’s some extra tidbits & more information about this seafood boil recipe:

  • Use an extra large pot: Seafood boils require cooking in a very large pot because once the liquid and food is added, the pot will be very full. I use my largest dutch oven (it’s about 10 quarts). Any super big stock pot or dutch oven is recommended for all the ingredients to fit nicely.
  • Beer replacement: Great alternatives to using beer include chicken broth/stock or any nonalcoholic beer as an easy substitute.
  • Cajun seasoning: This type of seasoning is a blend that contains salt, red pepper, black pepper, garlic, and more. Brands like Slap Ya Mama or Tony Chachere’s stay in my kitchen pantry for all that Cajun-forward flava!
  • Old Bay seasoning: Seafood and Old Bay are like besties, it just is what it is. This well-known seafood staple is another seasoning blend that contains celery salt, pepper, and paprika to name a few.
  • Andouille: This is pre-cooked sausage and comes packed with a touch of heat (it’s smoked, nicely seasoned, and a staple among Cajun cuisine), but you can also use any other smoked sausage that you favor. Kielbasa or beef sausage make great substitutes for andouille.
  • Potatoes: Use any small/baby potato variety. Red potatoes are common for seafood boils, but I love baby Yukon gold potatoes for their buttery flesh- either one or a combination of both is nice as well!
  • Shrimp: I recommend using colossal shrimp or jumbo shrimp for this Cajun seafood boil. In fact, I typically grab super jumbo tiger shrimp that’s deveined with the peel still on. Peel-and-eat, big shrimp works beautifully here as it delivers meaty, plump bites of shrimp that’s more flavorful.
black hands peeling shrimp over cajun seafood boil plate

Types Of Seafood For Seafood Boil

The types of seafood called for in this recipe will guide you on a really good seafood boil session, but you can also deviate and customize it to your liking! My Cajun seafood boil calls for snow crab clusters and shrimp- more options such as mussels, clams, other crab varieties (king crab legs, Dungeness crab, etc.), crawfish, and lobster tails all work well in seafood boils. Just use about 2 – 2 ½ pounds of your favorite seafood in the boil (make sure the crab you select is pre-cooked!). You can use frozen seafood just fine in this recipe, too.

⇢ It’s important to note that not all seafood cooks at the same rate, let’s look into some cooking time frames for specific seafood:

  • Pre-cooked crab: 5-7 minutes (maybe 1-2 minutes longer for bigger pieces)
  • Crawfish: about 4-5 minutes for small ones
  • Mussels & clams: about 5 minutes or until the shells open up
  • Lobster tails: about 5-6 minutes for a 5-6 ounce tail (or look for the lobster shell to turn bright red with opaque flesh)

How To Serve Your Cajun Seafood Boil

Seafood boils are traditionally served by emptying the ingredients onto a newspaper-lined table. Pour the buttery sauce over the goods and then everyone just goes after whatever they desire. It’s quite chaotic and fun in the very best way! Additionally, it makes the clean-up much easier. However, I like to serve it on an extra large baking sheet or platter. Everything is more contained and the garlic butter sauce doesn’t soak into the newspaper.

cajun seafood boil with garlic butter sauce on white oval plate

Summer is here and this Cajun Seafood Boil needs to be enjoyed by you and all of your peeps, everyone’s gonna love! Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

Ingredients

For the cajun seafood boil:

  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 (12-ounce) can of beer- optional but highly recommended
  • 3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly sliced into half-moons
  • 1 large lemon, cut into wedges- plus more for serving
  • 12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lb baby potatoes, red or gold (or a mix of both)
  • 1 lb pre-cooked snow crab leg clusters, fresh or frozen
  • 1 – 1 ½ lbs jumbo shrimp, deveined, shell-on or peeled
  • 4–6 ears sweet corn on the cob, I use the mini ones
  • 4–6 hard boiled eggs- optional

For the garlic butter sauce:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 10 cloves of garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Hot sauce, to taste

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Instructions

  1. Prepare the boil. In an extra large stockpot or dutch oven (about 10 quarts or larger) over medium-high heat, combine the water and beer (if using). Bring the liquid to a boil. Then season the boil with the Cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, and a few dashes of hot sauce- to taste. Add the sliced onion and lemon wedges into the pot. Stir all the ingredients well to thoroughly combine. Let the mixture boil for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the andouille & potatoes. Carefully add the andouille sausage rounds and baby potatoes into the pot, stirring well to fully combine with the boil. Let the andouille and potatoes cook for 15-20 minutes- or until the potatoes are just about fork-tender.
  3. Add the seafood & corn. Gently nestle the snow crab clusters into the pot along with the shrimp and corn on the cob. Be sure that everything is fully submerged under the boil and carefully stir to ensure all ingredients are well combined. Continue boiling for another 5-7 minutes, cooking until the shrimp is pink. Meanwhile, prepare the garlic butter sauce.
  4. Make the garlic butter sauce. On a separate burner, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, garlic, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, parsley, Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, and hot sauce- to taste. Stir all ingredients and simmer the sauce until the butter melts and the sauce is well combined, stirring often, about 5-7 minutes. Then remove from heat.
  5. Assemble cajun seafood boil with sauce. Line an extra large baking sheet with foil/parchment paper (or newspaper if you’d like!). Use a spider strainer to remove the seafood boil contents from the pot and place onto the prepared baking sheet along with the hard boiled eggs (if using)- remove and discard the onion/lemon bits. Note: If you’d like your garlic butter sauce to be thinner, you can add some of the seafood boil broth to adjust to desired consistency. Now, this is the fun part! Pour the garlic butter sauce over the seafood boil ingredients. Then use your hands (fitted with disposable gloves if desired) to toss the sauce with everything, smothering every nook and cranny in sauce.
  6. Serve seafood boil. Feel free to serve this Cajun seafood boil as-is with everyone just grabbing what they’d like from the baking sheet directly (it’s the chaos and messiness of seafood boils that are so fun!) or divide the boil onto individual plates to serve if you prefer. Serve immediately with lemon wedges, if desired. Be sure to sop up any runaway garlic butter sauce. Enjoy!

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