There is nothing tastier or more satisfying than a spicy seafood boil. Tender pieces of shrimp, and other seafood, sausages, corn and potatoes cooked up in a delicious broth and then served with the tastiest buttery seafood boil sauce that you will not be able to get enough of. This one pot recipe is very simple and great for feeding a crowd and I’m happy I teamed up with Metro Ontario to share my recipe for a delicious and easy seafood boil. They had everything I needed to make this amazing seafood boil! This recipe is very versatile and I will break each component up to make it even easier.
The boil or broth
The secret to a seafood boil is taking it one step at a time. First, start with a large pot - I mean the largest one you have and if you don’t have one large one just use two, splitting everything evenly. Then simmer a flavor-packed mixture or broth of lemons, beer, Old bay seasoning, onions, and garlic with small new potatoes to give them a head start. If you don’t like beer you can use white wine in it’s place or skip it altogether. It is very important to season this generously because it is what everything gets cooked in and gets its flavour from. I chose a simple Old bay seasoning blend for this boil - which is a classic southern mix but feel free to use a Cajun one if you prefer the flavours in that blend. The aroma in the kitchen is just so good when this is boiling - the flavours are wonderful!
What goes in a seafood boil?
Now that we talked about the base of the seafood boil let’s talk about what goes into it. There really are no rules as to what goes in. There are some classic items but it’s always best to make it your own - place the things you love in it and that you will enjoy. It’s always good to have all your ingredients ready before hand - which will make this seafood boil even faster to make and ensure you don’t overcook the seafood. Here is a list of the most common seafood boil items:
- Seafood: shell fish like clams, mussels and shrimp, also crab legs and if lobster is in the budget it’s a great addition or any other seafood you like. You can alter the amounts of seafood depending on what’s in season and what your budget is like. Make sure to throw out any shell fish that does not open. You can use fresh or frozen seafood in this recipe. Most frozen seafood is fully cooked, and then frozen. Keep that in mind and adjust cooking times accordingly. If it is pre-cooked, cut the cooking time by 5-10 minutes.
- Sausage: feel free to omit this ingredient if you are not a fan. You could use any type of sausage you like - even a good vegan one would work too. I tend to stick to a smoked sausage not just because of the flavour but because it doesn’t need to be cooked. It’s already smoked. If you are using a sausage that needs to be cooked make sure to allow enough time for it to cook before adding the seafood or precook it before adding it to the boil.
- Potatoes: I always use baby red potatoes because they hold-up and do not get so mushy. Potatoes can be boiled before hand if you like which will make cooking this boil even quicker.
- Corn on the cob- fresh or frozen works in this recipe. Some do the corn whole but I prefer to chop mine as it’s easier to serve and fits in the pot better. Corn can be boiled before hand if you like which will make cooking this boil even quicker.
- Optional additions: here is where you can get creative. Feel free to add in any veggie you like or even boiled eggs. I have seen some with loads of other veggies - just make sure to time them well to ensure they are cooked through
What is seafood boil sauce?
This is the third component of a great seafood boil and its soooo good you’ll want to dip just about everything in it. A Seafood Boil Sauce is the rich, buttery and often spicy sauce that goes with a seafood boil. Butter and garlic are the main ingredients in this sauce, improved only by the addition of herbs and spices. It’s simple to make and you can make the sauce ahead of time too. Store the homemade seafood sauce in an airtight container and it’ll last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper and all the seasonings to your preferred level of spiciness and to your taste.
How to make seafood boil
- Step 1: Bring water, beer, and flavorings to a to a boil
- Step 2: Add potatoes, sausage and corn and cover and cook for 12-15 minutes. Next you’ll add things based on how long they take to cook.
- Step 4: Crab legs, shrimp, clams and mussels only take a few minutes so make sure the potatoes and corn are almost done before you start adding the seafood.
- Step 5: When the potatoes and corn are done, add uncooked lobster tails, and clams and cook for 3-5 min. If the tails are already cooked wait to add them until the end. Next add the crab legs, mussels and shrimp and foo for no more then 3-5 min. Try to keep the lid on the pot while it’s cooking so that you don’t lose all those great flavors. If your pot is not enormous, you might have to crack the lid to keep it from boiling over.
- Step 6: Drain reserving 1 cup of the broth for the seafood sauce if making. Discard any unopened clams or mussels. Pour out ingredients onto a platter, over newspaper or baking paper or a large rimmed baking sheet works nicely. Serve with sauce, lemon wedges and garnish with chopped fresh parsley and enjoy!
Here are some more seafood recipe you will love:
- One Pan Creamy Gnocchi With Shrimp and Spinach
- One Pot Shrimp Pasta Primavera
- Grilled Lobster Tail and Steak Platter With a Greek Chimichurri Butter
- Cajun Grilled Shrimp Boil
- Simple Cioppino
I have partnered up with Metro Ontario to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
For seafood boil
- 4 quarts (3.75 lit or 16 cups) Water
- 24 oz (710 ml or 3 cups) beer
- 1 lemon quartered
- ½ cup Old Bay seasoning
- 8 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
- 1 onion peeled and quartered
- 2 bay leaf
- 1 pound baby red potatoes
- 4 ears of corn cut into thirds
- 1 pound smoked sausage cut into 1 inch pieces, (kielbasa or andouille)
- 1 pound of Split Rock Lobster Tails
- 1 pound pasta clams / Cultivated PEI Mussels, scrubbed (or both)
- 1 pound Wild-Caught Snow Crab Legs
- 1 pound Fresh water raw shrimp peeled and deveined (leave tails on)
For spicy seafood boil sauce (to pout over and dip)
- 1 cup butter, unsalted
- ¼ cup Olive oil
- 1 Onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- 1 cups reserved broth or chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
- 3 tablespoons Paprika
- 1 tablespoon Cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon Red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon Lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
For the boil
- Combine water, beer, Old Bay, bay leaf, lemons, garlic, and onions in a large (8- to 10-quart) stockpot; bring to a boil over medium-high.
- Add potatoes, sausage, and corn, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes
- Add the lobster tails and clams and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the crab legs, mussels and shrimp and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Drain the seafood mixture from the pot, reserving 1 cup of the broth for the garlic butter sauce. Discard any unopened clams or mussels. Serve with sauce, lemon wedges and garnished with fresh chopped parsley.
For the spicy garlic butter sauce (Can be made ahead-see recipe notes)
- Melt one stick of butter and olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until translucent.
- Add juice of the lemon, and all the seasonings.
- Add remaining stick of butter. Simmer until butter is melted
- Add broth and cook a few minutes until sauce is slightly thickened. Then Pour over seafood and/or reserve some for dipping.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
You can enjoy the seafood boil cold ofcourse but if you want to reheat it it there are 3 simple ways to do it:
- Simply separate the shrimp from the rest of the meal if you want the potatoes, corn and sausage served warm.
- If you want the entire thing warm, it’s easy to throw small batches into the microwave, but don’t cook too long. Overcooked shrimp is never a good thing.
- Boil some water, add more seasoning and throw the entire meal into the water long enough to reheat without cooking. Several minutes at the longest.
Repurposing leftover seafood boil:
- Make a seafood chowder. Chop and peal the boil ingredients into bite sized pieces (something you will likely have to do for any of these options) and add them to serving bowls and then pour over chowder broth or creamy base and serve.
- Seafood breakfast hash or even in a frittata
- Serve cold as a seafood or shrimp cocktail with shrimp Cocktail sauce
- Add the boil Ingredients into some sort of casserole or pie like a fisherman’s pie
- Make a creamy seafood pasta with the leftovers