Shrimp Boil

A shrimp boil is one of my favorite parties —–no dirty dishes. This is also a completely portable party. My favorite spot is on the beach. When we have a large crowd, we borrow an extra turkey fryer or two. The following recipe uses 1 large 34 quart turkey fryer with a strainer basket that goes almost to the top of the pot. One pot serves about 10-12 people.

First cover your entire table with freezer paper, shiny side up. Let the cooking begin!

Printable Shopping List and Instructions

Fill turkey fryer about 2/3 full of water. Bring to a boil and add 2 pkgs of Zatarain’s spice mix, 1/4 – 1/2 bottle Zatarain’s Shrimp and Crab oil, 1 cup of salt and garlic. Boil for 15 minutes


Add potatoes, boil for 7-8 minutes


Corn goes in next for 5 minutes (if corn is frozen you might need to turn up the heat for a minute to get your water boiling again)


Add kielbasa, cook for 8 minutes


Add onions, and squeeze lemon juice into pot and then toss the lemons into the water, boil 3- 4 minutes (oops picture is wrong – add the garlic at the beginning!)


Add shrimp and cook 5 minutes or just until shrimp turns pink.


Turn off the heat, immediately pull basket from the water and let drain.


Pour contents of basket onto your freezer paper covered table


Serve with sliced baguette sprinkled down the table and bottles of squeeze butter, cocktail sauce and spicy mustard. Remember NO knives, forks, spoons or plates allowed! This is all finger food and condiments are squeezed directly onto the table! When finished just roll up the paper and give everyone a finger wipe!


Put on some Zydeco (zi-dee-coe) music and have a great time!

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31 Responses to “Shrimp Boil”

  1. laeroport Says:

    Yum! When’s the next shrimp boil?

  2. Stacy Says:

    Awesome! Sounds & looks fabulous!

  3. Michelle Says:

    How incredibly fun is that?! I’m doing this on my dining room table this weekend, to celebrate my daughter’s first week of Kindergarten. I think my kids will absolutely love it. I may have to replace the carpet next week, but oh well!

  4. Alicia A. Says:

    Holy smokes- that looks fun! And yummy.

  5. blondee47 Says:

    What are u using as a heat element and where do u buy one like it?

  6. Geo Says:

    I will wade in as the offical hand modeler and head cook. We use a propane gas burner (might be called a turkey fryer) that can be purchased at Sams, Costco, etc. It comes complete with the burner, pot, basket, handle to pull the basket out of the pot, etc. For a crowd the size in this blog we used two burners. All of this along with your favorite beverage, some Cajun music, a roll of paper towels and by golly you have a party! It gets really quiet when the food hits the table except for the compliments to my wonderful blogging chef! LOVE YOU LOU!!!!!!!!!

  7. amy h Says:

    That looks so yummy! I may have to try a mini version in my soup pot (we don’t have a turkey fryer).

  8. Leigh Ann Says:

    In SC they call it frogmore stew. So yummy!

    Cheers! LA

  9. heidi Says:

    that sounds fabulous cindy! i haven’t done that since i was at my grandmother’s in seattle. you are making me homesick! the dear hubby is deathly allergic to shellfish.

  10. Mslil65 Says:

    Ohhhh…I am jealous! That looks so yummy…I need to convince my husband that we need to have a party!

  11. Laurie Says:

    I tagged you for the ‘Great Tip Award’! You are so amazing, not only do you have great ideas but also how-to pics. I really am inspired by your blog. It looks like you guys had a blast at your shrimp boil.

  12. Jenn Says:

    Yuuuum. We used to go to crawfish boils like that. Yum, yum, yum!

  13. Jenny Says:

    The absolute best party you will ever have and we luckily know the best cooks!! FUN!!!!!

  14. Jim Says:

    We followed the instructions at an Oklahome State University football tailgating party. Some things were a little vague, but here’s what we did and the results were awesome. We divided a hole garlic head into individul cloves and left the outside skin on. We put the garlic in first with the spices after the water came to a boil. We used some spicy sausage from Sam’s Club (I can’t remember the name but is comes in a package of 7 or 8 pieces about 9″ long). We used fresh corn on the cob, shucked and cut into 3 or 4″ pieces the night before. The corn was the best I have ever tasted. We used large frozen shrimp (deveined). We could have used whole shrimp, however we thought that having to dig out that tube of (the S word) would not be appreciated by our tailgating team. We did 2 batches of of the shrimp boil. On the second batch we added 1 gallon of water, 2 Zatarans dry and the other half of the liquid. I think the second batch was better and next time we plan on using 4 packs of spices and an entire bottle of the liquid. The proportions worked out about right. We used about 15 small red potatoes, 14 half ears of corn, one entire package of sausage cut into 1″ pieces, about 5 small onions (pealed and cut into 4 pieces with the top end left to keep the pieces connected) and we used 2 lbs. of large shrimp. We did not leave the shrimp in for 5 minutes….we watched them and removed them when they were pink. We used Bookbinders Coctail Sauce (also from Sam’s Club). To sum it up…this was the greatest tailgating ever. Next week we plan to grill Bobby Flay’s Cuban Style Burgers. The recipe is easy to find on Google. The only thing we change is that we make the burgers 1/2 pound in lieu of the 1/4 called for on the recipe.

  15. Wanett Says:

    Man does that look good. I always wanted to try this. Need a backyard first =)

  16. jeffcath Says:

    What a great idea! Where’d you get the recipe? I kid, I kid…

    Hope things are going well for you.


  17. maven Says:

    We did this for my cousin’s college graduation, only we boiled crawfish instead of shrimp. The cook also added a large bottle of McElhenny’s tobasco to each pot. It sure made the accompanying margaritas taste good too. What a BLAST!

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  19. Wandering Chopsticks Says:

    What a coincidence! I just had a shrimp boil last night too. 🙂

  20. Julie Says:

    We just did this for 75 people yesterday. We used your website as our bible. It is the most comprehensive easiest to follow – THANK YOU! Us inlanders (way inlanders from Minnesota) don’t know how to do this sort of thing! But thanks to your site our party was a hit and everyone left saying they too were going to host a seafood boil.

  21. Carolyn Says:

    To feed 10-12 people how much corn, sausage, lemon, garlic, onions, and shrimp did you use? I guess I need the recipe. lol

  22. Ingrown Hair Scanrs Says:

    This was a outstanding

  23. Neal Hornaday Says:

    I host two a year but I do crawfish and shrimp boil. You gotta use the spices to make this work. I have a 100qt pot, so I do this in volume. I use the Louisiana crawfish/shrimp boil dry seasoning( by far the best flavor). One 2lbs package per 100t container is more seasoning than you will need, I had some of my cajuns screaming spicy. Add all the veggies, potatoes, celery, califlower, onion, garlic first and the seasoning and bring to a boil. Then add the sausage and corn, last but not least add the crawfish and bring to a boil for 10 min and then turn heat off. Allow to soak for 20-30 min and then add the shrimp no need to turn the heat back on as they will simmer. Remove once the shrimp turn pink and chow down.

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  26. JW Nyland Says:

    Hello Uncle Lou,

    Thank you so much for the recipe! I cooked everything exactly how you recommended and it was PEFECT! I cooked up four pots over Memorial Weekend and fed a ton of folks out on Lake Travis TX. Everyone loved it and there was not one complaint! People were begging for more! All the best!

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