A shrimp boil party is one of my favorite kinds of parties – feed a crowd with no dirty dishes! This is also a completely portable party. My easy shrimp boil recipe makes for an instant success no matter where you are! Read on to pull off the ultimate shrimp boil.

Looking for a great party beverage that can be made in a picture? How about my margaritas? So easy and delicious. You will be all set for a fun and memorable party.

shrimp boil

Hosting the Perfect Shrimp Boil

My favorite spot is on the beach, but a classic shrimp boil is a meal that’s perfect for outdoors anywhere. Between the fresh shrimp, lemon wedges, the ears of corn and sausage, this meal is a sure summertime hit.

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. When we have a large crowd, we borrow an extra turkey fryer or two.

Ready to get started? First, cover your entire table with freezer paper, shiny side up. Now let the cooking begin!

Shrimp Boil Shopping List

Here is everything you need to host a shrimp boil:

  • 2 Zatarain’s Crab “n” Shrimp Boil in Bags
  • 1/2 bottle Zatarain’s Crab “n” Shrimp Boil oil
  • 1 Cup salt
  • 3-4 large onions (peeled and quartered)
  • 2 lemons cut in half
  • 6-10 whole ears of corn, cut in half, or 12-24 frozen small corn on the cob
  • 3 lbs Kielbasa cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 pounds large raw shrimp in shells (about 25 per lb)
  • 2 whole bulbs garlic, unpeeled with top sliced off
  • 18-24 small red potatoes
  • Freezer paper
  • Squeezable butter, spicy mustard and cocktail sauce
  • 2 baguettes sliced into 1 inch slices
  • 1 34 quart turkey fryer with strainer basket that goes almost to the top of the pot

Download this handy Printable Shopping List and Instructions to help you gather all your supplies!

How to Host a Shrimp Boil

First, fill the turkey fryer about 2/3 full of water. Bring to a boil and add your shrimp boil seasoning. My recipe calls for 2 packages of Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil in a Bag, 1/4 – 1/2 bottle Zatarain’s Shrimp and Crab oil, and 1 cup of salt and garlic. Boil for 15 minutes.

shrimp boil recipe

Next, add your potatoes, and boil for 7-8 minutes.

shrimp boil directions

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

shrimp boil ingredients

Now add kielbasa, cut into two-inch pieces. Cook for 8 minutes.

Shrimp boil ideas

Add onions. 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!)

shrimp boil party

Now add shrimp, and cook 5 minutes or just until shrimp turns pink. Remember not to overcook the shrimp!

shrimp boil adding shrimp

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

shrimp boil- training

Shrimp Boil Recipe

Download the recipe card below or print the shopping list above.

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5 from 13 votes

Shrimp Boil

EASY & FUN Party idea. Guests will love this delicious meal and you will love the easy clean-up.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes


  • 1 34 quart turkey fryer with strainer basket that goes almost to the top of the pot


  • 2 Zatarain’s Crab “n” Shrimp Boil in Bags
  • 1/2 bottle Zatarain’s Crab “n” Shrimp Boil oil
  • 1 Cup salt
  • 3-4 large onions peeled and quartered
  • 2 lemons cut in half
  • 6-10 whole ears of corn cut in half or 12-24 frozen small corn n the cob
  • 3 lbs Kielbasa cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 pounds large raw shrimp in shells about 25 per lb
  • 2 whole bulbs garlic unpeeled with top sliced o
  • 18-24 small red potatoes
  • Freezer paper
  • Squeezable butter
  • spicy mustard
  • cocktail sauce
  • 2 baguettes sliced into 1-inch slices


  • Bring water to a boil in a covered pot with large strainer basket (ll pot 2/3 full)
  • Add garlic, Zatarain’s spice bags, Zatarain’s oil and salt – boil for 15 minutes
  • Add potatoes – boil for 7 – 8 minutes
  • Add corn – boil for 5 minutes (if corn is frozen you may need to turn up the heat to get the water boiling again)
  • Add kielbasa – boil 8 minutes
  • Squeeze lemons into pot and then throw them in along with the onions – boil 3 – 4 minutes
  • Add Shrimp – boil for about 5 minutes or just until shrimp turns pink –don’t overcook.
  • If you don’t want to eat right away, turn off heat, pour a bag of ice into the pot and let sit 15 minutes,
  • drain and pour onto table covered in freezer paper.
  • OR
  • Turn off heat lift basket out of pot, allow to drain and then immediately pour onto your table covered with freezer paper (shiny side up).
  • Sprinkle sliced baguette down the table. Serve with squeezable butter, mustard and cocktail sauce–squeezed directly on the table. Encourage guests to squeeze cloves of garlic onto corn and potatoes.


Calories: 876kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 365mg | Sodium: 11627mg | Potassium: 2046mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 263mg | Iron: 8mg
Servings: 12
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Cindy Hopper

Ready to serve your shrimp boil? 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!

shrimp boil party

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

A big thanks to our dear friends Jeff and Cathy for showing us how to have the best party ever!

Shrimp Boil Tips

  • I use shell-on shrimp and prefer the larger sizes. If you use shelled shrimp, cook for only 3 minutes!
  • Shrimp cook very fast. If they start to curl into a circle, you’re overcooking them.
  • If you don’t want to eat right away, turn off the heat, pour a bag of ice into the pot and let sit 15 minutes, drain and pour onto the table.
  • OR Turn off heat, lift the basket out of the pot, allow to drain and then immediately pour onto your table covered with freezer paper (shiny side up).
  • Serve with extra lemon wedges and garlic at the table.
  • Serve with hot sauce if you’ve got some spice fans at your party.
  • If you’re having a bigger dinner, there’s plenty of food that goes great with a shrimp boil. Coleslaw, mac and cheese, and pasta salads are all easy cookout staples.
  • Some recipes call for adding crab or crayfish into the shrimp boil. It’s all good!

How do you devein a shrimp?

Raw shrimp are sometimes deveined, but not always. The “mud vein,” the black line on the back of a shrimp, is its digestive tract. It won’t hurt you to eat, but many people find it kind of gross when it’s filled with grit.

If you want to devein your shrimp before your shrimp boil, just use a sharp paring knife to make a cut along the top of the back. Then take the tip of the knife and slip it under the mud vein. It comes out of big shrimp pretty easily.

Remember to wash your hands well after handling the shrimp!

How do you make a boil? Got any shrimp boil recipe variations or serving tips? Leave a comment!

Need to feed a crowd? Try this Ham Buns Recipe. For more fun ideas… try these summer hacks.

Other Seafood Recipes Worth Trying

I would love to keep you fully stocked with creative ideas, yummy recipes, fun crafts, and loads of free printables. Subscribe to Skip to my Lou to get new ideas delivered to your inbox. Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram for all my latest updates.

About Cindy Hopper

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  1. I have lived in southwest louisiana (heart of cajun country) all my life and have never heard of a shrimp boil! My friend tells me they do them in shreveport. It’s always crawfish – same idea though. I think this is great!

  2. Are you from Louisiana? You must be! I am and boy do I love me some boiled shrimp and crawdads!!! Great work on the post! I hope the Northerners can try this out and start a trend up North!

  3. We had lots of leftover potatoes, some onions, and the boiled garlic. I ut them all in a pan with a couple cups of chicken stock.
    When it was heated through, I pureed it. (I had to use a food processor, all the while saying, I want a boat motor.)
    Return to the pot, adjust seasonings and added bacon pieces I had in the freezer. Heat through.
    At this point, I added 1 cup of heavy cream, stirred thoroughly, heated through and served with cheddar bread.
    As you can see, I was just winging it. I thought about adding some sausage instead of bacon. If there had been leftover shrimp, sausage and corn, that would have been great soup.

  4. I do almost the same boil only I use Texjoy mix, It is the only mix I need, no liquid required. I have two pots 1 48 Qt. and a 42 AQt. Everyone loves it with garlic bread and fried green tomatoes.

  5. I found your recipe one day and couldn’t wait to try it. We did it camping with a group or 27 (so 2 batches). It turned out great and everyone was commenting how delicious and fun it was. They even said it was restaurant quality! We all can’t wait to do it again! We had some potatoes left over and diced them and fried them the next morning for breakfast. Yum!
    Thank you for sharing the recipe and the tips – you helped us have a great meal with friends and create a wonderful memory!

  6. My kids from Texas did this very thing in our Ohio backyard for their rehearsal dinner and it was such a hit….made everyone meet and come together over a great feast.
    We are repeating it for Memorial Day for good friends..it has now become our favorite way of summer entertaining and I agree..easy clean up and prep

  7. Oh my goodness my mouth is watering…so wish I lived near or even semi-close to water, lol!!! Thanx for posting.

  8. I just came back from NOLA yesterday with 50 lbs of food that includes fresh shrimp. Im having a shrimp boil Sunday and was looking for a recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Awesome idea! I am having a shrimp boil on Saturday and was looking for a recipe. This is an even better idea. It’s also a birthday party! Awesome! Thank you for sharing

  10. We’ve had 2 shrimp boils so far, using your instructions. We’ve had SO MUCH fun! The kids love it and the food tastes so GOOOD!

  11. My family and I have a couple of shrimp boils every year. Heck, we have even done it for thanksgiving before. We use a simple but great dipping sauce recipe that we all love. If anyone likes buffalo wings, try this dipping sauce recipe with your next shrimp boil.

    1 part unsalted melted butter and 1 part “Trappy’s” Cayenne Pepper Sauce

    Told you it is simple, but absolutely delicious.

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