Wow your friends and family by treating them to a one pot Shrimp and Crab Boil. Super simple to make, feeds 8 hungry adults, and is done in under an hour!
If you love seafood and love getting together with friends and family I highly suggest hosting a Shrimp and Crab Boil at your home! With just a few ingredients you can truly have a memorable dinner with the people you love.
If you find yourself intimidated to cook fish this might be the first recipe I encourage you to try and make. I can honestly tell you it’s probably one of the easiest seafood recipes to cook. With a few ingredients your dinner will be made, and you’ll have wowed your guest.
In this post you will learn everything you need to make a seafood boil at home.
- Chesapeake Bay Seafood Spice
- Lemons – for cooking and garnish!
- Fingerling potatoes
- Corn on the cob – cut these into pieces!
- Crab legs
- Salted butter- for dipping your shrimp and crab into!
- First, you will want to use a large 5 gallon pot, and fill the pot halfway with water. Bring to a rolling boil then add in the seafood spice. Mix with a large spoon then add in the lemons, garlic bulb, fingerling potatoes, corn, and kielbasa. Cook for 20 minutes with the lid on. Stir occasionally.
- Add in the shrimp and crab legs. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Once shrimp turn pink and crab legs are red turn the heat off. Carefully drain as much liquid out of the pot. Place food on trays and in bowls or line a table with newspaper and spread the cooked (drained) food on newspaper.
- Enjoy immediately. Serve with melted butter ramekins, fresh lemon, and crusty bread.
You will notice from the photos above that we opted for our 20 gallon turkey fryer to cook the boil in. All the ingredients just about filled up almost the entire pot! I wasn’t sure if the 8 of us would be able to eat this much seafood but clearly we had no problem.
How do you host a seafood boil?
There are multiple ways to host a seafood boil at home.
- You can go the traditional route and line a table with newspaper and dump the drained boil directly in the middle of the table. Have a few empty bowls out to discard shrimp shells and cracked crab legs.
- A little less mess — use large bowls to hold all the seafood. Once again, make sure you have a few empty bowls to discard the shells!
- Provide your family and friends with plastic disposable bibs, crab claw crackers, crab picks, and some mini ramekins to hold melted butter.
I love to serve pitchers of sangria with a seafood boil. It’s my summertime entertaining drink of choice. It’s quick to mix up and best of all your guest can fill up their own cups when they need it. Of course, most light beers also compliment this meal as well as summertime cocktails!
A few of my favorite things to serve with a shrimp boil are: Coleslaw, macaroni & cheese, pasta salad, even baked beans! Of course, don’t forget the crusty bread!
Once you have water to a rolling boil it should only take 2-3 minutes to cook shrimp. That is if it’s on it’s own. If you have other seafood in the pot like this recipe calls for it will take about 5 minutes.
Still craving Seafood? Try these other seafood recipes.
If you make this recipe, I would be honored and love for you to take the time to leave a ⭐ star rating and comment! I spend hours developing and testing these recipes, and always love to hear feedback and user experience!
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Shrimp and Crab Boil
- Large 20 Gallon Pot
- 2 2.62 oz Containers of Old Bay Seasoning
- 2 lemons cut in half plus additional for serving
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 3 lb fingerling potatoes
- 8 ears of corn cut in half
- 2 kielbasa rings cut in 2-inch pieces
- 3½ lb large shrimp
- 7 lb crab legs
- 1 stick salted butter divided
- In a large 5 gallon pot, fill the pot halfway with water. Bring to a rolling boil then add in the two containers of seafood seasonings such as Old Bay.
- Mix with a large spoon then add in the lemons, garlic bulb, fingerling potatoes, corn, and kielbasa. Cook for 20 minutes with lid on. Stir occasionally.
- Add in the shrimp and crab legs. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Once shrimp turn pink and crab legs are red turn the heat off.
- Carefully drain as much liquid out of the pot. Place food on trays and in bowls or line a table with newspaper and spread the cooked food on newspaper. Enjoy immediately. Serve with melted butter ramekins, fresh lemon, and crusty bread.
- Stock Pot – A 20 gallon turkey fryer pot worked best for cooking for 8 hungry adults. It gave ample space for all the food to cook evenly.
- Seafood Seasoning – This recipe calls for two, 2.62 oz. of Old Bay Seasoning. Any seafood seasoning will work for this recipe.
- Serve – Serve with melted butter ramekins, fresh lemon, and crusty bread.
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Can I cut this recipe in half since it will only be about 4 of us
Hi Victoria, absolutely! Just reduce all the ingredients by half!
Going to try to use this recipe for 20 people, can I just adjust all ingredients by 1 1/2?
Hi Don, thank you for reaching out. You can most definitely can. I would suggest cooking this in two 20 gallon stock pots and/or even 3! I would suggest planning on a half to a full pound of shrimp per person (better to have too much then not enough) and a little less then a half pound of potatoes per person. I would say about 10 lbs of potatoes and 10-20 pounds of shrimp! I hope your dinner is a success!
Can you elaborate as to the quantity of the seafood spice? Recipe call for 2. Does that mean 2 full containers?
Hi John, great question. Yes, 2 full containers! I’ll update the notes section now to clarify for future cooks who try this recipe.
Can you translate the word “Vanns” what is it equivalent to? I’ve googled with no luck other than it being a brand name. How much seafood spice do we use? Thanks!!
Hi Trucia– Vann’s is a type of seasoning. It’s just like Old Bay Seasoning. I’m going to update the recipe card to clarify for others.
Hi Katie, Planning on following this recipe this weekend. Do you add the entire garlic bulb, unpeeled?
Hi Michael, Yes, I place the full garlic bulb unpeeled in the pot of water with all the other ingredients. If you want to use the garlic to smear on bread after it’s cooked, simply squeeze the bulb and the cooked garlic will come out soft and full of flavor!
thanks for this recipe. Ít’s fun!
Healthy dinner ideas! thanks KATIE!
Tania // Run to Radiance
Wow, that looks SO good! I love that tablecloth and that serving ware – World Market has the cutest stuff !
Thank you! Yes–love the tablecloth too! So thick and durable for many meals outdoors this summer!