A Shrimp Boil Recipe and Seasoning Mix Recipe

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I used to purchase shrimp boil seasoning until I learned that creating a seasoning mix recipe is so simple. Now I use it in my delicious shrimp boil recipe.

The Classic Shrimp Boil

Here in the south, there’s a tradition that comes with fall, a shrimp boil! It consists of many things that are harvested now, such as corn and onions, and proteins such as shrimp or crab. You can vary what you put into it, just use what are favorites in your family. The key to the seasoning is Old Bay®. Old Bay is a combination of spices that can be used on many things.

Shrimp Boil Recipe

First, you’ll need a big pot. The size depends on how much of the shrimp boil recipe you’ll be making. I have a large stainless steel canning pot that is perfect. Add a few gallons of water. Again, it depends on how much you’ll be making. This is a great project to do outside, but it can be done on the stove as well.
Bring the water to a boil. Add a stick of butter for each gallon of water. Use real butter, as margarine just won’t give you the same flavor. Add 1/4 cup of the shrimp boil seasoning mix for each gallon of water. It may seem like a lot of spice but you’re not making soup, you’re infusing spice into the protein and veggies, then removing everything from the liquid.
Here is a break down of the vegetables and proteins for each gallon of water of this shrimp boil recipe.


  • 1 pound potatoes, red potatoes work the best, washed and quartered (I don’t peel mine)
  • 1 medium onion, quartered (I use yellow onions)
  • 1/2 stalk celery, cut into quarters
  • 4 carrots, washed, but leave the skins on, quartered
  • 4 ears of sweet corn, cut in 2″ sections
  • 1-2 pounds of shrimp, shelled and deveined (or 1-2 pounds of crab legs, 1-2 pounds crawfish, or some combination of each)
  • Optional: throw in a half-pound of andouille sausage if you want a traditional cajun shrimp boil recipe.


Place the shrimp boil spice mix recipe and all the vegetables in the boiling water and simmer until tender. Add the shrimp or crab or crawfish. Simmer just a few minutes, then scoop all of it out onto big platters. Drizzle some melted butter on top of all of it. Serve family style!
You can vary the vegetables if you like. Red potatoes are best since they hold up to boiling and stay firm. Russets tend to get mealy and fall apart. I’ve added Sunchokes and rutabaga to mine, and even some cabbage. This also freezes well if you want to make some ahead for later.

Shrimp Boil Seasoning Recipe

This seasoning is very versatile and easy to make. I still can’t believe I’ve been buying it!

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

That’s all there is to it. Mix it up and place it into a jar that can be sealed. Use it for this recipe, or on chicken or fish or whatever. I know there are even some potato chips brands that use this same seasoning mix. In other words, it’s delicious! This shrimp boil seasoning recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for more volume.

Other Copy Cat Recipes Add Too Much

There are a lot of copy-cat recipes out there that contain coriander, cinnamon and bay leaf. These are not in the original recipe, so the flavor profile would be different. But feel free to experiment!
Shrimp boil recipes and seasonings aren’t complicated or expensive, so try it out and have a party!
A Shrimp Boil Recipe and Seasoning Mix Recipe was written by Debra Maslowski.

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