This incredibly delicious Cajun seafood boil combines crawfish, gulf shrimp, smoked sausage, corn on the cob, potatoes, and more! It's a meal that's absolutely perfect for entertaining guests - and completely suitable as the centerpiece of your gathering!
This flavorful Cajun seafood boil is a memorable meal to share with friends!
Gather your friends for a tried and true Cajun Seafood Boil! Talk about a fun meal for parties! It’s a beautiful, colorful treat that tastes as good as it looks.
The key to this seafood boil is fresh gulf shrimp, smoked sausage, and some traditional whole crawfish. Throw in corn on the cob and potatoes. Then douse everything in a spice-filled butter complete with Cajun seasoning, garlic, onion, and lemon.
While it may be filled with many different ingredients, it’s uncomplicated and quick to make. I can’t say enough about this refreshing and flavorful family-style meal that’s impossible to forget.
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
- It’s great for parties! This dish is incredibly easy to make in large amounts - you could feed an army!
- Super fast. You can have an impressive meal for six–or more! All in just 35 minutes!
- It’s special! This is a unique dish that you don’t normally get to eat every day!
Anything with this much seafood is something to look forward to. The Cajun garlic butter is the proverbial icing on the cake.
Cajun Seafood Boil Ingredients
- Butter - Everything's better with butter!
- Yellow Onion - Chop this or a white onion up for a delicious, rich taste.
- Garlic - Dice it, slice it, or smash it.
- Old Bay Seasoning - Old bay is a delightful mix of paprika, celery seed, mustard, salt, red pepper, black pepper, etc. that is commonly used with seafood.
- Cajun Seasoning - This is a must-have blend for traditional Cajun cuisine use mine or store bought..
- Bay Leaves - Bay leaves are a simple way to add tons of flavor to any soup.
- Lemon - Citrus adds a fresh twist in a sea of savory spices.
- Salt and Pepper - These are classic seasonings for almost any dish!
- Water - Boil your potatoes in seasoned water, and they’ll soak up the flavor.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes - Feel free to use any yellow or white potato–whole, halved, or quartered.
- Sweet Corn - Sweet corn is my favorite summer treat!
- Smoked Sausage - Slice up your favorite kind.
- Crayfish - These may not be at your average grocer’s; try your nearest seafood shop!
- Gulf Shrimp - Buy them raw–grey in color–for best results.
Garlic Butter Sauce combines butter, yellow onion, garlic, lemon, and cajun seasoning.
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
You’ll need a slew of seasonings and seafood to make this, but the cooking process is simple. Pull out one big pot for the seafood and a small skillet for the garlic butter sauce.
Cajun Seafood Boil
- To begin, saute the onion. Put 1 tablespoon of butter into a large stockpot and melt over medium heat. Add 1 large, chopped yellow onion and saute until it starts to become translucent. It should take 2-3 minutes.
- Next add seasonings and boil. Stir in 8 cloves of diced garlic, 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, 4 whole bay leaves, the juice of 1 large lemon, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 16 cups of water. Bring it all to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Cook the potatoes. Cut 1 ½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes into halves or quarters. If they’re bite-sized, leave them whole. Drop them all into the pot, cover, and cook for 10 minutes until they start becoming tender. Turn down the heat if needed to prevent the liquid from boiling over.
- Finally, add the corn, seafood, and meat. When the potatoes are starting to get tender, drop in 4 ears of quartered sweet corn and 14 ounces sliced, smoked sausage. Add another 5 minutes of cooking time.
Then transfer 24 ounces of whole crawfish and 24 ounces of gulf shrimp to the pot. Put the lid back on and shut off the stove. Leave everything to sit while you make the lemon garlic butter sauce.
Garlic Butter Sauce
- Saute the garlic and onion. Heat a skillet on medium heat. Put ½ cup butter in and wait for it to melt. Dice ½ a yellow onion and add it to the pan. Saute for 2-3 minutes before adding 1 tablespoon minced garlic. Continue to cook for another minute.
- Add seasonings. Stir in 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, and the juice and zest from ½ a large lemon.
- Toss into the seafood and serve. Drain the seafood mixture and add the sauce. Stir to coat everything before serving immediately.
💭 Tips & Recipe Notes
This can be as mild or as spicy as you’d like!
- To kick up the heat, add more Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes to the garlic butter sauce. Remember, there is a bit of seasoning already on the seafood, be conservative at first.
Use the sauce for dipping.
- You can also serve the garlic butter sauce on the side as a dipping sauce. It’s amazing with a side of toasted bread!
Looking for something new to do with second-day leftover seafood?
- Take shrimp and crayfish out of their shells and chop them in pieces. Add an egg or two, sour cream or milk, breadcrumbs, and spices to make crawfish cakes! Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and fry them until golden.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Keep leftovers in an airtight container or a plastic bag with the air pushed out, and you can enjoy this meal for up to 4 days after it’s been cooked.
If your gulf shrimp were fresh, you can freeze your leftovers. However, you should never refreeze shrimp. So if your shrimp had to be thawed before you added them to the boil, leave any extra food in the fridge.
When freezing, put cooled leftovers in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. It will be good for up to three months.
To reheat, turn the oven on 275℉ (135℃). While waiting for it to heat up, put leftovers on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle it with a bit of water. Cover it with foil and bake for at least 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 125-130℉ (52-54℃).
If you stored your butter sauce separately, you can also steam leftovers in a large pot fit with a steamer. Heat 2-inches of water to boiling, add leftovers, and leave covered for 6-8 minutes before mixing with melted Cajun garlic butter sauce.
To reheat from a frozen state, thaw in the fridge overnight before following the instructions above.
🦐 What To Serve With A Cajun Seafood Boil
- French Bread
- Acorn Squash
- Steamed Broccoli
- Baked Parmesan Zucchini Rounds
- Cob Loaf
- Rustic Bread
- Sauteed Broccolini
You can use anything you like, but I have a few favorites. I would recommend Johnsonville Smoked Andouille, Johnsonville New Orleans Andouille, and Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage.
The important thing is to buy something precooked–something you could just slice off and snack on–so that it cooks quickly. Limit the additions like apple, cheese, or sage; you’re already seasoning it and don’t want interference.
I strongly recommend you don’t use the microwave to reheat seafood. It is very likely to dry out, overcook, and put off pungent fishy smells.
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Cajun Seafood Boil
Cajun Seafood Boil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large yellow onion (or white onion, chopped)
- 8 cloves garlic (diced, sliced, or smashed)
- 2 tablespoon old bay seasoning
- 2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 4 whole bay leaves
- 1 large lemon (juiced)
- 1 teaspoon each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- 16 cups water
- 1 ½ lbs Yukon Gold potatoes (yellow or white potato - whole, halved, or quartered)
- 4 ears sweet corn (quartered)
- 14 oz smoked sausage (one package, sliced)
- 24 oz crawfish (whole)
- 24 oz gulf shrimp (whole)
Garlic Butter Sauce
- ½ cup butter (1 stick unsalted butter)
- ½ large yellow onion (diced)
- 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
- ½ large lemon (juice and zest)
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (to taste)
Cajun Seafood Boil
- In a large stockpot, warm the butter over medium heat until melted. Add chopped onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until just beginning to turn translucent.1 tablespoon butter, 1 large yellow onion
- Add in the garlic, old bay seasoning, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and water. Stir to mix and bring to boil over medium-high heat.8 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoon old bay seasoning, 2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, 4 whole bay leaves, 1 large lemon, 1 teaspoon each, salt & pepper, 16 cups water
- Once your water is boiling, add the potatoes (leave whole if small, halve or quarter to have evenly sized potatoes) and cook covered for about 10 minutes or until starting to get tender. *Reduce heat if necessary to prevent boiling over.1 ½ lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
- Add the corn and smoked sausage, cover, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Then add the crawfish and shrimp, return the cover and turn off the heat. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes while you make the garlic butter sauce.4 ears sweet corn, 14 oz smoked sausage, 24 oz crawfish, 24 oz gulf shrimp
Garlic Butter Sauce
- Bring a skillet to medium heat, add the butter and melt. Add diced onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and continue sauteing for an additional minute.½ cup butter, ½ large yellow onion, 1 tablespoon garlic
- Add the Cajun seasoning along with lemon juice and zest, then stir to incorporate. Serve on the side, or toss the drained seafood boil in the lemony garlic butter sauce.½ large lemon, 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!