Garlic Butter Shrimp Boil

Can you handle this Garlic Butter Shrimp Boil? We’re talking butter-drizzled juicy shrimp, steamy corn and potatoes, and luscious little side dishes of garlic butter for extra dunking. YUM!

Hello! Here is what I think we should do:

Boil shrimp, summer sweet corn, baby red potatoes, and kielbasa sausage in a big pot.

Drain it all out and pour onto a table, platter, or big roasting pan.

And now drizzle, dunk, and double dunk them all in butter infused with garlic and thyme.

Thank you and goodnight!

This recipe could not be easier. You can make it more elaborate if you want! Because a shrimp boil is a thing of beauty and shows so much variety and character depending on how you do it and please, by all means, take this as your idea springboard and go do something creative or impressive or regionally specific. We will love you for it.

But if you’re looking for less of a full-blown elaborate meal and more of a quick-and-fun dinner solution, and/or you live in a non-coastal state such as… Minnesota (lol), this can still work! This can work beautifully.

Ingredients for a shrimp boil laid out on a table. There is a purple bubble over each ingredient with the ingredient name in the purple bubble.

SOS Ingredients, Anyone?

Here’s what we’re looking at for ingredients:

  • shrimp
  • potatoes
  • kielbasa
  • corn
  • spices (Old Bay, anyone? Cajun spice mix will also do)
  • lemon
  • butter

Throw some garlic from the pantry into your butter bath, and maybe a few sprigs of thyme, and you are looking at a REALLY DELICIOUS weeknight dinner that feels fun, saucy, and deliciously outside of the box.

Normally I’m just serving this to myself, my husband, and my toddler, and maybe a friend who happened to stop by, but even with my humble little homegrown crowd, it never fails to put stars in people’s eyes when you bring this out to the table and set it down with extra-dramatic flair.

The butter-drizzled juicy shrimp, steamy corn and potatoes, and the luscious little side dishes of garlic butter for extra dunking is a hungry food-lover’s delight.

Corn, shrimp, onions, and kielbasa sausage on a platter for a shrimp boil.

The Idea Behind This Shrimp Boil

The idea of a shrimp boil came into my life when I was at a cabin this summer and my sister, who has 4 young kidlets (bless her), made dinner for my entire family of 18+ people without even breaking a sweat. What did she make? A SHRIMP BOIL.

She told me that she makes it all the time at home because it’s super easy (boil everything and drizzle with butter) and her whole family loves it.

And at that point I was like, why haven’t I been doing this for my whole life.

I promptly went home and bought some Cajun seasoning and a container of Old Bay and got to work infusing my melted butter with thinly sliced garlic and a few sprigs of thyme. Why oh why oh why is it so good?

A shrimp boil on a sheet pan with garlic infused butter. A white hand is sprinkling Old Bay seasoning on top.

Source notes: According to Lobstergram, “while there’s no exact date of origin that we know of to place when seafood boils started, it’s safe to say that with the arrival of Cajun people from Maritime regions of Canada in the 1700’s, one of the culinary traditions they brought with them was the seafood boil.” This recipe may be closest to a South Carolina Frogmore Stew. Seafood boils are generally a Coastal food experience, but I’m bringing the coast to Minnesota today! 🙂 The type of seafood, the sides, and the style of preparation are dependent on the region, but in general, the concept of a shrimp or seafood boil is a communal event similar to a barbecue or a potluck. My sister initially gave me the idea for this recipe as a way to make a quick and easy dinner for a large group, as she does for her family, and then I watched this video from Joshua Weissman more about the variations and super foodie details that can go into a shrimp boil, which inspired me to add a few extras to her basic version. And where we ended is somewhere between the two – a delicious, low-key, memorable, keep-coming-back-for-more shrimp boil that tastes best when shared with family and friends.

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Garlic Butter Shrimp Boil


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Description

Can you handle this Garlic Butter Shrimp Boil? We’re talking butter-drizzled juicy shrimp, steamy corn and potatoes, and luscious little side dishes of garlic butter for extra dunking. YUM!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Shrimp Boil

  • 1 pound small potatoes (for the best flavor I recommend cutting in half or quarters so the insides of the potato can absorb the sauce)
  • 24 ears of corn, cut into small pieces
  • 1 pound kielbasa sausage, sliced
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • and any random things you have on hand that can make a very low key broth: onion, garlic, lemon, Cajun seasoning, salt – but I’ve boiled it with just water, too, and that will work!

Sauce:

  • 2 sticks of salted butter (you don’t have to use it all! my motto for garlic butter sauce is better too much than not enough)
  • 56 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • thyme sprigs (optional)
  • lemon wedges
  • Old Bay or Cajun-style seasoning


Instructions

  1. Butter Sauce: Melt your butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Add the garlic and just let it hang out over gentle, low heat to infuse all the garlic flavor into the butter and soften the little pieces of garlic. Add a few thyme sprigs if you want to be extra. Keep an eye on it so you don’t brown it or burn it. It will smell… how do I say this? AMAZING.
  2. Start Your Water / Broth: Fill a large (like, large) pot with water to about half capacity. Bring the water to boil over medium high heat. If you want, add some things to make a broth: chunks of onion, garlic, lemon, salt, seasonings. Add a couple big pinches of salt. This is very low pressure and meant to be loose! Plain salted water will also work just fine.
  3. Boil Potatoes and Corn: Add potatoes and corn to the water. Boil for 5-8 minutes until tender-crisp.
  4. Boil Kielbasa and Shrimp: Add kielbasa and shrimp to the water. Boil for another 4-5 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through.
  5. Serve: Drain and transfer to a big roasting pan, serving dish, OR directly to your table lined with newspaper for the real deal experience. Squeeze lemon juice over the top, sprinkle with seasonings to taste, and drizzle with the butter sauce. Also: serve with little dishes of garlic butter sauce for dunking. Be prepared to fall in love.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: Cajun

Keywords: shrimp boil, cajun shrimp, shrimp recipe

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