Shrimp Boil Recipe

Keep The Heads On!

A shrimp boil recipe is a New Orleans tradition. Cooking New Orleans Style requires a large pot, at the minimum an 8 quart pot for recipes like this one.

Unlike a crawfish boil, you can fix wonderful boiled shrimp in the kitchen in a very large pot,since there is considerably more shrimp meat per pound than crawfish tail meat per pound.

This recipe is quick and easy. Boiled shrimp makes a great appetizer with the cocktail sauce listed.

Shrimp Boil Recipe

It is a nice prelude to any seafood meal. Try it before a having crawfish bread and a salad!

Around the holidays, make 2 batches of boiled shrimp, one for eating as is and the second to use in shrimp dips and shrimp salad.


  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 glove garlic
  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • 1 large onion, chopped coarsely
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped coarsely
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bag crab boil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 pounds unpeeled fresh shrimp

  • Directions

    Fill a large pot with water.

    Squeeze lemons into water and add garlic, celery, bay leaves, crab boil, salt, and peppers to pot.

    Bring to a boil and let seasonings blend for about 2-4 minutes.

    Add shrimp, return to a boil, cook for 2-3 minutes only! Just until shrimp turns pink. Do not overcook.

    Drain cooking liquid from shrimp.

    Dump shrimp on platter.

    While shrimp are cooling. Make a cocktail sauce for dipping.

    Cocktail Sauce
    1 cup ketchup - I only use Heinz
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1/2 cup horseradish
    Hot sauce to taste

    You can make 2 versions of this sauce, mild or hot, by varying the amount of hot sauce. Two drops of hot sauce for a cup of ketchup is mild, but with a kick.

    Combine all ingredients and you are ready to go.



    Keeping the heads on gives the dish more flavor.

    Plan on 1/2 to 1 pound per person. In my family, the number is closer to 1 pound.

    This also depends on what you have with it. Normally, our shrimp boil is the appetizer to a wonderful seafood dinner.

    If you liked this Shrimp Boil recipe, look here for other free seafood recipes!

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