Crab Boil Spice Mix

Crab Boil Spice Mix

The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 1 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
32 Calories
2g Fat
5g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 32
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4719mg 205%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 62mg 5%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 124mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you're prepping for a big seafood event you're going to want to have a good crab boil on hand. Crab boil is the spice mix you use to flavor the water that you are using to boil the crab, and it can add lots of flavor to the seafood as it cooks. You can, of course, use it for other shellfish as well.

Many people use a store-bought crab boil from brands like Old Bay and Zatarain's, but it's easy to make from spices you probably already have in your rack. Making your own crab boil seasoning means you can adjust the flavor to your tastes, too. If you like spicy food, add more red pepper flakes or toss in a few dashes of cayenne pepper.

This easy crab boil spice mix may be used for shrimp, crawfish, lobster, or crab. Simply add about 1/4 cup of the mix per pot of boiling water before you add the seafood. If you're serving a big crowd and boiling in an extra-large pot, double or triple the spice mix.


  • 1/4 cup pickling spices

  • 1/4 cup sea salt

  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds

  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns

  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon celery seeds

  • 1 tablespoon dried chives

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano​

  • 5 bay leaves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Crab Boil Spice Mix ingredients

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  2. Add the pickling spices, sea salt, mustard seeds, peppercorns, pepper flakes, celery seeds, chives, ginger, oregano, and bay leaves to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse and process until the mixture forms a coarse powder.

    Crab Boil Spice Mix ingredients blended together in a food processor

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  3. Use spice blend immediately or store in an airtight container.

    Crab Boil Spice Mix in a jar

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

How to Store

  • Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 1 month.
  • For maximum flavor, use the spice blend as soon as possible.

How to Use Crab Boil Spice Mix

  • For a shrimp boil, add 1/4 cup of the spice, along with 2 more teaspoons of salt to a large saucepan of boiling water.
  • For a crab boil, use 1/4 cup of the spice blend plus 1 part distilled white wine vinegar to 3 parts water. Add the seafood and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crabs float. Remove the crabs and serve or chill.
  • Use the same mixture as a crab boil for cooking lobster, simmering for 15 to 20 minutes.

What Goes With Crab Boil?

Serve classic summer cook-out foods with a crab boil, like potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, and coleslaw. You can even boil red potatoes and/or corn in the same crab boil seasoning and serve it alongside.