Cajun Shrimp Boil

Cajun shrimp boil

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 32 mins
Total: 47 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
352 Calories
4g Fat
41g Carbs
40g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 352
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 319mg 106%
Sodium 29959mg 1,303%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 30mg 148%
Calcium 204mg 16%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 967mg 21%
*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.)

This meal is always a favorite, for so many reasons—it's fun, easy, a one-pot meal, and certainly an icebreaker—you can't avoid plenty of casual chatter while chewing corn off a cob or peeling shrimp with your already messy hands! And most of all it's delicious!

Some people add other ingredients, such as andouille sausage, artichokes, or even other shellfish.

The dish is similar to the Low Country dish, Frogmore stew.


  • 4 quarts water

  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt

  • 2 medium lemons, sliced

  • 1 large onion, sliced

  • 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper

  • 3 pounds small new potatoes

  • 4 large ears corn, halved

  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add 4 quarts water to the pot, along with the salt, lemon, onion, and cayenne and bring to a strong boil. Boil for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the potatoes and bring the pot to a simmer. Simmer until fork-tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.

  4. Add corn to the pot, again bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.

  5. Add shrimp and bring to a boil. By the time the water reaches a boil, the shrimp should be done—opaque rather than translucent. Don't overcook the shrimp.

  6. Drain all ingredients or lift them out of the pot and transfer to a large serving platter, or place them on the center of a newspaper-covered table. The onion and lemon slices may be removed, but I like to keep them in for flavor and color.

  7. May be served with a sauce: cocktail, remoulade, or just melted butter.

  8. Enjoy!


  • The usual size for shrimp dishes served in restaurants is 16 to 20 per pound; small shrimp are the best size for shrimp salad, shrimp cocktails, stews, and gumbos. Use medium shrimp for shrimp boils and deep-fried shrimp; large shrimp for broiling, grilling or barbecuing.

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