The best garlic butter seafood boil

My family-favorite garlic butter seafood boil is calling your name! Juicy jumbo shrimp, tender potatoes, sweet corn, buttery lobster tails, succulent snow crab legs...and two delicious garlic butter sauces that are khổng lồ die for. It"s our favorite dish khổng lồ celebrate with!

If you were looking for the best seafood boil recipe with not only one, but TWO garlic butter seafood boil sauces (one for tossing & one for dipping!) you"ve come khổng lồ the right blog.

Celebrations have always meant breaking out the fresh seafood & the entire family enjoying great company and even greater food. Seafood boils with large stock pots filled with crab, shrimp, and juicy corn are a part of many Southern and East Coast kids" summer lives!

I have such fond, fond memories of sitting at my grandmother"s kitchen table on a metal stool-ladder, eating cooked seafood with my cousin til our lips burned from Old cất cánh overload while our moms, aunt, và grandma fussed over their crab boil in a big pot on the old stove across the oversized kitchen.

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Now my version is a phối of the seafood boil recipes I grew up with & a little bit of the training I received while in culinary school. The seafood, meat, & vegetables boil in a large stockpot filled with rich seasoned water, chicken broth, & whole onion is classic.

Then I make not only one, but two garlic butter sauces. The first one is a melted seasoned garlic butter that gets poured all over the seafood. Absolutely delicious.

And most people use that as a seafood sauce, but I wanted lớn go a little further. I wanted a creamy, luxurious garlicky dipping butter to lớn go with it.

A delicious, silky garlic butter sauce that"s my seafood boil spin on the classic beurre blanc I learned khổng lồ make in culinary school. It"s decadent, super flavorful, savory và tangy, và the perfect seafood sauce for dipping sweet crab legs và claws right into.

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What is a Seafood Boil?

Seafood boils originated with the French settlers from Canada who migrated to lớn what is now Louisiana after fleeing from British colonizers in Canada in the 1700s.

A seafood boil itself is not a dish, it refers to a community social event, where the preparation và seafood of choice depends on the region.

In New England it may be considered a "clam bake".

In Maryland and the Chesapeake cất cánh area of Virginia we have "crab feasts" where the seafood và blue crab is steamed instead of boiled và seasoned heavily with Old bay Seasoning.

In the Deep South, we have Low country Boils or Frogmore Stews: shrimp boils with corn, smoked sausage, potatoes, và onions boiled in crab boil seasoning.

And in Louisiana they have their crawfish boils. A crawfish is a freshwater crustacean that is the kích cỡ of a super colossal shrimp, but has the look of a little lobster. They"re also very sweet in flavor & very popular in Cajun & Creole cooking!

My seafood boil recipe is very much reminiscent of my background: growing up and living in Virginia, & being with family in the Carolinas and Georgia. It"s base is lượt thích a Frogmore Stew with sausage, corn, and potatoes, but adding snow crab clusters & lobster then seasoning the seafood boil heavily with Old bay just lượt thích my mama does.

Seafood boils thrown for celebrations & holidays with friends & just know there"s going lớn be so much food.


"Y"all gonna take some of this food home, we"re not gonna eat it all." Will be said at the beginning, during, & at the end of the boil. Bring tupperware.

Equipment Needed

You"ll need a large stock pot for boiling. I lượt thích ones that come with steamers in them, so I can use that pot for steaming seafood and other dishes as well. The one I use is a 24 qt, it"s so handy.

12-inch Tongs. You"re going lớn need these, trust me. Moving things around in a big ole pot without breaking things up is going lớn need the delicate cảm ứng of tongs.

Newspaper. The classic idea of a seafood boil includes tossing all the food onto a table covered in newspaper. But if that sounds too weird, parchment paper works.

Saucepan. For making those delicious garlic butters you"ll be pouring over and dipping all that crab, shrimp, & lobster into.

Whisk. This is much needed for the creamy garlic butter dipping sauce.


The ultimate garlic butter seafood boil has a basis of simple ingredients that are boiled in a seasoned broth, then tossed in a flavorful sauce full of garlic, herbs, & spices.

Seafood Boil Ingredients

Frozen Snow Crab Clusters. My son"s favorite seafood! Most snow crab legs are pre-cooked & frozen, then sold at the grocery store. You could also use king crab legs, just keep in mind they are harder to crack xuất hiện and will require tools!

Frozen Shell-On "Jumbo" or "Colossal" Shrimp. I use jumbo in quotations because it"s not a regulated term. What you"re really looking for is shrimp that are large in size, I used 13/15 shrimp for this recipe, which are "colossal" shrimp.

The smaller the number (61/70 is extra small while >10 is super colossal), the larger the shrimp. Và I like using frozen shrimp because they"ve been frozen at their peak, there"s no worrying about how long they"ve been sitting in a display case like with fresh shrimp.


Cold Water Lobster Tails. These delicate, tender beauties are also called "Maine" or "North Atlantic" Lobsters & are the guys you"ll see whole in the tank at the store. When you grab the tails, make sure they are "cold water" tails. Cold water lobster is that buttery, sweet, delicate lobster that we love, while warm water lobster tastes fishy, is mushy, & is much tougher in texture.

Sausage. Not just a satisfying filler, I find that a good sausage also flavors the cooking liquid so deliciously! I lượt thích andouille or kielbasa, but chicken sausage or your favorite beef sausage also works perfectly here. A seafood boil is pretty forgiving!

Yellow Onion. Yellow onions have a great balance of flavor & are fantastic in the cooking liquid.

Fresh Corn on the Cob. A classic addition alongside the potatoes, sweet corn soaked in old bay seasoning and slathered in garlic butter sauce.

Potatoes. I lượt thích using baby or new potatoes but Yukon Gold potatoes or red potatoes work fine as well, just cut them in half or quarters if they"re really big.

Seasoning for the Boil

Bay leaves.

Lemon Peels. I have had bad run ins with bitter trắng pith ruining the flavor of a good cooking liquid! That lemon flavor is only in the bright yellow skin.

Black pepper.

Red Pepper Flakes.

Old bay Seasoning. The classic seafood seasoning!

Garlic Powder. Why garlic powder? Because fresh garlic gets its delicious flavor when it"s cooking process involves sautéing in fat in a pan or roasted in the oven, it doesn"t taste the same boiled. Garlic powder has that flavor in it, making it a better ingredient for our seasoned cooking liquid.

Orange Juice. You can use your favorite beer khổng lồ help flavor the seafood boil.

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Ingredients for the Garlic Butter Seafood Boil Sauces


There"s two sauces: the tossing sauce with all the seasonings, và the dipping sauce, which is a garlic & lemon infused beurre blanc. Don"t panic! It sounds fancy but it"s really easy & so delicious. As Greyson said, it tastes "like a fancy restaurant".

Garlic Butter Seafood Boil Sauce

Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest.

Grated garlic cloves. If you want a smooth sauce, don"t mince the garlic. Grab a microplane and grate it. Not only does this make the garlic flavor more powerful, but you"re not missing any of that flavor since it"ll be well incorporated throughout the seafood boil sauce.

Garlic Powder. This gives a cooked garlic flavor, that familiar depth everyone is used to.

Fresh Parsley. Fresh parsley does have flavor! It"s peppery và herby, a good flavor to add in my opinion.

Kosher Salt và Black Pepper.

Old bay Seasoning. Feel miễn phí to swap this for Cajun seasoning.

Brown Sugar. Just a pinch for balance!

Smoked Paprika.

Lemon Garlic Beurre Blanc

Cold, unsalted butter. The cold butter will help emulsify the sauce and make it thick và buttery.

Grated Garlic Cloves & Shallot.

Fresh Thyme.

Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest.

Kosher Salt and Black Pepper.

Heavy Cream.


Instructions for Garlic Butter Seafood Boil

In the large stock pot, add all of the boil seasoning up lớn about halfway up the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. We want it well seasoned so that the seafood takes on the flavors.

Now địa chỉ the kielbasa, corn, & potatoes and let them cook for fifteen minutes before adding the seafood.

Seafood cooks at different times so follow these instructions so you don"t overcook or undercook any of it.

Clams or mussels: 8-10 minutes. Make sure that you"ve soaked them with cold water and cornmeal (that makes the creature spit out any sand it has inside). Throw out any clams or mussels that did not xuất hiện after cooking.


Frozen snow crab legs: These have been precooked, so we"re warming them up without overcooking them. This will take about 8-10 minutes as well.

Lobster tails: I split the lobster tails in half with a sharp chef knife so they cooked faster. Cook for 5 minutes in the pot.

Shrimp: If your shrimp is tightly curled up when cooked, they"re OVERcooked! These go in last, & honestly I just turn the heat off when I bởi vì so the residual heat cooks them for about 3 minutes before I pull everything out of the cooking liquid.

How to Make the Garlic Butter Sauces

First is the garlic butter seafood boil sauce, which is drizzled and tossed all over the ingredients. And it"s incredibly easy khổng lồ make.

All you need to vì chưng is melt the butter with all the ingredients over low heat in a small saucepan until ready lớn use.

Make the beurre blanc

While it"s optional, this lemony-garlicky dipping sauce is the perfect accompaniment to seafood.

Melt down a tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan with the grated shallots, garlic, lemon zest and thyme leaves. Then add a little chicken broth and lemon juice, then reduce it down half way. This intensifies the flavors, don"t skip it.

Then địa chỉ cửa hàng the heavy cream. It"s a rich sauce, y"all. This dish deserves decadence, right? địa chỉ the heavy cream.

Then whisk in the rest of the cold butter, one tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is slightly thickened và is super creamy. Then taste and season & you"re done!


What to Serve with your Seafood Boil

Classic southern sides are the best khổng lồ serve with a seafood boil.

Southern baked mac và cheese that"s ooey gooey with a perfect cheese pull is always welcome, as is buttery sweet cornbread và baked beans!

You can also serve the seafood boil with a fresh salad, especially if it"s the summer! I also like eating sautéed asparagus with this, since the dipping sauce also goes perfectly with them.

Storing và Reheating Instructions

If you have leftovers, you can save them in the fridge in an airtight container or gallon sized zip vị trí cao nhất bags for up to lớn 2 days.

When you"re ready lớn reheat, put the seafood into a large steamer pot or stock pot with a little water at the bottom. Steam over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until the leftover seafood boil is warmed through.

Pro Tips

Cut the lobster tails in half to lớn make them easier lớn eat and cook faster.

Buy the big shell-on shrimp. It"s worth it. & make sure they"re ez-peel, this makes prep time so effortless and fast since they"re already deveined. I found the ones I used at Costco.

Using whole blue crabs, dungeness crabs, or king crab legs will have varying cook times, especially if they"re raw. If raw, cook for at least 15-18 minutes.

Use baby potatoes for ease of cooking! Otherwise, use red or gold potatoes và cut them in half or quarters so they cook quickly.