The Low Country Boil is our signature beach vacation recipe! With summery ingredients like corn on the cob and red potatoes plus lots of coastal shrimp and spicy sausage, it’s super easy to make for a crowd.
Low Country Boil Recipe
Nothing says beach vacation more than a low country boil. This is our signature beach trip recipe, and the one I’m always in charge of.
I first enjoyed a Low Country Boil when I was in college and dining with some of my South Carolina friends and I’ve been making it ever since!
The recipe has just 4 main ingredients:
Fresh summer corn, creamy potatoes, spicy sausage, and fresh shrimp.
I like to add green beans as something healthy you can eat with your fingers.
And there are seasonings and lemons to add to the mix as well.
The hardest part of this recipe is boiling the water – seriously!!!
The huge pot of water will take ages to come to a rolling boil, so get it going far sooner than you think you need to. I’m talking 4pm!
Once the water is boiling, the recipe comes together in just about 20 minutes. It’s the ideal one-pot dinner!!
This recipe serves 6-8 people, but you can halve or double as needed.
We love to have leftovers to eat chilled the next day, so definitely err on the side of more. The sausage is usually the first to go, and there are always a few more potatoes than anyone can eat ; )
Low Country Boil Ingredients
We usually make this at the coast and get fresh shrimp. When we have made it in Charlottesville we ordered wild caught shrimp by the pound from a seafood shop (it was likely previously frozen and thawed). I have not tried adding frozen shrimp right to the pot, but if you try it, let me know!
Corn on the cob
This is what makes this recipe a summer staple, but you can probably use frozen corn on the cob if it’s not in season quite yet. Break each ear in half before adding to the pot so they’ll move around more easily.
Halve or quarter them based on how big yours are. The smaller they are the faster they will cook, but if they’re too small they might crumble, so aim for golfball size or bigger.
We like it on the spicy side, but you can get mild if kids are joining you. Kielbasa is great because it’s already cooked, so you are mostly just warming it up and infusing flavors throughout.
A couple of lemons
Cut these in half so the juices come out. A little lemon zest is great too.
Old Bay and/or a Zatarains Crab Boil bag for seasoning
Using a crab and shrimp boil bag like this makes the seasoning easy, but they can be hard to find in stores so you can just use a lot of Old Bay! The sausage will add more flavor, and really the shrimp, corn, and potatoes taste so fresh in the summer you don’t need much seasoning. We like extra Old Bay for eating.
Condiments For The Table
- Ketchup – for potatoes and sausage
- Mustard – some like this for sausage
- Lots of Old Bay – for shrimp
- Cocktail sauce – some people prefer this for their shrimp
- Butter – for the corn
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh crab – A popular addition if you can find them!
- Mussels or clams – adding some more fresh seafood will make this recipe over the top!
- Fresh green beans – I like to add green beans as the vegetable so this is truly an all-in-one meal! Add them with the corn so they are lightly cooked.
- Sweet Onions – Not for me, but you might like!
Equipment Needed For A Low Country Boil
The biggest pot you can find, or two smaller pots
One of those pots that has a built-in colander is great, but sometimes your beach house won’t have one. Just work with what you have. Many times we have had to have two smaller pots going at the same time and that’s fine. Just make sure to split the ingredients so that each pot gets its share of flavor.
A big colander
The bigger the better! If you only have a smaller one or a strainer, you’ll just have to work in batches to drain everything.
Big bowls or serving platters (or just pour it onto newspaper if you like!)
We have found that a big platter is nice for the fresh food and then all the shells and mess goes onto the newspaper. But it’s up to you how “classic” you want to get!
A bowl for shells and discards helps keep them tidy
Newspaper for the table
How To Cook A Low Country Boil
Step 1: Get Water Boiling
Fill extra large pot with water, sliced lemons + Zatarains mix. Bring to a boil. This might take a while so start it early!
Step 2: Add potatoes and Kielbasa
When water is at a rolling boil, add potatoes and kielbasa. Cook for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are almost tender.
Step 3: Add corn and green beans, if using
Add corn. Cook for 3 minutes. (If using green beans, add them here too).
Step 4: Add shrimp
Add shrimp. Cook until pink, 3-5 minutes. DO NOT overcook!
Step 5: Drain and serve
See The Low Country Boil in Action in These Beach Trip Posts
Low-Country Boil Recipe
- One giant pot
- A large colander
- 4 pounds shrimp
- 6 ears of corn halved
- 2 pounds red potatoes cut into quarters
- 3 one pound packages of kielbasa chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 4 lemons sliced
- 1 bag of Zatarain's Crab boil mix in a bag and/or 1/4 cup of Old Bay seasoning to taste
- Fill extra large pot with water, sliced lemons + Zatarains mix. Bring to a boil. This might take a while so start it early!
- When water is at a rolling boil, add potatoes and kielbasa. Cook for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are almost tender.
- Add corn. Cook for 3 minutes. (If using green beans, add them here too).
- Add shrimp. Cook until pink, 3-5 minutes. DO NOT overcook!
- Drain - eat!
Low Country Boil For A Big Group
Matt and I were known for the low country boil party, which we did several years in a row. If you want to 10x the recipe, you can make it in a big beer brewing pot (one that drains from the bottom because there’s no way you can lift that pot of boiling water to drain!) People loved the excitement of the shrimp dumping out on the table.