Lowcountry Boil

This Lowcountry Boil recipe features Old Bay, shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes. It’s a South Carolina classic that you can pour out onto a newspaper lined table, crack a beer and go to town.

pile of shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes on newspaper

I have written about my love affiar with Charleston before (ehem, Pecan Brittle Basket) and decided to make some of my favorite Charleston foods to take a stroll back in time.

Say hello to Lowcountry Boil.

It is a meal that encourages conversation because it takes a long time to eat. You are peeling shrimp and chatting and making a mess and you cannot help but have a good time while eating it.

pile of shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes on newspaper

What is a low country boil? What is Frogmore Stew?

Lowcountry boil is a one-pot meal that features an array of seafood, sausage, corn, potatoes and Old Bay seasoning boiled in a spicy stock.

It was originally called Frogmore Stew, named after the Gullah-Geechee fishing community in South Carolina (although it originated on St. Helena’s Island). It can also be referred to as Beaufort Stew or Beaufort Boil.

Ingredients //

This easy lowcountry boil recipe sticks to the classic ingredients.

Gather together lemons, onions, Old Bay, red and Yukon gold potatoes, kielbasa, corn and extra-large shrimp.

And make sure to include garlic bread, cocktail sauce and lots of melted butter!

Old Bay. You will need one-half of the 6-oz container of Old Bay. Yes, half! It may sound like a lot, but it’s the star cajun seasoning.

Kielbasa. This is my preferred sausage choice. If you want a spicy sausage, go for andouille. Smoked sausage or even chicken, turkey or beef sausage would work well, too.

Shrimp. I go with extra-large shrimp (21/25). I wash them really well if they are fresh, but leave the peels on since it creates a richer stock. Frozen will also work, simply defrost overnight in the fridge.

How to make // The steps

I like to use a very large stockpot and cook it over the stove. Simply:

  • Bring the lemons, onions, Old Bay and 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil.
lemons, onions and Old Bay seasoning in large stockpot with water
  • Add the potatoes and let them cook for 10 minutes. I check to make sure that they are getting tender. You still have some cooking time, but I get so mad when I undercook my potatoes.
potatoes, onions and lemon simmering in spicy stock in large pot
  • Add the kielbasa.
kielbasa and fresh corn in large stockpot with liquid
  • And the corn. Boil for 10 more minutes.
corn boiling in large pot with potatoes, onion and lemon
  • Add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. The shrimp will be pink.
raw shrimp in large stockpot with stock and vegetables
  • When the shrimp are cooked, strain the liquid from the pot. Put the boil into bowls.
shrimp and corn simmering in spicy stock in pot

What makes this lowcountry boil recipe so good?

Southern classics are some of my all time faves, but this seafood and sausage boil is incredibly satisfying because:

  • Old Bay creates a spicy, savory, aromatic broth.
  • Sausage and shrimp are the ultimate surf and turf pairing.
  • Buttery potatoes and sweet corn make it a complete, one-pot meal!

What to serve with low country boil?

I serve the boil with butter for the corn and the leftover garlic butter from the garlic bread, sliced lemons, cocktail sauce, extra Old Bay and lots of paper towels.

And lots of cold beer.

lowcountry boil recipe spread out on newspaper

Variations //

This is a straightforward Frogmore Stew recipe, but for a bit more summer fun, try:

  • Adding 6 cooked Blue Crab, King Crab or 12 crab legs during the last 10 minutes of cooking
  • Stirring in mussels or clams when you add the shrimp (discard the shellfish that do not open)
  • Adding 1 (12-oz) can of beer in replace of 12-oz (1 ½ cups) of water

Low country boil for 2 or 20

I have had many a party where we served Lowcountry boil. It is a pretty perfect dish to make for a crowd. It is easy to make. You can prep everything ahead of time.

It can make enough to serve 2 or to serve 20. This recipe serves 4, so split in half or quadruple depending on how many guests you’re feeding.

This meal is meant to be messy. We eat it outside with the table covered in newspaper.

More Southern classic recipes //

Originally published in May 2010, updated August 2020 with updated images and updated recipe card.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it goes! Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, too!


pile of shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes on newspaper

Lowcountry Boil

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

This Lowcountry Boil recipe is a South Carolina classic that you can pour out onto a newspaper lined table, crack a beer and go to town.

Ingredients

  • 4 lemons, halved
  • 2 onions, unpeeled and quartered
  • 3 oz (half of a container) Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 pounds baby red and Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 package (1 lb) kielbasa, sliced into chunks
  • 6 ears corn, halved
  • 2 1/2 pounds extra-large shrimp (21/25 count)

Instructions

  1. Bring the lemons, onions, and Old Bay, and 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil.
  2. Add the potatoes and let cook for 10 minutes. I check to make sure that they are getting tender. You still have some cooking time, but I get so mad when I under cook my potatoes.
  3. Add the kielbasa.
  4. Add the corn. Boil for 10 more minutes.
  5. Finally, add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. The shrimp will be pink.
  6. When the shrimp are cooked, strain the liquid from the pot. Put the boil into bowls.

Notes

Add cooked crab, cooked crab legs, mussels or clams, if desired.

Split the recipe in half to serve 2 or quadruple to serve 20.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 637Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 598mgSodium: 3375mgCarbohydrates: 73gFiber: 9gSugar: 13gProtein: 74g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only.

Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

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This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. Deanna

    I’ve always loved the idea of a seafood boil, I’ve just never done it. Probably because I am perfectly content with just dungeness crab and sourdough bread. Do we by any chance get a recipe for the clams next? I’m always on the lookout for new clam recipes.

    1. bakedbree

      It is really easy to do, although I would be content with crab and bread too. The clams were just scrubbed and thrown on the grill until they opened. That was it.

  2. Ann-Marie

    I graduated from the College of Charleston way back when and was married there and am too still so in love with the city! A Low Country Boil is for sure the best meal ever, especially surrounded by loved ones on the beach…and it is so EASY!

    1. bakedbree

      I went to CofC too! When did you graduate?

  3. Jill C.

    Wow! This is an awesome looking dish and the photos are great! Thanks for sharing this! I will be sharing it with my readers at https://outdoorcookingdepot.com/blog with a credit to you of course! Will definitely have to try this recipe!!!!

  4. Maria

    I’ve always wanted to prepare seafood this way but never have. I really need to soon because I know my whole family would love it. Great pictures.

    1. bakedbree

      it is so good this way. plus it is an easy clean up meal. everything is prepped and ready before you start to cook it.

    2. bakedbree

      it is so easy to make and an easy clean up. it is one of my favorites.

  5. Brennen

    I’m lovin that palmetto coozie! I currently go to Clemson University in SC and also love Charleston! My boyfriend will be down there studying architecture this year. I love your website and we love to try your recipes!!

    1. bakedbree

      thanks! I went to College of Charleston. My husband and I met in Charleston, it is a special place for us.

  6. Lowcountry Lighting

    I absolutely love the food down here in Charleston. Putting together a boil is one of my favorites and yours looks incredible. Definitely get the thumbs up for using Old Bay and Garlic Bread in the meal. Now I’m hungry

    1. bakedbree

      thank you! I love Charleston, it will always have a special place in my heart.

  7. Kathy Vaupel

    Baked Bree –
    Was born in Charleston (on Tradd St) and my mother was born, raised and buried there. Went to C of C, as did her five other siblings back in the 30s. I have cousins etc who have gone to C of C and I almost went. Since they lived on Glebe St, all they had to do (back then) is climb a fence or go round the corner. Now C of C owns the family’s house. We too had the low country boil or shucked the local shrimp on newspapers spread out on the formal dining room table. I have lived in Alaska for 42 years, but then and now Charleston is still very special and I take the time to visit when on the East Coast. And yes, the East Coast shrimp is special, but prefer the Alaska crab to East coast (heresy).
    Kathy

    1. bakedbree

      Hi Kathy! Wow, you have quite the history in my beloved Charleston. Where do you live in Alaska? We have a lot of friends in Kodiak.

  8. Tara

    Another item to add is Brussels sprouts. Normally I hate them but for some reason they are amazing in this dish. I’ve also had it with eggs as well. Just thrown in and hard boiled. Enjoy!

    1. bakedbree

      Really? I have never had them in a Lowcountry Boil.

  9. Laura

    Wanted to say I just came accross your website and love it! Found alot of wonderful recipes to try out. I was born and raised in Charleston (West Ashley) and love it here. I moved to NC for two years with my husband being in the military, but we are FINALLY back! I cant see myself settling down anywhere else.

    1. bakedbree

      I love Charleston, will always be a special place for me. I used to teach at the old Drayton Hall Middle School in West Ashley. Small world!

  10. QuickFoxes.com

    This looks so delicious! It is so great to hear how much people love Charleston, even after they leave for a while. It really is such an interesting and wonderful environment to live in, especially since the weather is getting so lovely. Also, there is so much going on in the cultural and business worlds of the city, including our local internet business, QuickFoxes.com. We are Charleston-bred and we love to make your life simple! Check us out at https://www.quickfoxes.com/home/ Happy fall weather everyone!

    1. bakedbree

      I do really love Charleston. It holds a special place in my heart.

  11. Dan Martin

    Love your recipe. I have cooked a low country boil many times just like your’s. I add 3 jalapino pepers, and a bottle of beer to the mixjust to spices it up a little. Must be the Texan in me. I have never had the pleasure of visiting Charlston, but I plan to in the near future. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.
    Dan

    1. bakedbree

      that sounds delicious! Why didn’t I think to add a jalapeno?

  12. Vance

    Going to try Monday night for the Falcons Saints game. There are going to be about 10 people so I will double the recipe. Looks like this is going to be a hit. Thanks for the info. Merry Christmas and Go Falcons!

    1. bakedbree

      Have fun! This is perfect for a game!

  13. Susie Nickelson

    Missing the Market, the Children’s Museum and Rainbow Row. Thanks so much for this recipe. I am way up north in Bellingham, Washington now, and my friends are in for a treat! By the way, my 14 year old son’s request for breakfast after his sleep-over birthday party? The most awesome crumb cake I found here. Had to make a couple of them!

    1. bakedbree

      Me too! I loved living in Charleston, it will always have a special place in my heart.

  14. Charlsey

    Hey 🙂 Any idea of how many this can feed. I’m trying to adjust recipe for a party of 20 people 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      I would do a 1/2 pound of shrimp per person and adjust the rest of the ingredients.

  15. scarolina1980

    Bakedbree,

    I live down in Key West, FL but was born and raised in Charleston where I will always consider my home. I used your recipe last night cooking for my boyfriend who is from Boston and had never even heard of it before. (Also a picky eater; also loves shrimp) Needless to say, it went over very well…thanks for the website! Abd on a side note, my mom also used to teach at Drayton Hall Middle in the late 80s/early 90s and I went there in the 6th grade (91) before we all moved to Aiken.

    1. bakedbree

      You are kidding! What a small world! So glad that you liked it.

  16. Anne Duhon

    Thank you for posting this! My mother met my father when he was a cadet at The Citadel and I spent every summer in Charleston growing up. Some of my fondest memories are sitting on the back porch shucking corn and peeling shrimp so my Grandma could make this. I had totally forgotten about this. Well, I am about to introduce a whole bunch of Texans to the Low Country Boil!

    1. bakedbree

      Aww… such a great story!

  17. Eric

    Thanks for posting this. I lived in the south for a while and loved going to low country boil parties. However, when I looked up other recipes on line to try to replicate that they didn’t include some of the ingredients I remembered were in the ones at parties I attended (namely the onions and lemons).

    1. bakedbree

      Glad to help. 🙂

  18. Tom Donohue

    As summer approaches and cooking outdoord becomes the norm, I will definately give this a try

    1. bakedbree

      It is so easy and so good. 🙂

  19. Tiffany

    How many does this recipe serve?

    1. bakedbree

      This particular one served 6, but you can make this up to 100+.

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  21. Shawn tibbitts

    So good, we add alittle more old bay and Brussel sprouts to ours but live this, thank you.

    1. bakedbree

      Glad that you enjoyed it!

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