Preparing a pot of Easy Boiled Shrimp is a cinch with just a few ingredients from your pantry. No need for a bottled liquid crab boil or a boxed seasoning bag. You only need seasonings, lemons, raw shrimp, and a large pot of boiling water. Then you'll be eating tender shrimp in minutes!
I'm an Amazon Associate. Please note that there are Affiliate Links in the content of the Louisiana Woman Blog, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. Thank you!
We recently had friends over for a weekend where we "passed a good time". We ate way too much, and by Sunday afternoon rolled around, we began to think about what to eat for supper. Nothing sounded satisfying, yet we knew we'd be hungry again before the sunset.
It was a brief "Poo-Yie" moment. (That's Cajun for something like "Oh, my!")
Then I remembered I had gulf shrimp in the freezer and said, "I know, let's boil some shrimp, and then everyone can eat it any way they like!"
We did, and some of us ate the shrimp in a Shrimp Salad, and others had them alongside leftovers out of the refrigerator. It was an easy meal, tasty, light, and satisfying.
One of my favorite ways to eat boiled shrimp is to toss them in this delicious homemade Remoulade Sauce. It's a classic Louisiana dressing that's easy to prepare and a delightful condiment for Cajun shrimp flavor. I like this recipe so much better than any bottled remoulade sauce!
Ingredients For Easy Boiled Shrimp
- raw shrimp - fresh or defrosted (if using frozen shrimp) and unpeeled, locally harvested fresh seafood from the wild is always best
- water - from the tap, filtered, or bottled
- salt - your favorite kind, I use kosher salt or sea salt
- bay leaves - dried and whole
- celery seeds - whole
- peppercorns - dried and whole black pepper
- Cajun seasonings - your favorite brand or homemade, like Pink Cajun Seasoning Blend (you may use regular salt instead of pink)
- lemons - halved and juiced, fresh lemon juice is always a favorite to accent the flavor of any seafood
You may have previously used bottled or bagged pre-packaged seasoning blends for boiling shrimp or other seafood. Maybe even Old Bay seasoning mix. That's perfectly fine, but I prefer combining my own ingredients. This way, I know exactly what's going into my food, and I can adjust the amounts of flavor for this easy shrimp boil.
Some seasoning blends tend to overpower the food's flavor. Not here! These ingredients accent the flavor of the shrimp more than the seasonings. I don't like it when you can't taste the main ingredient in a dish.
When considering the size of the shrimp, the large shrimp are easier to peel and mostly desired for the classic shrimp boil. If fresh shrimp are whole, pinch the heads off and rinse them. You can also slit their backs and devein shrimp but don't take the shrimp shells or tails off. This makes eating boiled shrimp much more convenient with less mess. My guests always appreciate the gesture.
The amounts of ingredients are in the recipe card below, along with the nutritional information.
Instructions For Easy Boiled Shrimp
The first step in the cooking process of this seafood boil is to pour water into a large stockpot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Next, add the seasonings and the lemons, stirring them with a slotted spoon. The aroma is alluring!
Next, add the shrimp and stir to combine the flavors with the shrimp.
Cover the large pot with a lid after adding the shrimp to the hot water. It only takes 5 minutes to cook. When the shrimp turn pink, they are done. You want to be sure not to overcook them, or they will become tough and grainy. In a short amount of time, the Easy Boiled Shrimp is ready!
Serve the hot shrimp immediately from the pot, or place the shrimp in an ice bath to serve cold. Pour them onto a sheet pan with lemon wedges.
If fresh shrimp are whole, pinch the heads off and rinse them. You can also slit their backs and retrieve the vein but don't take the peelings or tails off. This makes eating boiled shrimp much more convenient and less messy. My guests always appreciate that gesture.
The aroma is alluring!
Add the shrimp.
Cover the pot with a lid after adding the shrimp to the boiling brew. It only takes 5 minutes to cook. When the shrimp turn pink, they are done. You want to be sure not to overcook them, or they will become tough and grainy.
In a matter of minutes, the Easy Boiled Shrimp is ready!
Remove the heads of the shrimp, but do not peel them before boiling. The shells hold moisture and flavor. You can slit the back of the shrimp before cooking and retrieve the dark vein but don't take the peelings or tails off. This makes eating boiled shrimp much more convenient. My guests always appreciate this gesture.
About 2-3 minutes after the water comes to a boil.
The best way is to keep the peelings on the shrimp during cooking for the shrimp to keep its flavor and juices.
No, rinsing will wash the taste away, plus this recipe is meant for serving hot-boiled shrimp. They can be served at room temperature or put on ice to serve cold if preferred, but I would not suggest putting them in ice water.
Yes, you can easily overcook shrimp. A good rule to go by is when the shrimp turn pink after a few minutes of cooking. Also, when the shrimp look like the letter "c," they are cooked. If they look like the letter "o," they are overcooked.
If you want to learn the difference between the brown, white, and pink Louisiana Gulf shrimp, check out this article in Shrimp, Gulf | SeafoodSource.
What To Serve With Easy Boiled Shrimp?
You may want to dip your shrimp into a sauce. This Louisiana Comeback Sauce is so good you will want to find other tasties to dip into it.
Another quick and easy homemade sauce is one part mayonnaise and one part ketchup. It's also perfect for dipping boiled crawfish into. Other ingredients like sweet pickles and horseradish sauce add flavor to this simple dip. Or be creative and try your favorites to make your very own special dipping sauce.
To make a complete and delicious meal, boil red potatoes, sweet corn, and andouille sausage in the same seasoned water before or after the shrimp cooks. You don't want to cook anything else with the shrimp because the cooking times differ.
More Shrimp Recipes
Here are recipes that are a great option for cooking shrimp.
- 2 pounds fresh or frozen raw shrimp, defrosted and rinsed
- 8 cups water
- .5 cup salt
- 6 dried bay leaves
- 1.5 teaspoon celery seeds
- 3 tablespoons whole peppercorns
- 2-3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 2 large lemons, halved
- Bring water to a boil in a large stockpot.
- Add salt, bay leaves, celery seeds, peppercorns, and Cajun seasoning.
- Squeeze the juice of the lemon halves into the boiling water and seasonings, then add the lemon halves.
- Pour shrimp into the pot, stir, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, giving them an occasional stir now and then.
- Drain the shrimp in a large strainer in the sink and serve hot or cold.
- Peel and eat.
- Devein shrimp by cutting into the shell along its back, pulling out the black vein but leaving the peelings intact; do not peel shrimp before boiling.
- Add other ingredients to this shrimp boil, such as your favorite vegetables and extra seasoning.
- The boiled shrimp stores well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Add boiled shrimp to your everyday meals, or enjoy them alone as a snack.
- Use boiled shrimp in salads, pasta dishes, or marinate overnight for pickled shrimp.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Seafood
- Method: Boiled
- Cuisine: Cajun
- Serving Size: 4 ounces
Keywords: easy boiled shrimp, boiled shrimp, shrimp boil
You know I love hearing from you. Be sure to sign up for my emails to keep in touch. If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the reply box below.
Have a nice day!
“Nothing teaches us about the preciousness of the Creator as much as when we learn the emptiness of everything else.”
Charles H. Spurgeon