Our summer tradition of having a Cajun Seafood Boil Party started when a coworker invited me to his Louisiana crawfish boil. It was so much fun!
You can do something similar at home with your friends.
Here’s how you can plan a Cajun seafood boil party
Here's how they did it:
Dennis and his roommates bought 100 pounds of crawfish, which they had flown into Denver from Louisiana.
They kept the crawfish on ice in the bathtub along with a few lobsters some guests brought to the party.
Each guest was asked to bring beer and $10 to share in costs for the crawfish boil supplies. (You can charge or not.)
Party setup is simple
Each table was draped in newspaper. Dennis placed baguettes of French bread, butter, salt and black pepper, a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce, lemon wedges, and a roll of paper towels on each table.
Once a batch of crawfish, potatoes, and corn was done, they drained the seafood boil pot on the lawn. Then they dumped the food straight onto the tables.
As we stood around the tables eating, we pushed the eaten corn husks and crawfish shells to one side.
Once everything was consumed, we gathered up the dirty newspapers, and threw the whole thing in the trash.
As party went on, the crawfish boil kept getting hotter due to the addition of more crab boil seasoning.
So we just drank more beer to cool off and had a great time.
Equipment needed for your party
Planning a boil party is easy. But you need some basic equipment to cook up a Cajun seafood boil recipe.
First, use a Bayou Classic Double Jet Cooker with Hose Guard, which connects to the kind of propane tank you use on a gas grill.
We’ve also used the jet cooker for other parties, like our fish fry to heat up the frying oil pot.
If you RV camp or have backyard grilling parties, I’m sure you’ll find other uses for the jet cooker.
I recommend getting a Bayou Classic 62-Quart All-Purpose Aluminum Stockpot with Steam and Boil Basket.
Besides using the Bayou Classic Stockpot for your Cajun seafood boil, it can be used to fry your turkey at Thanksgiving.
You can also use this large stockpot on your kitchen stovetop for canning, making a big batch of freezer soup, steaming lobsters, and making beer.
It’s worth the investment and makes a great Mother’s Day or Father’s Day present!
How to order the crawfish
The manager of your local grocery store may be able to order the crawfish for your depending on what part of the US you live.
Or they may have a suggestion of a local seafood store or restaurant where you can order your crawfish.
You can also try an Asian or ethnic market with a fresh seafood section.
Plan on ordering about 2 to 3 pounds of crawfish per person.
If your friends are big eaters, you may want to order 4 to 5 pounds per person for your seafood boil party.
To use my boil recipe below with crawfish, substitute it for the lobster, mussels and/or clams.
Tips for picking the best Cajun boil seasoning
So what type of Cajun spices should you use? I swear by Old Bay Seasoning.
You can also use Old Bay, Hot and eliminate the two dried chilies.
However, other people love Cajun spice blends for crab boils like:
Ask around and see what your friends recommend as their favorite Creole seasoning. Or see what’s used in the seafood boil at your favorite seafood restaurant.
You could probably ask the chef what they use though it wouldn’t surprise me if they use a homemade Cajun seasoning.
Can I use seafood instead of crawfish?
If you feel ordering crawfish is too much of a hassle – or trying to eat crawfish is – then just go by my Cajun Seafood Boil recipe below.
Seafood lovers would rather eat lobster than crawfish any day!
Not much of a clams or mussels person? Then omit them and add more fresh seafood, like fresh shrimp and lobster tails.
Don’t forget to throw in some spicy Andouille sausage into the seafood boiling pot for those picky kids who don’t like seafood.
However, most kids I know will try a shrimp or two after enjoying the spicy potatoes and fresh corn. Yum!
More expert tips
Can I use frozen corn?
Sure! Just throw it in the pot. It should defrost and cook up almost as quickly as fresh corn.
Can I use frozen seafood?
Yes you can. Frozen is a often a cheaper alternative to fresh seafood.
Can cook up some king crab legs or snow crab?
I don’t see why you can't use either in the n the Cajun seafood boil.
Can I make this just a shrimp boil recipe?
Sure. (Using jumbo shrimp is good, too.) I assume you’ll still add potatoes, corn, and sausage. Otherwise, it’s pretty boring.
Can I use Yukon potatoes?
Use whatever type of potatoes you don’t need to peel in a traditional seafood boil.
Fun desserts for your boil party
Looking for easy dessert recipes to serve at your party? Try these:
● This No Bake Almond Butter Pie Recipe is creamy like ice cream, but dairy free.
● These Gluten Free Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes is for anyone who loves bacon or chocolate.
● This Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe with Dulce de Leche Frosting tastes just as good as something you get at a professional bakery.
● I love these Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes because they won’t melt at your party, since the “ice cream” is made of frosting.
● This Easy Buttermilk Pie is a tasty take on a Southern classic.
● This Vegan Key Lime Mousse is dairy free and gluten free.
Have you thrown a Cajun Boil Party?
- 4 lemons, halved
- 6 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Old Bay seafood seasoning
- 2 large garlic heads, halved horizontally
- 6 medium onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 dried chilies
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 16 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
- 1 pound clams
- 1 pound mussels
- 2 pounds new red potatoes, unpeeled, halved if large
- 8 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked and broken in half
- 2 pounds tail-on shrimp, uncooked (frozen is OK)
- 6 lobster tails, uncooked (frozen is OK)
- 2 pounds spicy Cajun-style Andouille sausage (whole)
- Butter, salt and pepper, hot sauce, and French bread for serving
- Fill a 6-quart stockpot with 4 1/2 quarts of water. Squeeze the juice of lemon halves into water and add rinds. Add bay leaves, seasoning, garlic, onions, chilies, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and thyme.
- Bring water to a rolling boil on high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
- Add potatoes and simmer 12 minutes.
- Add corn and simmer 5 minutes.
- Add shrimp, lobster, clams, and mussels to the pot. Add whole Andouille sausage. Cover, and simmer until lobster is opaque and sausage is cooked through (if not precooked) – about 5 minutes.
- If using a steam basket, remove it from the stockpot and serve food right from the basket or dump food onto a newspaper-covered table or onto trays. Otherwise, use tongs to pick out the pieces of seafood, corn, sausage, and potatoes into a large bowl.
- Serve Cajun seafood boil with melted butter and/or hot sauce. Squeeze and spread the cooked garlic on French bread. Serve the corn and potatoes with butter and salt and pepper.
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Serving Size:1 pound seafood & sausage plus corn & potatoes
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 678Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 324mgSodium: 2856mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 6gSugar: 9gProtein: 68g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.
Originally published May 12, 2012 and May 20, 2016.
Updated with new pictures and information.