Crock pot seafood boil has all the fabulous flavors of a classic low country boil - but made easy in a slow cooker. Tender red potatoes, sweet corn, smoked andouille sausage, shrimp, and crab are all simmered in a magical broth for a fabulous dinner your family and guests won't soon forget! Ready to try it?
Why You'll Love This Seafood Boil Crock Pot Recipe
It's fun to make and eat. This isn't a dish always on the radar but every time I make it I love it so much I vow to make it more! It's so fun to make and eat. Everyone can just pick out their favorites. It is common to eat it with your hands and it is often served straight onto a large newspaper lined platter. See tips under the How To Serve section.
Wonderful flavor! I have always loved low country boils but this flavor combination in particular is a favorite of mine. The seasoning, clam juice, celery, and onions are the perfect base. Once the shrimp, sausage, and crab are added it all starts to come together! The magical flavor gets soaked up into the potatoes, corn on the cob, and seafood. It's fabulous.
What is a Seafood Boil?
A seafood boil is a popular dish that originated in the Southern United States, particularly in the coastal regions. It is also known has Low Country Boil. As the name suggests, it involves boiling a variety of seafood, along with vegetables and spices, in a large pot of water. The most common seafood used in a boil are shrimp, crab, lobster, and crawfish, but other types of seafood such as clams and mussels can also be included.
The vegetables typically used include potatoes, corn on the cob, onions, and garlic, while the spices used depend on personal preference but often include Cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, and garlic powder.
The cooked seafood and vegetables are usually served on a large platter, often lined with newspaper or butcher paper, and are typically eaten with your hands, making it a fun dining experience.
🥘 Crock Pot Low Country Boil Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this crock pot seafood boil:
- Cooked Crab Legs: Use cooked crab legs. They can be frozen and thawed. if you can't find crab use all shrimp or substitute cooked crawfish.
- Raw Shrimp: Use raw shrimp that has been deveined. Shell can be on, or you can choose tail on.
- Smoked Andouille Sausage: choose regular or spicy smoked sausage.
- Old Bay Seasoning: for seafood boil in a crock pot I have found it is easiest to use either Old Bay or another brand of salted seafood seasoning blend. If you want to use a low country boil packet, see my notes under the Variation section below.
- Red Skin Potatoes: you can use baby red skin potatoes and leave them whole, or if they are large cut in half or quarter.
- Sweet Corn on the Cob: I cut the corn into thirds. Sweet corn is wonderful in this dish and balances with the other flavors wonderfully.
- Clam Juice: a must for flavor
- Bay Leaves
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
How To Cook a Seafood Boil in a Crock Pot
Here's how to make seafood boil in a slow cooker:
Add first 8 ingredients plus water to a crock pot and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until potatoes are just about tender, but not quite done.
Turn the crock pot to high and add the shrimp and cooked andouille sausage. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque.
Tip: Be careful not to overcook the potatoes are they will get mushy and fall apart. If your crock pot runs hot check them after 4 hours.
Add the thawed crab legs and nestle them towards the bottom of the pot. Cover and continue to cook until the crab is warmed through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Strain all the ingredients, discard bay leaves, and serve.
Hint: the seafood is added in stages. The raw shrimp is added about 40 minutes to 1 hour before serving. The already cooked crab is already cooked and only needs to warm up in the flavorful broth - about 10 to 15 minutes.
How to Serve It
There are several ways you can serve your delicious crock pot seafood boil!
The tradtional way of serving low country boil is directly on a table or platter covered in newspaper. I serve mine in a large platter and lay newspaper underneath as my "table runner" which helps to catch all the juices. It is common to eat it with your hands or with silverware! (Hint: everyone loves to eat this with their hands! Set rolls of paper towels on the table)
Serve garnished with fresh dill, a shaker of additional old bay seasoning, melted butter, and cocktail sauce. Some people love hot sauce too!
Meal idea! For a full meal, serve with sweet cornbread or corn muffins and a fresh green salad or coleslaw on the side.
What Sides Go With Low Country Boil?
Coleslaw, a tossed green salad, pasta salad, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, sweet cornbread or muffins all go perfectly with crock pot low country boil.
Lemon wedges, melted butter, cocktail sauce, and hot sauce are perfect condiments to serve on the side as well.
Here are some suggestions for customizing your crock pot low country boil:
- Use cooked crawfish or lobster in place of cooked crab if desired.
- Fresh garlic or garlic powder can be added to the pot.
- Use a spicy smoked andouille sausage or smoked kielbasa.
- Add hot sauce to the broth to increase spiciness.
- Cajun seasoning may be used in place of Old Bay.
- Low country boil seasoning packets may be used, but they are made to add the entire packet right into the pot - and for much larger quantities of seafood than your crock pot can hold. You will need to break apart the packet and use half the seasoning. Either tie the remaining seasoning in the packet with kitchen twine or place the seasoning in cheesecloth and tie it up.
Slow Cooker Tips
Tip #1: Crab is difficult to cook in a crock pot as it gets very rubbery by the time it actually finishes cooking. To solve this problem, use already cooked crab legs (thawed if frozen) and place them into the broth the last 10 to 15 minutes just long enough to warm up - you will still get the flavor of the broth!
Tip #2: Shrimp only takes between 40 minutes and 1 hour to cook so add it at the end so they don't over cook.
Tip #3: Shrimp shells give a lot of flavor to this dish. For convenience, I suggest you can use easy peel shrimp that have been deveined, or peeled and deveined shrimp with the tail on.
Be sure to pin this pin to Pinterest and save for later! 🙂
Let the seafood boil cool then place in an air-tight container. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat on 30% power in a microwave just until warm. Reheated seafood can turn rubbery quickly so watch the temperature carefully.
Yes! You can do a seafood boil in a crock pot. It's an easy way to make it with some slight modifications to a typical seafood boil. Cooked crab should be used and only placed in the slow cooker to reheat at the end. Since shrimp don't take very long to cook, turn the crock pot up to high and add the shrimp in at the last 30 to 40 minutes of cooking. See our recipe card for more information.
No, the seafood boil does not freeze well and turns rubbery.
More Crock Pot Recipes You'll Love
- Crockpot Seafood Stew Recipe
- Crock Pot Poached Salmon with Dill Sauce
- Crock Pot Shrimp Alfredo Tortellini
Seafood Boil Crock Pot Recipe
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 2 stalks celery (sliced)
- 24 ounces red baby potatoes (halved or quartered if they are larger than bite size)
- 3 ears sweet corn on the cob (cut into thirds)
- 8 ounces clam juice
- 2 tablespoons old bay seasoning
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 pound jumbo raw uncooked shrimp (for best flavor use easy peel shells on, but for convenience use peeled, tail on)
- 8 ounces cooked andouille sausage (sliced into 2-inch pieces)
- 1½ pounds frozen cooked crab legs (thawed)
- Add first 8 ingredients plus 4 cups of water to a crock pot and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until potatoes are just getting tender, but not quite done.
- Turn the crock pot to high and add the shrimp and cooked andouille sausage. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque.
- Place the thawed crab legs on top, and nestle them into the broth if possible. Cover and continue to cook until the crab is warmed through, about 5 minutes.
- Strain all the ingredients, discard bay leaves, and serve.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- NOTES: Crab is difficult to cook in a crock pot without getting rubbery. Buy frozen pre-cooked crab legs and thaw. Place them in at the end just long enough to add some extra flavor and warm up.
- VARIATIONS: Use all shrimp if desired, or substitute cooked crawfish for the crab. Any smoked sausage can be substituted for andouille if desired.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve on a large platter with sides to contain excess juices. Serve with melted butter and cocktail sauce for dipping, hot sauce, extra seasoning, lemon wedge, and fresh dill.
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