Low Country Shrimp Boil (In Under 30 Minutes with No Dishes)

A couple months ago we had family over and needed to find a meal that could feed a lot of people. My wife and I are no strangers to hosting and cooking, but this was during an extremely busy time of year and the idea of elaborate meal planning and cleanup seemed like more than we could handle. 

On a bit of a whim, we decided to have a shrimp boil. What we discovered was one of our favorite fun family meals that was quick to make, fun to eat, and when done right, had very little clean up. 

And since I hate recipe blog posts that go on forever before getting to the actual recipe to milk as much ad revenue as possible, I’m going to get right to the good stuff. 


This recipe scales really well. The recipe below feeds 4-6 people. 

  • 2 Tbsp Zataran’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil seasoning (get the little 8 oz bottle. This stuff is strong and will last you forever)
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt (this seems like a lot, but you’re seasoning a lot of water)
  • 5 quarts of Water (that’s a gallon plus 4 cups)
  • 1 lb potatoes (I like using small potatoes. You can keep them as is, but cut any of the bigger ones in half)
  • 1 lb Andouille sausage, cut into ½ – ¾ inch slices
  • 3-4 ears of corn, cut in half
Potatoes, Andouille sausage, and Corn
Potatoes, Andouille sausage, and Corn
  • 1 lb medium or large easy peel shrimp (feel free to get the frozen stuff, but if you can, get it the kind that’s already been cleaned but still has the shell on)
Peeled, Deveined, Tail-On, Medium Shrimp
Peeled, Deveined, Tail-On, Medium Shrimp


  1. Fill the largest pot you have (I recommend using a five-gallon pot) with the water and bring it to a boil. 
  2. When the water is boiling, add the Zataran’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil and salt.
  3. Add the potatoes, bring the water back to a boil, and let cook for 15 minutes. (This is a great time to start setting up your table)
  4. After 15 minutes have passed, add the sausage, bring back to a boil, and let it cook for another minute.
  5. Add the corn, bring back to a boil and let cook for about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add the shrimp, bring back to a boil and let cook for only 1 minute (it’ll cook surprisingly fast, and you don’t want rubbery shrimp. 
  7. If you have a pot with a basket insert, just take the basket out and dump all the food on the prepared table (see below). If not, use the largest slotted spoon or spider you have to scoop out all the contents from the pot into a large bowl, and then dump all the food on the prepared table. 

How to Set Up Your table for a Super Easy Shrimp Boil Clean Up

One of the most fun parts of having a shrimp boil is that you don’t need to use any plates (at most, if you want to be slightly more civilized, use paper plates). Or silverware. Which means there are no dishes. 

Start with a sheet of super thin and cheap plastic drop cloth from Home Depot or Lowes. Spread it out over your tabletop.

Kitchen Table with a Plastic Drop Cloth

Cut up 4-5 brown paper bags and spread them over the table. You can also use newspaper or brown craft paper.

Kitchen Table with a Plastic Drop Cloth and paper bags

When the food is done cooking, dump all the goodies in the middle of the table and put a couple rolls of paper towels on the table for everyone to share. 

Now for the fun part. Leave all the finished shrimp shells and corn cobs on the table, pull in all the edges of the drop cloth, wrap it into one large ball, and throw the whole thing in the trash. No plates and no silverware to wash (you’re welcome). 

Pick up the corners of the drop cloth
Wrap the drop cloth into a ball and throw it out!

Gregory Grabowski

Greg Grabowski is the principal creator of DadStuffSite.com, a website for dads by dads. Inspired by his two boys Ben and Sam and his wife Dianna, Greg loves to make things, learn things, and loves doing fun stuff with his family.

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