Cajun Crab Boil Recipe

When it comes to cooking up different kinds of seafood, it may seem a little bit intimidating to some. Not everyone is necessarily up to the task of putting together a seafood dish — especially when crab and crawfish are involved. But summer is the perfect time for everything seafood, so it's time to change that. And don't worry — because you've totally got this covered.

"If you've always loved the look of a huge seafood boil being dished out on a table covered in newspaper, this is definitely the recipe to start with," says food photographer and recipe developer Petar Marshall. "It's a great recipe for anyone just starting out with a crab boil."

Made with succulent Dungeness crab and snow crab, in addition to crawfish, red potatoes, and chunks of corn on the cob, this Cajun crab boil recipe is sure to satisfy anyone you're preparing it for. It's spicy, it's fiery, and it's buttery — all qualities you're looking for in a great seafood boil. And the best part of all? It will be ready for you to dive into and enjoy in just an hour. The presentation will be pretty amazing, and it will be such a perfect meal to consider serving at any of your summer gatherings.

Gather the ingredients to prepare this Cajun crab boil

To dive in on making a Cajun crab boil on your own at home, you'll have to gather all of your ingredients ahead of time. The process goes quite quickly, so making sure you have everything laid out on the counter will help.

For this recipe, you'll need several items that you will probably need to pick up at the store. They include one box of Zatarain's seasoning, Cajun seasoning, eight small red potatoes cut in half, two ears of corn cut into thirds, 1 pound of Dungeness crab, ½ pound of snow crab, 1 pound of crawfish, and 3 tablespoons of butter.

"The amount of Cajun seasoning you use will really be up to you," says Marshall. "It adds a nice level of spice, so if you like it spicy, definitely add more." Hey, you can never have too much Cajun seasoning on hand, so but a good size container as it will not go to waste. We are pretty sure you will love this recipe, so you'll most likely be making it more over the summer months to come.

Prep the corn and potatoes for the Cajun crab boil

To get started on making your crab boil, your first step after pulling out all of the ingredients is to fill a pot or a large sauté pan with a lid halfway full of water. According to Marshall, you can use any type of pot or pan, as long as it's large enough for your ingredients to be boiled in. Once you've added the water, put it on the stovetop, and bring it to a boil.

While the water is boiling, you can use that time to prep your corn and potatoes. Remove the corn husks, and slice the ears of corn to cut them into thirds, producing smaller chunks. Cut the potatoes in half to allow them to cook faster. This will speed up the process and allow you to finish your cooking and enjoy your dinner with family or friends!

Steep the seasonings, and add in the corn and potatoes

When the water comes to a boil, it's time to add in the Zatarain's seasoning packet, as well as the Cajun seasoning to add great flavor to your dish. "It's essentially like making a spicy tea," says Marshall. "Let the seasoning steep in the water for at least five minutes, or even longer for more flavor."

Once the water is ready, it's time for the fun part. You will then add in the chunks of corn and the halved potatoes that are all ready and waiting to join the party!

Add in the crab and crawfish, and let the mixture boil

After the corn and potatoes have been added, it's time to add in the crab and crawfish. Once those ingredients have been added into the mixture, put the lid on the pan, and allow the mixture to boil for 10 minutes. 

Once the crab boil has had 10 minutes to boil, turn the heat off, and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. "This lets all of the flavors from the seasoning really seep into the crab, the crawfish, the corn, and potatoes," says Marshall. 

Your pot is going to look so professional, you will be impressed with what you put together! Not to mention, your kitchen is going to smell like a real chef's kitchen.

Spread out the crab boil, and finish off with the sauce

After allowing the mixture to cook, remove all of the ingredients from the pan, and spread it out onto parchment paper or newspaper. Reserve 2 cups of the liquid from the boil, and then add in 3 tablespoons of butter. Turn the heat on high, and reduce the mixture to a creamy sauce. "This becomes a great addition to really capture the flavors," says Marshall. "Then, you can use the sauce to pour over the crab boil to finish it off."

If you happen to have a good old-fashioned picnic table in your backyard area, you should consider laying  newspaper on top with lots of white candles. Then you can serve up your Cajun crab boil in such Pinterest-worthy style.

There are plenty of tasty sides that pair well with this dish, including coleslaw, a green salad, or even some pasta with a light butter sauce. You definitely deserve kudos for preparing this recipe for a special summer dinner, so give yourself a hand. Well, make it a juicy crab claw instead!

Cajun Crab Boil Recipe
5 from 51 ratings
Made with succulent Dungeness crab and snow crab, in addition to crawfish, red potatoes, and chunks of corn on the cob, this Cajun crab boil recipe is so tasty.
Prep Time
Cook Time
eating crab boil
Total time: 23 minutes
  • 1 box Zatarain's seasoning
  • Cajun seasoning, to taste
  • 2 ears corn, cut into thirds
  • 8 small red potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 pound Dungeness crab
  • ½ pound snow crab
  • 1 pound crawfish
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  1. Fill a large pot or large sauté pan with a tall lid halfway with water. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add in the Zatarain's seasoning, along with Cajun seasoning, depending on desired spice level. Steep the spices for 5 minutes.
  3. Cut the ears of corn into thirds, and cut the potatoes in half.
  4. Add the potatoes and corn into the water, then add in the crab and crawfish. Put the lid on, and allow it to boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn the heat off, and allow the boil to sit for 30 minutes.
  6. Once cooked, remove all of the ingredients from the pan, except for 2 cups of the remaining water. Spread the boil out onto newspaper or parchment paper.
  7. Add the 3 tablespoons of butter to the remaining water, turn on high heat, and allow it to reduce to a creamy sauce. Pour the sauce over the crab boil before serving.
Calories per Serving 617
Total Fat 13.2 g
Saturated Fat 6.5 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 263.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 69.7 g
Dietary Fiber 7.7 g
Total Sugars 7.7 g
Sodium 638.6 mg
Protein 57.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe