Cajun Dungeness Crab Boil that’s an absolute crowd pleaser for a large crowd, as well as a date night for two.

Made with whole Dungeness crab, Lit’l smokies, corn, and red potatoes – the boil comes together in just 40 minutes using simple ingredients and one pot!

This Dungeness Crab Boil recipe is perfect for cooking up after your crabbing adventures, or picking up fresh crab from the market! Plus there’s a full guide on how to open, clean and crack your crab so you have all the tools to become a pro at cracking crab!

This is easily one of our go-to Dungeness crab recipes because of it’s simplicity, yet always pleases the crowd. You can easily substitute for other crab or crustaceans.

Living on the coast, we get our fair share of fresh, delicious seafood. Dungeness crab is no exception. We created this recipe shortly after moving to the coast when crabbing quickly became a rewarding family hobby.

Shortly after realizing how easy and delicious this boil is, we continued to make this recipe more and more. It quickly became an easy one-pot dinner favorite at our house.

Make it your own using sausage of your choice, as well as adding other seafood to the recipe. This makes a great date night in meal, or dinner for guests!

Either way, you’ve got to make it.


  1. Cutting board. I’ve had this style of cutting boards for years and love having multiple lightweight options, for meals that I’m using veggies and seafood.
  2. Knife.
  3. One large pot with a strainer, or a separate colander.
  4. Measuring cups & Measuring spoons.
  5. Small bowl.
  6. Crab Cracking Set with Picks. These are what we use!

cooked whole dungeness crab


These are our go-to ingredients to an easy and delicious Dungeness crab boil recipe. However, we do substitute them from time to time. So, feel free to substitute any of the ingredients to best fit your preference – and report back in the comments section below on how it went.

Ingredients for the Boil

  • Dungeness Crab. Live is best to use. I use live Dungeness crab that we catch ourselves, as one of many family activities we enjoy on the coast. You can substitute for other crab or crab legs.

  • Red potatoes. Use small or large potatoes cut in half. If you’re going for an easy crab boil, then go with the baby potatoes.

  • Corn on the cob. We use fresh corn, that we cut in half.

  • Onion. Yellow onion preferred for strongest flavor. In a pinch, substitute for red onion, but not white onion.

  • Garlic. Fresh Garlic is best for most flavor, but you can substitute it for garlic powder.

  • Lit’l Smokies. Our sausage of choice is lit’l smokies because of it’s simplicity. It also tends to hold it’s shape and keeps all the flavor locked in. Feel free to substitute for 1 pound of another sausage. Another great option is Andouille smoked (can be spicy) or Italian Smoked, which is what we use for our Seafood Boil. I would avoid sweet sausage.

  • Spices. A variety of warm spices give this dish its signature flavor. Smoked Paprika is preferred, but if you can’t find it at your local store, try regular paprika.

  • Other seafood: Feel free to add other seafood as you see fit. I will upload our Seafood Boil recipe soon, however, this has been our go-to recipe when we bring crab home for an easy yet memorable dinner!

cajun crab boil seasoning recipe in a while bowl


A mix of warm spices, garlic, herbs and a little tang from the mustard seeds, and of course – a little kick that gives this boil it’s signature Cajun flavor. The amount of seasoning gives this Cajun crab boil the right amount of flavor without overpowering the crab taste we love!

Cajun Seasoning Recipe

  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika. Smoked paprika is best to use for the smokey aspect. If you can’t find it in your local store, you can substitute it for regular paprika.

  • 6 tbsp Old bay seasoning. Old bay is best to use over other seafood boil seasoning since it has less sodium added.

  • 1 tbsp ground cayenne or to taste. You will feel a little kick!

  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds. Can be substituted for mustard powder for half the quantity.

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander.

  • 1 tbsp dried thyme. I love using fresh thyme. If you have some extras, it makes such a beautiful garnish!

  • 1 tbsp sugar. Sugar helps round out all the salt. If you are sensitive to sugar, you can avoid adding it.

  • 1 tbsp black pepper.

Easily Double this Crab Boil for a Crowd

cajun crab boil spread across tables to feed a crowd

This Crab Boil Recipe impressed a big crowd at our toddler’s birthday! Becoming the talk of all our family and friends for the next several months, and it couldn’t have been easier to make.

This is the ultimate easy recipe for a crowd that will be sure to create lasting memories.

Which is the only way to throw a party in my book!

cajun dungeness crab boil with potatoes and corn


This Crab Seafood Boil Recipe can be the perfect date-night-in meal idea for two with the recipe as-is. For a large crowd, double or triple the recipe depending on the number of guests. Our rule of thumb is at least half of a crab to a crab per person.


We typically serve Seafood Boil as-is, or with a side of green salad. You can also serve it with baguette or sourdough. Roasted veggies are a great option as well.


Once cooked, Seafood Boil can last in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

My other crab recipe favorites are:

Crab Omelette is the perfect recipe to use up any leftover crab the next morning!

Crab Rangoon. Crunchy and creamy! They make the best appetizer.

Fresh Crab Tacos are light, easy to whip up, but so hard to forget. They’re divine!

Crab Pasta with tomato and lemon garlic sauce, to get your spaghetti fix in!

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I’d love to see the dishes you’ve made using our recipes and share them with our followers! Please post them on social media and tag us on Facebook @perfecttide and Instagram @theperfecttide

Cajun Crab Boil

Cajun Crab Boil is a crowd-pleaser for a large crowd or a date night for two.
With whole Dungeness crab, Lit'l smokies, corn, and red potatoes – the boil comes together in just 40 minutes!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Pacific Coast, Seafood
Servings 4 servings
Calories 581 kcal



  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 6 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tbsp ground cayenne or to taste
  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper


  • 2 whole Dungeness crab
  • 16 oz Lit'l Smokies
  • 5 ears of corn cut in half
  • 5 large red potatoes cut in half
  • 1 large yellow onion cut in half
  • 1 large lemon cut in slices
  • 5 cloves garlic cut in half


  • 1 stick butter salted
  • 1 tbsp reserved Seafood Boil seasoning
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup reserved boil liquid



  • In a small bowl, mix all the seafood boil spices and reserve 1 tablespoon for the butter sauce.
  • Fill a large pot 2/3 of the way with water and bring to a boil. Place the onion, garlic, sliced lemon, and boil seasoning.
  • Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Then add the crab and cook for 7 minutes.
  • Then add the corn and the sausage and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Drain into a colander, reserving 1/4 cup for the butter sauce.
  • Pour into a shallow platter.


  • Melt the butter and mix in the reserved seafood boil liquid, minced garlic and seasoning.
  • Pour half the sauce onto the seafood boil, reserve the other half for dipping.
  • Enjoy immediately. Garnish with extra lemon slices and fresh chopped parsley is optional.


Sausage: Feel free to use another sausage. Good options are Andouille and Italian, cut into slices prior to cooking.
To Serve: Sprinkle additional Old Bay Seasoning once plated to taste. 
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Calories: 581kcalCarbohydrates: 62.1gProtein: 48g
Keyword Cooking crab, Crab recipes, seafood, seafood butter sauce
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