This epic recipe for Seafood Boil knocks it out of the park in every department!

This boil has crab, jumbo prawns (shell on), mussels, steamer clams, sausage, corn, and red potatoes. With our Seafood boil mix, and a side of butter sauce, it’s sheer perfection.

The Meal That Will Never Be Forgotten!

Seafood Boil, as you could imagine, changes the feel of the room. Everyone immediately becomes excited and anxious for the moment the food gets poured on the table for them to pick their perfect spot to sit in.

So If you want lasting memories enjoyed with great company, this Seafood Boil is absolutely the way to go! And I’ll be walking you through every step from prepping and dressing the table, to getting the boiling process down.

If you’d like to stick to an easier boil, try my Crab Boil recipe. It’s one of my favorite low-effort and high-reward meals.

And, if you end up with leftover crab, make my Crab Omelette recipe.

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Outdoor burner with large pot

How fun does this look?! An outdoor burner with our boil cooking away as we’re enjoying this gorgeous view!


  • Colander. You will need this colander handy in your sink. Free up room and set one in there to drain the boil prior to placing food on the table.
  • Butcher paper. This soaks up the liquid nicely, however, another options is paper bags taken apart and used inside out with parchment paper used underneath. I don’t suggest using only parchment paper since it doesn’t do as well of a job soaking up liquids. Link to a good butcher paper on amazon.
  • Small butter dishes. One for every person. These will host the butter sauce.
  • Buckets for shells and other waste. I suggest one small bucket per every 2 people. A good substitute is medium bowls. They fill up quick so don’t choose anything too small. These buckets (linked) are great since they’ll multiple uses.

steamer clams and mussels in a glass bowl


It’s extremely important to understand when to chalk up the loss and toss shellfish, to avoid other illnesses. I’ve laid out what to look for when shellfish is raw, as well as after cooking.

Before cooking: If any clams, or mussels are open and do not close after you test them, discard them. 

After cooking: If any clams or mussels don’t open during the cooking process, discard them. 

Here are a few methods to test clams to see if they’re bad:

  1. Try physically closing their shell. If they eventually close back up they’re good. If they stay open, try this next test.
  2. Run them under cold water for a few seconds. If they close back up, they’re safe to eat. Toss any clams that don’t close while testing.

Seafood Boil on a table with butter sauce recipe


Aside from watching a big pot of seafood boil while watching everyone scoot close to watch, setting the table in preparation for the feast is just as special – makes it that much more real!

It’s every bit a special and gourmet dinner in the most casual setting, and how we set up for Seafood Boil speaks just that – in a “Feast is Coming” so pull back your sleeves type of way.

Jokes aside here is the best way to set up your table:

1. Clear your table and set butcher paper down. You can tape it underneath the table for extra security. If you don’t have butcher paper, a good substitute we’ve used is disposable table cloth with paper bags torn and turned inside out along the center of the table. The boil is juicy, so you will need something to soak up any extra liquid.

2. At every chair, place a couple of napkins, a crab cracking set that includes a picker, here is my go-to set on Amazon.

3. Every 2 people will need these style buckets, or bowls to discard any shells, napkins, corn on the cob, etc. I provided a link to good ones that can be used for other purposes besides an incredible boil!

4. Small dish for the butter sauce placed near the cracking set for every person. These small bowls can be used for other events and so versatile.

Seafood boil ingredients, crab, prawns, mussels, steamer clams, sausage, corn, potatoes


Here is what you’ll need for this recipe for Seafood Boil!


  • Crab. I’m using Dungeness Crab since it’s local to us, and provides a lot of meat. Use Dungeness, snow, or king crab. To portion out the crab for every person, we do 1/2 crab per person.
    To Prep Crab: Check out my recipe on the Easiest Way to Cook Crab.

  • Mussels. You can find mussels at most fish markets. Some grocery stores will have them as well. Call and ask the seafood department.

  • Steamer clams. These are another staple in this Seafood Boil. Purchased from fish markets, or the seafood section in some grocery stores. If you prefer to avoid clams, double the jumbo prawns, or mussels.

  • Jumbo prawns, with tails, legs and everything. Peeling them is the fun of it! They are typically in the refrigerated seafood section. Ask the attendant there if you don’t find them. A substitute is X-large shrimp found at most grocery stores.


  • Sausage. We do Andouille or Italian sausage for Seafood boil. Another option that’s super easy is Litl’ Smokies, we use that for our Easy Crab Boil recipe. I’d stay away from sweet sausage.

  • Corn. Fresh corn on the cob is the way to go for a seafood boil. Cut them in quarters for perfect bite sized pieces.

  • Red potatoes. Medium red potatoes tend to be the perfect size for this seafood boil. They go well with small clams, mussels and prawns.

  • Yellow onion. A large yellow onion cut into quarters to flavor the boil. This goes in when the heat on the pot gets turned on!

  • Lemon. Cut into thick slices. This also gets tossed into the pot while it’s warming! Yum!

Now that you have the very important ingredients down, you’re ready for the seasoning!

seafood boil spices in white bowl with fresh thyme and lemon


  • Smoked paprika. Time and time again, we’ve used smoked paprika for our boils and it was the perfect touch! If you don’t have it, however, you can sub for regular paprika.

  • Old Bay seasoning. This is typically found in the specialty spices or salt in most grocery stores.

  • Mustard seeds. If you don’t have mustard seeds, or can’t find any in the store (I know a thing or two about that, living 40 minutes away from the next grocery store) you can use half the amount of mustard powder as a great substitute.

  • Cayenne. Using the amount of cayenne in my recipe makes the boil have the perfect amount of spicy flavor, just a little kick to take it up a notch. It definitely doesn’t take away from the seafood but adds to it. If you are sensitive to spicy, leave or decrease to your taste.

  • Black pepper. A little bit of black pepper is the perfect touch.

You can use fresh herbs (just double the measurement).

  • Ground Coriander. Add a light fresh herb to round out all the spices.

  • Thyme. Fresh or dried. I like to use fresh in the spring and summer, and dry throughout the winter. Double for fresh.

  • Garlic powder. An absolute must, garlic is always a good choice!

seafood boil sauce, butter sauce | prawns, corn, crab, potatoes, sausage, clams


Oh, the butter sauce! This is the most amazing Seafood dunking sauce and works perfectly with a side of baguette as well.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Butter. Salted or unsalted depending on your taste. I used salted butter for this butter sauce.
  • Reserved seasoning.
  • Reserved Boil liquid. The boil has SO much great flavor, it is spice town! So it makes the easiest addition to this sauce.
  • Fresh Garlic. The garlic should be finely minced, and optional if you prefer less garlic.
  • Lemon. You’ll want to squeeze the lemon into the sauce. Another option is to squeeze half the lemon and cut the other half into wedges to sprinkle around the boil.


  • Store in the fridge and enjoy for fancy lunch the next day. Bragging rights included!
  • Make into other meals. One of my absolute favorite recipes to make with leftover crab is my Crab Omelette, give it a try!

If you made this recipe for Seafood Boil, post and tag us on social media!
Tag us on Facebook @perfecttide and Instagram @theperfecttide

Seafood boil recipe on a table

Seafood Boil

This recipe for Seafood Boil knocks it out of the park in every department!
WIth Dungeness Crab (or crab of choice), Jumbo Prawns, Mussels, Steamer Clams, Sausage, Corn on the Cob and Red Potatoes!
Bring on the memories!
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Pacific Coast, Seafood
Servings 4 people



  • 3-4 lbs cooked crab I'm using 2 Dungeness crab
  • 1 lb steamer clams
  • 1 lb mussels
  • 1 lb jumbo prawns with shells
  • 1 lb sausage andouille or italian
  • 5 ears of corn quartered
  • 12 red potatoes washed
  • 1 yellow onion quartered
  • 1 lemon cut into thick slices

Seafood Boil Spices

  • 6 tbsp old bay seasoning
  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground cayenne
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp thyme fresh or dried
  • 1 tbsp black pepper


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tbsp reserved seafood boil seasoning
  • ½ cup reserved boil liquid
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lemon juiced


  • In a small bowl, mix all the seafood boil spices and reserve 1 tablespoon for the butter sauce.
  • Fill a large pot halfway with water and add sliced lemon, onion, and spices.Bring to a raging boil.
  • Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Then, add the crab and cook for an additional 7 minutes.
  • Then, add the mussels, clams, prawns, sausage and corn and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Drain into a colander, reserving 1/2 cup for the butter sauce.
  • Pour onto a table lined with butcher paper. Or a shallow platter.


  • Melt the butter and mix in the reserved liquid, seasoning, minced garlic, and lemon.
  • Pour the sauce into small bowls.


If doubling the recipe, use an outdoor propane burner, with a large enough pot to fit the food as well as water.
Shellfish Safety:
Before cooking: If any clams are open and do not close after you test them, discard them.
After cooking: If any of the clams or mussels don’t open during the cooking process – toss them.
I would love to see your Seafood Boil! post a picture on social media and tag us.
@ThePerfectTide on IG
@PerfectTide on FB
Keyword Cooking crab, Crab recipes, date night dinner ideas, dinner for a crowd, Dungeness crab, mussels, prawns, recipe for seafood boil, Seafood Boil, seafood boil recipe, seafood dinner for guests, seafood recipes, steamer clams
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