Photo of Easy Cajun Shrimp Boil by WW

Easy Cajun Shrimp Boil

Total Time
50 min
10 min
40 min
This Southern favorite is called a boil, but the key to tender shrimp is actually to gently poach them in the infused broth. Boiling the potatoes and corn first and then adding the shrimp means everything finishes cooking at the same time. If you can’t find salt-free Cajun seasoning, whip up your own by mixing 1 tbsp paprika, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, ½ tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp dried thyme, and ⅛ tsp cayenne. Save any leftovers to season chicken or fish.


Uncooked onion(s)

2 large, roots trimmed, peeled and quartered through the cores


1 bulb(s), halved horizontally

Bay leaf

4 leaf/leaves

Crushed red pepper flakes

2 tsp

Uncooked new potato(es)

2 pound(s), baby

Fresh yellow corn

8 medium, shucked and halved

Uncooked shrimp

2½ pound(s), peeled and deveined

Olive oil

2 Tbsp

Salt-free Cajun spice blend

2 tsp

Kosher salt

¾ tsp

Lemon wedge(s)

8 wedge(s), from 1 lemon, for serving (optional)


  1. In a large stock pot, combine 4 qt water, the onions, garlic, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes. Increase heat and return the water to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Add the corn and boil for 5 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the shrimp and remove the pot from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain the pot. Discard the bay leaves, onion pieces, and garlic.
  3. Return the shrimp, corn, and potatoes to the pot. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the seasoning and salt. Toss well to coat. Serve with lemon wedges (if using).
  4. Serving size: about 2½ cups, including 2 corn pieces