Ready to say goodbye to summer in style? Then look no further than this classic crowd pleaser: the seafood boil.
Quick, versatile and able to feed a group, seafood boils are a summer staple for a reason. However, if you've never made one before, you might be a little stumped about where to start. While many people swear by their favorite combinations, there are also plenty of ways to mix it up.
First, choose your seafood
We might be biased, but we think this is probably the most important step. Luckily, there are lots of great options and combinations to consider. While shrimp is easily the most popular choice, it's not a necessity if you aren't a shrimp fan. Or, you can use shrimp in combination with crab legs, mussels or even lobster.
Next, choose your meat
This step is easily skipped if you're a pescatarian, but adding another type of meat is a great way to amp up flavor. Andouille or another kind of smoked sausage is a popular choice, but you could also go crazy with some meatballs or even chicken, if that's your thing.
On to the veggies
The final ingredients help round out your seafood boil and make it a full meal. Here's where the versatility can really come through. Traditionally, corn on the cob and potatoes are the choice, but you could also add other vegetables (like onions and mushrooms) or keep it lower carb by skipping this option altogether.
If the seafood choice is the most important, this is easily second. Seasonings make a seafood boil what it is, so don't skimp. While you can find pre-mixed seafood boil seasonings in the store, it's also easy to make your own with herbs and spices you likely already have in your pantry. Some people prefer to keep it simple with lemon, garlic and Old Bay. Others want more of a kick and add smoked paprika and cayenne. We recommend looking up a couple of recipes and seeing what sounds best to you.
Check out these popular recipes for inspiration:
If you're feeling ambitious, you can also make a sauce to go with your seafood boil — or simply melt butter on the side for dipping. Then all that's left to do is dump it all out and enjoy!