This Instant Pot shrimp boil, aka Instant Pot low country boil, is super fast and easy to make. Meanwhile, it also one of my favorite things to make in the pressure cooker. It is a big hit with my family, and I am really looking forward to making it with farmstand fresh corn this summer. Speaking of corn, Instant Pot corn on the cob is another favorite that is super quick and easy in the Instant Pot.
Shrimp Boil History
Seafood boil history is pretty interesting. They came about in the south and can have varying ingredients. For example, Frogmore Stew (which does not contain frogs, it is the name of a place) is a classic Low Country South Carolina boil consisting mainly of shrimp and corn, but over time various areas added other items such as sausage, crawfish, potatoes and so on. Shrimp boils come by a number of additional names such as Low Country boil, Tidewater Boil, Cajun Boil, Louisiana Boil, and Beaufort Boil.
low country shrimp boils are traditionally served in one big serving dish or on a sheet pan that everyone serves themselves from. I use a big cast iron pan for serving mine.
Instant Pot Shrimp Boil Ingredients
This Instant pot shrimp boil recipe uses the traditional mix of smoked sausage, sweet corn, onion, garlic, potatoes, and shrimp that is seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning and butter. While a traditional low country boil will use unpeeled shrimp, for simplicity, I like to buy my shrimp peeled, cleaned, and even with the tails removed.
Old Bay Seasoning is the main star for the shrimp boil seasoning. I add a bit of hot sauce, and I like to cook with chicken stock. Some recipes call for beer, which you can substitute for the stock if you like. I feel that the stock gives it better flavor. If you use beer use a traditional light lager.
How to Make Pressure Cooker Shrimp Boil
The process f making an Instant Pot low country boil is quite easy. Dice up some onion in a fairly thick cut dice.
Slice the sausage in good sized chunks and cut the corn cobs into thirds. Add the chicken stock, a bit of hot sauce (if desired) and three teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning and give it a good stir. Then add the remaining ingredients except the shrimp and garlic. Do not pressure cook the shrimp! I like to put the corn on top. It fits best that way.
Pressure cook on manual high pressure for five minutes. Quick release the pressure and remove the corn, sausage, potatoes, and onion to a sheet pan or serving dish using a slotted spoon. Retain the stock.
Now, here is the key to the perfect Instant Pot shrimp boil. Do not pressure cook the shrimp! Let me repeat that. Do not pressure cook the shrimp!
It seems like nearly every recipe out there will have you pressure cook the shrimp at one or zero minutes, or will tell you to use frozen shrimp. I tested a number of those and ended up with overcooked shrimp nearly every time. Further, cooking the shrimp without pressure is just as fast. Simply put the Instant Pot on saute and add the shrimp. Let them cook in the simmering liquid for four to five minutes or until cooked. The shrimp will turn opaque when they are done.
Remove the shrimp to your serving pan and drizzle 1/2 cup melted butter mixed with garlic and 2 teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning over the mix.
Serving the Shrimp Boil
Garnish your shrimp boil with lemon slices. Then, place your serving pan in the middle of the table and let the family go to town! The dish pairs well with a crusty bread or cornbread such this savory zucchini cornbread with hot peppers and cheese.
I like to give everyone bowls to use for eating, but traditionally families will also eat straight from the pan. You can serve additional butter and seasoning mix in ramekins if you like. My family tends to like extra butter!
I hope you enjoy this dish! It is so easy to make and so tasty that it is sure to be a winner for you.
- 1 1/2 pounds baby potatoes (I use a mix of red and yellow)
- 2 packages smoked sausage, thickly sliced (I use one pork and one beef)
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 5 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, divided into 3 teaspoons and 2 teaspoons
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (I use Franks Red Hot). Omit for a less spicy boil.
- 3-4 ears corn, cut in thirds
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or 1-2 tablespoons prepared minced garlic
- 1 lemon, cut into slices
- Place chicken stock, 3 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, and hot sauce into the Instant Pot and stir well.
- Add potatoes, sausage, onion, and corn, placing the corn on top.
- Pressure cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Quick release and remove the potatoes, sausage, onion, and corn to a serving dish and loosely cover with foil.
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute and add the shrimp. Simmer the shrimp until the are cooked through (they will turn opaque). About 4-5 minutes.
- Melt butter in a small skillet over medium low heat or in the microwave. Stir in garlic and the remaining 1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning.
- Add the shrimp to the serving plate and drizzle the butter mixture over the shrimp boil.
- Garnish with lemon slices and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 447Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 234mgSodium: 1589mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 30g
Based on 8 servings. 6 comes to 596 calories.