The best side dishes for an easy shrimp boil party are a great way of enjoying a Lowcountry boil with a large crowd! Your dinner party will be filled with good food and great fun!
If you love a seafood boil and want to host one at home, this post will help you create a menu filled with the perfect side dish ideas!
A big low country boil is almost a complete meal, but you might want to serve a few delicious side dishes to round out the main course.
You will love this post if you’re a fan of the classic shrimp boil, and need a few ideas of what to serve with it.
Traditional Shrimp Boil
Let’s chat for a minute about what you’ll need for your shrimp boil.
I recently hosted a Sheet Pan Lowcountry Boil in my home, and I wrote this post on how to host one yourself. I love the idea of a shrimp boil, but the large pot big enough to fit all the things isn’t always accessible to everyone.
So, using your oven and a sheet pan you can host one of my favorite meals right in your home, any time of the year! In the above post, you can read the full breakdown of how to host and a line-by-line plan for your event.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Fresh Shrimp — choose jumbo shrimp that have been deveined. You can keep the shells on, if you like, I actually prefer to have them removed, but tails on. It makes it easier for everyone at the table.
Smoky Sausage — I like to do a combo of both andouille sausage and turkey kielbasa sausage.
Baby Potatoes — you can use red potatoes, mini yellow potatoes, or just cut-up plain potatoes! Anything goes well.
Fresh Corn — just in time for summer sweet corn, a shrimp boil is the perfect way to use it!
Onions — for the best results use a sweet onion like a yellow or Vidalia onion
Old Bay Seasoning (or some kind of Seafood Seasoning or Cajun Spices)
Other options for a seafood boil are to include crawfish when they’re in season, clams, lobster, and shellfish!
Some people like to add Brussels sprouts and other vegetables to their boil, but I like to keep it fairly simple.
You’ll need some toppers like hot sauce, some kind of bread like sourdough bread to mop up the sauce, and a simple green salad. It never hurts to put out some extra cajun seasoning and black pepper on the table, too!
I’m telling you this is one of those dinner parties people will ask you to host over and over!! So, make it easy on yourself and send them this post to choose their side dish to bring to the main event!
Entertaining Tip: One of the easiest ways you can make your guests feel included is by having an answer ready when they ask “What can I bring?” << For years, I would say “Nothing! I’ve got it!” and people weren’t nearly as relaxed as they are when they have something to contribute to the meal. It’s also a fantastic conversation starter! “Tell me about what you brought!”
The Best Side Dishes for a Shrimp Boil
Typical side dishes include hush puppies, sweet potato fries, and a simple potato salad.
Usually, with this easy seafood dish, I don’t include anything but a simple salad. However, if you’re wanting to serve a crowd, it’s nice for them to bring something. Plus, not everyone likes tender shrimp or juicy crawfish! So having some good side dishes will help round out the meal, and give everyone something they enjoy!
One way to help get a few more veggies on the menu is to make some vegetable skewers. Fill a skewer with bell pepper, onion, zucchini, and anything else you like. Grill it while your shrimp dish is cooking, and you’ll have one of the best sides!
Garlic Butter Seafood Sauce — Buerre Blanc is THE perfect sauce to serve with your shrimp boil! And, if you’re adding crab legs to the boil, this sauce is a must-have! Fresh garlic, lemon zest, and fresh lemon juice are all gently whisked into melted butter for the ultimate decadent dipping sauce for any seafood.
Seafood Boil Sauce — Butter, garlic, and plenty of seasoning! This sauce was made for dipping shrimp, corn, and everything in between!
Another entertaining tip for a great idea for outdoor events when hosting a crawfish boil (or any kind of boil!) is to line your tables with parchment paper first. Then, top with kraft paper. People will line their tables with newspapers, but it’s often very dirty! And, this meal you eat right off the table, no plates or silverware involved. So! Using a heavy-duty kraft paper is nice. But, the pre-lining of parchment paper helps keep your table safe, and clean up a breeze!
Classic Macaroni Salad – Filled with surprising veggies and a creamy dressing, this pasta salad is a classic side dish that’s welcome on any dinner table!
Southern Cucumber and Tomato Salad — nothing screams summer entertaining more than a deliciously classic cucumber and tomato salad. It’s so refreshing to have summer’s fresh harvest on your table and enjoy the (literal!) fruits of your labor. People make theirs all different ways, but this recipe is a pure classic Southern recipe! Give it a try!
Spicy Coleslaw — It’s the classic creamy coleslaw recipe but with a bit of a spicy kick from some mild green Tabasco sauce. Love the idea of adding that kick to an ordinary side dish to make it extraordinary!
Fourth of July Fruit Salad — if you’re hosting your gathering during a patriotic holiday, this watermelon salad is a great addition! Plus, the festive star-shaped apples are a fun way to make the buffet look extra exciting!
Sauteed Spinach with Garlic — Sauteed spinach is a great side dish to add to your menu. It’s easy to prepare while your seafood is cooking, and it adds some extra veggie excitement to the meal. It’s super simple with olive oil, fresh garlic, and a little salt and pepper.
Cilantro Rice — everyone loves rice! And this is a flavor-packed side dish your people will love! White rice is combined with cilantro for a side dish everyone will love.
Air Fryer Cornbread — The crispy exterior of air-fried cornbread is incredible! It’s the classic southern dish, either homemade or using a Jiffy mix, but made in your air fryer. Saving your oven space, y’all!! Woo hoo!!
Jalapeno Cornbread — Alright, y’all, if you’d like a spicy cornbread for dipping in the flavorful broth, this is the recipe you’ve got to try!
Crock Pot Green Beans — Everything you love about Southern cooked green beans, but made in the slow cooker! And this accompanies the main dish so well. Green beans are plentiful during the summer months, and this is a great recipe to share your bounty with your people. Plus, by using your crock pot, the oven space is saved, and if you’re doing your boil outside, everything can stay outside. No heating up your house!
Cheesy Potatoes — This is a great option for a baked potato casserole. Filled with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and green onions, these creamy potatoes will be the classic dish everyone reaches in for.
Appetizers for a Shrimp Boil
Mango Salsa — this mango salsa is the perfect way to start the evening! Have it sitting out, and your people can help themselves to a chip-and-dip appetizer.
Pimento Cheese — this classic recipe is the best part of any meal, y’all. This recipe is loved by many, and with crackers and celery surrounding the bowl, your people will kick off this dinner party with a bang! It’s a popular dish to start any gathering in the southern classic way.
Tomato Bruschetta — chopped tomatoes with fresh herbs, lots of garlic and capers is a great way to start the meal. I love eating a bite of cooked shrimp on my bruschetta with tomato salad, too! Such a delightful combo!
Save this to your favorite side dish board on Pinterest!