Making a seafood boil sauce is easy - and it's a great way to add flavour to your seafood dishes. The key ingredients in a seafood boil sauce are garlic and butter and plenty of seasoning.
If you're looking for the perfect seafood sauce to dip your crab legs, lobster tails, or other cooked seafood, you can't go wrong with this melted garlic butter sauce recipe featuring butter, garlic, Old Bay seasoning, and lemon.
Or, for a spicy twist on the traditional seafood boil, try a sauce made with cajun seasoning, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
It's perfect for your next family get-together; you can adjust the spice level to everyone's taste.
How to make Seafood Boil Sauce
Check out our quick video showing how quick and easy this seafood boil dip is to make.
Continue reading about how to spice up your seafood with this delicious sauce! Or use the below link to get started making it right away.Seafood Boil Sauce Recipe Card
Seafood boil sauce is thought to have originated in the southern United States. Typically made with garlic, butter, and Old Bay seasoning - a blend of herbs and spices that's popular in the region.
The combination of flavours is perfect for accenting cooked seafood. Crab legs, lobster tails, and shrimp (prawns) are delicious when dipped in this savoury sauce. Or pour the sauce over a seafood boil.
You will only need a few ingredients to whip up this easy and delicious seafood dipping sauce.
Butter is the main ingredient for this seafood boil sauce adding richness and gloss.
Use unsalted butter, as you will add plenty of seasoning later.
Another key ingredient in this dipping sauce is fresh garlic; plenty of it adds a delicious depth of garlic flavour.
Do not substitute for garlic powder. You want the real thing, garlic cloves chopped finely with onion, they form a fantastic base for the buttery sauce.
Minced garlic could work, but you lose the texture.
Finely chopped onion is used in this seafood boil sauce; it adds sweetness and a rich, deep flavour.
Chop the onion and garlic by hand or using a food processor.
Old Bay Seasoning
Old Bay Seasoning is a seafood seasoning which is popular in America.
It contains a blend of 18 herbs and spices including paprika, mustard flour, celery seed, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, coriander seed, nutmeg, allspice, bay leaves, thyme, basil and rosemary.
In the UK, you can order Old Bay Seasoning from Amazon or make your own.
Or check out the FAQ at the end of the post for suitable seasoning mix substitutes.
Thyme has a delicate but assertive flavour. I like to add a couple of sprigs, you can use a small sprinkle of dried thyme instead.
Smoked paprika gives the seafood boil sauce a lovely smoky flavour.
You can use sweet paprika for mild heat or hot paprika for more punch.
Chilli powder is a blend of dried chillies. It's used to add heat to dishes; use as much or as little as you like to get the level of spice you prefer.
You can also buy different heat levels. It all comes down to personal preference.
Salt and Pepper
I like to add a good grinding of black pepper to this recipe. Add salt to taste; remember seasoning mixes often contain salt, so it's best to taste first!
A small amount of brown sugar is used in this recipe for sweetness.
I like adding a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the taste; it also helps cut through the butter's richness.
You can make many variations to this garlic butter seafood sauce recipe.
If you want a hotter seafood boil sauce, replace the paprika with cayenne pepper or hot red pepper flakes.
Want to make seafood boil sauce that will make you sweat?
Add some chopped fresh chillies or add hot sauce such as Tabasco sauce, or Louisiana hot sauce to taste.
Instead of brown sugar, add some honey or maple syrup for sweetness.
Use cajun seasoning instead of Old Bay to give this sauce a cajun seafood twist.
Add chopped fresh parsley and lemon zest for a herby garlic butter sauce to serve with your favourite seafood.
So, you want to make your own seafood boil sauce? Well, it's easy - and it's a great way to add flavour to your seafood dishes. A seafood boil sauce's key ingredients are garlic, butter, and plenty of seasoning.
Start by chopping butter into smaller cubes, then heat in a pan until it has melted.
Add in the garlic cloves and onion into the melted butter, and cook for 5 minutes until softened, enjoy the beautiful aroma.
Then, add in all the seasonings: Old Bay seasoning, thyme, paprika, chilli powder, and brown sugar. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Finally, add a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten up the taste, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve while still warm it will get thicker as the butter cools.
One of the best things about seafood boil sauce is its incredibly versatile.
Try mixing equal parts seafood boil sauce with mayonnaise for a creamy dipping sauce which makes a fantastic sandwich spread!
We like to add some to plain basmati rice to give some extra flavour.
Pour some over freshly boiled langoustines or dip cooked prawns (shrimp) or snow crab legs into the melted butter dipping sauce.
Make a seafood boil; the most popular seafood to boil are shrimp and crab, but lobster and clams, are also common. Add some red potatoes, sweet corn on the cobs, chicken sausage or andouille sausage for an extra special touch.
Pour the seafood boil sauce over the top and garnish with fresh lemon wedges and sprigs of parsley.
No matter how you serve it, seafood boil sauce is sure to be a hit with your guests.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Seafood Boil Sauce - Garlic and Butter Dip
- 1 Small Onion Finely diced
- 6 Cloves Garlic Finely diced
- 250 grams Unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- ½ tablespoon Chili Powder
- Black Pepper
- 1 Lemon
- 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar (optional)
- Finely chop onions and garlic by hand or in a food processor.6 Cloves Garlic, 1 Small Onion
- Chop butter into smaller blocks and add to pan over medium heat. Stir until all melted.250 grams Unsalted butter
- Add garlic and onion to the melted butter1 Small Onion, 6 Cloves Garlic
- Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add in all the dry seasonings, and stir through.3 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning, 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme, 1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika, ½ tablespoon Chili Powder, Black Pepper, Salt
- Add a squeeze of lemon and brown sugar (if using).1 Lemon, 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- Cook for the final 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve whilst still warm.
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If you have any leftover seafood boil sauce, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to 3 days.
The garlic butter becomes solid once refrigerated and will need reheating over medium-low heat to return to a dipping sauce.
You can separate it into smaller pots or icecube trays and freeze the sauce for up to 2 months.
Ice cube-size portions are fantastic for putting on fresh corn on the cob wrapped in foil cooked on a BBQ grill or oven!
Or add this flavorful sauce with steak, chicken, salmon or prawns! The choices are endless!
If you can't find it, you can use a cajun seasoning or make your own blend using a mixture of paprika, mustard flour, celery seed, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, coriander seed, nutmeg, allspice, bay leaves, thyme, basil and rosemary.
Yes, you can make the seafood boil sauce ahead of time. Simply store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
The garlic butter will solidify when refrigerated and will need reheating over medium-low heat to return to a dipping sauce
Yes, you can freeze the seafood boil sauce. Simply store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months
More Seafood Recipes
We'd love to hear what you think of the seafood boil sauce recipe, and what you like to serve it with, so please comment below.