YIELD 10–12 servings
ACTIVE TIME 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME 45 minutes


For the shrimp boil:

2 lemons, quartered
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1/2-3/4 cup crab and shrimp boil seasoning, such as Old Bay, plus more, or 4 (3-ounce) bags Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp, and Crab Boil (See Cooks’ Note)
4 pounds small new potatoes (about 1 1/2″ in diameter)
2 pounds smoked pork sausage (about 4 links), such as kielbasa, cut into 2″ pieces
2 sweet or yellow onions, peeled, quartered
8 ears of corn, shucked, cut in half
4 pounds fresh large shrimp (31–35 count; preferably wild-caught), unpeeled

For the cocktail sauce (optional):

1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Crystal (to taste; optional)
For the lemon butter sauce (optional):
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Crystal (to taste; optional)
Special Equipment
A large (at least 12-quart) stockpot, preferably with a perforated insert, or 2 large (at least 6-quart) pots


Cook the shrimp boil:
Fill stockpot with 6 qt. water (if using 2 pots, divide ingredients and water between them). Add lemons, bay leaves, salt, peppercorns, and 1/2 cup seasoning, cover, and bring to a rolling boil. Add potatoes, return to a boil, and cook 7 minutes. Add sausage and onions, return to a boil, and cook 5 minutes. Add corn, return to a boil, and cook until corn is cooked and potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 5 minutes more.
Add shrimp and cook (no need to return to a boil), stirring gently, until shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes. Remove insert or drain through a very large colander.
Make the cocktail sauce:
Stir ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and hot sauce, if using, in a medium bowl.
Make the lemon-butter sauce:
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in lemon juice and hot sauce, if using. Taste and add more lemon juice, if needed. Cover and let sit in a warm place.
Serve the shrimp boil:
Serve shrimp boil on a newspaper-lined table or large platters. Dust with additional Old Bay, if using. Serve with sauces alongside, if desired.

Do Ahead

Cocktail sauce can be made 1 week ahead. Transfer to an airtight container and chill.