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Frogmore Stew is a quick and easy one-pot meal made with shrimp, corn, sausage and potatoes in a highly-seasoned broth. Strain off the cooking liquid and serve the Lowcountry boil on a picnic table with cold beers and plenty of dipping sauces! It’s the perfect eat-with-your-hands summertime dinner.

Overhead shot of a pot of the best Frogmore Stew recipe

What is Frogmore Stew?

Frogmore Stew is a traditional Lowcountry dish made with four primary ingredients: shrimp, corn on the cob, new potatoes, and smoked sausage. Everything boils in a zesty liquid that’s flavored with seafood seasoning (in this case Old Bay). Unlike other “stews” that include a thick broth and are enjoyed with a spoon, an authentic Frogmore Stew recipe is strained before serving. It’s especially delicious served outdoors, making it the perfect dish for a casual get-together on newspaper-lined picnic tables.

Origin

The Gullah Geechee people are descendants of Africans who were enslaved on the rice, indigo and Sea Island cotton plantations of the lower Atlantic coast. Rice was a major crop of the Lowcountry region until the end of the Civil War, so slave traders valued the expertise of Africans from rice-growing regions and sold them to work in the fields. The enslaved Africans brought many of their dishes with them, and also created new recipes based on the free or affordable ingredients from their surroundings (like fresh shrimp!). Frogmore stew has roots in the Gullah culture, highlighting coastal South Carolina’s peak summer ingredients.

Why do they call it Frogmore stew?

It’s a funny name, and no — there are no frogs in this stew! The dish originated in a small Lowcountry fishing community on St. Helena Island named Frogmore, near Beaufort and Hilton Head.

What is the difference between Low Country Boil and Frogmore stew?

Nothing! They’re actually two different names for the same dish. In addition to Low Country Boil, Lowcountry Boil, and Frogmore Stew, you might also know this South Carolina favorite as Beaufort Stew, a Beaufort Boil or a Tidewater Boil. The dish is a milder version of the similar Louisiana-style crawfish boil.

Lowcountry boil served on a platter over newspapers

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for an authentic Frogmore Stew recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions can be found in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Water, kosher salt and Old Bay seasoning: the flavorful base for the boil.
  • Baby red potatoes: small new potatoes go straight into the pot while they’re still whole. No chopping or peeling necessary!
  • Sausage: we like hot smoked sausage in this dish, but you can use kielbasa, andouille, or your favorite variety.
  • Corn: fresh corn on the cob is a must! Cut each cob into 2 or 3 smaller pieces.
  • Shrimp: use unpeeled shrimp for the best flavor. If you can find them, shrimp with the heads on are ideal.

How much shrimp per person for Frogmore Stew?

Plan on about ½ pound of shell-on shrimp per person. That should be a sufficient amount for most appetites, given the sausage, potatoes and corn also in the pot.

Ingredients for authentic Frogmore Stew

How to Make Frogmore Stew

Other than shucking the corn, there’s virtually no prep work involved for this simple, hearty, and flavorful meal! There are just two main rules when it comes to Frogmore Stew: use the freshest ingredients, and don’t overcook anything. This meal is best during the summer months when the local corn is sweet, and you can just spread some newspapers on a table outside. Pour a cold beer, and let everyone eat with their hands!

  1. Bring the water, salt and Old Bay seasoning to a boil.
  2. Add the potatoes, reduce the heat slightly, and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the sausage and cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. Stir in the corn and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the shrimp, and cook until pink — about 1-2 more minutes.
  6. Remove all of the ingredients from the water and serve the “stew” on a large platter, in individual bowls, or on a picnic table lined with newspapers.
Process shot showing how to make Frogmore Stew with a jar of Old Bay seasoning
Horizontal overhead shot of Frogmore Stew in a stockpot

Sides to Serve with Frogmore Stew

This is basically a one-pot meal; however, there’s always room for a few more sides! Serve the Lowcountry Boil with homemade coleslaw; tomato, cucumber and onion salad; cucumber salad; hush puppies; hoe cakes; or skillet cornbread.

Square overhead image of a platter of Frogmore stew on a picnic table with beer and dip

Storage

If you have any leftovers, the cooked stew will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

How to Reheat

Reheat the leftovers in the microwave for about 2 minutes, or just until warmed through. You can also place the stew in a baking dish and reheat in the oven at 350° F for about 10 minutes, or until warm. Just be careful that you don’t reheat for too long, or the shrimp will become tough and rubbery.

Frogmore stew spread on a picnic table with newspapers

Frogmore Stew Variations

  • To serve a crowd, you’ll want to double all of the ingredients and cook the stew in a very large stockpot.
  • For extra flavor, boil the stew in beer or stock, rather than water.
  • Include sliced Vidalia onion in the pot.
  • Add live blue crabs to the boil! They can go into the pot at the same time as the corn.
  • We use hot smoked sausage, but you can substitute with just about any fully-cooked sausage — such as andouille, kielbasa, or smoked chicken sausage or turkey sausage.

Tips for the Best Frogmore Stew Recipe

  • The key to a great Lowcountry boil is using the freshest ingredients available. Serve this dish in the summer when you can get sweet local corn on the cob.
  • Leave the shrimp shells on for cooking and let your guests do the peeling. This makes for easier prep, but it also gives the stew the best flavor. Better yet if you can find shrimp with the heads on!
  • Keep a close eye on the pot and don’t let any of the ingredients cook too long. There’s nothing worse than mushy potatoes or rubbery shrimp at a Lowcountry boil!
  • Offer extra options for your guests to season their meals. Additional Old Bay seasoning is great, along with bowls of melted butter, tartar sauce, or cocktail sauce for dipping.
Side shot of a platter of authentic Frogmore Stew on a picnic table

More Lowcountry Recipes to Try

Overhead shot of a pot of the best Frogmore Stew recipe

Frogmore Stew {Lowcountry Boil}

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings 4 – 6 people
Calories 562 kcal
A quick and easy one-pot meal made with shrimp, corn, sausage and potatoes in a highly-seasoned broth! It's the perfect eat-with-your-hands summertime dinner.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 gallon (16 cups) water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 24 ounces baby (or “petite”) red potatoes
  • 14 ounces – 1 lb. hot smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch slices
  • 3 – 4 ears fresh corn, husked, cleaned and cut into 2 or 3 pieces
  • 2 lbs. shrimp, unpeeled
  • Optional, for serving: melted butter, cocktail sauce or tartar sauce

Instructions

  • Bring water, salt and Old Bay seasoning to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven.
  • Add whole potatoes, reduce heat slightly, and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add sausage and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Stir in corn; cook for 3 more minutes.
  • Add shrimp and cook until pink, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove all of the ingredients from the water and serve on a large platter, in individual bowls, or on a picnic table lined with newspapers.

Notes

  • The key to a great Lowcountry boil is using the freshest ingredients available. Serve this dish in the summer when you can get sweet local corn on the cob.
  • Leave the shrimp shells on for cooking and let your guests do the peeling. This makes for easier prep, but it also gives the stew the best flavor. Better yet if you can find shrimp with the heads on!
  • Keep a close eye on the pot and don’t let any of the ingredients cook too long. There’s nothing worse than mushy potatoes or rubbery shrimp at a Lowcountry boil!
  • Offer extra options for your guests to season their meals. Additional Old Bay seasoning is great, along with bowls of melted butter, tartar sauce, or cocktail sauce for dipping.
  • To serve a crowd, you’ll want to double all of the ingredients and cook the stew in a very large stockpot.
  • For extra flavor, boil the stew in beer or stock, rather than water.
  • Add live blue crabs to the boil! They can go into the pot at the same time as the corn.
  • We use hot smoked sausage, but you can substitute with just about any fully-cooked sausage — such as andouille, kielbasa, or smoked chicken sausage or turkey sausage.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/5 of the potCalories: 562kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 51gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 514mgSodium: 2348mgPotassium: 1060mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 111IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 283mgIron: 6mg
Keyword: Frogmore Stew, Lowcountry Boil
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I tried the Low Country Boil for the first time. My family raved over it. We loved your suggestions. We added Old Bay to our melted butter and made 2 types of sausage – smoked kielbasa and andouille. I served it with watermelon slices, sliced tomatoes and green pepper. I love your website, I can always follow your directions and everything has “normal” ingredients. I also made your Dump and Bake Ravioli this week, also a hit. Thank you ☺️

    1. That’s wonderful to hear, Deb! Thanks for taking the time to come back here and let me know. I appreciate your kind note!

    1. Hi, Lisa! You can definitely use those frozen ingredients. In fact, I’ve tried it myself, and it’s still great! I do think that the frozen corn on the cob gets a bit mushy, but the shrimp is totally fine!

    1. Hi, Rita! That’s a good question! I’ve never tried making it without Old Bay, and the Old Bay is such a classic prominent flavor in the dish. I suppose you could try to substitute with other seasonings, but it definitely won’t taste like a traditional Frogmore Stew. Do you know what component of Old Bay your friend is allergic to? If possible, I would try to make a homemade version of the Old Bay spice blend to replicate as much of the flavor profile as possible. For instance, maybe you could use a homemade blend like this one: https://www.daringgourmet.com/old-bay-seasoning/

  2. If you were to add clams to the mix how and when would you? Could you halve the amount of shrimp for clams?

    1. Hi, Carrie Anne! Clams usually steam (and the shell opens) in about 5-7 minutes, so I would add them with the corn when you have about 5 minutes left in the cooking time. Give the pot a shake occasionally, so that the heat evenly and just keep an eye on them. They’ll open at different rates, and don’t eat a clam if the shell doesn’t open on its own.