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Frogmore stew (also known as a Lowcountry boil or shrimp boil) 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 dish on a picnic table with cold beers and plenty of dipping sauces! It’s the perfect eat-with-your-hands summertime dinner.

Close overhead image of a Dutch oven full of frogmore stew.
Table of Contents
  1. How to Make Frogmore Stew | 1-Minute Video
  2. What is Frogmore Stew?
  3. Origin
  4. Ingredients
  5. Directions
  6. Sides to Serve with Frogmore Stew
  7. Storage
  8. Recipe Variations
  9. Frogmore Stew {Lowcountry Boil} Recipe

If you love Southern lowcountry cuisine, check out this easy Charleston pickled shrimp, this delicious shrimp and grits with tomato gravy, and this okra and tomatoes, too!

How to Make Frogmore Stew | 1-Minute Video

I tried the Low Country Boil for the first time. My family raved over it…

– Deb

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. It’s often referred to as a shrimp boil recipe because 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.

Frogmore stew served on a blue and white enamelware platter.

Origin

It’s a funny name, and no — there are no frogs in this stew! Frogmore stew originated in a small Lowcountry fishing community on St. Helena Island named Frogmore, near Beaufort and Hilton Head. You might also know this South Carolina favorite as Low Country Boil, Lowcountry Boil, a Shrimp Boil Recipe, Beaufort Stew, a Beaufort Boil, or a Tidewater Boil. The dish is a milder version of the similar Louisiana-style crawfish boil.

Frogmore stew has roots in the Gullah culture, highlighting coastal South Carolina’s peak summer ingredients. 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. 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!).

Shrimp boil seasoning Old Bay in a jar.

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 shrimp boil. The Old Bay shrimp boil seasoning is a combination of celery salt, spices (like red pepper and black pepper), and paprika.
  • 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 substitute with just about any fully-cooked sausage — such as andouille sausage, kielbasa, or smoked chicken sausage or turkey sausage.
  • Corn: fresh corn on the cob is a must! Cut each of the ears of corn into 2 or 3 smaller pieces.
  • Shrimp: use unpeeled jumbo shrimp for the best flavor. If you can find them, shrimp with the heads on are ideal. 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 an authentic frogmore stew recipe.

Directions

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. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. Drain all of the ingredients from the water and serve the “stew” on a large serving platter, in individual bowls, or on a picnic table lined with newspapers.
  8. Offer extra options for your guests to season their meals. Additional Old Bay seasoning is great, along with lemon wedges for garnish, hot sauce, and bowls of melted butter, tabasco, ketchup, tartar sauce, or cocktail sauce for dipping. Sprinkle with fresh parsley or other herbs, too!
Horizontal overhead image of a pot of frogmore stew.

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; Southern-style green beans; perfect oven-roasted asparagus; hoe cakes; or cast iron cornbread.

Shrimp boil recipe spread on a picnic table lined with newspapers.

Storage

  • How to Store: Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
  • How to Freeze: I do not recommend freezing the meal, since the potatoes and corn will have a mushy, undesirable texture when thawed.
  • How to Reheat: Reheat the leftovers in the microwave for about 1-2 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.
Square overhead shot of a platter of low country boil.

Recipe Variations

  • To serve a crowd, 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. Beers like lagers, pilsners, ambers, or IPAs are best for frogmore stew. Avoid brown ales, stouts, or overly bitter options.
  • Include sliced Vidalia onion or whole, peeled garlic cloves in the pot.
  • Add live blue crabs to the boil! They can go into the pot at the same time as the corn.
  • Make the low country boil on a sheet pan in the oven using this recipe.
Close up square side shot of a platter of lowcountry boil.

More Lowcountry Recipes to Try

Square overhead shot of frogmore stew in a dutch oven.

Frogmore Stew {Lowcountry Boil}

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings 5 people
Calories 562 kcal
A quick and easy one-pot meal made with shrimp, corn, sausage, and potatoes in a highly-seasoned broth!

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 pieces
  • 3 – 4 ears fresh corn, husked, cleaned, and cut into 2 or 3 pieces each
  • 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.
    Shrimp boil seasoning Old Bay in a jar.
  • 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.
    Ingredients for an authentic frogmore stew recipe.
  • 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.
    Square overhead shot of a platter of low country boil.

Video

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.
  • 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.

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, shrimp boil recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in June, 2021. It was updated in June, 2024.

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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Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

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Comments

  1. Deb says:

    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. Blair says:

      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. Leasa says:

        Delicious. I questioned times suggested for cooking each item, but turned out perfectly! Yum!!

        1. Blair Lonergan says:

          Thanks, Leasa!

  2. Lisa Davis says:

    Will it just not taste good at all with frozen corn and fresh frozen shrimp with shells on?

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      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!

  3. Rita Fullerton says:

    Can another seasoning be used besides Old Bay? I have a friend who is allergic to Old Bay.

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      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. Paula C says:

      5 stars
      It would be interesting if your friend who has the allergy to Old Bay actually found out what was in it that she’s allergic to. Having a sensitivity to other spices could be an indicator. Old bay can be made from scratch, and you could leave out whatever your friend is sensitive to.

  4. Carrie Anne says:

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

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      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.

  5. Barbara mcdonald says:

    5 stars
    Great

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank you, Barbara!

  6. Nellie says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made this before. YOUR instructions are very clear and vivid. Ooowee wish I could get you a bite

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you, Nellie!

  7. Raymond Troyer says:

    We make frogmore but we add chicken tenders, onions, green peppers, baby carrots and mushrooms. very good

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Sounds delicious, Raymond!

  8. Jerry Holt says:

    I ate this but I need a low sodium recipe because I have high blood pressure and it made me very sick if you can get a low sodium recipe for this I may try it again because this is definitely not for people who have high blood pressure and cholesterol!