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  • Writer's picturedeborahreinhardt

Shrimp and Sausage Foil Boil

Inspired by the Lowcountry classic, you’ll enjoy all the flavor of a Southern seafood boil without the work.

shrimp, corn, potatoes and sausage in a foil packet
Easy Seafood and Sausage Foil Boil

In a few days, we will celebrate American independence, the birth of the United States of America. Some of us will gather with family and friends in backyards to grill hot dogs or burgers, enjoy a few adult beverages, and light sparklers with the kids at dusk. However, many Americans don’t feel much like celebrating because “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are hollow words for them. The "great experiment" of democracy is far from equitable, but that's a post for another writer.

However, I believe America’s greatest strength is the diversity of its people, and nowhere will one find a better illustration of this than in our cuisine. The food we love comes from either Indigenous, African, Latin, European, Asian and Pacific Islander influences—or a mix therein. Food history is a deep subject to explore, but for now, let’s agree that our “American” cuisine has been developed by the diverse people who have lived here.

That’s why this month I’m focusing on a few dishes that reflect America’s varied cuisine, and I encourage you to celebrate the United States of Delicious with me! We’re starting in the Lowcountry with my take on the iconic seafood boil. This Shrimp and Sausage Foil Boil delivers big taste with little effort and can be made in your oven or on your outdoor grill. All you need to add are a few friends and a cooler of cold beer!

To make my Shrimp and Sausage Foil Boil, which yields four servings, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 1 pound frozen shrimp

  • 3 small ears fresh corn

  • 1 packaged smoked sausage

  • 4-6 small red potatoes

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning (Old Bay)

  • 1 large lemon, cut into 4 wedges

  • Chopped scallions (optional) to garnish

shrimp, smoked sausage, corn, potatoes on a foil sheet
Seafood boil ingredients assembled on a foil sheet.

Traditionally, a Lowcountry boil, a staple dish in Charleston, South Carolina, uses a cauldron and is made in cooler months for large gatherings. Of course, the home cook can fill a large stockpot and boil the shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn on a stove. There’s also been debates over whether to include onions, beer, and other ingredients in this dish, sometimes referred to as “Frogmore Stew,” named for the Frogmore community on St. Helena Island. Although the origins of a Lowcountry boil go back to the Gullah Geechee people (enslaved Africans and their descendants from Georgia and the Carolinas), a 20th century fellow named Robert Gay (Gay Seafood) popularized the boil for large crowds in the 1960s.

All Lowcountry boils will include shrimp, corn, and potatoes. Smoked sausage or andouille add to the pot, and the Old Bay seasoning—which was a post-World War II invention—is another later addition to the recipe. What I like about the foil packets, though, is you cut up the ingredients to about the same size as your shrimp so that everything cooks at the same time evenly. And maybe best of all, there’s almost no mess; place unopened, cooked packets on your guests’ plates and let them dig in! Serve with crusty bread to sop up all those delicious juices in the packets.

Directions for Shrimp and Sausage Foil Boil

Cut 4 heavy-duty aluminum foil sheets; these should be large enough to hold your ingredients and fold up tightly. Preheat your oven or grill to 375 degrees F.

Thaw and rinse shrimp. Whether you select shelled or unshelled, be sure they’ve been deveined. Size of shrimp is also to your preference

Cut sausage rope into four equal pieces then slice each of those sections into ½-inch rounds.

Cut the shucked and cleaned corn into 12 wheels.

Wash but do not peel potatoes. Thinly slice each (approximately ¼-inch thick).

To assemble, evenly divide and place shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn into the middle of each of the four foil sheets. Place a teaspoon of butter over the top and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of Old Bay. Fold and seal each packet.

Place packets on the preheated outdoor grill (indirect heat) and cook 20 minutes. If using your oven, place the packets on a baking tray and bake 20 minutes. To serve, place a packet on a plate, add a lemon wedge and two pieces of bread, open packet, and sprinkle with scallions.

These turned out so beautifully, the flavors of sweet shrimp and corn mingling with smoky sausage, and the neutral potatoes soak up some of the buttery goodness. Make this Lowcountry-inspired dish for your family this summer and you’ll be instantly transported to Charleston.


Try another Southern classic

Shrimp is an ingredient found in many Gullah Geechee-inspired dishes as they had to rely on what foods were available, and local seafood was among that list. A Southern favorite, Shrimp and Grits also is a recipe that has Lowcountry roots.

About the blog

Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.

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