Spicy Boiled Old Bay Shrimp

Old Bay seasoning isn’t just about crab cakes. There’s so much you can do with it, and one of our favorites is a quick shrimp boil to give those shellfish a special Maryland kick. Spicy boiled Old Bay shrimp is a simple recipe. It’s very easy to make and quick from the kitchen to the plate.  But don’t equate simple with flavorless.

Spicy boiled Old Bay shrimp
Spicy boiled Old Bay shrimp

Old Bay packs a ton of spice in that canister. Take a look at Old Bay’s ingredients and you’ll get an idea of how much flavor we’re talking about here. From ginger to allspice, it’s a laundry list of spices that, together, create a highly-addictive taste. This is an excellent party recipe, whether it’s a summer barbecue or a game day celebration.

The paprika in Old Bay supplies the heat (and there’s just a little spiciness here). If you’d like more spiciness, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper powder to the Old Bay. It’ll provide additional spiciness without changing the overall flavor profile. Careful, a little goes a long way with cayenne, so start small.

See it being made:

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Spicy boiled Old Bay shrimp

Spicy Boiled Old Bay Shrimp

Chesapeake flavor through and through
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Meal
Servings 6
Calories 186 kcal


  • 2 pounds large uncooked shrimp unpeeled, with tails still on
  • 1/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups beer
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Rinse the shrimp and place to the side on paper towels to dry.
  • In a large pot mix the water, beer, and Old Bay. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Add the shrimp, reduce the heat to medium-high, stir, and then cover for 4 minutes. Stir once half way through.
  • Check the shrimp to see if they are pink. If they are. drain the shrimp and move them to a serving plate. If not, cook them until they are pink (typically 1 to 2 additional minutes).
  • On the serving plate, sprinkle the shrimp with Old Bay and then serve with salsa, cocktail sauce, and/or lemons.


Calories: 186kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 31gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 381mgSodium: 1179mgPotassium: 157mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 75IUVitamin C: 6.5mgCalcium: 251mgIron: 4.2mg
Keyword Old Bay
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UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on May 8, 2024 to include new content.
5 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)
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