Mardi Gras is around the corner and I couldn’t help but try recreating this traditional Southern Fat Tuesday crowd pleasing shrimp boil recipe in a keto and low-carb version, easy to make as a sheet pan dinner!
Packed with Cajun flavor, this keto sheet pan seafood boil is made in the oven with shrimp and Creole spiced andouille sausages. It’s just perfect for summer gatherings and Mardi Gras celebrations!
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Shrimp boil in the oven vs in a pot
This sheet pan shrimp boil is fully made in the oven: there’s no step of actually boiling anything, not even the turnips, which replace the potatoes on this keto shrimp boil recipe.
Making seafood boil in the oven is not only convenient. Bolder and deeper flavors develop in the oven’s dry heat, thanks to the caramelization and browning. Which makes the shrimp boil in the oven taste even better than when it’s made in a pot with boiling water!
How to make keto shrimp boil
The classic main ingredients to make the best shrimp boil, besides the shrimp, are Andouille sausages, potatoes and ears of corn.
Shrimp and sausages are perfectly keto, but to make this shrimp boil recipe low-carb potatoes and corn needed to be out. Believe it or not, it was easy enough to find VERY good substitutes.
In place of potatoes I chose turnips, as I have done before with great success in my keto mashed potato recipe and the ultra cheesy keto scalloped potatoes.
And to substitute corn I didn’t have to go very far: I used baby corn. You might be asking yourself, but how can baby corn be keto if adult corn is so definitely not?
Is baby corn keto?
Yes! Contrary to the fully grown sweet corn version, in baby corn the sugar and starches haven’t developed yet, making it very keto friendly. See how the macros of 100 grams (3.5 oz) of each compare:
Regular sweet corn has 86 calories, 3.2 grams of protein, 19 grams of total carbs and 17 grams net carbs.
While sweet baby corn has 25 calories, 2.5 grams of protein, 4.7 grams of total carbs, 2 grams of fiber and only 2.7 grams of net carbs! Baby corn FTW!
Butter, olive oil, garlic and Cajun seasoning: Make an ultra simple sauce packed with intense flavor!
Andouille sausages: these amazing smoked andouille sausages with Creole spice come fully cooked, so they just have to be heated up. Which is perfect, as this takes about the same amount of time that the shrimps will need to get done!
If you don’t have andouille sausages, chorizo is a good substitute that also has a lot of favor. If you prefer a less spicy option, use smoked kielbasa.
Shrimp: As you like (or can find). Fresh or frozen, peeled or not – read on for more tips!
Turnips: they are a wonderful low-carb potato substitute! You can also use other keto friendly “potato like” veggies like rutabagas, parsnips, jicama (Mexican turnips) or radishes. Whatever you choose, prepare by cutting in uniform sized pieces so that they will cook evenly.
Baby corn: the lower-carb (and way cuter!) corn substitute
Salt, pepper, parsley and lemon juice: to taste! I like mine with a lot of lemon juice and a touch or fresh parsley and some pepper. I don’t usually add any salt, as find the sausages have enough of it.
What shrimp is best for boil
With shell or without? I always choose to buy peeled shrimp for this keto shrimp boil recipe, for two reasons:
- Cooking the shrimp with the shell is a way to avoid overcooking it. As here the shrimp is cooked in the oven for just a short time, instead of being boiled in a huge pot, there’s no risk in overcooking it.
- This keto shrimp boil recipe takes baby corn which you can just eat whole cob and all, so there’s no point in eating it with your bare hands. Therefore, it’s just more convenient to use cutlery, and not have to be peeling shrimp while eating it.
Of course, if you like the experience of eating shrimp with the shell on, just use that!
Frozen or fresh? It really doesn’t mater, as long as the shrimp is fully thawed when you mix it with the Cajun spiced butter. It’s really easy to defrost shrimp:
- Put all the shrimp in a large bowl and fill with cool water.
- After 15 minutes, drain the water and fill the bowl again with more cool water.
- After 10 minutes, the shrimp should be fully thawed. If not, just repeat the process.
How to make
This keto shrimp and sausage boil one pan dinner is so easy to make, and it will cook fairly fast in the oven – it will take about only 30 minutes to bake!
Start with preheating your oven to 200 °C (400 °F) and lining a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Then, mix together the melted butter, extra virgin olive oil, Old Bay seasoning or your choice of Cajun seasoning and minced garlic to make the simple seafood boil sauce.
If you’d like it extra lemony, you can add some lemon zest to the butter mix as well. I don’t recommend adding the juice before baking – specially if lining the pan with aluminum foil.
In a large bowl, toss half of the garlic butter Cajun spice mix with the diced turnips, coating them well. Then, spread the diced turnips on the lined sheet pan and take it into the preheated oven.
Meanwhile, you can transfer the shrimps into the same bowl used to coat the turnips in garlic butter, and toss them with the other half of the mix. Let the shrimps marinate on it while you continue prepping.
Tip: If you find that the canned baby corn liquid is too salty, you can fill up the can with water and let them sit on it for a while to wash some of the salt away.
If using canned baby corn, drain all water from the can first. Then, cut the baby corns in half or in three pieces, and slice the andouille sausages thinly – 1/2 inch pieces is good enough.
The idea is to get the sliced andouille to fully heat up and maybe even brown just a little in the same time it gets for the shrimp to get ready. That’s why thinner sausage slices are better, they get done faster.
Check on the turnips with a knife: when they are just tender – it takes about 20 minutes, remove the sheet pan from the oven and add to it the buttery shrimps, andouille sausages and the baby corn.
Toss all the ingredients around the pan to combine.
Depending on the temperature inside your kitchen, the garlic butter sauce coating the shrimps might have gotten a bit hard. It will melt now on the hot sheet pan, and mix with everything else.
Return the keto shrimp boil sheet pan to the oven and continue baking just until the shrimp is cooked. It takes about ten minutes for peeled shrimp, but keep an eye on it to they don’t overcook or they will get dry.
The shrimp is cooked to perfection when it looks opaque (not translucent anymore), with a touch of pink and glossy. If it’s matte white or grayish, it has cooked for longer than it should.
How to serve a shrimp boil dinner
Traditionally a Southern seafood boil is a fun communal meal, eaten with your hands, directly out of the table where the boil is placed over some newspaper or parchment paper.
As in this keto shrimp boil recipe we’re using peeled shrimp and baby corn, there’s no point in eating it with your bare hands (unless you really want to!) So, you can serve it out of plates or bowls.
This low-carb shrimp boil is a complete meal on a pan! Just serve along some lemon wedges and garnish with fresh chopped parsley for a touch of extra color.
You might also want to have some hot sauce, and extra Cajun seasoning on the table to sprinkle on top.
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