Level up your next gathering with a delicious low country boil! This guide covers everything you need to know to throw a fun and flavorful party, including creative serving ideas and recipes.

One of the things I love most about summer is outdoor dining. Do you love to dine outside too? Whenever we are hosting a gathering, I love to pull a theme together to make it feel a bit more fun.

Get ready to dive into a culinary tradition that’s as delicious as it is fun! The low country boil, a one-pot seafood feast bursting with flavor, is the perfect way to bring friends and family together for a casual yet unforgettable gathering.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time host, this guide will walk you through every step of throwing the ultimate low country boil. We’ll cover everything from sourcing the freshest ingredients to mastering the cooking techniques, ensuring your party is a guaranteed success.

So grab your biggest pot and let’s get started on this unforgettable culinary adventure!

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close up of Clambake on stovetop with lobster mussels clams shrimp potatoes corn and sausage in aluminum tin on granite countertop 2021

What is a Low Country Boil?

Before we host the best summer party ever, what is a low country boil? A low country boil is a menu where the main ingredients include shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes.

It became known as a low country boil because one of the main ingredients, shrimp, is sourced from the lower part of the country. While a low country boil is good enough to serve on its own, it can also include side dishes too.

How Do You Host a Low Country Boil?

Hosting a seafood boil is pretty low key because it’s very laid back. Dress casual, be casual, and decorate with a casual vibe.

Hosting a low country boil is all about creating a relaxed, communal atmosphere where everyone can dig in and enjoy the delicious feast. Here are some tips to ensure your event goes off without a hitch:

  • Prep in advance: Do as much prep work as possible beforehand, like chopping vegetables, pre-measuring spices, and setting up your serving area. This will help you relax and enjoy the party once your guests arrive.
  • Embrace the mess: Low country boils are inherently messy affairs, so embrace the chaos! Cover your table with newspaper, butcher paper, or a disposable tablecloth for easy cleanup. Provide plenty of napkins, wet wipes, and garbage bags for shells.
  • Set the mood: Create a festive atmosphere with themed decorations like string lights, lanterns, and seashells. A curated playlist of upbeat music can also add to the fun.
  • Don’t forget the sides: While the boil is the star of the show, offer a variety of sides to complement the flavors. Cornbread, coleslaw, potato salad, and hushpuppies are all classic choices.
  • Keep the drinks flowing: Have plenty of cold beverages on hand, like beer, iced tea, lemonade, or cocktails. A signature drink, like a Spicy Michelada or a refreshing Watermelon Margarita, can add a special touch.
  • Offer alternative dining options: Not everyone may be a fan of seafood. Have some non-seafood options available, like grilled chicken or veggie skewers, to ensure all your guests are satisfied.
  • Get your guests involved: Encourage a communal spirit by having guests help with tasks like shucking corn, setting the table, or mixing drinks.
  • Most importantly, have fun! Low country boils are meant to be casual and enjoyable gatherings. Relax, mingle with your guests, and savor the delicious flavors of this Southern tradition.
close up of low country boil table decor idea with red and white checkered tablecloth, brown craft paper, white vintage dinner plates, utensils, vintage red stemware, fresh cut flowers in ball jar glasses with red linen napkins and wood napkin rings on farmhouse table in potager garden

Quick Tips for Hosting a Low Country Boil

Here are some quick outdoor entertaining tips for hosting a low country boil.

  • Use a pretty tablecloth or newspaper for easier clean up and casual vibe.
  • Serve the dish in disposable serving trays.
  • And offer lots of ice-cold beverages

Can You Host a Low Country Boil During the Winter?

Yes you can totally host a low country boil indoors but you’ll need to make a few adjustments. I enjoy hosting a seafood boil in the summer for Memorial Day Weekend or Labor Day Weekend. Or even a day after the beach. But it’s a super fun dinner theme for a holiday meal too. It’s no stress and super fun for guests to enjoy.

My favorite holiday to celebrate with a seafood boil is Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve because it brings a taste of summer during the doldrums of winter. It’s very easy to do right on the stovetop and guests love this theme when it’s crazy cold outside.

You can check out my tips for hosting a seafood boil here which includes an easy stovetop recipe from my favorite, Martha Stewart.

close up of table setting idea for low country boil outdoors in potager garden with outdoor area rug, farmhouse table, wicker chairs, red and white checkered tablecoth, brown craft paper, fresh cut flowers in ball jar glasses with red linen napkins on white plates with lonicera and ninebark blooming in the background. - outdoor entertaining ideas

What Do You Serve With a Low Country Boil?

A low country boil is a flavorful feast on its own, but pairing it with the right dinner party menu can elevate the experience and cater to different tastes. Here are some popular and delicious options to serve alongside your low country boil:

Classic Southern Sides

  • Cornbread: This slightly sweet, crumbly bread is the perfect vehicle for sopping up the flavorful broth.
  • Coleslaw: The cool, creamy slaw provides a refreshing contrast to the richness of the seafood.
  • Potato Salad: A creamy, tangy potato salad adds another layer of comfort to the meal.
  • Hushpuppies: These deep-fried cornmeal fritters are a Southern staple and a fun finger food.
A bowl of creamy potato salad topped with slices of boiled eggs and sprinkled with paprika and chopped green onions, served on a light fabric surface with a wooden spoon.
Easy Potato Salade Recipe

Fresh and Light Options

  • Cucumber salad: A simple cucumber salad with vinegar, dill, and onions offers a crisp, palate-cleansing counterpoint.
  • Watermelon: Slices of juicy watermelon provide a sweet and hydrating treat.
  • Green salad: A mixed green salad with a light vinaigrette is a healthy and refreshing addition.

I prefer something light and refreshing like a cucumber, tomato, and onion salad or caprese salad, but almost anything goes with a low country boil.

close up of cucumber salad with dill
Cucumber Salad with Dill

Other Savory Sides

  • Grilled or Roasted Vegetables: Corn on the cob, asparagus, zucchini, or bell peppers add a smoky char and complement the seafood flavors.
  • Macaroni and Cheese: This cheesy comfort food is always a crowd-pleaser.
  • Red Beans and Rice: A hearty and flavorful dish that adds a touch of Louisiana flair.
  • French Fries or Tater Tots: Crispy fries or tater tots provide a fun and satisfying side.

Dipping Sauces

  • Melted Butter: A classic for dipping seafood and corn.
  • Cocktail Sauce: A tangy tomato-based sauce that pairs well with shrimp.
  • Remoulade Sauce: A flavorful mayonnaise-based sauce with a hint of spice.

Additionally, consider offering a variety of hot sauces, lemon wedges, and Old Bay seasoning for guests to customize their plates.

Remember, the best sides for a low country boil are those that complement the flavors of the main dish and cater to your guests’ preferences. Choose a few options from this list or get creative with your own favorites.

What Types of Beverages Go Well With a Seafood Boil?

When hosting a summer low country boil, there are lots of options to choose from. Whatever cocktail you select, go with something that is refreshing and pairs well with seafood.

Choosing the right beverages for a seafood boil can enhance the flavors and overall experience. Here are some popular options that pair well with the bold and spicy flavors of this dish:


  • Light Lagers: Refreshing and crisp, lagers like Pilsners or Mexican lagers cut through the richness of the seafood and cleanse the palate between bites.
  • Wheat Beers: The slight sweetness and citrus notes of wheat beers complement the seafood flavors and pair well with the spices in the boil.
  • IPAs: For those who enjoy hoppy beers, a session IPA or a citrusy IPA can offer a flavorful counterpoint to the seafood.


  • White Wine: Crisp and acidic white wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Albariño pair well with the seafood flavors and cut through the richness of the dish.
  • Sparkling Wine: The bubbles in sparkling wine, like Prosecco or Champagne, can cleanse the palate and balance the spices.
  • Rosé: A dry rosé with notes of citrus or berries can complement the seafood and spices without being too heavy.

White wine spritzers are always a fun addition. And sangrias typically hit the spot when combined with a tasty seafood boil menu.

Here are a few of my favorite sangria recipes you should try!


  • Margaritas: The tangy lime and tequila flavors in a classic margarita or a spicy jalapeno margarita pair well with the spices in the boil.
  • Michelada: A Mexican beer cocktail with lime juice, hot sauce, and spices, a Michelada is a refreshing and flavorful choice.
  • Paloma: This tequila-based cocktail with grapefruit soda offers a balance of sweetness and acidity.

I think it’s fun to serve tropical drink cocktails or even Long Island Iced Teas at a low country boil. But unless you want to spend hours at the bar mixing drinks, I’d stick with one fun cocktail you think most will enjoy and call it a day. Here are a few ideas to whip up!

Non-Alcoholic Options

  • Iced Tea: Sweetened or unsweetened iced tea is a classic Southern beverage that pairs well with seafood boils.
  • Lemonade: Homemade lemonade or a flavored lemonade can provide a refreshing contrast to the spicy flavors.
  • Sparkling Water: Plain or flavored sparkling water can cleanse the palate and keep you hydrated.

When I’m hosting a seafood boil or other backyard BBQ, I love to make a batch of my homemade strawberry lemonade. It’s light, refreshing and you can serve it with or without the booze!

Ultimately, the best beverages for a seafood boil are those that you and your guests enjoy. Consider offering a variety of options to cater to different preferences.

Two glasses of strawberry lemonade with lemon slices and strawberries on a wooden table, blurred background.
Strawberry Lemonade

Setting the Table for a Seafood Boil: Easy Tips and Ideas

To me, throwing a low country boil in the midst of summer is the best time to host because everything can be done outside. So clean-up is a breeze!

I’ve attended parties where the seafood boil was served on newspaper outdoors on a picnic table. Newspaper is sometimes used because it’s easy to clean up. I love the look of craft paper on top of a tablecloth to create a layered look.

But I prefer decorating the table a bit more table decor to make it feel cozier and visually appealing. If you prefer decorating your table as well, I bust out some disposable tins or serving trays to toss discarded shells for easy clean-up.

So you can go super casual with just plain old newspaper covering a picnic table and dump the boil right on the newspaper. It doesn’t get easier than that, am I right?

To give you an idea of how to keep things a bit neater and cozier I’m sharing how to set a festive yet casual table with a gorgeous centerpiece idea.

Wait until you see how easy this table setting idea is!

close up of vintage red stemware, white plantes, red linen napkin with wood napkin ring on red and white checkered tablecloth with brown craft paper as table runner for low country boil dinner table decor with fresh cut flowers in ball jar glasses - outdoor entertaining ideas
fresh cut flowers in ball jar glasses are being used as centerpiece for low country boil dinner table decorations - 6 clever outdoor entertaining ideas

Low Country Boil Centerpiece Ideas: Elevate Your Seafood Feast

If you’ve been following me for a while you know how much I love to design centerpieces. From fresh to faux flowers, playing dress up with the dining table is one of my favorite things to do.

For this outdoor tablescape idea, I picked up some bright, fresh cut flowers from the market. I wish I had some to cut from my cut flower garden for this party, but the plants I started from seed are still growing.

Because I wanted my centerpiece to stand out from the red and white checkered tablecloth I’m using, I gravitated to yellow, purple and pink flowers.

To keep the centerpiece low so guests can still see each other from across the table, I used seven mason jar glasses and filled them with water before cutting the flowers to 2x the height of the jars.

centerpiece idea for low country boil dinner party using 16 oz ball jar glasses with fresh cut flowers on brown craft paper and red and white checkered tablecloth with white dinner plates, vintage red stemware on a farmhouse table in the potager garden

I wanted this floral centerpiece to look more like a runner, so instead of going with one tall or wide centerpiece like THIS ONE or THIS ONE, I chose to use 16 oz ball jar glasses.

If you want to make a centerpiece that’s similar, how many glasses you use depends on the size of your table. Go with odd numbers of glasses. So work in 3’s, 5’s, 7’s, or 9’s depending on the size of the table and glasses you use.

And if you don’t have mason jar glasses? You can also try using stemless wine glasses like I did with these centerpieces.

close up of table decorations for low country boil outdoor entertaining ideas with red vintage stemware, ball jar glasses with fresh cut flowers, white dinner plates, red linen napkins, utensils on farmhouse table with red and white checkered table cloth, brown craft paper in the garden.

Low Country Boil Table Setting Ideas for Outdoor Gatherings

To casually dress up the table for our low country boil dinner party, I used this red and white checkered tablecloth.

Because I love a cozy table with lots of pretty layers, I added some basic brown craft paper as the table runner. Using craft paper adds a casual touch and helps make clean-up a breeze!

Next, I added my fresh-cut flowers in ball mason jar glasses and set the table. As an aside, I love these mason jars because I use them for fresh cut flowers, jarring foods, and as everyday glasses for the dinner table. Don’t you just love things that you can use several different ways?

table decorating ideas for low country boil with red checkered tablecloth, brown craft paper, fresh cut flowers, white dinner plates, red linen napkins and red vintage stemware on a farmhouse table in the garden with green fence

Since I wanted this table to feel cozy and casual, I chose vintage white dishes like THESE with utensils. Then topped each place setting with a red linen napkin and wood napkin rings.

Last summer, I bought these gorgeous red vintage stemware glasses while I was out thrifting and thought they’d be perfect for this dinner party theme.

Don’t they look great?

And finally, I tucked in some votive candles. It’s a little windy out today for tapered candles, but they’d be a great option as well.

I love how the table looks in the potager garden, don’t you?

That honeysuckle is just starting to bloom on the archway leading to the pond garden and it smells incredible by this table!

And that’s it! I really appreciate you dropping by our seafood boil dinner party today.

Next up is my good friend Regina from Saved from Salvage. Wait until you see how beautiful her table is!

close up of outdoor entertaining ideas for low country boil with red and white checkered tablecloth, brown craft paper, on farmhouse table with wicker chairs and honeysuckle in the garden

Get Ready to Host Your Own Unforgettable Low Country Boil!

Hosting a low country boil is more than just a meal; it’s an experience filled with flavor, fun, and togetherness. With these tips, tricks, and recipes, you have all the tools you need to create a memorable seafood feast that your guests will rave about.

So what are you waiting for? Gather your friends and family, fire up the pot, and dive into the delicious world of low country boils! And tell me in the comments how it all goes! I’d love to hear.

Get Gardening Tips With The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide

Stacy Ling with her book the bricks n blooms guide to a beauitful and easy care flower garden

If you’ve always dreamed of bringing country charm to your home while creating a beautiful, relaxing space, I got you! Learn how to grow flowers in even the smallest of spaces with my easy-care, low-maintenance approach.

More Outdoor Entertaining Ideas for a Low Country Boil

Isn’t a low country boil dinner party a fun one? You can really have fun with it. This post is being shared as part of my monthly supper club. One of my favorite things about supper club is seeing how my good friends entertain and decorate their tables too!

Wait until you see how my friends are hosting and decorating for their low country boil dinner parties. Click on the name of the blog on the photo below to see the inspiration!

close up of outdoor entertaining ideas for a low country boil dinner party with red and white checkered tablecloth, brown craft paper, vintage red stemware glasses, red linen napkins with wood napkin rings on vintage white dinnerware, utensials and fresh cut flowers in ball jar glasses on farmhouse table in th potager garden with green fence
close up of outdoor entertaining ideas for low country boil with farmhouse table decorated with red and white checkered tablecloth, brown craft paper, fresh cut flowers in ball jar glasses in the garden
Close up of low country boil dinner party idea - outdoor entertaining ideas

Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Image of a stylized script text reading "stacy ling" beside a watercolor illustration of a sunflower with green leaves.
The bricks \'n Blooms guide to a beautiful and easy-care flower garden book by stacy ling
The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy Care Flower Garden
  • Have you never met a plant you couldn’t kill?
  • Have you dug around in the dirt with nothing to show for it except a sunburn and a sore back?
  • Do you currently enjoy growing flowers, but are looking for more tips and ideas to level up your gardening game?

Then the Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide is for YOU

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  1. Your table looks gorgeous! I have never been to a low country boil. Sounds like so much fun. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the recipes. Hugs to you.

  2. Love your new house and gardens!
    For boils we have always used white freezer paper- eating in or out-
    Food safe and leakproof

  3. How glad are you this isn’t the basketball court anymore!!! It’s the perfect spot for your table!!

  4. Your table looks beautiful Stacy! Love the fresh cut flowers down the middle…just gorgeous. Pinned!

  5. Your table is stunning, Stacy! I love the flowers you used and your garden makes the perfect setting for an outdoor dinner party.

  6. Stacy – wow. So much information and ideas packed into this post. Not to mention I have garden envy. What a beautiful table in a beautiful spot. So happy to have joined you all this month!

    1. Thank you so much Regina – we just moved here a few months ago and I can’t get over these gardens!