These Cajun Boiled Peanuts are just like the ones sold at your local country roadside gas station or convenient shop. Boiled peanuts are a traditional Southern snack and delicacy. Raw peanuts are boiled until tender in a rich and flavor-filled broth full of Cajun spice and more. Crack open each shell and slurp on the broth while enjoying the soft peanuts. They’re so nostalgic, flavorful, and easy to make!

cajun boiled peanuts in large pot with ladle

Although I was born in California, I was raised in Florida. Ahem, South Florida to be more specific. Boiled peanuts were all over the place…roadside vendors, gas stations, and carnivals/markets all about. We’d grab a big ole styrofoam cup and fill it up to the brim with these peanuts along with plenty of broth. Before we would make it home, I’d have a good handful already devoured with broth dripping down my hand, ha. In the beloved South, they are *that* snack.

Cajun Boiled Peanuts 🫶🏾

These here boiled peanuts are such a favorite around this way, y’all. Over here, we like them super flavorful with a touch of heat to add a little pizzazz on the palate. An excellent batch of boiled peanuts should include plenty of spices and ingredients to bring the raw peanuts to life. That’s exactly what you’ll find here. Boiled peanuts are ridiculously easy to make, and perfect for sharing, yay!

⇢ Whether it’s my Southern Green Beans, this Fried Cabbage & Sausage, or my Smothered Turkey Wings…I just LOVE me some Southern cuisine! 🥰

cajun boiled peanuts in large aluminum tray with gold serving serving spoon on the side

Boiled Peanuts 🥜: Recipe Highlights

Let’s start with some noteworthy specifics about this recipe:

  • EASY, EASY, EASY: Making a batch of homemade boiled peanuts is like wham, bam, thank ya ma’am lol. Seriously tho, this recipe is as simple as dumping everything into a vessel, and waiting for the magic.
  • A FLAVOR-FILLED DELIGHT: Since peanuts are the main ingredient, we’re adding in a whole lineup of flavor that add depth and body. These peanuts shall not be bland and sad, oh nah. Additional elements help elevate and make these boiled peanuts so drool-worthy and tasty af!
  • PERFECT FOR A CROWD & SHARING: This recipe is the perfect party snack for events, gatherings, and everything in between. I like making them whenever I’m entertaining people or hosting a basketball game night at the crib. Everyone is obsessed! Boiled peanuts= community food ♡
  • NOSTALGIC FLAIR: Many Southern and/or country folks already know the delight that is Cajun boiled peanuts. Although, it’s not every day that you come by them on the streets. With this homemade recipe, you can whip up a batch right at home and get that sentimental feeling. No matter what, I’m always taken back to my childhood whenever I make them.
ingredients for cajun boiled peanuts on yellow baking sheet

Ingredients Needed For This Recipe:

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Raw peanuts: The star of the show for this boiled peanuts recipe! You need raw peanuts (not roasted, not salted). You can use green peanuts, too!
  • Cajun seasoning: This type of seasoning is a blend that contains salt, red pepper, black pepper, garlic, and more. Brands like Slap Ya Mama or Tony Chachere’s stay in my kitchen pantry for all that Cajun-forward flava!
  • Salt: Since we’re using raw peanuts, we need to add salt to the cooking.
  • Old Bay seasoning: This seasoning blend contains celery salt, pepper, and paprika to name a few. It adds more spice and elevation.
  • Crushed red pepper: A signature ingredient in boiled peanuts for a spicy kick.
  • Brown sugar: I like to add a touch of suga to balance the other spices.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic flavor is so nice here- garlic is life!
  • Hickory liquid smoke: This ingredient is a super clutch way to bring a level of deep, intense smoky flavor to the peanut broth…so lovely.
  • Beer: It’s one of the elements that delivers a little razzle dazzle to enhance the boil broth. And no worries, it’s totally optional! ⬇️
  • Water: To cover the peanuts and all else, developing the broth.

How To Make Cajun Boiled Peanuts:

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Rinse peanuts. Add peanuts into a colander and give them a quick rinse under cool water. Pick over and discard any random debris you may find. 
  2. Cook & boil peanuts. Place the peanuts into a large stockpot or dutch oven. Then add the Cajun seasoning, salt, Old Bay seasoning, crushed red pepper, brown sugar, garlic, liquid smoke, and beer (if using). Pour in enough water to cover the peanuts. Then gently stir all ingredients to fully combine. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and let peanuts gently simmer for 7-8 hours.
  3. Monitor the boil process. Go back to the pot and check the liquid level every hour or so, making sure the peanuts are submerged under the seasoned liquid. If needed, add warm/boiled water to the pot to replenish any liquid evaporation. Give the peanuts a taste test during the cooking process and boil until the peanut texture is right for you.
  4. Enjoy! After cooking, you can devour these Cajun boiled peanuts right away, and enjoy your life. Alternatively, let the boiled peanuts cool to room temperature and then transfer them along with the cooking liquid into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. The peanuts will have a chance to steep and soak up all of the flavorful broth…yum!

What Texture Do I Look For? How Do I Know When My Cajun Boiled Peanuts Are Ready?

Great question! And to be honest, boiled peanut texture is all rooted in personal preference. However, you’ll want to look for a few significant things. First, the shell should be softened and not as hard as it was before boiling. I like mine tender and plump, but not mushy. The entire peanut shell should be soft and easy to part when you apply pressure to break it open.

Second, the peanuts inside should also be soft (like a tender, cooked bean). I have a note in the recipe card below to taste-test the peanuts during the cooking process to cook until your desired texture is achieved 👍🏾.

cajun boiled peanuts in large black pot with gold serving spoon on the side

Speed Up The Cooking Process On The Stovetop

A good way to reduce the boiling time on the stovetop is to soak your peanuts overnight (about 8-10 hours) in plain water before beginning the recipe. This will cut the cooking time down a lot because the raw peanuts will have had time to break down- be sure to drain all water after the pre-soak!

Can I Use Green Peanuts?

Sure thing! These types of peanuts are considered fresh from the farm and have moisture to them as opposed to dry, raw peanuts. Green peanuts are perishable unlike shelf-stable, dried peanuts. They also require less cooking time than raw peanuts. Since green peanuts cook faster, you will only need to cook them for about half of the time instructed (in the recipe card below) for raw peanuts.

Can I Make Slow Cooker Boiled Peanuts?

Absolutely, let’s do it! Add all of the ingredients into a 6-quart or larger slow cooker vessel, carefully stir all ingredients to fully combine. Cover and cook on low until the peanuts are soft, about 24 hours. ⇢ Note: To speed up the cooking process with slow cooker method, add *boiling water* into the slow cooker to cover peanuts and cook on high for about 8 hours or so.

Can I Make Instant Pot Boiled Peanuts?

Yup, you sure can! Add all of the ingredients into the insert of a 6-quart or larger pressure cooker (make sure you don’t exceed the recommended amount of liquid for your cooker), stir all ingredients to fully combine and make sure the peanuts are submerged. Lock the lid in place and set on high pressure for 90 minutes. After the cooking cycle is complete, let the cooker release pressure in the vent position until all steam has ceased.

How To Serve Cajun Boiled Peanuts

These boiled peanuts are best served either warm or at room temperature. However, you can definitely also eat them cold if you’d like.

Storing Your Boiled Peanuts

Stored/leftover boiled peanuts will keep for up to 1 week when stored inside of an airtight container (with the cooking liquid) in the refrigerator. The peanuts will have a chance to marinate + soak up all of the flavor-loaded broth (much like the pot likker in a batch of collard greens). When ready, simply reheat boiled peanuts on the stovetop until warmed through. Mmmm 😛.

Boiled Peanuts Recipe Customizations

One thing I love to do is give you all customizations + variations when it comes to my recipes. Here’s some suggestions if you’d like them…for my spicy fiends, add some peppers to the boil (chopped jalapeños or chiles). Add some smoked meat (ham hock, shank, smoked turkey parts) for an extra dirty Southern bite, whew. I’ve even seen some variations with corn on the cob tossed in there- all of these elements make the boiled peanuts batch more filling and flavorful.

ladle with cajun boiled peanuts in large pot

These Cajun Boiled Peanuts are every bit as delicious, such a nostalgic snack for me! There just ain’t nothing like ’em. Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

Other appetizers & munchies to check out:

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cajun boiled peanuts in large pot with ladle

Flavor-Filled Cajun Boiled Peanuts

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  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7-8 hours
  • Total Time: 7-8 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Appetizers & Snacks
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Southern

Description

These Cajun Boiled Peanuts are just like the ones sold at your local country roadside gas station or convenient shop. Boiled peanuts are a traditional Southern snack and delicacy. Raw peanuts are boiled until tender in a rich and flavor-filled broth full of Cajun spice and more. Crack open each shell and slurp on the broth while enjoying the soft peanuts. They’re so nostalgic, flavorful, and easy to make!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 lbs raw peanuts, in-shell (or green peanuts)- see notes
  • ¼ cup Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons hickory liquid smoke
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle/can of beer- optional
  • 34 quarts water, or enough to cover peanuts

Instructions

  1. Rinse peanuts. Place the raw peanuts into a colander and give them a rinse under cool water, I do this at least 2 times. Pick over and discard any random debris you may find. 
  2. Cook & boil peanuts. Place the peanuts into a large stockpot or dutch oven (about 7-8 quarts). Then add the Cajun seasoning, salt, Old Bay seasoning, crushed red pepper, brown sugar, garlic, liquid smoke, and beer (if using). Pour in enough water to cover the peanuts. Then gently stir all ingredients to fully combine. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot- leaving a little vent for steam to escape.
  3. Monitor the boil process. Let the peanuts cook and gently simmer for 7-8 hours, or longer depending on desired texture. Go back to the pot and check the liquid level every hour or so, making sure the peanuts are submerged under the seasoned liquid. If needed, add warm/boiled water to the pot to replenish any liquid evaporation. Boiled peanuts are good and ready when they’re semi-soft on the outside with a little firmness, and the peanuts inside the shell are extra tender. However, it’s up to your desired preference. Give the peanuts a taste test during the cooking process and go from there until they’re nice and right for you.
  4. Enjoy now or store for later. After cooking, you can enjoy these Cajun boiled peanuts right away, and enjoy your life. Alternatively, let the boiled peanuts cool to room temperature and then transfer them along with the cooking liquid into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. The peanuts will have a chance to steep and soak up all of the flavorful broth (much like the pot likker in a batch of collard greens)…yum! When ready, simply reheat on the stovetop and enjoy!

Notes

  1. Storing boiled peanuts: These peanuts will keep for up to 1 week when stored inside of an airtight container (with the cooking liquid) in the refrigerator. Simply reheat boiled peanuts on the stovetop until warmed through.
  2. Slow Cooker boiled peanuts: Add all of the ingredients into a 6-quart or larger slow cooker vessel, carefully stir all ingredients to fully combine. Cover and cook on low until the peanuts are tender, about 24 hours or longer. Note: To speed up the cooking process with slow cooker method, add *boiling water* into the slow cooker to cover peanuts and cook on high for about 8 hours or so.
  3. Instant Pot boiled peanuts: Add all of the ingredients into the insert of a 6-quart or larger pressure cooker (make sure you don’t exceed the recommended amount of liquid for your cooker), stir all ingredients to fully combine and make sure the peanuts are covered. Lock the lid in place and set on high pressure for 90 minutes. After the cooking cycle is complete, let the cooker release pressure in the vent position until all steam has ceased.
  4. Green peanuts: These types of peanuts are considered fresh from the farm and have moisture to them as opposed to dry, raw peanuts. They also require less cooking time than raw peanuts. Green peanuts will need to cook for about half of the time instructed for raw peanuts.
  5. Please read blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.