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4 March 2019

This Cajun boiled peanuts recipe brings just the right amount of spice and lets you adjust it to your preference. It’s a wonderful spicy southern snack or appetizer.

I love boiled peanuts. There. I had to start saying that straight off.

If you’ve never had boiled peanuts, you owe it to yourself to print this recipe. Go make some right away. You will thank me for it. Believe me.

Growing up in the north, I never had boiled peanuts. Such a travesty. The only time I ever saw them was at local carnivals, served out of shiny trailers. The idea of them just sounded weird.

It wasn’t until we visited Charleston in South Carolina that I had a chance to try them homemade. In the south, you’ll find boiled peanuts at gas stations, roadside stands and farmers markets.

Fun!

I see them a lot it North Carolina, too, when I visit. We were visiting with friends in Charleston, SC, and boiled peanuts were on the menu everywhere. 

We ordered some up and WHOA! Eyes opened! I devoured an entire batch by myself.

Check out the post on my Foodie Trip to Charleson, SC, here.

Cajun Boiled Peanuts in a bowl

My good friend’s Aunt Karyn later made some for us in her kitchen. Hers were even better than the restaurant. Nice and spicy and super delicious. And they’re very easy to make.

Thanks for showing me how to make them, Aunt Karyn! I’m happy to share my recipe.

But first, some discussion points of interest.

Boiled Peanuts Vs. Roasted Peanuts

The thing I never realized is that peanuts grow under the ground. The peanut pods form below ground, with the plant and leaves above.

You pull them from the dirt, and they are raw. And green. You need to clean them and cook them before eating.

Roasted peanuts are crunchy and hard after roasting. Boiled peanuts, on the other hand, are soft and rather squishy in texture. Much like a bean. You peel them and pluck them from their shells.

And enjoy them! If you’re used to roasted peanuts, you might be surprised by the difference in texture. The flavor, though, is outstanding. Boiled peanuts absorb so much more flavor than roasted.

Let’s talk about how we make them, shall we?

A Spoonful of Cajun Boiled Peanuts

Ingredients Needed

  • 2 pounds green raw peanuts (in the shell)
  • 4 ounces concentrated shrimp and crab boil (Try Zatarain’s New Orleans Style Liquid Crab BoilAffiliate link, my friends)
  • ½ cup Cajun or Creole Seasoning Blend
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 habanero peppers, sliced in half (optional – use can omit or use other peppers to your own heat level preference)
  • Hot sauce of choice (a few tablespoons will do, but add as much as you’d like! – Tabasco or Crystal are PERFECT for this recipe)
  • Water to cover the peanuts

How to Make Cajun Boiled Peanuts

First, add the peanuts to a large pot. Pour in enough water to cover the peanuts. It’s usually a couple gallons of water, depending on the size of your pot.

Stir in the shrimp and crab boil and Cajun seasonings (or Creole seasonings) with salt. You can also add in garlic powder if you love garlic.

Add the habanero peppers, if using them. They add a very good level of heat to the whole batch.

Dash in your hot sauce and give it a good stir.

Cajun Boiled Peanuts boiling

Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat. Partially cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 5 hours. Check it periodically to push the peanuts under the seasoned water.

Cool. You can eat the peanuts now if you’d like, but to develop more flavor, cover and set the pot into the refrigerator.

Refrigerate overnight to let the flavors develop. The peanuts will become much more infused with the seasonings as they steep in the liquid.

Cajun Boiled Peanuts in a pot

When you’re ready to eat them, just reheat them on the stove top and enjoy.

BOOM! Easy, right? I love a good easy spicy snack.

About the Chili Peppers

I used habanero peppers to bring a nice level of heat to my peanuts. You can easily skip them if you’d like. You’ll still get plenty of flavor from the mix of seasonings.

If you’re concerned about the habanero heat but still want to use peppers, try jalapeno peppers for a milder heat or serrano peppers for a bit more. Or, go with ghost peppers or even a Carolina Reaper for some REAL heat!

I learned quite a lot about making boiled peanuts. Here are some answers to questions you might have.

Raw green peanuts in a bowl

Can You Eat Raw Green Peanuts? Do They Have to be Cooked?

You should not eat raw green peanuts. Most raw nuts are safe to eat, but raw peanuts can be contaminated by a mold called Apergillus flavus. This can be potentially dangerous to people and even animals.

There is no guarantee raw green peanuts will be contaminated, but cooking them is the safest measure.

Here is what they look like raw, still in the shell.

A handful of raw green peanuts

Can I Make Them in a Crock Pot or Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can also make boiled peanuts in a slow cooker or crock pot. Basically, follow the main recipe, but add everything to your slow cooker. Cover the ingredients with enough water to cover.

Set your crock pot to low and cook them low and slow. Your cooking time is 24 hours.

Then, enjoy! I’ll have to make some in my pressure cooker, too. See how they turn out!

How to Eat Boiled Peanuts

Eat boiled peanuts by peeling open the shells, then plucking the nuts out. This is slightly harder than peeling roasted peanuts, as roasted peanuts are more solid. The peanuts just pop right out.

Boiled peanuts are softer. The shells pull apart easily, but the softer nuts do not always fall out. You need to pull them out sometimes.

Also, I like to heat my boiled peanuts before eating them. You can eat them cold, though.

Storing Boiled Peanuts

Store boiled peanuts in airtight containers with a bit of the steeping liquid in the refrigerator. They will keep for a week or longer.

They will keep 6 months if frozen.

That’s it, my friends! I hope you enjoy my Cajun boiled peanuts recipe! They’re AWESOME.

Go get snacking!

Try Some of These Other Popular Southern Recipes

Cajun Boiled Peanuts in a bowl, ready to eat

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS.

Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! —
Mike H.

5 from 3 votes
Cajun Boiled Peanuts Recipe
Cajun Boiled Peanuts – Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 hrs
Steeping Time
1 d
Total Time
5 hrs 5 mins
 
This Cajun boiled peanuts recipe brings just the right amount of spice and lets you adjust it to your preference. It's a wonderful spicy southern snack or appetizer.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cajun, peanuts, recipe, spicy
Servings: 12
Calories: 473 kcal
Author: Mike Hultquist
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds green raw peanuts in the shell
  • 4 ounces concentrated shrimp and crab boil
  • ½ cup Cajun or Creole Seasoning Blend
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 habanero peppers sliced in half (optional – use can omit or use other peppers to your own heat level preference)
  • Hot sauce of choice a few tablespoons will do, but add as much as you’d like! – Tabasco or Crystal are PERFECT for this recipe
  • Water to cover
Instructions
  1. Add the peanuts to a large pot. Pour in enough water to cover the peanuts. It's usually a couple gallons of water.
  2. Stir in the shrimp and crab boil and Cajun seasonings (or Creole seasonings) with salt.
  3. Add the habanero peppers, if using them. They add a very good level of heat to the whole batch.
  4. Dash in your hot sauce and give it a good stir.
  5. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat. Partially cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 5 hours. Check it periodically to push the peanuts under the seasoned water.
  6. Cool. You can eat the peanuts now if you’d like, but to develop more flavor, cover and set the pot into the refrigerator.
  7. Refrigerate overnight to let the flavors develop. The peanuts will become much more infused with the seasonings as they steep in the liquid.
  8. Reheat on the stove top and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Serving size is 1/2 cup.

Heat Factor: Medium-Hot. You can dial back the heat by omitting the habaneros or using milder peppers. Heat it up more with extra habanero peppers, or use hotter peppers, like ghost peppers or scorpion peppers. Carolina Reapers, anyone?

STORING: Store boiled peanuts in airtight containers with a bit of the steeping liquid in the refrigerator. Will keep for a week or longer. Will keep 6 months if frozen.

Nutrition Facts
Cajun Boiled Peanuts – Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 473 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 58%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Sodium 1185mg 49%
Potassium 740mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 9g 36%
Protein 21g 42%
Vitamin A 49.9%
Vitamin C 7.2%
Calcium 18.5%
Iron 40.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Cajun Boiled Peanuts - This Cajun boiled peanuts recipe brings just the right amount of spice and lets you adjust it to your preference. It's a wonderful spicy southern snack or appetizer. #Cajun #Appetizer

11 comments


  1. I used your recipe 2 mos ago only after they were cooked .
    Then I used
    A pressure canner at 10# pressure after I added the brine to pint ball jars .
    Cook for 45 min
    Telll you what that was the best and now I can take on camping trips!! Yeah!
    They didn’t come out mushy even after cooking again pressure canner

  2. Mate what a great twist on standard boiled peanuts, love em, I do mine in a pressure cooker,45 minutes on the first cook, then leave them sit overnight in the liquid then another 15 minutes on high to finish them. The overnight sit let’s the peanut soak in the juices. Yummy with a few cold beers.

  3. Ramona Ham

    My son & I always purchase at least 100 lbs. of green, raw peanuts every year to boil and put in the freezer for football season. However, we use a pressure cooker to save time. (Same basic recipe, though.) YUMMY!!!

  4. Andrew Barr

    Hello
    What are the following?:
    concentrated shrimp and crab boil
    Cajun or Creole Seasoning Blend
    I live in the UK and am not familiar with them
    Thanks

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Andrew, the Shrimp and Crab Boil is a concentrated liquid of essential oils and seasonings. You might be able to find it online. If not, double up on the Cajun or Creole seasonings, which are both a collection of spices used in the Louisiana region, though popular all over the US. Check out my Homemade Cajun Seasoning Blend Recipe to learn more about those spices. You might be able to make your own pretty easily.

  5. True boiled peanuts are pulled from the ground when they are still soft.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness


      Not sure I’ve heard of this, but regardless, they still need to be actually boiled, as they are raw peanuts.

    2. This literally has to do with how long you boil them. Not how soon you pick them out of the ground.. The earliest ones are still firm as hell.

  6. Larry Dinkoff


    I LOVE Boiled Peanuts! I was first introduced to them in South Carolina back in 1971. And I have enjoyed them ever since. As I have lived in various parts of the south I could always find them in gas stations, convenience stores. etc. Always served out of slow cooker pots. YUM!

    When I retired in 2005, I moved to Texas. AND YOU CAN’T FIND THEM HERE, except in cans. YUCK. So I started making them myself. Never thought of the Habanero Peppers but will try that on my next batch. Or maybe a Ghost Pepper. Or even a Reaper or three.

    As you say, you can always adjust the heat level. Since I make arts and crafts to sell at craft shows, I am thinking about starting to offer these as taste samplers as soon as I can find 50# bags of raw peanuts.

    Might be a whole new career for me.

    Thanks for the recipe Mike! I will try your version with the Habs when I make a batch again!

    Larry

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      That’s awesome, Larry! Great way to bring them into Texas! Could be a fun career addition for sure.

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