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.
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.
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?
- 2 pounds green raw peanuts (in the shell)
- 4 ounces concentrated shrimp and crab boil (Try Zatarain's New Orleans Style Liquid Crab Boil - Affiliate 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- Shrimp Creole
- Seriously Awesome Jambalaya
- Maque Choux (Cajun Corn)
- Cajun Red Beans and Rice
- Hoppin' John
- Low Country Boil
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! —
Cajun Boiled Peanuts – Recipe
- 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
- Add the peanuts to a large pot. Pour in enough water to cover the peanuts. It's usually a couple gallons of water.
- Stir in the shrimp and crab boil and Cajun seasonings (or Creole seasonings) with salt.
- 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.
- 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.
- Reheat on the stove top and enjoy.