Late summer to early fall shrimp boils conjure up romantic visions, and the the traditional New England or Low Country boil never fails to deliver! Mexican Seafood Boil with Shrimp and Chorizo puts a local spin on a beloved classic - local Gulf shrimp, locally grown corn, and Mexican grey squash are awesome on their own, but the depth of flavor that comes from a lean Mexican chorizo and beer elevates this dish to a whole new level. IMHO!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
The waning days of summer naturally have me looking for something beyond the light salads and grilled food, but hey!, I live in south Texas... It's still REALLY. FREAKING. HOT. I don't want to heat up my kitchen, I don't want to subject my husband to too much time in the 100° plus heat, and I don't want heavy.
We have shrimp in south Texas, and it's SO GOOD! If you use my search bar, you may begin to realize how much we love shrimp at Andersen casa.
As I've mentioned before, shrimp cooks faster than just about any protein, making it a perfect choice for those "dog days" of summer (no it doesn't have anything to do with dogs or heat).
🍤 About Seafood Boils
"Seafood boil" is kind of a catch-all term for a casual main dish that features seafood as the centerpiece with fresh corn and potatoes. It may be boiled, steamed, or even cooked in a hot pit over rocks. Typically, the preparation serves a crowd. In our case, the crowd has moved on. 😉
Crawfish, crab, and shrimp are a Cajun tradition, and one I love. Their seafood boils will be hot... Louisiana hot sauce hot! Potatoes will make an appearance, but fresh corn on the cob may not.
The Low Country has a similar approach, usually featuring sausage, and definitely not as hot. In addition to potatoes, you will find sweet corn, typically broken into manageable sized pieces. I like this one a lot!
New England does something similar, usually with shellfish and the addition of potatoes, fresh corn, and sausage of some sort.
Why a "Mexican" Seafood Boil?
I live on the Mexican border... so much of my cooking is focused on Mexican and Latin flavors. I am on something of a mission to expand the definition of "Mexican food" in American home kitchens!
Borrowing the idea of a seafood/sausage combination from the Low Country version, I opted for local Gulf shrimp and super lean made-in-house chorizo. Please avoid the grease-in-a-tube kind of chorizo. Most of the chorizo that comes in a tray and looks like red-orange lean ground beef is pretty lean.
One-pot cooking is so appealing - especially on a busy weeknight. My desire to make it healthy and one-pot means the inclusion of at least one green vegetable😀. Mexican grey squash seems the perfect choice, but chayote (needs a little more cooking time), yellow or crookneck squash, and zucchini are all great options too!
Lastly, the sweet corn and new potatoes round out the dish, and are reminiscent of a traditional seafood boil, and I chose to include them as well. I encourage you to make this your own. 😊
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- corn - Traditional seafood boil recipes have corn cob portions. Fresh is preferable, but you can find them in the freezer section.
- beer - While beer is optional, it does add complexity. I keep Coronitas in my pantry for cooking, and this Mexican lager is perfect. Use a "clean" beer like a lager that won't add a lot of hops or malts to the recipe.
- squash - Mexican grey squash is a "thing" in the Rio Grande Valley. Zucchini or yellow squash (summer varieties) are excellent substitutes.
- potatoes - On photo day, I used baby red potatoes, and almost always have them in my pantry. They cook very quickly when cut in half. You can use other varieties successfully, but be sure to get them tender before adding the shrimp!
- chorizo - If I have homemade chorizo, that is my first choice. However, our local markets have high-quality butcher block or house made chorizo that is lean and flavorful. Look for bulk chorizo sausage rather than the plastic tube style that may be mostly fat. We do have a local brand (San Manuel chorizo) that has a lean chicken chorizo that is fantastic, and it does come in a tube.
- shrimp - My best advice on shrimp is KNOW YOUR SOURCE. I buy wild caught Gulf shrimp locally. You can get excellent farm-raised shrimp if you know how it's raised and what it's fed.
- broth or stock - I try to save shrimp shells and any other shrimp or shellfish parts to make my own seafood stock. I don't always have it. I do buy this seafood stock locally, and it's excellent.
This dish is easily on the table in about 30 minutes! The key is to prep the ingredients and then layer them in the pot in the correct order so as to get everything perfectly cooked (no mushy squash, crunchy potatoes, or shoe-leather tough shrimp).
- Prep all ingredients - Peel and devein shrimp (or prepare other seafood), cut potatoes, squash, and corn in chunks, slice/chop shallot or onion, weigh out the chorizo.
- Sauté the aromatics - Cook the lean chorizo until crumbled and cooked through. Add the shallot or onion and garlic while the chorizo cooks.
- Prepare the boil - Add the broth and beer. Stir to combine, then add the potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Give the potatoes a 5 minutes "head start," then add the squash and corn. Cook an additional 10 minutes, before adding shrimp.
- Finish the boil - Give the potatoes a 5 minutes "head start," then add the squash and corn. Cook an additional 10 minutes, before adding shrimp. Cook 2-3 minutes until shrimp turn pink and opaque.
- Serve - Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!
I buy a 6 pack of 7 ounce Coronita (Mexican lager) for cooking. You can use 7 ounces or a cup of any neutral flavored beer, and you can replace it with additional broth/stock if you prefer to avoid the beer. However, the alcohol will cook out.
The 2 markets I regularly shop (HEB and Sprouts) have lean bulk chorizo sausage in pork or chicken. When it's cooked, there is no fatty liquid in the pan. The chorizo provides the garlic and other critical spices to the dish, so there really is no substitute.
We limit the number of potatoes to watch carbs. Add more or less to your preference!
We get beautiful Mexican grey squash in McAllen year 'round. Chayote, zucchini, yellow and crookneck are great options too. The chayote needs to be sliced thinner to keep the cooking time the same.
I often make a simple shrimp stock with shrimp shells from the shrimp I'm using that evening, and additional in my freezer. Place unused shells, tails, heads in a saucepan, then cover with water. You can add a few peppercorns, a sprig of parsley, and a bay leaf, but it isn't necessary. Bring to a boil, and simmer about 15 minutes. I do this while the vegetables cook. Alternatively I use shrimp stock.
I don't care for any seafood leftover. I allow about 6 ounces of seafood , 1 piece of fresh corn, a few new potatoes, and ½ squash per person. I do my best to not have leftovers.
My husband and I love to fish, and we frequently add a fish fillet to the shrimp. Scallops and mussels are great options. If you can get them, crawfish are really special, but require some work!
This shrimp and chorizo stew really is a tasty dish, and so quick and easy. I do hope you'll give it a try during these dog days of summer when squash and corn are fresh and plentiful!
Mexican Seafood Boil with Shrimp and Chorizo
- 2 ounces lean Mexican chorizo see notes
- 1 shallot or ¼ red onion thin sliced
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 7 ounces lager see notes
- 1 cup shrimp stock see notes
- 4 new potatoes halved (see notes)
- 2 ears sweet corn cut in pieces
- 1 Mexican grey squash cut in ½" slices. (see notes)
- 12 ounces large shrimp
- cilantro for garnish
- Prep all ingredients.
- Add the chorizo, shallot or onion, and garlic to a pot over medium-high heat. Cook the chorizo until crumbled and cooked through.
- Add the broth and beer. Stir to combine, then add the potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover.
- After about 5 minutes, add the corn and squash. Keep the pot at a low boil or simmer and covered for an additional 10 minutes +/-.
- Check the doneness of the potatoes (they need to be tender) then add the shrimp. Cook 2-3 minutes depending on size (covered).
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.