Cajun Boiled Peanuts Recipe (3 Ways!)
How to Make Boiled Peanuts in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot, or on the Stovetop! This EASY Cajun Boiled Peanuts Recipe is so zesty and fabulous, you’ll fall in love with southern boiled peanuts all over again.
Revitalizing the Lost Southern Snack
When we first moved to the Carolinas, I immediately noticed something I had never seen before.
Boiled Peanuts. Pronounced bold peanuts here in the south.
Then seemed to be everywhere here in North Carolina… Sold at little roadside stands. Soaking in barrels located in the grocery store produce department. On restaurant menus. At gas stations. Local farmers’ markets.
So what was all the fuss about?
The first time I tried “grocery store” boiled peanuts I was underwhelmed. They were ultra salty, with a strange grape-like texture.
Then I tried them again at a local barbecue joint, and suddenly, I understood why this old-time snack was, and is still, so popular!
These boiled peanuts were salty. Yet they were also firm, spicy, and packed with smoky essence.
My eyes had been opened.
Our Favorite Cajun Boiled Peanuts Recipe
Boiled peanuts are a great snack for casual parties and events.
They are unique in taste and texture, and have the nostalgic appeal of something that has been around for generations, based on its sheer simplistic perfection.
A good boiled peanut recipe is easy to make, and includes spices and herbs to complement the flavor of the softened peanuts.
Today I’m sharing my favorite version of boiled peanuts, a recipe that can be made on the Stovetop, in an Instant Pot, or in a Slow Cooker.
There’s no need to break this recipe up into three separate recipes, because it’s basically the same for all three methods. You only need to adjust the cooking time.
You can make the Instant Pot Boiled Recipe when you are in a hurry. Make the Stovetop Boiled Peanuts when you plan to hang around the house all day. Or make Crock Pot Boiled Peanuts when you want to set and forget them overnight.
Best Boiled Peanuts Recipe Ingredients
Although you can make boiled peanuts with just peanuts, salt, and water, they are SO much better with a few added spices. Here’s what you will need…
- Raw or Green Peanuts
- Kosher Salt
- Cajun Seasoning (or Creole Seasoning) – A great way to add a lot of herbs and spices with one ingredient!
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Liquid Smoke – My secret ingredient to create a fabulous old-school open-flame flavor.
Green Peanuts vs Raw Peanuts – What’s the Difference?
There are two kinds of in-shell peanuts you can use to make boiled peanuts.
Green Peanuts are “fresh from the farm” peanuts. They take less time to cook, but are perishable. So if you buy them more than a day before cooking, you will need to refrigerate them.
Raw Peanuts are raw but dried, so they are safe to sit out for a week or two at room temperature. Yet they can take up to double the amount of cooking time, depending on the method you use.
Is one better than the other? No. They both produce soft plump boiled peanuts in the Instant Pot, Crock Pot, or on the stovetop.
How To Make Instant Pot Boiled Peanuts
The fastest boiled peanuts cooking method…
- Season – Place the peanuts in a large 6-8 quart electric pressure cooker. Add all the seasoning and water.
- Set – Lock the lid into place and pressure cook on High. Remember, raw peanuts will take more time than green peanuts.
- Steam Release – Perform a natural release. Then only open the Instant Pot when the steam button drops.
How To Make Boiled Peanuts On The Stovetop
The classic old-timey method…
- Season – Mix all the ingredients in a large dutch oven.
- Simmer – Bring to a boil and simmer for 2-8 hours, depending on whether you use green or raw peanuts.
How To Make Boiled Peanuts In A Crock Pot
This is the slowest, but most hands-off method…
- Season – Dump all the ingredients in a large 6+ quart slow cooker.
- Set – Cover the crock and set the slow cooker on low.
- Slow Cook – Cook the peanuts for 22-38 hours, depending on what type of peanuts you bought.
Get the Full (Printable) Cajun Boiled Peanuts Recipe with All 3 Methods Below!
Boiled Peanuts Recipe FAQ
What if I pressure cook the peanuts, then want to cook them longer?
The texture of boiled peanuts is all about personal preference. Some people like them very soft and plump. However, I prefer them to be slightly more firm. You can always add a little more water to the Instant Pot, then cover and set on Pressure Cook High (again) for 5-8 more minutes. If you do this, the second time, perform a quick release.
What are Boiled Peanuts Carbs and Calories? Are They Healthy?
One serving of boiled peanuts is 333 calories, and 11 grams of carbohydrates. We provide full nutritional facts in the recipe form below.
Are Boiled Peanuts Gluten-Free?
Yes, as long as the cajun seasoning you buy is gluten-free, the whole recipe is as well.
Do You Serve Boiled Peanuts Warm?
Yes, you can serve boiled peanuts warm or at room temperature.
How Long Will They Last?
If left submerged in the briny liquid, boiled peanuts with last for weeks and weeks. Yet if you drain off the liquid, they can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
What Is The Best Method?
All three methods create zesty plump boiled peanuts. One is not necessarily better than the other, However, I’m listing the methods in order of fastest to slowest cooking time. Sometimes it’s nice to have them in a hurry, and other times it’s better to let them slow cook overnight!
What Should the Texture Be Like?
If you’ve never tried boiled peanuts before, you might not know when they are done cooking. Old-timers usually like them to be very swollen and soft, like overly cooked beans popping out of their skins. However, I prefer them to be a little more firm, like the texture of a cooked chickpea. Really, it’s up to you! Try them at different stages of cooking and decide for yourself.
Raw vs Green Peanuts
Raw Peanuts are raw and dried. Green Peanuts are fresh from the field and more perishable, so keep them in the refrigerator before cooking. Because raw peanuts are dried, they do take longer to cook than green peanuts. See the instructions above for cooking times.
More Southern Recipe Favorites
- Perky Pimento Cheese
- Coca-Cola Baked Ham
- Southern Orangeade
- Sheet Pan Low Country Boil (Crab Boil)
- Southern Shrimp and Grits (Charleston Style)
- Old Bay Perfect Maryland Crab Cakes (baked or sautéed)
- Coconut Macadamia Nut Waffles
Cajun Boiled Peanuts Recipe (3 Ways!)
- INSTANT POT BOILED PEANUTS: (77-93 Minutes) Place the peanuts in a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot. Add the salt, cajun seasoning, crushed red pepper, liquid smoke, and garlic powder. Pour in 4 quarts water… Or enough to cover the peanuts when you push them down.
- Lock the lid into place. Set on Pressure Cook High for 77 minutes for green peanuts or 93 minutes for raw peanuts. Once the timer goes off, perform a natural release. Once the steam button drops it's safe to open the Instant Pot.
- STOVETOP BOILED PEANUTS: (2-8 Hours) Place a large 6-8 quart dutch oven over high heat. Add the peanuts, salt, cajun seasoning, crushed red pepper, liquid smoke, and garlic powder. Pour in 4+ quarts of water, or enough to cover the peanuts when they are pushed down.
- Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir well, then lower the heat to a mild simmer. Cover and cook for 2-3 hours for green peanuts or 6-8 hours for raw peanuts. Check the water level every hour and add warm tap water if needed.
- CROCK POT BOILED PEANUTS: (22-38 Hours) Set out a large 6+ quart crock pot. Add the peanuts, salt, cajun seasoning, crushed red pepper, liquid smoke, and garlic powder. Pour in 3-4 quarts water, or enough to cover the peanuts when they are pressed down.
- Cover the crock pot and set on low. Cook for 22-24 hours for green peanuts, and 36-38 hours for raw peanuts. Add water every 8 hours if needed.
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