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!)
- 2 pounds raw peanuts in shells (or green peanuts)
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cajun seasoning (or creole seasoning)
- 1-3 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4+ quarts water
- 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.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
Very good I soaked my raw peanuts overnight. Then used the recipe for seasonings and cooked for four hours. They were awesome.
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This is my go to recipe for boiled peanuts. Thank you for sharing it! It’s easily modifiable. I was out of liquid smoke and left it out. The peanuts taste great! I’ve doubled it and it works great. I have reduced the amount of red pepper flakes. It all works! Easy and delicious.
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interesting, didn’t know about these but like regular old roasted peanuts in a shell, even the unsalted version, so these are a nice tweak on those for me, like cajun flavor too so it works!
I’ve never had boiled peanuts and have always been super curious about them. They were so easy to make, and absolutely delicious!
Spicy, salty, and just plain delish! The recipe was so simple too!
this is the first boiled peanuts I have ever tried, and they are actually soooo good!
These are phenomenal! I made them first in the crockpot and might have added a bit too much water as the hours passed, as the finished peanuts were spicy but somewhat weaker-flavored than I expected. Planning to make a batch in the instant pot in the morning!
I’ve heard you can soak your raw peanuts prior to boiling to reduce cooking time. Does anybody have an idea of how long you should do that for? Thanks in advance!
Does the Cajun seasoning you use have salt in it? Mine does, so I’m wondering if I should make some homemade cajun seasoning that is salt free, or lower the amount of salt I use in your recipe.
Most cajun seasonings do have salt in them. You can use our blackened seasoning as a base and remove the salt if you like. :)
First time boiling peanuts, used raw peanuts in my instant pot. Followed the recipe but used less peanuts and cut down on the spices accordingly. Came out really good. I like mine a little saltier so may up that next time. Used Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning and it left a nice spice in my mouth. Couldn’t stop eating them. May try it on the stove top next time. Great recipe!
I just had to let you know I laughed when I read “bold” peanuts because it is so so true! Thank you for the smile – I definitely needed it. I look forward to using your recipe and I will share my comment after!
FANTASTIC! I used fresh garlic and Mesquite liquid smoke.
I served in the submarine service (USS Narwhal) out of Charleston, SC. in the 1980’s. Boiled peanuts were new to me. As you said, there were everywhere. Gas stations, road side stands, convenience stores, etc. They are a delicacy and I now make my own. So easy to make and addictive. I hate to quibble, but they are pronounced “bald” peanuts.
LOL! Thanks for sharing. :)
I was a Narsailor (87-92). These are better than the ones you get on Sullivan’s Island. There was a guy who used to sell them on the side of Hwy 61. They were as good as these.
I was stationed on the USS Frank Cable 1991-1996 and we worked on your special sub with the hump! Had my first boiled peanuts in Charleston also! Hated them at first but grew to love them! Went to Hawaii from 1996-1999 and have returned home to Cincinnati where I pressure can them and can have anytime I want! Can’t wait to try this recipe as I’ve never put liquid smoke in them.
Chick peas cooked in boiled peanut brine are just as good and you don’t have to mess with the shells. I’ll also soak canned chick peas in leftover peanut brine in the crockpot.
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The Cajun boiled recipe is amazing!!! I questioned the liquid smoke ingredient, but it was perfect.
Hello… I could not find raw or green peanuts so I used 1 lb. of unsalted roasted peanuts in the pressure cooker. Not sure if using the roasted peanuts was a big mistake, but my finished product was a soggy mess. After trying a few, I disgraced the rest.
I’d like to try this again if you believe using raw peanuts will really make a difference.
You should not ever use roasted peanuts. Definitely look for raw or green! I can never find green unless I go to a specialty store… But I’ve been able to find raw peanuts at Walmart neighborhood markets and at Asian markets.
What flavor of liquid smoke do you use? Hickory, mesquite, applewood?
Honestly, you can use whichever variety you prefer. However, hickory is probably the most common smoking wood in the south. :)
These are so good. Thank you for the recipe. (I omitted the crushed red pepper and they were still delicious).
Instead of Cajun Seasoning, I use Crab & Shrimp Boil granulated or liquid. That gives the peanuts a little more ZIP. If you wish to have the raw peanuts cook faster just cut or pierce the hull with a sharp pointed knife or ice pick.
I cook the raw seasoned peanuts in a pressure cooker which also lessens the cooking time slightly.
Can you make this recipe with roasted peanuts vs the raw or green? Thanks in advance!
This was even better than my mom’s. Loved that you provided information on how to make it in Instant pot as well. Thank you!
This is genius making them in the instant pot! And the flavor is perfect!
I really loved this method! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Bald Paynuts. And mine are just salt. Because that’s how my Grandmother made them in Dothan, Alabama.
I asked my Grandmother once how much salt I should add when boiling peanuts. She looked at me like I was dumb, and said, “Well, Steve, you put enough salt in there so that your water tastes like you want your peanuts.” For someone as analytical as I am, this concept of cooking empirically was like a curtain pulled back. Cooking didn’t have to be just about recipes. It was not a chemistry lab. Cooking was also about direct feedback. Taste, feel, sight and smell. When I smell peanuts on the boil, I remember my Grandmother.
My aunt used to make these when I was younger and I absolutely loved them. Thank you so much for this!
I love spicy boiled peanuts, can’t wait to try these!!
The most appetizing boiled peanuts I have ever seen!