Cajun Boiled Peanuts Recipe (3 Ways!)
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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.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Boiled Peanuts. Pronounced bold peanuts here in the south.
If you aren’t from the south, you might be asking yourself, what are boiled peanuts? Boiled peanuts are a way to prepare raw peanuts that infuses them with a salty, flavorful brine and makes them chewy and addictive! In comparison with roasted peanuts, the taste and texture are slightly different. Boiled peanuts are softer and chewier, and packed with loads of flavor!
Boiled peanuts are a nostalgic classic that hasn’t lost popularity in the South for generations. They are a great snack for casual parties and events, especially on game days! You will see boiled peanuts at get-togethers in lots of different states including Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Mississippi, among others. They are truly a Southern delicacy!
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.
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.
What Ingredients You Will Need
Although you can make this boiled peanuts recipe with just peanuts and salted 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 – For some spice!
- Garlic Powder
- Liquid Smoke – My secret ingredient to create a fabulous old-school open-flame flavor. If you don’t have this on hand, it is okay to omit it!
- Water – You will need at least a gallon of water, if not more!
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 Boiled Peanuts 3 Ways
In the Instant Pot
The fastest way to make boiled peanuts is in the instant pot. Here’s how to do it:
- 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.
On The Stovetop
The classic old-timey method…
- Season – Mix all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven or a large pot.
- Simmer – Bring to a boil and simmer for 2-8 hours, depending on whether you use green or raw peanuts.
In A Slow Cooker
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are boiled peanuts?
Boiled peanuts are just that, peanuts that have been boiled! Peanuts are a legume that taste a whole lot better after cooking them. Instead of roasting them, it is common to boil them, especially in the Southeastern United States. Boiled peanuts can be made simply with just water and salt, or you can add different flavor combinations to infuse them with more flavor.
What do boiled peanuts taste like?
If you’ve never tried boiled peanuts before, you should know they are pretty soft in texture and they have a lovely taste thanks to the salty, flavorful brine. You should cook them according to your preference for texture. 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.
Do I need to soak the peanuts before cooking them?
Nope! You do not need to soak the peanuts before cooking them since you will be cooking them for a pretty long period of time in each cooking method.
Are you supposed to eat the shell of a boiled peanut?
I don’t recommend eating the shell of a boiled peanut. While I don’t think it would do you harm, it isn’t the delicious part of the peanut! Tear the shell apart first to get to the kernels!
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.
Are boiled peanuts healthy?
One serving of boiled peanuts is 333 calories, 15 grams of protein, and 11 grams of carbohydrates. Boiled peanuts are packed with protein and fiber, so I wouldn’t say they are unhealthy as long as you eat them in moderation! 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.
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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