Cajun boiled peanuts are a Southern snack just made for watching football games. This version has loads of garlic, and is cooked in your favorite beer overnight in the slow cooker.
Fall might mean pumpkin spice where you’re from but here in the South it means football season! Along with the games come the tailgate parties, and we do take our tailgating seriously… You can’t just throw a couple brats on the grill and call it a tailgate.
I first made these Cajun beer boiled peanuts for a Falcons vs Saints tailgate and, though the Falcons didn’t fare so well, the boiled peanuts earned themselves plenty of fans!
Boiled Peanuts are a southern tradition
One thing you will see this time of the year when driving through small towns in the South are boiled peanut stands. It’s nothing official… Just a couple good ol’ boys at a roadside stand with a stack of styrofoam cups, two large pots, and two signs that read “regular” and “Cajun.”
If you’re smart you go for the Cajun boiled peanuts every time… If you ask me, they just need a kick to be right, but someone must buy the regular ones. To each his own!
Peanuts cooked in beer?
With that being said, these are not your standard Cajun boiled peanuts. These are not even Cajun garlic boiled peanuts… No siree, these are Cajun garlic beer-boiled peanuts.
Why did we boil them in beer? Because we like beer of course. But also, for the flavor it adds.
We don’t need an excuse to booze up our snacks so don’t you judge us! (Heck, we even put bourbon in our Banana Buttermilk Pancakes).
Also beer… football… tailgating… they just goes together. Roll with it.
Of course, you don’t have to cook them in beer. They’re plenty delicious cooked in water with the salt, garlic and cajun spice. And if you’ve got just a couple of beers on hand just use a combination of beer and water.
What you will need
The first thing you need is some raw peanuts and preferably green. I get mine from my local farmers market.
My grandma always insisted that good boiled peanuts could only be made with green peanuts so that’s what we do. Plain raw peanuts that have been air dried can be used though.They just need to be cooked longer to get them tender, or given an overnight soak in water to rehydrate them.
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Beyond that just some beer, salt, garlic and spices.
Allow plenty of time to get the best boiled peanuts
While this recipe is not hard, it does take some time to cook peanuts in a crock pot. If you’re taking them tailgating like I do and the game is at noon, put them on the morning before.
If you don’t have a full 22-24 hours to cook on low heat you can crank up the heat and cook them for 6-8 hours on high. The key here is to check the peanuts for tenderness about ¾ of the way through the cooking time.
People have different preferences on the tenderness or firmness of the peanuts and this method of cooking is very forgiving. Besides preference on tenderness, the size of your peanuts as well as the time that’s passed since they were dug can affect cooking time.
Again, just check them out beginning at about ⅔ of the way through total cooking time.
Our best recommendation though, is low and slow for 22-24 hours. That gives the most opportunity for the flavors to soak through the shell into the peanuts themselves.
Storing Boiled Peanuts
After they’re cooked it’s perfectly fine to let them sit in the liquid for a couple of hours. That just gives even more time to soak up that salty goodness.
Once the beer and water is drained off you can serve them right away and eat piping hot. But, truthfully ice cold is delicious too!
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for several days. And here’s a real bonus y’all – boiled peanuts freeze beautifully! Just seal them up tightly and keep them frozen for up to 6 months.
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More traditional tailgate recipes
- Grilled Cajun Chicken Wings
- Pimento Cheese Stuffed Burger Sliders
- Charleston Pecan Chewies
- Spiced Pear Bourbon Iced Tea
- Fried Pickles
Cajun Beer Boiled Peanuts (Slow Cooker)
- 1 pound raw green peanuts
- 2 cloves garlic bruised lightly
- 2 12-ounce beers or beer and water combination to cover peanuts
- 3 Tablespoons Cajun or Creole Seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- Rinse peanuts thoroughly.
- In an 4-quart or larger slow cooker, add peanuts, beer (and water if needed to cover peanuts), garlic, seasoning and salt. Stir well.
- Turn slow cooker to high for 30 minutes, and then down to low. Let simmer on low for 22-24 hours. Check for doneness every hour after 15 hours. Add more water to the cooker if needed.
- Drain and serve hot or cold.
- If using less beer, add enough water to make sure peanuts are covered.
- Raw, air-dried peanuts can be used, but will require soaking to rehydrate and could take longer, higher temperatures to reach desired tenderness.
- Peanuts can be stored in refrigerator for several days and frozen in air-tight container for up to 6 months.
- Recipe can easily be doubled and made in an 8 quart slow cooker.
Please note: This recipe was originally published in 2018, and has been updated August 30, 2021.