A popular southern tradition, these simple and easy spicy boiled peanuts are a salty and flavorful snack with a delicate crunch and a zing of creole spices.

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Side view of a bowl of spicy boiled peanuts with herbs, drinks, and spices placed nearby.

About Spicy Boiled Peanuts

Great for snacking, gifting, or serving at parties, these spicy boiled peanuts have become a southern staple for good reason: they’re salty and flavorful with a delicate crunch, making boiled peanuts a near-perfect finger food for all your cravings.

What are boiled peanuts?

A traditional southern snack (that also comes in many varieties around the world) boiled peanuts are in-shell peanuts that have been slowly boiled in water with a mix of flavors and spices. Typically served as a salty snack, it’s common to find them being sold at road-side stalls, carnivals and fairs, or served at BBQ’s. Depending on how long they’re cooked, the texture of boiled peanuts can range from still slightly crunchy to almost soft.

Stockpot full of spicy boiled peanuts still in flavored water, with a spoon about to scoop some up.

What type of peanuts should you use?

When making this recipe, there are two types of peanuts that you can use:

  • In-Shell Raw Peanuts – These are the most commonly found and what most people are familiar with. These peanuts are dried, making them safe to sit at room temperature for one or two weeks. The peanuts themselves have a rich, brown color. This recipe is written for raw peanuts and take about six to eight hours to boil.
  • In-Shell Green Peanuts – These peanuts have not been dried, so they’re fresh and much more perishable; unlike raw peanuts, green peanuts need to be refrigerated until ready to eat. And as the name suggests, these peanuts also have a green tone to them. The good news is that because green peanuts have not been dried, they boil much faster. If you use green peanuts for this recipe, you can reduce the total boiling time to two to three hours.

Can you use shelled peanuts?

For the best presentation and to keep with southern tradition, I highly recommend using in-shell peanuts. I would even argue that the shells assist in their own special way in boiling the peanuts, but I have nothing to back up that claim other than knowing boiled peanuts are absolutely delicious when eaten from their shells.

BUT, all that being said, yes, you can boil shelled peanuts. I personally have not done this, but I know that shelled peanuts have a shorter boiling time, typically between one and four hours. If you use shelled peanuts, be sure to keep a close eye on them while boiling to ensure the peanuts reach you’re preferred texture.

Top down view of a bowl of spicy boiled peanuts with herbs, drinks, and spices nearby.

Can you use different spices?

This recipe calls for creole seasoning, but feel free to try other types, such as:

Feel free to experiment with your favorite seasonings and flavors! The only consideration is whether or not your chosen seasoning includes salt, as this recipe is balanced to assume the main flavor seasoning already has some in it. So if you’re chosen seasoning doesn’t have salt, add an additional two tablespoons of kosher salt to the recipe.

How long are boiled peanuts good for?

Once prepared and cooled, boiled peanuts should be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to seven days. The boiled peanuts can either be kept in the cooking liquid or drained dry.

Can you freeze boiled peanuts?

Yes, you totally can!

Once prepared and cooled, spread peanuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze. Once solid, transfer the peanuts to a sealed container or freezer bag. Boiled peanuts can be frozen indefinitely.

Notes & tips for boiled peanuts

  • For a more spicy kick, add a pinch of crushed pepper flakes, chipotle powder, or cayenne. You can even add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce right into the pot!
Close up of spicy boiled peanuts, showing off the deep color.

More great spicy recipes

How to make boiled peanuts

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a large stockpot, add the following ingredients: in-shell raw peanuts, kosher salt, creole seasoning, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and onion powder.

Step 2 – Pour in water until peanuts are completely covered.

Step 3 – Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Step 4 – Cook for six to eight hours.

Step 5 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Side view of a bowl of spicy boiled peanuts with herbs, drinks, and spices placed nearby.
5 from 1 vote

Spicy Boiled Peanuts

5 mins prep + 8 hrs cook
450 kcal
Yields: 12 servings
A popular southern tradition, these simple and easy spicy boiled peanuts are a salty and flavorful snack with a delicate crunch and a zing of creole spices.



  • In a large stockpot, add peanuts, salt, creole seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder.
    2 pounds in-shell raw peanuts, 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup creole seasoning, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pour in water until peanuts are covered. TIP: press down on peanuts in the pot; water should easily cover top layer of peanuts. Depending on the size of your pot, you may not need all of the water listed in the recipe. Once done, mix ingredients well.
    4 quarts water
  • Place stockpot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let peanuts simmer for 6-8 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so. If the water level goes down, add more warm water. Over time, peanuts will become saturated with liquid and sink to the bottom; this is okay.
  • Serve boiled peanuts immediatly, either directly drained from the water or given time to cool and dry.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Sodium: 2392mg | Potassium: 677mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2215IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 3mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy