Boiled Peanuts are a traditional Southern snack that are easy to make at home.

Boiled Peanuts Recipe

I want to share something with you that I’ve enjoyed since I was a wee little: boiled peanuts. Before you go running off in horror, just bear with me. I know it may sound odd to those who’ve never enjoyed them before. I get that. But really, if you’ve never tried them, you’ve got to at least once.

Growing up in South Carolina it never occurred to me that Boiled Peanuts were not a national food. You can imagine how surprised I was to find that my husband, who’s from neighboring North Carolina, had not had them until we met in college. He’d also never seen Grease or The Wizard of Oz. That’s another story for another day. But really, North Carolina? No boiled peanuts? How very sad.

If you can’t find a local establishment to sell you a paper bag full of Boiled Peanuts, they are super easy to make right at home. I wouldn’t say they are quick, but they are easy. They do take a while to boil to the correct doneness but don’t let that keep you making a big batch. When prepared correctly, they really are a treat, not to mention sneaky addictive.

Boiled Peanuts Recipe

Boiled Peanuts recipe notes:

  • Some recommend soaking the raw peanuts for several hours (6-8) in salted water to reduce cooking time. I’ve never soaked them myself but if you have time, and plan ahead, give it a go.
  • To begin the cooking process, fill a large stock pot with water, add salt and bring to a boil then add the peanuts.
  • If you don’t soak them, the peanut will want to float a bit. Stir them around a few times. They’ll eventually settle down.
  • Cook time will vary depending on the amount of peanuts you’re cooking. Cooktime could be up to 8 hours.
  • Be sure to keep checking the progress every hour or so. What you’re looking for is a totally soft peanut. Some like it a little less “done” or al dente if you will. I like them soft. You may need to add water throughout the cook time to make sure that there’s always enough water in the pot to cover the peanuts and then some wiggle room.
  • An outdoor gas cooker/turkey fryer is perfect for boiling peanuts. 

 Boiled Peanuts Recipe

Boiled Peanuts Recipe

Boiled Peanuts Recipe

Boiled Peanuts Recipe

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes

Make this Southern delicacy right at home.


  • 4 quarts of water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 pounds of raw peanuts (or green* peanuts)


  1. In a large stock pot bring the water and salt to boil.
  2. Add the peanuts and stir to “settle” peanuts. Cover and reduce to a slow boil/simmer.
  3. Check water level every hour and taste for doneness. Add more salt if desired. Cook for about 3 hours and check for preferred doneness. Add more time as needed. Total cook time may be up to 6-8 hours.


*If you use green peanuts (peanuts fresh from the field that haven’t been dried) the cook time may be shorter.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Originally posted March 21, 2010. Updated July 1, 2015.

Boiled Peanuts Recipe