This Cajun crawfish etouffee recipe is loaded with meaty crawfish tails smothered in a rich gravy with spices and fresh herbs, served over rice. It's huge on flavor and easy to make. One of our very favorites!
We're cooking up a big pot of warm, comforting Crawfish Etouffee in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen, my friends. Would you care for a bowl? Come on and join us!
Crawfish étouffée is a simple dish of sweet and meaty crawfish served up in a rich and flavorful gravy that is made from a quick roux. The dish includes the Cajun holy trinity of onions, bell peppers and celery, along with lots of garlic, spicy Cajun seasonings, and fresh chopped herbs.
The name itself, étouffée, is a French term meaning "to smother" which refers to the rich gravy that smothers and surrounds the crawfish.
This is food from the heart, a staple of Louisiana, and with one bite, you'll be hooked for life.
Crawfish season in Louisiana typically runs from November through July, depending on the weather. Cooking crawfish is typically done in a boil, like a crawfish boil, with lots of corn and seasonings.
Crawfish today is hugely popular in etouffee, which I know you're going to love.
Let's talk about how to make crawfish etouffee, shall we?
Crawfish Etouffee Ingredients
- Butter. Or you can use peanut oil or other vegetable oil.
- All Purpose Flour.
- Vegetables. Onion, Celery and Bell Pepper (the Cajun Holy Trinity) + Garlic. I like to use jalapeno peppers in place of the bell pepper for some extra heat in my etouffee.
- Cajun Seasonings. Try my homemade Cajun seasoning blend. Or you can use Creole seasonings.
- Cayenne Pepper. Optional, for additional spice factor.
- Salt and Black Pepper. To taste.
- Stock. Use either chicken stock, seafood stock, or vegetable stock. Homemade crawfish stock is awesome!
- Louisiana Crawfish Tails.
- Fresh Chopped Parsley.
- For Garnish. Extra chopped parsley, green onions, spicy chili flakes, hot sauce.
- Cooked Rice. For serving, if desired.
How to Make Crawfish Etouffee - the Recipe Method
Make the Roux. Heat a large pan or pot to medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Stir constantly for 5 minutes, or until the roux turns a copper color. Do not let the roux burn. A Dutch oven is great for making etouffee.
See my post on How to Make a Roux.
Cook the Vegetables. Add the onion, bell peppers, celery and garlic. Stir and cook for 5 minutes to soften.
Stock, Seasonings, Simmer. Stir in the Cajun seasonings, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste, and stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, to let the flavors develop. I like to simmer 30 minutes.
Crawfish and Parsley. Add the crawfish tails and warm them through. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.
Serve the Etouffee. Serve over white rice (if desired) and garnish with extra parsley and spicy chili flakes.
Boom! Done! Your crawfish etouffee is ready to serve. Looks so good, doesn't it? Man, we love this recipe. Who doesn't love a tasty etouffee?
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Raw Crawfish. If using raw crawfish, cook the peeled tails with with the onion, peppers and celery, then continue with the recipe. The tails will cook through during simmering.
- Extra Ingredients. Bay leaves are a nice flavor addition here. You can also make this recipe with tomatoes for more of a Creole version.
- Other Proteins. You can make this recipe with other seafood, like fish or shrimp. Try my awesome shrimp etouffee recipe. So good! It's more of a Creole version.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my crawfish etouffee recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!
If you enjoy Louisiana cooking, including Cajun and Creole cuisine, I have found this book very informative with lots of great recipes and techniques.
- Louisiana Real and Rustic, by Emeril Lagasse
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Shrimp and Grits
- Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- Creole Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- Cajun Pasta with Shrimp and Smoked Sausage
- Shrimp Creole
- Cajun Corn Maque Choux
- Jambalaya Recipe
- Hoppin’ John
- Cajun Red Beans and Rice
- Creole Chicken
- Chicken Fricassee
- Boudin Balls
- Couvillion (Creole Courbouillon)
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Crawfish Etouffee Recipe
- 4 tablespoons butter or use peanut oil
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper chopped (I use jalapeno for spicier)
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasonings or to taste
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional, for spicier
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups chicken stock or use seafood stock
- 1 pound crawfish tail meat par-cooked
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- FOR GARNISH: Extra chopped parsley, spicy chili flakes, hot sauce
- Cooked rice for serving if desired
- Heat a large pan or pot to medium heat and melt the butter.
- Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Stir continuously for 5 minutes, or until the roux turns a copper color. Do not let the roux burn.
- Add the onion, peppers, celery and garlic. Stir and cook for 5 minutes to soften.
- Stir in the Cajun seasonings, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste, and stock or broth. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes to let the flavors develop, stirring occasionally.
- Add the crawfish tails and warm them through.
- Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.
- Serve over white rice (if desired) and garnish with extra parsley and spicy chili flakes. Don't forget the hot sauce!
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 2/4/22 to include new information and video. It was originally published on 8/2/21.