Crawfish etouffee is a classic recipe here in a Louisiana. I love making this, especially in the fall and winter when the weather starts to get cold. This is a typical Sunday evening meal at our house. It will feed a lot of hungry family, friends, and strays. If you’ve never had it, it’s sorta like a tomato-based, crawfish gumbo. You’ll start with a roux, add in your veggies, then broths and crawfish. It’s really not hard, just a little time consuming. It’s so worth it in the end, I promise.
So, What Is Crawfish Etouffee?
Crawfish etouffee is a traditional Cajun Creole dish. This is one of my favorite recipes with crawfish tails. It’s a rich buttery, stew-like meal with crawfish tail meat that has already been boiled and peeled, the holy trinity vegetables and lots so broths and spices! This is one of those dishes where every recipe you see is different. However, the concept is all around the same. You’ll start with a roux then add in ingredients as you go. I like to sauté my crawfish tails before adding them. I feel like it brings out that good, crawfish flavor than adding them in cold.
Equipment You’ll Need
For starters, you’ll need a large pot or Dutch oven. I like a thick-bottomed pot to cook roux’s in. It’s easier to make and will be less likely to scorch. I also like making a roux with a wooden spoon or spatula. I’ve linked some of my favorites below. I typically like to use my Granny’s Magnalite roaster. She gave it to me about it year ago, and I use it all the time. I’m sad they don’t make them anymore, but you can find them on eBay!
Other equipment you’ll need is a cutting board and sharp kitchen knife to chop all your veggies. You’ll also need a separate pan to sauté your butter and crawfish in while making your roux.
Ingredients You’ll Need
You’ll start by making a traditional roux. I used flour and canola or vegetable oil. For this recipe, you’ll want it to be a copper penny color. You’ll just mix the flour and oil together, stirring constantly on medium heat. You don’t want to scorch or burn it. Be patient! It’ll probably take you around 10-15 minutes to get it right at the perfect color. If you burn it, you’ll know. It will smell. Just start over.
In Cajun cooking, the holy trinity is yellow onion, green bell pepper, and celery. You’ll chop those and add them to your roux once you have the perfect color.
I just buy them frozen. I’m lazy and I don’t ever peel leftovers from crawfish season. If I peel them, I eat them! Check in the seafood section of your grocery store.
I typically never use water as a base for soups and stews. For this recipe, I used a mix of chicken and vegetable stock. You could use just one or the other, or a seafood stock.
Butter and seasonings:
Like any good recipe, you’ll need lots of butter and seasonings. I like to sauté my crawfish tails in two sticks of butter with green onions, old bay and Cajun seasoning before adding it to the pot. I feel like it brings out all the good crawfish flavor, plus you get the spicy butter in the mix too! This recipe is not for those on a diet…
How to Make Crawfish Etouffee
In a large pot or Dutch oven, add a cup of oil then add a cup of flour to it a quarter of a cup at a time. You can slowly sift it into the pot. You’ll stir continuously on medium heat until roux becomes a nice copper color. This may take 10-15 minutes. Don’t get discouraged! A good roux takes a while to make! It will have a nice nutty flavor. If you burn it, you will know it.
Once your roux is a copper color, add in your chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery. Turn off your heat so that your roux doesn’t keep browning. Saute’ the veggies in the hot pan until they are soft. The roux will coat them. They will have almost like a fuzzy coating on the outside. You’ll then turn the heat back on to medium, add in your broths and tomato paste, stir and let it simmer for several minutes.
In a separate skillet, add your crawfish tails, two sticks of butter, chopped green onions and Old Bay and Cajun seasonings. Heat on medium to high heat for several minutes until tails are nice and sauteed and onions are cooked. The butter mix will start to smelling so good.
Add your crawfish butter mixture to the pot. Then add in the rest of your seasonings, hot sauce and Worchester sauce. Let it simmer for a while and taste it. It should start to thicken up. Slowly add salt if it needs it. Serve over rice and with saltine crackers and enjoy!
- Very Large Pot, Dutch Oven or Roaster
- Chef's Knife
- Measuring Cups
- 1 cup Oil (I used Vegetable Oil)
- 1 cup Flour
- 1 Chopped Onion
- 1 Chopped Bell Pepper
- 3-4 Chopped Celery Sticks
- 3 lbs Crawfish Tail Meat (I bought frozen)
- 2 sticks Butter
- 5-6 Chopped Green Onions
- 1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 tbsp Cajun Seasonings
- 4 cups Chicken Broth
- 4 cups Vegetable Broth
- 6 oz can Tomato Paste
- 1 tbsp Poultry Seasonings
- 2 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 tsp White Pepper
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
- 1 tbsp Hot Sauce
- Cooked White Rice (for serving)
- In a large pot or dutch oven, add a cup of oil then add a cup of flour to it a quarter of a cup at a time. Stir continuously on medium heat until roux becomes a nice copper color. This may take 10-15 minutes.
- Once your roux is a copper color, add in your chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery. Turn off your heat so that your roux doesn't keep browning. Saute' the veggies in the hot pan until they are soft. The roux will coat them. You'll then turn the heat back on to medium, add in your broths and tomato paste, stir and let it simmer for several minutes.
- In a separate skillet, add your crawfish tails, two sticks of butter, chopped green onions and Old Bay and Cajun seasonings. Heat on medium to high heat for several minutes until tails are nice and sauteed and onions are cooked.
- Add your crawfish butter mixture to the pot. Then add in the rest of your seasonings, hot sauce and Worchester sauce. Let it simmer for a while and taste it. It should start to thicken up. Slowly add salt if it needs it. Serve over rice and with saltine crackers and enjoy!
Make ahead:You can make this etouffee ahead of time. It will keep in the freezer for up to three months. Just be sure to let it completely cool before placing it in the freezer.
Roux 101:Don’t let the roux intimidate you. Medium heat and stirring is key. Be consistent and be patient! If you mess up, just start over.
Before You Go…
Let me know if you tried this crawfish etouffee recipe. If so, what did you think? Did you like it? Were you able to find storebought crawfish? I wanna know! Contact me here or in the comments below! Happy cooking!