Crawfish Etouffee

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5 from 8 votes
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Bring the flavors of Louisiana to your door with my mouthwatering crawfish étouffée. Featuring tender crawfish smothered in an aromatic Cajun stew, it makes an easy and cozy dinner.

Need more seafood recipes? Try my blackened salmon, air fryer crab cakes, pan-seared orange roughy, and shrimp burgers next.

crawfish etouffee.

When I need a recipe to steal the show but still be filled with comforting flavors anyone would love, I make my etouffee!

Its heartwarming Cajun flavor sets it apart from any other dish. Coupled with tender veggies and generous portions of butter, it’s a hearty stew no one can resist.

What is crawfish etouffee?

Etouffee is a French word meaning “smothered,” specifically referring to a spicy Cajun stew made of seafood and vegetables. It’s a popular dish in Cajun and Creole cuisines and is often made with vegetables and crawfish simmered in a mild yet rich broth. 

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make crawfish etouffee
  4. Arman’s recipe tips
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More comfort food seafood recipes
  8. Crawfish Etouffee Recipe (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Made in one pot. So clean-up is a breeze. 
  • Layers of flavor. Buttery crawfish simmered in a Cajun-spiced gravy with tender vegetables. How could anyone not love that?
  • Makes perfect leftovers. Like any good stew, this etouffee tastes even BETTER the following day, and it freezes like a dream.  
  • Deceptively easy. There’s minimal hands-on time, and the skillet does most of the work.

Ingredients needed

  • Crawfish. Use fresh or frozen crawfish. If you don’t have access to crawfish, use shrimp instead. 
  • Butter. A must for any etouffee!
  • All-purpose flour. To thicken the gravy. 
  • Vegetables. I used celery, green bell peppers, and onions, known as the ‘holy trinity’ in Creole cooking. 
  • Chicken broth. Use all-natural chicken stock, not bouillon cubes. Seafood stock and vegetable stock also work. 
  • Water. To thin out the gravy. 
  • Tomato paste. For intensity. 
  • Cajun seasoning. Another essential component. It’s a blend of black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and paprika. 
  • Cayenne pepper. For a spicy kick. Hot sauce also works. If you’re nervous about too much heat, you can skip this.

How to make crawfish etouffee

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

butter and oil in Dutch oven.

Step 1- Make the roux. Add butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk until a roux is formed.

vegetables in Dutch oven.

Step 2- Build the gravy. Add the veggies to the roux, followed by the broth, water, bay leaf, and spices. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.

adding crawfish to etouffee.

Step 3- Add crawfish. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. After 5 minutes, add the crawfish and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the crawfish are cooked and the etouffee is thickened.

Louisiana crawfish etouffee.

Step 4- Serve the etouffee over some basmati rice and enjoy immediately.

Arman’s recipe tips

  • Clean your crawfish well. They’re nicknamed the mudbug for a reason! 
  • Don’t use crawfish tails if they don’t curl. Straight tails mean the crawfish is dead before boiling, which can lead to food poisoning. 
  • Hold off on salting the stew. Crawfish and chicken broth are naturally salty, so wait until the last minute before giving it a taste and adding extra salt.

Variations

  • Add additional seafood like lobster tail meat, crab, or white fish. 
  • Make a more Creole-inspired dish and add chopped tomatoes. 
  • Garnish with chopped parsley or green onions. 

Storage instructions

To store: Place leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

To freeze: Place the cooked and cooled leftovers in a shallow container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.  

Reheating: Either reheat in the microwave for 30-40 seconds or in a non-stick skillet. 

crawfish etoufee.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between gumbo and etouffee? 

Gumbo is a thick and hearty soup, with a thinner consistency. Etouffee, on the other hand, is a stew and contains more vegetable-based ingredients.

More comfort food seafood recipes

crawfish etouffee recipe.

Crawfish Etouffee Recipe

5 from 8 votes
Bring the flavors of Louisiana to your door with my mouthwatering crawfish étouffée. Featuring tender crawfish smothered in an aromatic Cajun stew, it makes an easy and cozy dinner. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen.
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

Video

Ingredients  

  • 2 pounds crawfish fresh or thawed
  • 1/2 cup butter chopped
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup celery finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 14.5 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional

Instructions 

  • Add the butter and the large skillet and place it over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and stir together until a roux is made.
  • Add the celery, peppers, and onion, and mix into the roux. Add the broth, water, bay leaf, Cajun seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Bring everything to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. After 5 minutes, add the crawfish and cook everything together for 5-10 minutes, or until the etouffee has thickened.
  • Remove off the heat and serve immediately.

Notes

TO STORE: Place leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
TO FREEZE: Place the cooked and cooled leftovers in a shallow container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.  
TO REHEAT: Either reheat in the microwave for 30-40 seconds or in a non-stick skillet. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 310kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 19gFat: 14gSodium: 647mgPotassium: 284mgFiber: 2gVitamin A: 1875IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 15g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Originally published November 2022, updated and republished June 2024

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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