Classic Cajun Crawfish Étouffée Recipe

Classic cajun crawfish etouffee

​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 4 servings

This Cajun-style crawfish étouffée starts with a buttery rich, dark roux. It's a classic Louisiana dish, and it is delicious with hot cooked rice and crusty French bread.

Feel free to make this tasty étouffée with shrimp instead of crawfish. This Creole shrimp étouffée is made with a tomato base.


  • 1 cup butter (divided)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup green pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
  • 2 cups fish stock (or shrimp stock)
  • 2 pounds crawfish tails (peeled)
  • 1 cup green onions (with tops, chopped)
  • Optional: 2 to 3 tablespoons dry sherry (or good brandy)
  • Garnish: fresh parsley (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic cajun crawfish
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. In a Dutch oven over medium-low heat, melt 1/2 cup of the butter. Add the flour and reduce the heat to low.

    Melt butter
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is a deep brown. Keep the heat low and stir constantly to prevent scorching, creating a Louisiana roux.

    Cook constantly
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Add the chopped vegetables and seasonings; cook until vegetables are softened.

    Add chopped vegetables
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  5. Gradually stir in the fish stock and let simmer 15 minutes or until thickened.

    Stir in fish sauce
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  6. Add crawfish, green onions, remaining butter, and sherry; bring to a simmer. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.

    Add crawfish
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  7. Cover the pan, remove from heat, and let stand for 15 minutes.

    Cover the pan
    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  8. Serve the crawfish étouffée hot around a mound of rice. Sprinkle with a little parsley before serving.

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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