Hot Crawfish Dip

An oh-so creamy appetizer that's perfect for spring holidays.

Hot Crawfish Dip

Will Dickey

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
8 to 10

At Mardi Gras celebrations, crawfish are often on the buffet table in all its forms, whether it’s a traditional Crawfish Boil, handheld Crawfish Rolls, or this luscious crawfish dip.

Crawfish, or mudbugs as they’re colloquially called, are in season from late February through May. But you can also find frozen crawfish meat year-round, which makes it easy to prepare crawfish dip for just about any occasion throughout the year. 

How To Buy Crawfish

This crawfish dip recipe calls for frozen cooked, peeled crawfish tails, which can be found at well-stocked fish markets or supermarkets. If it’s not available in your area, you can buy frozen crawfish meat online from purveyors, such as Louisiana Crawfish Co. 

You can also buy fresh whole crawfish in season. You’ll need to boil the crawfish and remove the meat from the shell.

While crawfish only takes about 15 minutes to cook, a typical crawfish boil recipe calls for boiling the crawfish in the seasoned broth for 5 to 10 minutes and then letting it sit for 30 minutes more to soak up the spices and seasonings.

You’ll need to buy 6 to 7 pounds of whole crawfish for a yield of 1 pound of tail meat. You can also use leftover crawfish from another preparation to make this dip. 

What Is Crawfish Dip Made Of?

Creamy and rich, crawfish dip is made of cooked crawfish meat combined with cream cheese. That's seasoned with green onion and bell pepper sautéed in butter, as well as Creole seasoning, garlic, and pimientos.

Other recipes for crawfish dip might include celery, Cheddar cheese or different seasonings, like Worcestershire sauce, mustard, hot sauce, and paprika. 

ingredients for Hot Crawfish Dip

What To Serve With Crawfish Dip

When you make hot crawfish dip, you’ll want to have a way for your guests to scoop up every creamy morsel. Slices of toasted baguette are a sturdy vehicle for crawfish dip, or try it with crackers or vegetables like celery or bell pepper wedges.

How To Store Leftover Crawfish Dip

Crawfish dip is best eaten the day it’s made. But leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, transfer to a microwave-safe container, and microwave for 30 seconds, then stir the dip and heat for 15 to 30 seconds more until it is heated through.

Freezing crawfish dip is not recommended, as the cream cheese in the dip will separate. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get meat from whole cooked crawfish?

After boiling whole crawfish and letting them cool enough to handle, grasp the crawfish between your fingers, with one hand holding the tail and the other holding the head, on either side of the joint.

Use a twisting motion to pull the head away from the tail. Peel the widest rings of the shell away from the tail meat. Gently tug the tail meat away from the base of the tail shell. 

What does crawfish taste like? 

Crawfish has a similar flavor profile to its fellow crustaceans, lobster and crab. The meat has a firm texture and a slightly sweet flavor. Many people say it tastes like a cross between shrimp and crab. 

Can I substitute something else for crawfish?

If you can’t find crawfish meat, you can use the same amount of cooked shrimp or cooked crabmeat in this dip recipe. Even cooked white fish, such as tilapia or flounder, can be used to make a delicious hot seafood dip. 

Editorial contributions by Jessica Harlan


  • 1/2 cup butter 

  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced

  • 1 (1-lb.) package frozen cooked, peeled crawfish tails, thawed and undrained

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained

  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

  • French bread baguette slices

  • Garnishes: sliced green onion, chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add green onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until bell pepper is tender.

    sauteeing bell peppers and green onions in dutch oven

    Stir in crawfish and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

    crawfish dip mixed together in dutch oven

    Stir in cream cheese until until cream cheese melts and mixture is smooth. Serve with toasted French bread slices.

    hot crawfish dip in dutch oven with spoon
Additional reporting by
Jessica Harlan
photo of a white woman with mid-length brunette hair

Jessica Harlan is an Atlanta-based food writer and recipe developer for Southern Living. The author of nine cookbooks, she's written about food for nearly 30 years.

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