Crawfish Étouffée Recipe

This classic Cajun étouffée starts with a simply seasoned roux.

Hands On Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
12 serves

In Louisiana, crawfish season signals the arrival of spring. This classic Cajun étouffée starts with a simply seasoned roux. Enriched with crawfish fat, the recipe closely resembles the original 20s dish created by Mrs. Charles Hebert at the eponymous Breaux Bridge Hebert Hotel. A longtime Lenten favorite, crawfish étouffée has inspired dozens of variations including Creole versions that add tomatoes. Mrs. Hebert did not.

Crawfish Étouffée
Southern Living


  • 4 pounds peeled crawfish tails with fat

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce

  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 4 celery ribs, chopped

  • 2 large onions, chopped

  • 3 large green bell peppers, chopped

  • 1 bunch green onions with tops, chopped

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 teaspoon table salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • Hot cooked rice


  1. Sprinkle the crawfish with the hot sauce and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of the red pepper.

  2. Stir together the oil and flour in a 4-quart Dutch oven. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, 10 to 15 minutes or until the roux is the color of a penny.

  3. Stir in the celery and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the crawfish and 1/2 cup water; cook over low, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

  4. Stir in the salt, black pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cream. Serve over the rice.


Recipe Revival: Southern Classics Reinvented for Modern Cooks (2016; Time Inc. Books)

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