This Crawfish Étouffée Recipe Brings New Orleans Flair to Dinner

How to make crawfish étouffée, courtesy of the Culinary Institute of America

Adobe Stock / Will Milne

Experiment with the flavors of Louisiana in this delicious crawfish étouffée recipe perfected by The Culinary Institute of America.

Crawfish Étouffée

Serves 5


3 Tbsp bacon fat or canola oil
1½ cups minced onions
1 cup minced celery
¾ cup minced green bell pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp mild paprika
¼ tsp ground white pepper
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, or as needed
1/8 tsp ground cayenne
Salt as needed
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups fish or chicken broth, or as needed
1¼ pound crawfish tail meat with fat
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green portions
¼ cup basil chiffonade (cut into fine threads)
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

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Heat the bacon fat or oil in a casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat until it shimmers.

Add the onion and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about six minutes. Add the celery, bell pepper, and garlic; cover the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the paprika, white and black pepper, cayenne, and ½ teaspoon salt; sauté, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about one minute.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and pasty, about three minutes. Add the broth and stir well to work out any lumps. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

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Add the crawfish tails and their fat. Cover the pot and cook over very low heat, stirring frequently, until the crawfish is cooked through and very hot, eight to 10 minutes. Add a little more broth as needed throughout the cooking time if the étouffée is getting too thick. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Add the butter, scallions, basil, and parsley and stir to combine. Serve the étouffée in heated bowls.

Related: Bring This Cajun Gumbo With a Hudson Valley Twist to Your Table

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