Crawfish Étouffée

Crawfish étouffée is an easy one-pot Cajun and Creole dinner made with a simple roux, veggies, and fresh seafood. Étouffée is a popular dish throughout Louisiana, especially in New Orleans, where it’s a staple both on restaurant menus and in home kitchens, and cooks use the freshest shellfish to make this rich, hearty stew.

The word étouffée is French for “smothered,” which makes sense here. This brothy dish features crawfish and vegetables completely covered in a savory butter-and-flour-based gravy. Pro tip: Serve this over white rice to soak up all that flavor. If you have extra seafood stock, use it to cook your rice.

The key to building a deeply flavorful étouffée starts with a roux, which is easier than you might think. You’ll simply whisk together melted butter and flour in a heavy pot over low heat until you have a caramel-colored soft paste. The roux for this étouffée isn’t super thick; it will still move easily around the pan when it’s cooked.

When making a roux, it’s essential not to use heat that’s too high, as both butter and flour can easily burn. A burnt roux will leave your étouffée with a bitter taste that no one wants for dinner, so if you accidentally cook your roux too far, your best bet is to start with fresh butter and flour and turn down the stove temperature.

Look for fully cooked crawfish tail meat for this recipe. It’s available in well-stocked grocery stores often in the freezer section. If you can’t find crawfish, shrimp will work as a substitute. Use large peeled and deveined raw shrimp and simply add them during the last few minutes of cooking. They’re done when they’re light pink and curled into a C shape.

This hearty one-pot crawfish étouffée will transport you to the Bayou–all that’s missing is French Toast Casserole for dessert!





2 c. low-sodium seafood or chicken stock
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 lb. cooked crawfish tail meat, thawed if frozen
Cooked white rice and chopped fresh parsley, for serving


  1. Step 1In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm stock with pot covered. Once stock starts to steam, remove from heat and let sit, covered, until ready to use.
  2. Step 2Meanwhile, in a large pressure pot or Dutch oven over low heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until roux is a medium-brown caramel color, 5 to 6 minutes. Do not let roux burn.
  3. Step 3Add onion, bell peppers, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, Cajun seasoning, salt, and cayenne cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add warmed stock and bring to a simmer. Partially cover skillet, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is slightly reduced and flavors have melded, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Step 4Stir in crawfish and cook, tossing, until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  5. Step 5Divide rice among bowls or plates. Spoon étouffée over, then top with parsley.
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