A remarkable part of the world, with a rich and storied history, Louisiana is a state that keeps people coming back, if not for the quirky experiences it has to offer, then for its wealth of fantastic Creole recipes, that directly draw on the state’s French and African roots.
Laden with herbs and spices, Louisiana cuisine is perhaps most associated with seafood, with catfish and crawfish being some of their biggest dishes loved by millions around the world.
This article focuses on the latter, so, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best crawfish recipes out there, all of them offering that perfect little taste of Louisiana!
A classic dish served throughout Louisiana, the crawfish boil is usually prepared for get-togethers and parties with family and friends, and tends to consist of a large pot where everyone can help themselves.
This recipe takes that community spirit and compacts it into the perfect family meal, offering freshly boiled crawfish, peppers, potatoes, carrots, corn on the cob, and any number of herbs and spices to create a comforting, complex flavor that is perfect for any occasion.
Drawing strongly on the French heritage of the state, crawfish etouffee is a popular dish throughout Louisiana.
Literally translating to ‘smothered’ or ‘stuffed’ in French, this is a common dish in Creolo and Cajun cuisine, and consists of seafood cooked with rice.
This particular recipe takes fresh crawfish, peppers, tomatoes, and onions, and combines them with numerous herbs, spices, and seasonings to create a true comfort food.
Adding a little Italian influence to a classic Louisiana ingredient, this crawfish fettuccine takes a classic pasta dish and combines it with fresh crawfish and herbs to create a creamy, comforting dish perfect as a lighter bite on those hot summer days.
This recipe incorporates spring onions, peppers, celery, green onions, crawfish, and fettuccine pasta to create a delicious meeting of minds that has just enough spice.
Another popular dish throughout Louisiana, crawfish bread is very similar to bruschetta, albeit with a fresh, creamy, slightly spicy crawfish mix instead of the usual tomatoes.
This is usually either served as a toasted sandwich, or open on a single slice of bread, and is a perfect comfort food enjoyed by many.
This is one of those dishes that can be modified to your liking, adding as much spice or additional ingredients as you would like to make the tasty treat of your dreams.
Fried rice is a common Asian side dish, known for its wholesome, comforting flavor, and as a great pairing for most dishes.
This Cajun version takes this one step further, mixing in spices, vegetables, and fresh crawfish to create something which perhaps more closely resembles a risotto of sorts.
Packed with flavor, and utterly delicious, this can be a great side dish for seafood dishes, or padded out with chunky roasted vegetables to create a light but filling summertime dish to enjoy with family and friends.
Just like the fettuccine, this creamy crawfish pasta dish combines fresh crawfish tails with penne pasta, and a creamy, slightly spicy sauce to create something truly comforting and unforgettable.
Perfect for summer evenings with friends, or as a winter warmer, this really is such a simple dish, despite being packed with so much flavor.
Another classic dish throughout Louisiana, crawfish bisque takes everything great about this spicy creole favorite and turns it into a thick seafood soup, perfect as a light bite, or as a winter warmer.
Perfectly paired with crawfish bread, this bisque is a great way to experience the true flavor of the south in a way that is easily prepared, perfectly spiced, and absolutely delicious.
Taking its name from the French province of the same name, Jambalaya is a classic creole dish, known for its rich, spicy flavor, and combination of textures, thanks to a combination of rice, meat, seafood, and vegetables.
Popular throughout Louisiana, the American South, and around the world, the dish is known for being highly versatile, allowing the inclusion of numerous spare ingredients – such as meat, vegetables, and any spices that might be laying around.
Of course, there are simpler ways to enjoy fresh and delicious crawfish tails, one of which is to simply coat them in garlic butter to create the perfect side dish to a buffet, celebration meal, or as part of a wider sharing platter with friends and family.
This recipe does just that, taking simplistic ingredients and seasoning to create an easy but effective take on this classic Louisiana dish.
Dress them up how you want, but the taste will still blow you away, and you will be amazed at just how simple seafood can really be.
10. Crawfish Creole
Another crawfish tradition is to make them into a ‘creole’, that is, a rich, tomato based stew that can be served over rice.
Featuring vegetables, rice, and fresh crawfish, this really is a simple dish, and can be made in bulk for larger get-togethers and occasions.
The perfect winter warmer, this goes really well with the cold weather, and can be a great way of fighting a chill – thanks to the rich seasoning, and hint of spice.
A casserole is another great way to utilize any leftovers, while creating a simple and great tasting meal that can feed your family multiple times if necessary.
This Louisiana crawfish casserole takes everything good about creole food, throws it into a casserole dish with rice, and smothers it with a rich tomato sauce and heapings of the cheese of your choice.
Cornbread is a simple but popular southern dish in the United States, and one that dates back centuries into the country’s history.
Often served plain and slightly sweetened, this version takes fresh crawfish and combines it with the cornbread recipe, creating a rich, savory treat that can be consumed with other seafood, or as a tasty side dish alongside a larger family meal.
Sauteeing can be a great way to unlock the flavor of the crawfish, as well as a good way of locking in spices and other seasonings you might like to include.
What’s more, this is a really simple way of preparing this Louisiana favorite, and is great when served over rice, or as a side with a larger salad based meal.
These crawfish hand pies are a perfect form of finger food, and can be a great addition to a buffet or meal at large get-togethers.
Similar in design to a Mexican empanada, or the British cornish pasty, these little, crawfish stuffed pastries are laden with flavor, spice, and taste, and will become a firm favorite for you, your family, and your friends.
15. Crawfish Fondue
Fondues might conjure up an image of 1970s living, but this crawfish fondue is anything but dated.
Rich, creamy, and with just enough spice to make things interesting, this fondue is loaded with flavor, and is the perfect sharing dish with friends and family.
The recipe is relatively simple, and incorporates chunky vegetables, thick cheesy sauce, and tasty fresh crawfish, that can either be served inside a large Coburg loaf (like New England chowder), or in a bowl with bread on the side.
16. Crawfish Scampi
Scampi is a popular type of bar food, usually served battered with French fries, potatoes, or vegetables.
This recipe for crawfish scampi replaces the traditional Dublin bay prawns, and the Norwegian lobsters, instead opting for this Louisiana classic, and keeping them unbattered to really preserve the rich flavor that this shellfish has to offer.
17. Crawfish & Grits
This recipe combines this classic with Louisiana crawfish to create a thick, rich, stew-like dish full of chunky, crunchy vegetables, crispy sauteed crawfish, and enough spice to give it a little bit of a kick.
Another French tradition, boulettes are small deep fried meatballs.
This dish takes this notion one step further, replacing the beef and pork for delicious crawfish, and combining it with potato, eggs, flour, vegetables, and seasoning to create something truly indulgent and tasty.
When fried, they can then be served with a light sour cream, which will complement the richness of the boulettes, and add a smooth counter to the crispy texture.
Taking inspiration from jambalaya, a Louisiana classic, this pasta dish takes crawfish, sausage, shrimp, and vegetables to create a rich and creamy pasta dish that, while Italian in design, feels like a true taste of New Orleans.
Loaded with flavor, and deeply indulgent, this is a great dish for the winter months, when you need something to keep the cold out.
20. Hot Crawfish Dip
Somewhat similar to jambalaya, this dish, known locally as a hot crawfish dip, takes fresh crawfish, green onions, crunchy vegetables, seasoning, and cheese to create the perfect… well, dip.
You could also just fry the crawfish tails. This might seem like a simplistic process, but the final result speaks for itself.
These can be deep fried if desired, and while this makes them slightly less healthy, it is a great way to sample this Louisiana favorite, and can be paired with French fries, or similar snacks, to create the perfect party snack.
Fried whole, these soft shell crawfish might be a divisive choice for some, but fans of authentic jambalaya, and Spanish classics like paella, will enjoy this pan fried alternative.
23. Crawfish Balls
These crispy, deep fried balls are perfect for sharing with friends and family, and pair excellently with a large platter of sides, or with salad items and dipping sauces.
24. Crawfish Nachos
A popular sharing dish, nachos are a firm favorite – be it in the realm of Mexican cuisine, or amongst fans of bar food.
This recipe combines this favorite with fresh Louisiana crawfish, along with spices, peppers, cheese, and seasoning, to create a crunchy, mouth wateringly delicious platter that is perfect for afternoon drinks with friends on a hot, sunny day.
25. Crawfish Chowder
While normally associated with New England, this fish soup pairs excellently with Louisiana crawfish, putting a distinctive southern twist on this northeastern classic.
When combined with corn, herbs, seasoning, and just a touch of spice, this really feels like it was born to be consumed this way, and the classic yet somewhat polarizing New England chowder will seem like a distant memory.
26. Crawfish Queso
Queso is a Mexican cheese dip, often served hot, and popular with nachos at sporting events, group get-togethers, and parties.
This creole take on the classic sees fresh, pan fried crawfish, onions, cheese, and mixed spices to create a distinctly fresh and exciting twist on the classic.
27. Crawfish Cakes
While fish and crab cakes might be industry standards, these crawfish cakes are contender for the top spot, featuring fresh crawfish, chopped vegetables, and seasoning all wrapped together in a crispy breadcrumb coating that, when deep fried, is the perfect accompaniment with fries, salad, or vegetables down by the waterfront.
This dish isn’t much of a stretch, seeing as how prawns and shrimp are classic salad additions.
However, this really does blow the whole thing out of the water, combining it with pasta, rich, tasty pasta sauce, and crunchy salad vegetables to create something equally perfect for your midmorning lunch, or for a sharing family meal in the evening.
Like jambalaya, gumbo is quintessentially creole, and has a long history in the culture of the state of Louisiana.
With plenty of spice, chunky vegetables, naturally served crawfish, and a thin sauce, this really is the perfect taste of the south.
Fish and seafood pies are a staple in most parts of the world, and can be a wholesome and delicious way to enjoy your favorite ingredients.
This recipe takes this culinary tradition and turns up the heat, incorporating creole spices, fresh crawfish, peppers,and seasoning to create something that has a long history in New Orleans.
This southern, one pot classic is a great and simple way to use up leftover fish and vegetables, while creating something delicious in the process.
Featuring pork sausage, crawfish, corn on the cob, and mixed vegetables, this dish comes with just a hint of spice, and a comforting feeling that will make you a fan for life.
Mac and cheese is a classic, and despite being Italian in origin, has found global fame as a staple of American cuisine.
This recipe takes it one step further, combining this usually plain, cheese sauce pasta dish, and combining it with creole spices and delicious Louisiana crawfish to create a fresh take on classic comfort food.
33. Crawfish Burgers
What would any food list be without a good burger?
This recipe takes crawfish and combines them with another American classic to create something truly unique and delicious.
And there we have it, everything you need to make some of the finest crawfish meals on the market.
It is really amazing how versatile one little shellfish can be, and it is testament to the people of Louisiana who continue to pride themselves on creating delicious, wholesome dishes that can be enjoyed by locals and foreigners alike.
Why not try some of these yourself? Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!