Everybody “down on the Bayou” sings about crawfish pie, but what does it really taste like? Here is a simple recipe, which is a hybrid from Emeril and John Besh.
I also think the pie crust should be pre-cooked slightly before this goes back into the oven.
New Orleans folks have easy access to fresh crawfish, but the rest of us must settled for the frozen variety. The latter is not as gorgeous as fresh, but it easy and accessible. ‘Nuff said.
Crawfish pie makes a great entree with salad or other less spicy side dishes like roasted veggies. I also think it can be converted into impressive appetizers by spraying your muffin tins, shaping pie crust into each and adding the pie filling then browning in the oven 30 minutes or so (the cooking time is less than the full pie, for obvious reasons.) I’d remove the muffin-pies as soon as you can handle them to prevent the crust from steaming and getting too soft.
If you want to make your own pie crust, go for it. I’m buying the dough or prepared pie shells at the grocery store.
- chopping board
- chopping knife
- small bowls for prepped veggies
- large skillet
- large bowl
- wooden spoon
- baking sheet
- 1 pound dried large lima or kidney beans (the beans don’t go in the pie but you need them for the crust – trust me on this one)
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup diced onions
- 3/4 cup diced bell pepper (I like yellow to contrast all the red in this recipe)
- 3/4 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 lb. peeled crawfish tails (or one pkg frozen, thawed)
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley (or 2 tablespoons dried)
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (after using 1/4, I lean toward 1/8)
- 1 teaspoon salt
LET’S GET STARTED
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When it’s hot, place pie pan with crust onto baking sheet, pour dried beans into the bottom of the crust and cook 10 minutes.
(Usually, when you are going to pre-cook pie crust, you will take a fork and poke lots of little holes into it so that steam can escape and not blow bubbles into your crust. The dried beans serve a similar purpose but prevent the little holes, through which this pie’s juices could leak.)
Remove the pre-cooked crust and set it aside. When it’s cooled off, pour dried beans into a bowl and allow to cool so you can store them for another pie pre-cook.
In the skillet, melt butter then add flour and whisk into a lightly browned roux. I found another recipe that calls for cornstarch to thicken this up at the end, but I don’t like the jelly-like texture. Roux is the way to go. This is the roux I made for crawfish etouffee. Shoot for this color:
Add onions, bell pepper and celery. Cook, stirring, for another 6-8 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Add tomatoes, crawfish, green onions, parsley and seasonings.
Cook another 2-3 minutes until just heated through. Pour into large bowl and let cool about 10 minutes, then pour filling into pie shell.
Bake 40-45 minutes until crust is golden and filling is bubbling hot. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before serving. Serves 6.
Come back to NewinNOLA.com every week for “Southfacin’ Cook,” where Patsy explains the basics to Southern cooking and eating. Contact her with suggestions, questions or requests at email@example.com.
Previous recipes from Patsy:
COOKING FRIENDS: I’ve had a couple of revelations about the filling in this recipe. One – spray muffin tins, arrange filo dough in them and spoon crawfish filling, then bake. Also, fill bell peppers to bake and also top baked potatoes. Wow, this is making me hungry! … patsy
Ooo. This would be tasty in phyllo. You always raise the standard when it comes to party apps.
I’ve been looking for a crawfish pie recipe – I think yours looks amazing! I make a tasty crawfish quiche, but I want to branch out to crawfish pie. Excited to use my tasty LA crawfish tails for this! 🙂
Karen, thanks for looking us up! I’ve got lots of other really good, easy recipes on this blog. Highly recommend the Red Beans & Rice and the Creole Bread Pudding. Next week, Shrimp & Grits.
Thanks for posting your recipe…your instructions are a bit misleading as it looks like you don’t actually cook the veggies in the roux, but in a separate pan with more butter. I made it as instructed (cooked the veggies in the roux) and it came out real dry – almost like stuffing – before making it into the crust. I think it definitely needs more liquid in there somewhere. Just a tip for anyone else who might try this recipe.
I’ve never made a crawfish pie but wanted to. I found 2 recipies . This one using the flour and one using cornstarch. I decided to use this one first. When cooked as directed it is pasty and thick. I added some broth to it before putting in crust. I will be trying the other to see which is right for my family.
Why are you using Chinese crawfish?
Sadly, it was the only crawfish available at Patsy’s grocery store in north Mississippi when she was doing the recipe. Locally, we have plenty of Louisiana options that are far better. When Patsy is in town, she cooks with local seafood. We’ll reshoot the photos with local crawfish the next time she makes crawfish pie.
Thanks for reading.
Extremely disappointed to see imported crawfish (Bernard’s) in your picture, when certified Cajun products of Louisiana are readily available. Shame on you. However, the recipe looks wonderful, but I’ll be making mine with Louisiana products.
Gina – it was the only crawfish available at Patsy’s grocery store in north Mississippi when she was doing the recipe. You are correct about local seafood – we have plenty of Louisiana options that are far better. When Patsy is in town or Gulf seafood is available at her grocery store, she cooks with local seafood. We’ll reshoot the photos with local crawfish the next time she makes crawfish pie.
Thanks for reading.
I’d have to agree with Kristi. I made this recipe last night as instructed and once I added the vegetables to the roux it came out extremely thick and pasty. I had to add milk to thin it out enough to cook the vegetables. When looking back at your photos it looks like you didn’t cook the vegetables in the same pot as the roux. When did you add the roux to your crawfish and veggie mix?
@Static and @Kristi – I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t come out for y’all. Patsy is our resident Southern cooking expert so I’ll defer to her on this one. I’ll bug her as soon as she finishes her Thanksgiving cooking. Sadly, I’m allergic to bell peppers so I can’t test this out 😦
Here’s another version of a crawfish pie:
My friends served it at a dinner party and it disappeared. It also includes video instructions.
Best of luck! Please let me know if y’all figure out a way to improve the recipe and I’ll get it updated.
I too think something is missing from the recipe. Mine is dry, like stuffing. I wish I would have read the comments before making it this evening. Oh well. At least it’s got good flavor.
Another favorite is crawfish bread find a very popular and traditional recipe here at Louisiana Kitchen & Culture magazine http://louisiana.kitchenandculture.com/recipes/jyl-bensons-stuffed-crawfish-bread
It has been viewed over 20,000 times in past few months
That sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipe link, Jim!
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I live in Louisiana and everyone that I know that uses the frozen crawfish, after they thaw you place them in a strainer and wash them first and the water runs clear, and afterwards you season them with creole seasoning. That’s just a tip, it will taste better.
I live in Louisiana and everyone that I know that uses the frozen crawfish, after they thaw you place them in a strainer and wash them first until the water runs clear, and afterwards you season them with creole seasoning. That’s just a tip, it will taste better.
Hey D, thanks for the excellent advice. I’ll try that next time… patsy
NOOOO. Not good Louisiana crawfish! You’ll wash the tasty fat off!
Crawfish from CHINA!!! really….
I’m glad I read the earlier comments before I made this, because I was dubious about the lack of fluid. I checked some other recipes and did this: followed this recipe through cooking the vegetables in the roux for 8 minutes. Then I added a little over one cup of seafood broth (actually just shrimp shells and some leftover onions peppers celery and parsley cooked in water for 20 minutes or so). The roux thickened up quickly and looked a lot like the photos. A recipe from Emeril I found on line used a cup of water but half the butter and flour, so my filliung is thicker than that would be. If I did this again I think I would use less flour and butter (a half as in the Emeril recipe or perhaps 3/4s. and then a cup of fluid.
Thanks for the feedback, Howard! Hope you enjoyed your pie.
You know, it’s sad that you addressed the posts asking about the crawfish but, not the most important one. That is the awful dryness of this recipe. I added a cup of water and it was still not enough. I should have stuck with John Folse or Emeril. 😕
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I found that as I was making the roux, it was going to be too much. And you can’t have a roux without adding some kind of liquid. So, I added my vegetables to the roux, stirred for 3-4 minutes. Next I took out half of the roux and added a small amount of water, probably about 3/4 cup. Remember you can always additional, from the roux you took out. Besides, you have to cook the starch out of the roux, and season before adding the crawfish. I generally cook it on a low flame for amount twenty minutes and season as I stir occasionally. Once my sauce is to my taste, I add the crawfish. And cook for 10 minutes on low. Hope this helps