Crawfish Bisque
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This authentic Cajun recipe is dependent upon access to whole boiled crawfish with heads. It is the rich stock rendered from the shells and the stuffed heads that make this one of the greatest of all the Cajun culinary treasures.
Recipe by:
Serves: 6 to 8
  • 3 pounds whole boiled crawfish
  • Water, for boiling
  • 3 pounds pork boudin (see Notes)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups diced yellow onions
  • 1 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced green onion tops
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup dark roux (see Notes)
  • Pinch of Cajun seasoning
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 8 cups cooked Louisiana long grain white rice, such as Supreme
  • 1 cup diced green onion tops
  1. Rinse the boiled crawfish of excess spice. Separate the head from the tails and place in piles. Peel all of the tail meat, cover and refrigerate. Place the shells from the tails in a colander and rinse once again. Add to a stockpot.
  2. Pull the leg and pincher undercarriage from the head portion leaving an empty cavity. Place all of the leg and pincher shells into the colander retaining the heads. Rinse the leg and pincher shells and add to the stockpot. Fill the stockpot with water until it just covers the tails. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Remove the stockpot from the heat and strain 6 cups of the stock into a container for later use.
  3. Place the boudin on a cutting board and remove from the casing. Move the crawfish heads to the cutting board. Using your hands, scoop a portion of boudin and stuff tightly into the empty cavity of as many heads as you can. Place in a covered container and refrigerate.
  4. In a black iron pot with lid over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and green onion tops. Cook until the onions turn translucent and then add the garlic. Stir while adding the roux and 6 cups of stock. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
  5. Add the crawfish tail meat, cover and cook for 15 minutes more. Add the stuffed crawfish heads, cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let soak for 15 minutes, uncover and taste the stew. Add Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, and hot sauce to your desired level of spice. (Note: This dish should be spicy, but your guests can always add more spice at the table.)
  6. Serve the stew in shallow bowls over a mound of perfectly steamed white rice. Garnish with green onion tops and serve with French bread and a bottle of hot sauce on the table.
Making a stock from crawfish shells is a key to this dish, but be sure to rinse excess spice off the shells to control the level of heat. Buy whole boiled crawfish or crawfish tail meat at Make a dark roux like Rox’s roux recipe or buy dark roux in a jar at Make your own boudin with my recipe for Cajun boudin or stuff the heads with your favorite commercially prepared boudin available at
Recipe by Acadiana Table at /?p=7510