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Crawfish Stew for Beginners


Seriously.  I mean that, I really do.  If you are “roux challenged”, then fret no more.  This little recipe right here is going to set you free. And it’s just in time for all those leftover mudbugs that nobody ever wants to peel, and because most of us stuff ourselves to the point of bursting the day of the crawfish boil, we don’t care to see another boiled bug until maybe next weekend!

No More Roux Anxiety

A seasoned Cajun/French cook who’s in her seventies introduced me to this product recently while I was eating her delicious fresh chicken stew.  I could not believe how good it was, combined with the fact that she did not slave over a hot pot until her roux turned Hershey brown.

Crawfish Stew for BeginnersTony Chachere  has invented something that takes the mystery out of making a roux. This is NOT for all you traditionalists out there, and please don’t poo-poo it until you’ve tried it.  I promise all of you that it is fail safe and you just cannot go wrong. Your dinner guests are going to ooh and ah over this dish until crawfish walk frontwards!

So, sit around and talk while you peel the last of the crawfish that your guests just could not shove in their pie holes.  Make sure that you remove the vein or “mud line” that runs down the back, though.  If you don’t, they will end up floating on the surface of your stew and that is just, well, nasty.  There’s no nice way to say that.

Be sure and keep all the side items that you boiled along with your crawfish:  onions, mushrooms, garlic, corn, smoked sausage, and potatoes.  If you boil other stuff, well, just make sure it compliments your stew before throwing them in the pot.  Here we go!

Crawfish Stew for Beginners

  • pound Leftover boiled crawfish tails – about 1 for this recipe (easily doubled)
  • Leftover side items: potatoes (smoked sausage, onions, garlic, mushrooms, corn)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 t large onion (if you don' have enough from the boil)
  • t Garlic Powder (if you don' have garlic from the boil)
  • Salt (only if it needs it)
  • Tony Chachere's Instant Roux Mix
  • Boiling Water
  • Green onion tops
  1. Keep some water boiling on a back burner.
  2. Add a little olive oil to a heavy pot – just enough to saute a large onion OR chop the onions you have from the boil.
  3. Cut the smoked sausage into small pieces, and when the onions are done, add to the pot and continue to saute.
  4. After the sausage has browned a little, add the crawfish tails and saute a few minutes more.
  5. If you have corn and mushrooms, now is a good time to slice the mushrooms and slice the corn off the cob (about 2 ears).
  6. Add the corn kernels and saute.
  7. In a small sauce pan, add 1 cup of cold water, and over medium heat, whisk in 1/2 cup of Roux Mix.
  8. Whisk while mixture comes to a boil.
  9. Remove it from the fire and add it to your stew pot, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
  10. Using the boiling water from your kettle, slowly add hot water until desired thickness of what YOU think a stew should be. Just remember, as it simmers, it will thicken, so you can always add more hot water.
  11. Add the sliced mushrooms and minced garlic (or garlic powder).
  12. Add the sliced green onions.
  13. Add the potatoes only after the stew has simmered for about 15-20 minutes. You don’t want them to cook any more, or they will fall apart.
  14. Simmer the stew for about a total of 30 minutes.
  15. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  16. Serve with rice.



Crawfish Stew for Beginners Step-by-Step Photos

Start with a heavy pot or cast iron dutch oven.  If all you have is a stainless pot, that is fine.  Add a little olive oil–just enough to sauté a large onion OR chop the onions you have from the boil.

Crawfish Stew for BeginnersOnce the onions are done, add the smoked sausage, cut into small pieces and sauté  more.

Crawfish Stew for BeginnersIf you have corn and mushrooms, now is a good time to slice the mushrooms and slice the corn off the cob.  Two ears is plenty if you don’t care for a lot of corn in the stew, or you can omit it entirely.  It’s not necessary for the stew to turn out good.

Crawfish Stew for BeginnersAfter the sausage has browned a little, add the crawfish tails and sauté a few minutes more.  Then add the corn kernels and sauté.  Make sure you have a kettle of water boiling on the back burner for later.

Crawfish Stew for BeginnersNow, it’s time for the roux mix.  The proportions on the container are for a very large quantity, so I cut it down.  Basically it’s a 2:1 ratio of water and mix.

Crawfish Stew for BeginnersIn a small sauce pan, add 1 cup of cold water, and over medium heat, whisk in 1/2 cup of Roux Mix.  Whisk while mixture comes to a boil.

Crawfish Stew for BeginnersThen remove it from the fire and add it to your stew pot, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.

Crawfish Stew for BeginnersAt this point, the Roux  will be pretty thick, but that’s okay.  Using the boiling water from your kettle, slowly add hot water until desired thickness of what YOU think a stew should be.  Just remember, as it simmers, it will thicken, so you can always add more hot water.

Crawfish Stew for BeginnersNow, it’s time to add the sliced mushrooms, minced garlic (or garlic powder if you didn’t boil mushrooms).  After it simmers a while, taste test for seasoning and salt.  If your boil was very salty and spicy, then your stew will have that great flavor.  If it’s a little bland, then add any Cajun seasoning you like, or salt and pepper to your liking.  Remember, the flavors will come out of the ingredients as it simmers, so you might want to give it a while before you add anything. 

While those things are simmering, it’s time to chop your green onion tops (which we bayou people call the tail of the onion) and cube your potatoes, any size you like.  I leave mine large so that those who don’t care for potatoes can pick around them while serving their bowl.

Add the green onions now and check your thickness to see if hot water needs to be added.

Add the potatoes only after the stew has simmered for about 15-20 minutes.  You don’t want them to cook any more, or they will fall apart. If your potatoes are mushy from the boil, I probably would add them during the last few minutes or not at all.

Since all the ingredients are pre-cooked, you only need to simmer the stew for about a total of 30 minutes.  Remember to taste at the end for spice and salt.  Adjust accordingly.

Be sure and cook your rice while your delicious stew is simmering. Good rice only takes about 20 minutes to cook, so that should be hot and ready to go into your bowls!

Crawfish Stew for BeginnersServe with fresh French Bread or Pistolettes and a green salad.

Cher, you just can’t go wrong with a good crawfish stew.  And I PROMISE, your family will be singing your praises, and hopefully, you will be singing mine.  Er, uh, wait, I mean you will be singing the praises of Tony Chachere’s Instant Roux Mix.

Okay, peel those mudbugs, grab that pot, and bang that spoon!


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    1. Hey hey hey!! Wait a minute!! I’m NOT roux challenged!! I just wanted to try the product AND offer a way for people from other parts of the country to experience Bayou Cooking the easy way!!! You’d be amazed at how many people never made gravy from scratch, and therefore don’t know how to make a roux. You were just picking at me, right???? : )

      1. Easy, girlfriend… I just thought the ‘roux challenged’ was a cute saying! I surely wasn’t saying you were ‘roux challenged’…
        It just made me laugh. I, too, know the ‘roux challenged’, I am not one, but I know some!

          1. 🙂 I thought I had hurt your feelings and you was hatin’ on me!!!
            I was, like, oh my God… how did she think I meant anything by that?
            You just go on and have fun with me all you want!!!
            I would never, ever, assume that a gal like you could possibly be ‘roux challenged’. 🙂

  1. I would have serious trouble making a roux but am married to someone that can. I might have to try that roux mix.

    1. Well, now, you don’t have to tell anybody you can’t make a roux–that’s the beauty of this product. Makes you look like you’ve been making stew all your life!!!!! Get you some when you come down next month!!!

      1. I have been using Tony’s Roux Mix for years & my family from South Florida think that I am the BEST Cajun cook in the World!!! I LOVE Tony’ Roux Mix & use it for many other dishes.

  2. This is a keeper for sure and hope to try this Sunday as my husband loves crawfish and has been on the prowl to find some soon.

    1. Who???? Well, if you’re talking about me, you’re only 50% correct. Besides, we’re both married so Mom’s got nothing to worry about LOL!!!!!

    2. Hahahaha, there’s a book about that. I think its called Who’s Your Mama? Is She Catholic? And Can She Make a Roux?
      Funny book. 🙂

      1. That is EXACTLY what my Catholic gourmet friend is talking about!!!! (Truth is, his wife might be Catholic, but she can’t cook. He might ask me to delete this, lol!)

  3. I’ll almost bet someone will be picking you up off the floor after you read this! I MAY purchase some for the camper. When we’re in the camper, I like to spend as much time as possible “Laxing” not cooking. I’ve seen the product at the grocery, but haven’t heard anyone say they’d used it until now. Quick and easy is a plus, but it’s got to pass the taste test too!

    1. Oh honey, I shared the stew with one of my best cook friends and did not tell her it was made with instant roux. She went on and on about how good that stew was, and even mentioned it again today. When I told her about this post and that I used her as a guinea pig, she laughed so hard. Said she was glad to know that stuff was so good because she has a container in the pantry and has NEVER used it!!! Said she would use it NOW!!! So, yes, it will be perfect for the camper!!!

  4. I think you should email a link to this post to Tony Chachere’s website and ask them if they want to advertise!

  5. I have tried the Tony Chachere’s but, I prefer Kary’s dark roux if I am not making it from scratch. The only problem with it is that it is hard to remove from the jar. I like to take 1/2 of a pint of it and mix it into 2 qts. of chicken stock. I refrigerate or freeze it then and use it for all types of meat dishes. Even in roasts.

    Your crawfish stew sounds delicious! Wonder if we will have leftovers this weekend?

      1. I swear we had so many people at that crawfish boil today and I only knew a handful. Our son had 3 tables set up that we covered with newspapers, crawfish, mushrooms, shrimp, sausage, corn, onions and potatoes! The fourth table was beans, a brisket he smoked & desserts.

        We stayed about 4 hours and people were still coming in when we left. He had 2 of the styrofoam coolers left of cooked items and they were going down fast. He sent a bag of them for his sister who didn’t make it.

        Had a great time and called him tonight to thank him and people were still coming in.

        1. Woo hoo what a party!!! Sounds like it was a big feast, too! Thanks for the report. There’s just nothing like family time, especially with extended family (and friends) : )

          1. Son brought my canopy and weedeater home today and said there wasn’t a bite of anything except some of the desserts left!! He said the party started breaking up about 11pm. It started at 11 am! WOW! A 12 hour cookout/feast/horse riding event. He didn’t even get a piece of the brisket he smoked and it was one of his best. He put apple juice in the water pan and it really made a difference.

            1. Well, that is certainly a sign of a successful feast!!! Brisket sounds good! I know you’re so proud of him, and thanks so much for the photos!

            2. That brisket surely sounds good! That’s not something we cook down here very often. After 12 hours, I know your son was exhausted, but it sure sounds like his feast was a great success!

  6. I’ve used a few of the “jar” roux, but like Cammy I found them hard to get out of the jars and one brand I thought had a sligh “burnt” taste. I always keep a bottle of Kitchen Bouquet on hand to darken gravy (if needed). There have been times when I’ve been in a hurry and didn’t get my roux as dark as I like and I always use it when I’m making a natural gravy. BTW, I do have a small bottle of K.B. in the camper already. Now I’ll just need to purchase the Tony’s Roux mix.

    1. Steffi, every good cook keeps a bottle of KB on hand for cheating, lol!!! But this powdered roux is easier to use than the stick jarred ones. I think you will really like it!

  7. Now I’ve got another lil’ something to add to my shelf. I brought back some (don’t laugh, now) “Who’s ya Daddy” Cajun seasoning from the rabbit festival. I think some fellow in Opelousas is the one who developed it. He’d used it in the Sauce Piquante he was serving up, and it was great.

    As for roux – I don’t have any trouble with them, or with gravies, but a time-saver would be great. I do have to say I had the best seafood gumbo I’ve ever put in my mouth at the Southern Magnolia cafe in Iowa. It had shrimp, crawfish and oysters, and the best flavor. It was light and smoky – it tasted just exactly like it smells when they burn the fields.

    Oh, my. Maybe ti’s time to head to the store right now!

    1. Can’t wait to read/hear more about the Rabbit Festival!!! I just love your adventures and admire the stuffin’ out of you for traveling and writing!!! It’s just wonderful that you are experiencing life this way!!!! I judged a gumbo cookoff a couple weekends ago and did not get enough photos to do the whole affair justice. Let’s just say, though, after tasting 17 chicken/sausage and 6 seafood gumbos, I don’t want to eat any gumbo for a while!!!! It was quite an experience!

  8. Wendy, have you ever made the roux in the oven? I think I read something about doing it that way a long time ago. Just can’t remember.
    Steffi, I love the Kitchen Bouquet also. I don’t just buy a bottle, I buy it by the 1/2 gallon!! Have you ever added it to a merinade for beef?

    1. No, Cammy, I have never done the oven one. I know there are some anti-oil people who scorch the flour in a heavy pot and don’t use oil at all, but it’s just all a matter of taste I guess. Gotta love that KB, though, right?

  9. Doesn’t Folse say you can nuke flour till it roux’s without oil?

    My blood sugar thinks roux be a carb and a no go.

    Great ham bought today but not as good as Manda……

    1. Yeah, I’ve heard of that, too, Blu. I guess some people just have to avoid flour and roux altogether; which means they would never eat stew or gumbo!!!

      1. My cajun mom never made a roux – she used lots of chopped onion and carmalized them (also salt pork that was browned) – people still ask me for her oyster jambalaya recipe! She would cook in the little cajun store that my dad had –

        1. Well, Barbara, that’s very interesting, but I guess the difference is this is down the bayou cooking and not necessarily Cajun!!! when we make a “stew”, that means it will have a “roux”. On the other hand, when we make a gumbo, Houma Indian style, there is no “roux” only caramelized onions, bell pepper, and celery!!!!! Just differences in people and ways, I guess, but it all tastes good, right?

    1. Mike, you have to remind us again where “around here” is, won’t you? Well, The Captain is very picky, especially if he sees the container of any kind of shortcut I might try–no matter how tasty it turns out. You know, there’s nothing like Mom’s cooking, right? I’ve learned as much from her as I possibly can, but there was never a bottle of Kitchen Bouquet or Kary’s in sight! Thanks for the tip, though! BW

    2. Mike, it’s good to know that your Mouman has found an easier way, too! You’ll have to remind us again where “around here” is for you, won’t you? I’m taking the best care I can, Mike!!!

      1. BW, I still live where I’m from – Evangeline Parish. My parents are from L’Anse Grise but when they got married they moved “up north” to Pine Prairie, where I grew up. It’s about 6 miles difference but it’s the border between French and English. My cousins from the northern area say Hebert like HEEBert, while we kept the French A-Bear. So, I’m half cou-rouge (redneck) and half Cajun, I guess. LOL. Oh, yeah, because making a gumbo, for example, takes time itself, so you can shorten the time with ready made roux. And Kary’s is made in Ville Platte. It’s probably the most popular around here. Just about everyone uses it. -Mike

        1. So sorry that I was too lazy to go back and find previous comments where you said you were from Evangeline Parish. We used to pass through Ville Platte every time we drove to Bossier City to see my family–that was before I 49. One thing I’ve never done that I want to do (and I want to do it BEFORE Shoreacres does it OR with her!!!) is to witness and photograph the gathering of the ingredients for the Mardi Gras Gumbo in Mamou! Maybe next year!!! I’d love to dress up and ride one of the horses, but I haven’t ridden in a while–better leave that to the locals.

  10. I am born and raised in Louisiana and know how to make a Roux! But, when in a hurry and don’t have time to do it the right way the instant is great. I have even ( don’t tell ) used a cheat recipe for Crawfish Ettoufe using Cream of Mushroom soup!! And believe it or not it’s really good!! J

  11. I have either never had the patience or wasn’t doing it right to get the tonys roux/gravy mix to work. I either babysit a peanut butter colored roux or I’ll take some that I pre made and start with that. And if I’m even more lazy I will use a box of zatarains.