Skip to content

Crawfish Fettuccine Recipe

  • 13 min read

Crawfish fettuccine recipes can be found all over the internet.

They’re easy enough that even I could whip one up (even if it took me three tries).

The only problem is, there’s no real consensus on what exactly makes a crawfish fettuccine recipe “good.”

So we decided to take a crack at this popular food category by looking at each ingredient individually and breaking down how they contribute to the overall flavor profile.

What Is The Difference Between Crawfish And Shrimp?

It might seem like an odd question, but let’s start from the beginning.

There are two primary types of seafood used in crawfish dishes: small crustaceans called crawfish or crayfish, and larger fish known as shrimp.

Both species belong to the order Decapoda and family Penaeidae.

That means both creatures have eight legs and their bodies are covered in exoskeletons.

They also share many other characteristics such as similar body shapes, colors, and sizes.

In fact, depending on where you live, you may see them referred to as “shrimp” or “crayfish” interchangeably.

The main differences between these two types of seafood include the size of the animal and the way they are harvested.

While you will find some similarities when cooking either type, there are a few key differences worth noting:

  • Shrimp come from various parts of the world including Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, and North America.
  • Crawfish come exclusively from Louisiana.
  • Shrimp are typically smaller than crawfish, averaging about 1/3 pound compared to 2 pounds or more for crawfish.
  • Shrimp tend to be sold frozen while crawfish are sold fresh.
  • While both varieties are often cooked together, the preparation methods differ slightly.
Crawfish Fettuccine Recipe

How Do You Make A Crawfish Fettuccine Recipe?

The ingredients in any good crawfish fettuccine recipe are fairly simple:

You start off with cooked pasta, a heavy cream base, some spices, and then add in your fillings.

So let’s break these down into their component parts and see which ones really matter most.

  • Pasta – Pasta should always come first when making a good dish like this because it provides structure and support for the other elements.
  • Heavy Cream Base – A heavy cream based sauce helps give your dish its richness and thickness while also providing a great backdrop for your other flavors.
  • Spices – Spicy or not depends largely on personal preference but there are some key players here including cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme, garlic powder, lemon juice, butter, and parsley. These are used to create a nice balance of spicy, sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and savory qualities.
  • Fillings – Fillings provide texture and substance to your dish so don’t skimp on them! Some examples include crab meat, sausage, bacon bits, corn kernels, mushrooms, peas, asparagus, green onions, tomatoes, spinach, cheese, and more.

With those four main components out of the way, let’s get cooking.

What Is The Best Type Of Pasta To Use For A Crawfish Fettuccine Recipe?

When it comes to making a crawfish fettuccine recipe, you have two main options when choosing your noodle.

You can either buy fresh or dried noodles from the store, but both are suitable for cooking.

If you go with fresh, you need to cook them for about seven minutes before adding them to the rest of the ingredients.

Dried noodles will work out slightly better because they require less time to cook than fresh ones.

That being said, both types of noodles should be cooked until al dente so that their texture remains intact as much as possible.

The second part of your decision depends on where you live.

In Louisiana, crawfish season occurs during springtime, which means you probably won’t find fresh crawfish available year round.

However, crawfish tails are often sold frozen, which means you don’t necessarily have to wait around for months for them to defrost.

Either way, you’ll want to select your noodles carefully based on how long they’re going to sit in boiling water.

If you live somewhere else, like New Orleans, then you may not have access to crawfish at all.

It might seem odd to think that someone would choose a pasta recipe without any actual seafood in it, but trust us, you wouldn’t know the difference between homemade and store-bought noodles anyway!

Regardless of where your crawfish come from, there are some other things you should consider while making a crawfish fettuccine recipe.

Crawfish Fettuccine Recipe2

What Is A Good Substitute For Crawfish In A Fettuccine Recipe?

First things first, you need some form of seafood.

In our opinion, shrimp would be an excellent choice because it has similar texture properties as crawfish meat but isn’t quite as expensive.

You may also want to consider using lobster tail or other shellfish depending on your budget.

Next, you will probably want to add some creaminess to the mix.

A roux is usually used to achieve this effect.

But, you don’t have to go out and buy a special roux just for this dish!

You can simply whisk together equal parts flour and water until smooth.

Then strain out the lumps before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.

If you are concerned about the extra calories from the flour, you can always swap it out for another dairy product like milk, heavy cream, or yogurt.

Lastly, you’ll want to include some spice.

We recommend using Old Bay seasoning since it adds a nice kick without being overpowering.

It’s not necessary though, so feel free to skip it if you prefer.

How Do You Make A Creamy Crawfish Fettuccine Recipe?

The first step of any crawfish fettuccine recipe is to boil your pasta.

You want to use a medium-sized egg noodle like penne or rigatoni, but there are other types of noodles that may work as well.

While many people recommend boiling your pasta before adding it to the rest of the ingredients in order to avoid clumping, this isn’t necessary.

Next, add some butter to a large stockpot along with garlic powder and fresh parsley leaves.

When the butter has melted, add about half of your crawfish tails.

Cook them until they turn bright orange.

Then add some white wine to deglaze the pan, which will release the juices from the crawfish meat into the sauce.

Once everything has been combined together, bring the sauce to a simmer while stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn.

Now comes the fun part — making the creaminess!

To achieve this effect, you’ll need heavy whipping cream and an immersion blender.

Add the cream slowly to the pan, blending it continuously until the mixture becomes thick and smooth.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, just pour the contents of the pan back into the pot and continue whisking vigorously until the desired consistency is reached.

Once the cream has been incorporated, return the whole thing to the heat and stir until it starts to bubble again.

Reduce the heat to low and let the entire mixture infuse for another ten minutes.

Now is also a great time to salt and pepper the sauce to give it some extra zest.

Finally, once the sauce is cooked through, remove it from the heat and toss in some chopped chives.

Serve immediately with plenty of crusty bread to soak up every last drop of goodness.

What Is The Best Way To Cook Crawfish For A Fettuccine Recipe?

First things first, where are your crawfish from?

If you live in an area with plenty of fresh water sources nearby, then you should have no trouble finding them.

But if you don’t, or if you’re just not sure about their origin, you’ll need to find out.

It may help to ask around or look online for information on where the crawfish came from.

For example, if you buy them frozen, chances are the crawfish were caught near the coast where they had access to saltwater.

On the other hand, if you buy them already cooked, then you know they were probably farmed somewhere else.

The next thing to consider is how long the crawfish will stay good.

Generally speaking, freshwater fish like catfish and trout tend to spoil faster than those bred in saltwater.

In fact, most seafood spoils within two days.

So if you want to keep your crawfish as fresh as possible, stick to cooking methods that preserve their moisture content such as steaming or poaching.

If you’re buying already cooked crawfish for your fettuccine recipe, it’s important to check the ingredients list.

You want to avoid any sauces or seasonings that might mask the taste of the crawfish itself.

And while many people prefer using fresh herbs, you should also consider buying dried versions as well.

Dried herbs generally contain less water than fresh ones and therefore won’t dilute the flavor of what you’re eating.

Finally, consider whether you plan to serve your crawfish fettuccine recipe hot or cold.

Many traditional dishes require that you eat them warm, but depending on what type of crawfish you use, that may not always be practical.

Colder dishes are usually better served when eaten later in the day since they lose more heat during preparation.

However, this isn’t true for every recipe.

Some dishes benefit from being prepared ahead of time so that they can sit in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Crawfish Fettuccine Recipe3

What Are Some Tips For Making A Crawfish Fettuccine Recipe?

The main goal of any good crawfish fettuccine recipe should be to have an incredible taste experience.

To achieve this, you need to ensure your ingredients complement each other perfectly in order to create something delicious without going overboard or sacrificing quality.

For example, when cooking crawfish tails, you want to use fresh ones.

If you buy frozen, chances are they’re going to be old and tough.

In addition, because these tend to come from Louisiana, where they’ve been treated with ammonia, their meat will not be as tender as those from Florida or Texas.

So stick to fresh ones!

Next, look at the sauces and seasonings used in the dish.

While you don’t necessarily need a homemade version, using store bought versions like cream cheese, mayo, butter, sour cream, etc., can help create a more authentic taste.

You might also consider adding spices like garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and onion powder.

These will add depth to the entire dish while creating a unique taste.

Finally, make sure every part of the meal contributes equally to the overall flavor.

For instance, if you choose to serve it with bread sticks, you want them to be crispy so they’ll soak up the sauce.

If you go too far the other direction, though, you won’t get much of a crunchy texture which defeats the purpose of having breadsticks in the first place.

How Do You Make A Gluten Free Crawfish Fettucc

If you’re interested in trying out a gluten free version of this classic Cajun pasta dish, then you have plenty of options.

You can use regular egg noodles instead of fettuccine or simply swap out the flour entirely.

If you like your pasta al dente, then you might want to consider using rice pasta instead of wheat pasta.

It will cook quicker than traditional wheat pastas due to its lower starch content.

In terms of ingredients, you’ll need to replace the flour with cornstarch as well as either tapioca flour or potato starch depending on whether you’d prefer a lighter texture or a more dense consistency.

When choosing between these two flours you should also keep in mind their different cooking times.

Tapioca flour takes longer to fully hydrate so you may find that it leads to mushier results after boiling.

You’ll also want to use fresh parsley and garlic rather than dried herbs and minced garlic.

Fresh herbs are superior because they contain much more nutrients and flavor.

Finally, if you don’t have any crawfish tails, you should definitely check out our guide to buying live seafood online.

I’ve tested both versions of this recipe below but my personal preference was for the fettuccine based version since it uses less flour.

As such, I recommend starting off with the basic instructions below before moving onto the alternative version once you feel comfortable with the process.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound crawfish meat (about 6 ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 6 ounces fettuccine noodles

Basic Crawfish Fettuccine Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
In a medium sized pot melt 4 tablespoons butter and add 1/4 cup flour followed by salt and pepper to taste. 
Cook until bubbles form around edges and mixture starts to thicken. Slowly pour in 5 cups of chicken stock while whisking constantly. 
Continue to stir until thickened and remove from heat. 
Add carrots, celery, and garlic and set aside to cool slightly. 
Once cooled combine with remaining ingredients except for the fettuccine noodles, mix well. 
Bring a large pan of water to boil and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. 
Drop in fettuccine noodles and cook according to package directions.
 Drain, toss in olive oil, add crawfish mixture and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Alternative Gluten Free Crawfish Fettuccine Recipe

To prepare the gluten free crawfish fettuccine follow the same steps above except omit the flour completely. 
Instead, substitute 1 cup of potato starch with 1 cup of tapioca flour, which has been mixed into cold water until it forms a smooth paste.
 Bring the chicken stock to boil and slowly add the liquid to the tapioca flour mixture while stirring constantly.
Allow to simmer until gravy has thickened. 
Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
Combine with remaining ingredients except for the fettuccine noodles, toss together and serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Crawfish Fettuccine Recipe3

Crawfish Fettuccine

Good recipe and easy to cook at home
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crawfish Fettuccine
Servings: 4
Calories: 346kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Stovetop

Ingredients

  • (16-ounce)  package fettuccine
  • 1  stick butter 
  • ½ red bell pepper,
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound frozen crawfish meat
  • 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¾ cup half-and-half
  • 4 ounces Velveeta
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • You start off with cooked pasta, a heavy cream base, some spices.
    Drain and set apart
  • Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat as the pasta cooks. 
    Add onion, celery, and red bell pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft.
  • Two more minutes after adding the garlic. 
    Black pepper, Cajun spice, and crawfish are added and cooked for two to three minutes.
  • Over the crawfish mixture, add flour. For one minute, stir and cook. Stir in half-and-half. Cook until mixture comes to a simmer.
  • Over medium heat, combine Velveeta, sour cream, and Parmesan cheese; simmer until cheese is melted.
     Add the cooked pasta, parsley, and green onions.
  • Serve immediately.

Video

Notes

 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Calcium: 155mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Follow me