Cajun Crawfish Bisque
Crawfish Bisque is the Dean of Cajun cuisine. Traditionally prepared late in crawfish season as a way to use up all the extra crawfish. Preparation is usually a family affair, as cleaned crawfish heads are stuffed with a filling made from ground crawfish tails, vegetables and spices. These stuffed heads are added to a rich bisque made from the trinity cooked down in a roux with herbs and spices and a rich crawfish stock. It doesn’t get any better than this!
Servings Prep Time
12Servings 1.5Hours
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
12Servings 1.5Hours
Cook Time
For stuffing the heads
For the bisque
To stuff the heads
  1. Set aside about 1/4 cup of the crawfish tails.
  2. Place the remaining tails into a food processor and grind until fine, place in a bowl.
  3. Take the reserved crawfish tails and roughly chop them into small pieces, place them with the ground tails.
  4. Place the onions, celery, garlic and parsley in the food processor and chop until very fine.
  5. Place the vegetables in the bowl with the crawfish and make sure to include any juice generated by the food processing.
  6. To the bowl add the eggs, creole seasoning and pepper.
  7. Add the breadcrumbs, starting with about 1 cup. Mix all together with your hands. Add more breadcrumbs as needed to make sure it holds together.
  8. Stuff the crawfish heads with the filling. Starting on the wider end of the head’s opening, use your left index finger to spread the shell open, place filling into the head and stuff it tightly with your right index finger. Alternately, you could forego stuffing the heads and form the filling into small balls known as boulettes.
  9. Place all the stuffed heads on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside.
To make the bisque:
  1. Place the tail meat in a bowl, sprinkle with creole seasoning and set aside.
  2. Place 8 cups of crawfish stock in a stock pot and warm until almost boiling.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast iron dutch oven over high heat.
  4. When the oil is shimmering, add the flour and whisk constantly until you have a medium roux. Add the trinity (yellow onions, celery and bell peppers) into the roux and stir constantly until softened, about 8 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, about 2/3 of the green onions and the creole seasoning. Stir until blended and becoming aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the crawfish tails in about four batches and the tomato sauce, stir to mix well.
  7. Making sure the stock is about the same temperature as the roux mixture, slowly add stock to the roux and crawfish, a ladle at a time, stirring to completely blend the stock into the roux mixture before adding the next ladle.
  8. Continue this, one ladle at a time, until about half of the stock has been added, then you can add the balance of the stock and mix together very well. Make sure there are no lumps.
  9. Bring the bisque to a high boil, reduce heat to a medium simmer and let it simmer for about 15 minutes uncovered.
  10. Add the stuffed crawfish heads and return to a boil.
  11. Once it boils, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and continue to simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir often to keep the heads off the bottom of the pot.
  12. Add some of the reserved stock if it gets too thick.
  13. After 45 minutes add the parsley and stir well.
  14. Serve in a bowl over a scoop of white rice, making sure to get some of the stuffed heads in each serving. Sprinkle chopped green onions on top.
Recipe Notes

If you don’t have heads, you can form boulettes- small balls made from the stuffing mix.

If you don’t have access to crawfish stock, you can substitute seafood, chicken or vegetable stock.

Cut the prep time down-get some help stuffing the heads-that’s where the time is involved!

Be careful adding salt to this without tasting it. There will be some residual salt from the crawfish boil if you are using reserved shells to make the stock, as well as potentially salt in the commercial creole seasoning.