Crawfish Monica – A Lighter Version

I love having the opportunity to share recipes with you.  While this isn’t a food blog, much of my time is spent searching for recipes, looking up ingredients, testing out recipes and sharing them in different places.

Last week, I recapped my food-induced coma outing to New Orleans Jazz Fest.  Saying that I ate a lot of good food is an understatement.  In that post, I shared a quick and easy typical New Orleans dish: paneed chicken.  I also promised you more delicious mouth watering recipes your entire family will love.  Up first: Crawfish Monica.

A few years ago, I was able to ask a local famous chef how exactly did one make crawfish Monica.  His recipe included a bunch of spices I needed to individually measure out, lots of butter and heavy cream.  Yes, I am sure his recipe tasted straight from heaven but I just can’t muster the thought of cooking that heavy.  So, out of necessity I began testing out my own recipe until I came up with a much lighter version without sacrificing taste nor the creamy texture.

I know many of you that read this blog are not “locals” so I’ve taken step by step pictures to help you out.  I am that nice.

By the way, this is the ultimate 30 minute meal.  Even the ingredients measured out look pretty.

Did you know that locals call this the “Holy Trinity”?
Yeah, every dish here starts with some holy goodness.

Then, there is the spice.  You can make your own by mixing a bunch of stuff or use the go-to helper we locals have in our pantry: Creole Seasoning

Let’s not forget the mudbugs (crawfish).  If you use them from left over boil, consider only using 1/2 of the creole seasoning.
If you don’t have crawfish where you live, you may substitute shrimp.

Nothing makes me happier in the kitchen than a good pot of holy tenderness.  You know… when you begin to cook up your holy trinity to the point when the vegetables are… tender.

Tender holiness plus some creole goodness makes some jazzed up veggies.

Next, bring your crawfish to the party.

Are you hungry by now? because this will only get better.

And better.  Italy just joined the party.

There you have it y’all.  A heavenly dish in 30 minutes.

Light Crawfish Monica Recipe
Serves 6


  • 1 lb box spiral pasta
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TB butter, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 TB Zatarain’s creole mustard
  • 1 tsp Zatarain’s creole seasoning
  • 2 cups milk (1/2 & 1/2, whole, or 2%)
  • 8 oz block sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 lb crawfish tails, boiled & peeled (may sub shrimp)


  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 8 minutes (check box, pastas vary).  Drain.
  2. Meantime, chop your vegetables.
  3. In a large saute pan or skillet, add olive oil and 1 TB butter (reserve other half for later) over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook stirring, or a few minutes (3ish?).  Then add the green pepper, celery and garlic.  Continue cooking until all vegetables are soft and onions are golden.
  4. Add creole mustard and creole seasoning.  Stir well.
  5. Add the crawfish tails and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Pour milk, cheese and remaining 1 TB butter inside the pot and combine well until cheese is melted. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low.
  7. Add cooked pasta and toss to coat with the sauce.  Cook until the pasta is warmed through, about 1-2 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Just in case you wonder how glamorous cooking up recipes really is, this picture below was snapped by my husband when he walked in from work.  Food, babies and loving life – captured.


 Want more NOLA recipes? They are coming soon…

4 thoughts on “Crawfish Monica – A Lighter Version”

  1. Isabel says:


  2. Courtney says:

    Looks terrific! It’s great to see a lighter version of this tasty dish. And yes, more NOLA recipes please!

    1. Laura Fuentes says:

      Working on a cochon de lait in the crockpot 😉

  3. Anne says:

    This looks amazing!!! Can’t wait to try it!!

    PS…love the picture of you and G! 🙂

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