Craving the crawfish bread from New Orleans’ Jazz Fest? In this recipe, I show you how to assemble and bake your very own at home.
The combination of rich crawfish sauce encased in warm French bread is out of this world, and this recipe tastes like the real deal from Jazz Fest.
What is Crawfish Bread
Crawfish bread is made with a cheesy seafood sauce stuffed into a loaf of French bread, wrapped in foil, and baked. The bread turns crispy on the outside, while the soft middle has soaked up all the flavors of the spicy sauce and holds the crawfish so each bite is heavenly.
Boiled crawfish is a hot commodity in Louisiana from the months of March through May. What’s not eaten at the boil is often used to make dishes like this and other classic New Orleans recipes: gumbo, etouffee, and jambalaya.
Homemade Crawfish Bread Ingredients
To make homemade crawfish bread worthy of being served at Jazz Fest, you will need:
- Oil: for cooking the veggies.
- Onion: adds aroma and flavors. It’s the first part of the veggie blend known as the “Holy Trinity.”
- Celery: diced into small pieces and cooked down with the onion.
- Bell pepper: use red or green bell pepper.
- Garlic: brings delicious flavor to the seafood sauce.
- Creole seasoning: essential for the seafood sauce. You can use your favorite brand or make it with my Homemade Creole Seasoning recipe.
- Crawfish tails: use a pound of leftover boiled crawfish tails or a frozen bag from the grocery store.
- Creole mustard: adds a little kick to the sauce.
- Greek yogurt: makes the sauce creamier. You could also use mayonnaise.
- Shredded cheese: a combination of shredded Monterrey Jack and Cheddar works great, but you can use one or the other for the full amount of cheese.
- French bread: crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Check out the recipe card for more bread substitutions.
How to Make Crawfish Bread
If this is your first time making crawfish bread, just know it’s easy! Follow the recipe steps below and you’ll have cheesy, saucy seafood goodness at your fingertips.
- Prep the oven
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the oven rack in the middle position and place a large piece of foil onto a baking sheet.
- Make the sauce
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, and add the onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and Creole seasoning. In a small bowl, stir the Greek yogurt, Creole mustard, and cheese until smooth.
- Stir in the crawfish
Add the crawfish to the veggies and cook for 5 minutes before adding the cheese mixture. Stir to combine and cook until the sauce thickens.
- Assemble the loaf
Slice the bread through the middle and place it onto the lined baking sheet. Spread the seafood mixture onto the bottom half of the bread, from one end to the other. Cover with the top half, and wrap the entire loaf with foil.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven and unwrap the loaf. Slice and serve.
Watch this recipe video to see how crawfish bread comes together at home!
Shrimp make a great crawfish substitute for this crawfish bread recipe. You will need 1 pound of small shrimp that have been peeled and deveined. Their texture is meatier than crawfish, but the bread has all the flavors you love.
Best Bread for Crawfish Bread
Traditionally, long loaves of French bread are used in New Orleans to make crawfish bread. If you can’t find it, a long, crusty loaf of bread will do such as French baguettes, for which you’ll need 2.
Can You Freeze Crawfish Bread
Crawfish bread can be assembled and frozen, unbaked, for up to 2 months. To do this, follow the recipe by making the sauce, distributing it over the bread, allowing it to cool down, and closing the loaf of bread. Then, wrap it tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap.
Depending on the bread you use, you might be able to fit the crawfish bread in gallon-sized zip bags or 2-gallon-sized zip bags.
To enjoy, take out the wrapped crawfish bread from the freezer, remove any plastic wrap, and wrap it in foil. Let it thaw to room temperature while preheating the oven to 350F. Bake, in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until the sauce is heated and the bread is toasty.
Authentic Crawfish Bread
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup celery, finely chopped – about 2 ribs
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons creole seasoning
- 1 pound crawfish tails, already cleaned
- 1 ½ tablespoons creole mustard
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt or mayonaise
- ⅓ cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
- ⅓ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 loaf French bread
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the oven rack in the middle position. Place a piece of foil on top of a baking sheet that’s slightly longer than the pan (you’ll wrap the bread in it).
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat up the oil. Add in the onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and seasoning. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, until the veggies are translucent and begin to soften.
- While the vegetables are cooking, combine the plain Greek yogurt, creole mustard, and cheeses. Set aside.
- Add the crawfish and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
- Add the cheesy yogurt mix to the pan, mixing while cooking, until the mixture turns into a thick crawfish and veggie cheesy mixture.
- Slice the loaf of bread in half across the middle and place it on the lined baking sheet, making sure you have enough foil to fully wrap the loaf of bread.
- Scoop the mixture right on top of the bottom half of the French bread from end to end. Cover it with the remaining bread and wrap tightly with aluminum foil.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven, unwrap the loaf, and slice it into 6 pieces. Serve immediately.
- Shrimp may be substituted for crawfish in this recipe.
- Swap plain Greek yogurt for mayonnaise.
- Creole mustard or French/Dijon/Grey Poupon mustard will work
- If you don’t have French bread, use a long Italian loaf of bread or 6 individual hoagies or buns.