Perfectly cheesy, gooey and full of crawfish boil flavor, Cajun crawfish mac and cheese will be your new favorite crawfish recipe.
Crawfish season definitely plays a big part in when we make this dish. For us, in South Louisiana, typically we start seeing crawfish for sale early January - they're quite small though.
They're expensive too.
We usually can't wait to get started boiling crawfish though, so will take the smaller crawfish - which actually work out better for a dish like this mac and cheese.
❤️ Why you'll love it
- It's homemade mac and cheese, on Cajun steroids.
- It's a great recipe for using up those leftover crawfish tails.
- It's actually quite flexible in the use of crawfish, shrimp or crab. All taste great in this mac and cheese.
- You can put this together in no time.
- It's taking a classic comfort food and adding a southern twist!
- Crawfish Stock (or seafood stock )
- Elbow Macaroni
- Unsalted Butter
- All Purpose Flour
- Whole Milk
- Colby Cheese
- Creole Seasoning
- Crawfish Tail Meat
See recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities.
This is an overview of the recipe steps. For more detailed instructions visit the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Step 1: Boil macaroni in crawfish stock, then drain liquid and reserve some of the pasta water.
- Step 2: In a cast iron skillet heat a few tablespoons of butter.
- Step 3: Add the flour and cook a few minutes.
- Step 4: Slowly add the warmed milk while stirring with a whisk.
- Step 5: Add the grated cheese and stir over low heat until melted.
- Step 6: Add Creole Seasoning and stir.
- Step 7: Add the peeled crawfish tails and cooked elbow noodles. Fold into the creamy cheese sauce.
- Step 8: Top with more grated cheese and bake.
Hint: Early in the season you might find the crawfish smaller - which is great for mac and cheese. Later, when they're bigger (and oh so delicious) you should chop them into smaller pieces for this dish.
🔄 Substitutions and Variations
- Hot Sauce - to add a little heat.
- Penne Pasta - or any other pasta for that matter.
- Parmesan Cheese - top with a little parmesan too.
- Black Pepper - add a pinch.
- Cajun Seasoning - a blend full of delicious Cajun spices.
- Cheddar Cheese - try a sharp cheddar cheese, or mild cheddar cheese.
- Garlic Powder - can add another flavor profile.
- Colby Jack Cheese - a little pepper jack added to the colby.
- Egg Yolks - to add a little more velvety richness.
- Olive Oil - in place of butter.
- Truffle Oil - for some decadence.
- Cheese Melts - use the slices instead.
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I like using my 10" Cast Iron Skillet for this dish, but you could use a small casserole dish, or a Dutch Oven too. A heavy-bottomed saucepan. I have an affiliate link in the recipe card below.
📘 Related Recipes
- Crawfish Ravioli
- Crawfish Pistolettes
- Crawfish Pie
- Crawfish Bread
- Crawfish Monica
- Crawfish Pastalaya
- Crawfish Enchiladas
- Crawfish Etouffee
- Crawfish Dip
- Crawfish Fettuccine
- Boiled Crawfish Recipe
- Crawfish Au Gratin
- Crawfish Baked Potato
- Fried Crawfish Poboy
After the Crawfish Mac and Cheese has cooled completely decant to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Expert Tip: If the crawfish you are using is frozen store-bought try to find Louisiana crawfish tails. Imported crawfish can be tasteless.
Also, due to them not being cooked in any seasoning you will need to add some. In this situation I would recommend using about ½ teaspoon of Crab and crawfish Boil Seasoning, more if you like spicy crawfish.
I always like to use my crawfish peelings (just like I do with shrimp). Throw the peelings into a big stock pot with some veggies, like onion, celery, garlic, water, black pepper corns then fill up with water and roll on a slow boil for a few hours. Then strain the fluid back out.
For us, because we are using our leftover crawfish boil the spice was added during then. We already know our crawfish tails taste amazing. See how we cook our crawfish boil here. Add more as you see fit.
If you’ve tried this Crawfish Mac and Cheese Recipe or any other great recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section below, how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- 2 Cups Elbow Noodles
- 4 Cups Crawfish Stock (or Seafood Stock)
- ⅓ Cup Butter, unsalted
- ⅓ Cup All Purpose Flour
- 2 Cups Milk
- 2-½ Cups Colby Cheese
- 1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
- 1Lb Crawfish Tails
- Pinch Chopped Parsley, optional garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add the crawfish stock (or seafood stock) to a large pot and heat to boiling.
- Add the elbow noodles and cook for about 6 minutes - until al dente. Drain and reserve a cup of the pasta water and set aside.
- While the noodles are cooking add the butter to a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Heat over medium heat until melted.
- Add the flour and stir with a whisk while cooking the flour for a couple mintues.
- Heat the milk, then slow pour into the roux, stirring constantly so that no lumps form. Do not rush this step.
- Add 2 cups of the grated cheese and stir until melted.
- Add the Creole Seasoning and stir.
- Add the cooked elbow noodles and the crawfish tails and stir to combine.
- Top with the remaining cheese and bake in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- Turn on the broiler and broil the top for 3 mintues - until nice and golden brown and bubbly.
- Remove carefully from the oven and sprinkle a pinch of chopped parsley.
While stirring in the Creole Seasoning, if you find the cheese sauce to be too thick use some of the reserved pasta water to thin out.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 452Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 249mgSodium 492mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 41g