Cajun Risotto with Crawfish Tails and Andouille Sausage

Still losing my mind over this and it’s been 15 hours.

Cajun Risotto with Crawfish Tails and Andouille Sausage / Bev Cooks

Because listen – CAJUN. RISOTTO.

Not etouffee!

Not jambalaya!

Good old fashioned risotto, but crazy infused with cajun (creole, cajun, creole, cajun – let’s call the whole thing off) flavors. And on top of that, I used crawfish tails.

But we need to discuss this.

Cajun Risotto with Crawfish Tails and Andouille Sausage / Bev Cooks

I’ve never had crawfish tails. Ever. Wait, maybe I did when I was a kid in Southern Arkansas. Hold on, those were crawdads. Wait, what are crawdads? Are they the same as crawfish? Hold on, I’m going to look. Hold on.

Okay, they’re the same as crawfish! And CRAYfish. Personally, I’d prefer to call them crayfish because it gives me the guilty pleasure opportunity to say cray. OH DAS CRAYfish. YOU BE CRAY, FISH.


Cajun Risotto with Crawfish Tails and Andouille Sausage / Bev Cooks

Once I decided to include this alien sea creature in my risotto, I excitedly made a round of calls to my neighborhood grocery stores and landed a bag of frozen, cleaned crawfish tails. The bag is flat and thin, with a huge drawing of Louisiana on the front, and a tiny star over the city Eunice. The tails come in a thin red sauce. I’m not entirely sure what the sauce IS, because the bag only said, “CLEANED CRAWFISH TAILS.” Maybe blood?

Just kidding.

But listen to the price – $19 PER POUND. I almost fainted. That’s lobster price territory! But I went ahead with it, because I’m obnoxiously stubborn and DESPERATELY NEEDED THESE TAILS IN MY RISOTTO.

Cajun Risotto with Crawfish Tails and Andouille Sausage / Bev Cooks

The flavor is incredible, though. Succulent little bites of cray tail bliss. However! Swap in shrimp if the price tag makes you want to hurl. It will still be fab, either way.

To get the risotto going, start by sautéing some sliced andouille sausage and green bell pepper. Easy easy.

Cajun Risotto with Crawfish Tails and Andouille Sausage / Bev Cooks

Then get those tails in. I sautéed them in a little bit of butter because CAJUN FOOD. I’ll never regret it.

(side note – some of the little tails looked like seahorses. which was odd, but strangely appealing.)

Cajun Risotto with Crawfish Tails and Andouille Sausage / Bev Cooks

Then it’s the traditional risotto technique, with onions, garlic and butter, toasted arborio rice, wine, stock, stock, stock and stock. Simmer it on low and continue to stir until all the rice has absorbed most of the liquids.

One thing though! Add a tsp of creole seasoning at the beginning of the simmering. You will see STARS, I tell you.

Cajun Risotto with Crawfish Tails and Andouille Sausage / Bev Cooks

Off the heat, stir in a little more butter, about 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, and fresh lemon juice. This will take it from here (my hand is at my waist) to HERE (my hand is at my topknot.)

Then, then, then! Hot sauce. Put a few dashes on your plate, along with some fresh parsley and D U D E S.

Ish be cray.

And by that I mean fish be cray. Hahaha!


Cajun Risotto with Crawfish Tails and Andouille Sausage / Bev Cooks

This is your new beginning.

Cajun Risotto with Crawfish Tails and Andouille Sausage
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  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 13 oz andouille sausage, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pound cleaned crawfish tails (shrimp is fine, too)
  • 3 Tbs. butter, divided
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp creole seasoning
  • Juice from half a lemon, plus wedges for serving
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Hot sauce and fresh parsley leaves for garnish


  1. Heat a Tbs. of oil in a large, deep-sided skillet. Add the andouille sausage and sear on one side for two minutes. Flip each sausage, then add the green bell pepper. Sear another minute, then toss the peppers and sausage together for another minute. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Back in the skillet, add a Tbs. of butter and the crawfish tails. Sauté about two minutes, until the tails curl up. Transfer them to another bowl.
  3. Back in the skillet, add another Tbs. of butter and the remaining Tbs. of oil. Add the onion and sauté a few minutes, until you get a little browning. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Season with a small pinch of salt. Add the rice and toss with the onion mixture for about a minute, toasting the rice.
  4. Then add the wine. Once the wine bubbles off, add the tsp of creole seasoning. On a medium heat, slowly add the stock, one cup at a time. Slowly stir and simmer, adding stock every few minutes, until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, making a creamy sauce.
  5. Off the heat, stir in the reserved sausage, peppers and crawfish tails. Add the last Tbs. of butter, parmesan, and juice from half a lemon. Taste it at this point. What does it need? Maybe a little more salt? Maybe not! Get the flavors exactly where you want them.
  6. Serve with extra parmesan, lemon wedges, parsley and hot sauce!
  7. This is just CRAY-zy. (sorry.)
  8. Serves 4.

Cajun Risotto with Crawfish Tails and Andouille Sausage / Bev Cooks

Give the tails a go! (I’ve never said those words in my life.)

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15 Responses to Cajun Risotto with Crawfish Tails and Andouille Sausage

  1. Sarah Macon April 18, 2017 at 7:39 am #
    You just made my life. I happen to have a 1lb bag of freshly (shucked?) crawfish tails from our last boil, & a pack of sausage in the fridge. AND arborino rice from the last time I was going to make risotto but got scared of it. Dinner is done!
  2. Krysten April 18, 2017 at 10:39 am #
    The red "sauce" is actually just water and the seasoning of the crawfish (cayenne pepper, etc.). It's not actually sauce. Oh, and just because there's a picture of Louisiana on the packaging doesn't mean they were actually RAISED in Louisiana. Always make sure you're not getting Vietnamese crawfish that is PACKAGED in Louisiana, because that stuff is raised in nasty, contaminated water and it's disgusting. Can you tell I'm a Louisiana girl?
    • Bev Weidner April 18, 2017 at 10:53 am #
      Water and cayenne! That makes much more sense. The package that I bought is from this company: Looks like right out of Eunice, LA! (there was a note on the package that said "farm raised in Eunice.") Seems like the real thing, right?
  3. Elease/The Sunny Side April 19, 2017 at 7:22 am #
    You went and did it again, Bev! Yuuuum! My husband goes Coo Coo for Creole! He'll get some of this and I'll get some of that! Cheers!
  4. Kitchen Ria April 21, 2017 at 7:09 pm #
    Oh my gosh this looks amazing! $19 per lb for the tails though ouch. Still, I am very tempted.
  5. Rachele April 23, 2017 at 6:18 pm #
    This was one of your very best, Bev! I tend to spend out a little bit for Sunday dinner, and didn't find the price of the cray daddies off putting. The rest of the ingredients are inexpensive enough that it balances out, and this is definitely nice restaurant quality and cheaper than what I would pay if we went out. I toasted my Cajun seasoning a bit, added it to the onions before the rice, and then toasted it a bit with the rice. I like the flavor of the spices when they are toasted, and it added some flavor at the bottom of the pan to deglaze with the wine. Nice one! Thanks :-) :-)
    • Bev Weidner April 27, 2017 at 6:00 am #
      Well you have made my day! And I love your tweaks. Yessss yes yes.
  6. Dave Parre July 1, 2017 at 7:29 pm #
    Okay, finally got around to making this. Outstanding Cajun delight. I did add a pinch of saffron because, well I had some on hand. Anyway, this was awesome and I'm gonna make it again. And again. BTW, I purchased the exact same crawfish tails. I was gonna get it at Hyvee, because it was marked $14.99 (3 dollars price decline the sign said). Well, I forgot to get it so I ran over to the Dillons that is closer to the house. $11.99. SCORE! Everyday price. So I bought two pkgs. :) Thx Bev, love this recipe, love all your recipes. Tell Aaron, howdy.
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  8. Emily August 14, 2017 at 12:18 pm #
    Loved this recipe! We ended up using salmon as our meat and it was so delicious! As always, thank you for sharing your recipes!
  9. vin lookup December 31, 2019 at 12:54 am #
    This is an gluten-free appetizer or snack. Super delicious, budget-friendly, kids-friendly food. I really like this dish.
  10. Anonymous November 28, 2021 at 5:27 am #
    Beverly this is an awesome recipe!! And the crawfish tails are only $8:99 lb here.
  11. Jimmy November 28, 2021 at 5:32 am #
    Bev this is an amazing recipe! My crawfish tails were $8:99 lb here.


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