Savory crawfish pie is filled with tender crawfish tails, vegetables and seasonings then baked in a flaky pie crust until golden brown.
I was in college before I ever attended my first crawfish boil. I remember this steaming plate of tiny boiled crustaceans was set before me. People on either side of me were chowing down like no tomorrow. Discarded crawfish carcasses were flying everywhere. I was completely at a loss as to what I was actually supposed to do.
The Husband and I had been dating for just a few months at that time. He reaches over and shows me how to pinch the tail to pull it apart from the head, exposing the meat. But before you eat the meat, you suck the juice from the head. I think that’s the part that did me in. Sucking the head just sounded so gross.
Where to Buy Crawfish
I’m fortunate that I live right next door to Louisiana, the largest producer of crawfish in the country. From January to June, it’s everywhere! In fact, even when it’s not crawfish season, my grocery store carries frozen crawfish tails in the frozen seafood section.
However, if you like in an area where crawfish are not easy to come by, there are some online alternatives:
Make the Filling
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Next, melt four tablespoons of unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add one medium diced bell pepper along with two cloves of mince garlic, one cup of chopped onion, and ½ cup of chopped green onion. Sauté the vegetables in the butter until they are tender. This should take about five minutes.
Once the vegetables are tender, gradually whisk in ¼ cup of all-purpose flour. I suggest sprinkling in a tablespoon at a time, whisking out any lumps, then add a little more more. Once all the flour has been incorporated, cook the mixture for an additional two minutes to remove the raw flour taste. But keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Next, add three cups of seafood or chicken stock. I prefer to use homemade shrimp stock because I’m not diluting the flavor of the crawfish with the flavor of chicken. Continue to stir to ensure the flour doesn’t form any lumps. Then bring the broth to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, then simmer for ten minutes. The flour should thicken the broth.
Finally, add two teaspoons of dried oregano, one pound of cooked crawfish tail meat and ½ teaspoon of hot sauce. Feel free to add more hot sauce if you like a little more heat. I am a total wimp when it comes to spicy food. One half of a teaspoon of hot sauce gave it a little spice without making my eyes water. Season the filling with salt and pepper to your preference.
Assemble the Pie
There are two ways to assemble the pie – in a standard 9-inch pie plate, in individual ramekins, or occasionally I like to make individual pot pies in these 5-inch mini pie dishes. You can use store bought refrigerated pie crust dough or make your own from scratch using my recipe for homemade pie crust.
9-inch pie plate
For a 9-inch pie plate, you will need two pie crusts. Layer one crust on the bottom of the plate. Trim off any excess around the edges, but do leave about ¼-inch of overhang. Pour the crawfish filling into the crust. Leave about ¼-inch of space between the filling and the top of the pie plate so the filling doesn’t bubble out between your crust. Place the second crust on top of the filling. Trim the edges to match the bottom. Then crimp the edges together using a fork or your thumb.
Depending on the width of the ramekins you use, you may only need one crust for the top of the dish. The ramekins shown in the photos are 3.5-inches wide and I was able to get by with one crust. A wider ramekin may require two.
First, lay your pie crust flat on a cutting board. Place a clean ramekin upside down and trace the perimeter of the ramekin with a knife into the pie crust. Leave 1/8-inch of trim so you have some excess to press into the edge of the ramekin to seal the dish. Repeat until you have enough crusts for each ramekin.
Ladle the filling into the ramekins. Don’t fill them all the way up to the top. Leave a little place between the filling and the lip of the ramekin so the filling doesn’t bubble out. Place one of your precut crusts on top and gently seal the pie by pressing the crust along the edge.
Mini Pie Dishes
For mini pie dishes, I frequently need three crusts so each mini pie has a top and a bottom crust. Lay one pie crust flat on a cutting board. Place a clean mini pie dish face down on the crust. Using a sharp knife, trace the perimeter of the pie dish into the crust. Leave ½-inch of excess so you still have some overhang after you press the crust into the bottom of the plate. Cut enough bottom crusts for each dish.
Next, cut the bottom crusts using the same method, only this time leave ¼-inch of excess. Press a bottom crust into the bottom of each pie plate. Spoon the crawfish filling to each pie plate, leaving ¼-inch of space between the filling and the lip of the pie plate. Layer a top crust over the filling and press the edges to seal.
Bake the Pie
Using a sharp knife, cut three or four slits in the top of each crust to allow steam to escape. Brush the top of the crusts with milk or a lightly beaten egg to create a shiny brown color on the crust. I do recommend placing the pie on a foil lined baking sheet to catch any drips during baking. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the pie crusts and flaky and brown. Let the pie stand for 10 minutes before serving.
How to Reheat Crawfish Pie
Leftover crawfish pies should be covered and stored in the refrigerator within two hours. Because crawfish meat has a lot of fat, it can go rancid pretty quickly. I recommend eating leftover pies within two days. To reheat, simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake until the pie is heated through, about 10 minutes.
If you are starting with frozen crawfish tails than have been thawed, I don’t recommend refreezing the meat. The process of thawing, refreezing then thawing again can affect the texture and cause the meat to become rubbery.
If starting with freshly cooked meat, you can thaw and refreeze the meat once without any noticeable affects. To freeze unbaked pies, I suggest placing the assembled pies on a flat surface in the freezer and allowing them to freeze through. Then carefully wrap them in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Plan on eating the pies within three months for the best flavor.
You do not have to let the pie thaw before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the pie for 50-60 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is heated through.
- Hot Bake Crawfish Dip
- Shrimp and Crawfish Étouffée
- Crawfish Bisque
- Crawfish Fettuccine Alfredo
- Crawfish Beignets with Cajun Dipping Sauce
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 1 medium bell pepper diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped green onion
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups seafood or chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce plus more to taste
- 1 pound cooked crawfish tail meat
- 2-3 pie crusts thawed
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 tablespoons water
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add bell pepper, garlic, onion and green onion. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about five minutes.
- Gradually add the flour, whisking to prevent lumps. Cook for an additional two minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
- Add the seafood or chicken stock. Continue to whisk to prevent lumps. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add oregano, hot sauce and crawfish meat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Fit one pie crust into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edges.
- Spoon the crawfish mixture into the pie shell. Fit a second pie crust over the top. Trim and crimp the edges. Cut slits into the top of the pie to allow steam to vent.
- Alternatively, spoon the crawfish mixture into individual ramekins. Cut the pie crusts to fit over the top of each ramekin with 1/4 – inch overhang. Seal and crimp the edges to the ramekin. Cut slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
- Combine the egg and the water. Gently brush the egg wash over the top of the crust.
- Place pies on a foil lined baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until the crust is flaky and golden brown. Allow the pie to stand for 10 minutes before serving.