Last updated on September 20th, 2022
Delicious crawfish cornbread is loaded with crawfish tails and crabmeat along with sautéed onions and bell peppers. Baked until golden brown, it’s served with a creamy gravy.
Six years ago when The Husband and I moved into our house, I found a recipe for crawfish cornbread written down on a forgotten slip of paper in the back of a kitchen cabinet. I decided to hold onto it until crawfish season rolled around again, and then forgot about it every year since.
I decided this was the year I would finally give crawfish cornbread a try. However, the problem with handwritten recipes is that sometimes people leave out ingredients, whether intentionally or unintentionally. They forget to write down measurements, or accidentally omit a step. That was the case here. Whoever wrote down this recipe was in a hurry and the recipe was a bit of a mess. I had to do a little research on Google to find a few similar recipes so I could piece something together.
How to Make Crawfish Cornbread
Though it’s called cornbread, the preparation reminded me a lot of my mother-in-law’s cornbread dressing. I started by baking two boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix in a 9″ x 13″ x 2″ casserole dish. I may have committed a Southern cardinal sin by using Jiffy instead of traditional homemade cornbread. Many Southerners feel Jiffy isn’t real cornbread (myself included). However, I really liked the sweetness the cornmuffin mix added to the dish. It really complemented the seafood.
While you wait for the cooked cornbread to cool, melt an entire stick (yes y’all, a whole stick) of butter in a skillet. Add diced celery, onion, green bell peppers and green onion to the skillet and saute for a few minutes. Once the veggies are tender, add some spicy, seasoned diced crawfish tails and lump crabmeat.
After the crawfish and crabmeat are heated through, mix in a can of cream of mushroom soup and a can of cream of celery soup.
The baked cornbread should be cool enough to handle by now. Break it up into crumbs with your hands. Pour it into a large mixing bowl along with the seafood soup mixture and stir, stir, stir until everything is sufficiently mixed and the cornbread is moist.
Spread everything evenly into the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ x 2″ greased casserole dish (you could even us the same one you used to bake the corn muffin mix in). Or, you could use two 8″ x 8″ pans, bake one now and freeze one for later.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 40 minutes until the top of the cornbread is golden brown.
How to make crawfish cream sauce
While the crawfish cornbread is substantial enough to serve as a meal, I didn’t just want to just serve a slab of cornbread on a plate. So I took a handful of leftover diced crawfish tails and made a cream gravy to go over top.
Start by melting three tablespoons of unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once it is melted, gradually whisk in two tablespoons of all-purpose flour and continue to whisk so that there are no lumps.
Once your butter-flour mixture is smooth, turn the heat down and slowly pour in a cup of heavy cream. Again, you want to continue whisking to prevent any lumps from forming. Stir in a tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning, then simmer until the cream begins to thicken. Add the diced crawfish tails. Now you’re in business.
If you really want to take things up a notch, once the cornbread come out of the oven, let it cool for about five minutes, then cut it into rounds with a cookie cutter like I did and lightly pan fry the outside in a skillet. The taste is very similar to a cross between a crab cake and a hush puppy. Spoon some of that yummy gravy over top and garnish with a few thinly sliced green onions. Crawfish cornbread is perfect not only for dinner, but as a brunch entrée as well.
I’m so glad I hung onto this forgotten little recipe for six years. The end result was well worth it.
Storage, Freezing and Reheating
Storage: Baked crawfish cornbread should be covered and refrigerated within two hours. The gravy should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. Because crawfish is a fatty shellfish, it can go bad pretty quickly. Be sure to consume both within four days.
Freezing: Baked or unbaked cornbread can be frozen. Cover with plastic wrap. If unbaked, allow the cornbread to thaw before following the remainder of the recipe directions. I do not recommend freezing as it will cause the cream in the sauce to separate and become watery.
Reheating: Baked crawfish can be reheated at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until heated through. Reheat the gravy over low heat in a medium saucepan. If the gravy is too thick, thin it with a little milk until it reaches its desired consistency.
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Crawfish Cornbread with Gravy
For the cornbread:
- 2 boxes corn muffin mix
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- ½ cup diced onions
- ½ cup diced celery
- ½ cup diced bell pepper
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup chopped crawfish tails
- 1 cup crabmeat
- 1 (10 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 (10 oz.) can cream of celery
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the crawfish gravy:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ – 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 cup diced crawfish tails
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the cornbread:
- Bake cornbread mix in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish according to package directions. Allow cornbread to cool enough so that you can crumble it with your hands.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet melt butter over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and green onions. Saute until vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the crawfish and crabmeat and continue to saute for an additional two minutes. Add the soups and continue to cook until mixture is heated through, but do not bring to a boil.
- Combine crumbled cornbread and seafood soup mixture in a large mixing bowl. Spread mixture into a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch casserole dish. This dish can be frozen at this point. Bake for 40 minutes until top of cornbread is golden brown.
For the crawfish gravy:
- Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until the mixture is smooth. Continue to cook mixture for an additional 3-5 minutes to cook out any raw flour taste.
- Reduce heat to low and pour in the cream. Whisk gently and continue to simmer over low heat until mixture begins to thicken slightly.
- Stir in crawfish meat and Old Bay seasoning. For a thinner gravy, add additional cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Thanks so much. I look forward to you giving it a try for me.
I have heard of Catfish Delicate, but not shrimp. But…I love getting recipe requests! I will add this to my recipe ideas and do some research to see if I can come up with something! Thanks for the idea.
I made this recipe and it had a great flavor. Over the last year or so I have tried to improve my Creole and Cajun cooking. The official State website of traditional La. dishes had ‘Shrimp Delicate’ as an official State dish. During all my cooking La. experiments, I have never run across this recipe in my research? Do you make this dish? If so, will you be posting the recipe?
I’m so glad to hear that, Ann! Enjoy!
I’m from Louisiana and besides family I miss my food so I’m glad to find a place to get great recipes from home.
How much crayfish do you include in the GRAVY RECIPE ?
Hi Lee, no. I live out side of Jackson, MS. Did you lose a recipe??
The house wouldn’t be in Birmingham Alabama would it?
How much crawfish meat do you add to the gravy?