Cajun Crawfish Cornbread Casserole

Boiled crawfish in the springtime is a unique Louisiana custom. As spring bursts into the air and the weather warms up, crawfish come out of their burrows. We get a few short months of eating these freshwater crustaceans. I have several favorite recipes for cooking with crawfish. This recipe comes from Aunt Gaye who stated, “this is the best recipe I’ve seen in a long time.” The casserole reminds me of a spicy quiche, full of vegetables, cheese, cornbread and crawfish.
Cajun Crawfish Cornbread Casserole
Aunt Gaye’s recipe

My husband’s Aunt Gaye is an excellent cook. Occasionally she shares a recipe with me and I always take note. These are good recipes. Aunt Gaye sent me this one last fall and I’ve been waiting for a chance to try it. She’s right, it is an excellent dish. Just a little spicy; a touch of cornbread taste. I like all the vegetables and cheese in addition to the cornbread and crawfish in the recipe.CaJun Crawfish Cornbread Casserole in Cast Iron Skillet

The recipe was originally posted on Allrecipes.com named Crawfish Cornbread. (//allrecipes.com/recipe/213573/crawfish-cornbread/). This recipe does not have the texture of cornbread as originally named. It is more akin to cornbread stuffing or even quiche. So I renamed it a casserole.

Secondly, Aunt Gaye substituted Jiffy Cornbread mix for the cornmeal. The cornbread mix has a finer corn flour texture than cornmeal. It also adds a slight sweetness. I used Martha White Sweet Yellow Cornbread and Muffin mix.Cornbread mix -IMG_8171

Thirdly, we tweaked some of the ingredient quantities but essentially used most of the ingredients in the originally recipe. For a less spicy version, omit the jalapeno peppers and reduce the cayenne pepper to a pinch (or omit entirely).

What if you don’t have crawfish?

Crawfish tails can be a bit intimidating if you’ve never eaten them. But they are delicious–sort of a cross between shrimp and crabmeat. Give them a try. Crawfish tails have a wider distribution than in past years. Look for them in the frozen seafood section of large grocery stores chains such as Cosco’s. The recipe uses peeled and cooked crawfish tails; although partially cooked or even raw crawfish can be substituted. Here are peeled, cooked crawfish as purchased. Crawfish are often sold in 12 oz packages rather than 1 lb packages–either size can be used.Peeled and Cooked Crawfish - IMG_8175I suggest not using Chinese crawfish — these have an entirely different taste. Because of labeling laws in the state, Louisiana crawfish will be identified as “a Louisiana product.”crawfish packages - IMG_8073What if you don’t have crawfish available? You can still make the recipe. Substituting crabmeat gives a similar result. Small shrimp can be used–the taste is changed slightly. Ground sausage or hamburger can also be used–saute and cook these ingredients first.

Making the recipe

This recipe is very easy to mix up. Just mix all the ingredients and bake. Here are the ingredients.Ingredients - IMG_8163I baked the casserole in a 10″ cast iron skillet. A 9″x13″ baking dish can be used, too.Casserole Baked in Cast Iron Skillet

Season the crawfish with the cayenne pepper, garlic powder and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (or seasoned salt). Mix all the ingredients except the cornbread in a large bowl.Ingredients Mixed - IMG_8181Aunt Gaye used one box of Jiffy Cornbead/Muffin mix which is an 8 oz box. For the Martha White family size cornbread mix, I used 1/2 box or 2 cups mix.Cornbread Mix - IMG_8178

Add the cornbread mix, pour into oiled casserole dish or cast iron skillet. Mix poured into cast iron skillet

Bake in a hot 375 degree oven for about 45 – 50 minutes until bubbly and browned and the sides start to pull away from the edges. This casserole baked for an hour. Probably a bit too long but still tasty

Cajun Crawfish Cornbread Casserole by MayleesKitchen

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb pound, peeled and partially cooked or fully cooked crawfish tails (12 oz package can be substituted), defrosted
  • 1/2 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning or seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped (about 3/4 cup chopped)
  • 1 large jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (about 1/4 cup) (optional)
  • 1 (4 oz) jar diced pimentos
  • 1 (14.75 oz) can cream-style corn
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil plus additional oil for oiling casserole dish
  • 1 cup (4 oz) sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 (8.5 oz) box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix OR 2 cups of family size Martha White Sweet Cornbread and Muffin mix OR substitute 1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal, 2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt — increase cornmeal to 2 cups for firmer casserole
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 9″x13″ casserole dish or 10″ cast iron skillet.
  2. In medium bowl, combine crawfish tales, Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Set side.
  3. In large bowl, combine onion, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, diced pimentos, cream style corn, eggs, vegetable oil and cheddar cheese. Stir to combine.
  4. Add in the seasoned crawfish tails.
  5. Add the cornbread mix. Pour into oiled 9″ x 13″ casserole dish or oiled 10″ cast iron skillet.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 – 50 minutes until bubbly, browned on top and edges begin to pull away from sides of casserole dish.
  7. Remove from oven, let set on counter for 15 – 20 minutes, then cut into 6 slices and serve.

This is really a meal-in-one. Serve with a side dish of coleslaw or salad. Enjoy!Cajun Crawfish Cornbread Casserole

2019 Update:

I made this recipe again using a box of Jiffy (8.5 oz) box of Corn Muffin Mix.

I baked the casserole in a 10″ heavy cast iron skillet for 45 minutes. You could also use a 9″ x 13″ baking pan – both well oiled — may need to adjust baking time. This is a very soft casserole — it is not like a piece of cornbread. The key to getting the casserole to “firm up” is to let it set for 15 – 20 minutes after removing from the oven. It will still taste great if you eat it immediately, it will just sort of fall apart at the edges. I don’t mind, will  your family?

The azaleas are beautiful this spring. My favorite time of the year in Louisiana. A great place to live!Azaleas - IMG_8055

Reference

Crawfish Cornbread. Allrecipes. (//allrecipes.com/recipe/213573/crawfish-cornbread/)

78 thoughts on “Cajun Crawfish Cornbread Casserole

  1. Pingback: Crawfish season means… | Travel Curation

  2. Pingback: Fun and Original Corn Bread Recipes

      • Thanks for the suggestion! Since some Louisiana packers also market crawfish from around the world, I always suggest reading the labels. But is is good to know of a reliable source.

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      • I am just reading this months later…Walmart carries Riceland Louisiana crawfish. It is farmed and processed in Eunice, La my hometown. They process year round. Tails and boiled available at Walmart.

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      • Hello, Thanks for stopping by my blog — and thanks for that bit of information. Will check out Walmart next time I go — I’m thinking that the crawfish might just be carried in your market area, not across the country. We’ll see.

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  3. I have a similar recipe and I use creamed style corn! Love this. I learned how to make it by tasting the product made by Best Foods which I purchased at Walmart.

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  4. If I buy frozen crawfish tails, do I also use the fat in the package? Do I need to cook the tails before adding it to the casserole?

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    • Hello, I use the fat in the package. It adds flavor — shouldn’t be an excessive amount of fat in the package. No, you don’t have to cook the tails first. This casserole is baked long enough to cook the crawfish. Some brands of crawfish are partially cooked, others not. Enjoy!

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  5. Make it in a greased and preheated cookie tray for more crispy edges.
    Then cut in squares with a pizza cutter or knife after it cools a bit. Delish.

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  6. We tried making this recipe and it did not firm up. After closer review, the recipe calls for one 8oz box Jiffy Cornbread mix OR two cups of the family size Martha White cornbread mix. 8 oz is 1 cup and 16oz is 2 cups.
    We used the jiffy mix and this is why it didn’t firm up. Regardless of what brand cornmeal mix you choose, the measurement should be the same. In order for this to firm up as shown in the photos, 2 cups Martha White or 2 8 ounce boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix in what is required. Want others to avoid wasting $30 on ingredients and the recipe not turning out.

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    • Thanks for your comments and for pointing out this discrepancy. I have changed the ingredients to show 2 cups of the Martha White Cornbread Mix and deleted the reference to Jiffy Cornbread Mix. However, please note that I titled the recipe “Crawfish Cornbread Casserole.” With all the extra ingredients, it does not cut like a slice of cornbread — I found the consistency to be more like a casserole — as you can see from the photos. I am so sorry that your recipe didn’t meet your expectations. Thanks for your recipe feedback.

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      • Want to make casserole. Don’t have Martha White. How can two Martha be the same as one Jiffy?

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      • Hello, If you don’t have Martha White brand, Jiffy brand (8.5 oz box) of corn muffin mix will work just fine. Made it today. Baked for entire 45 minutes using a heavy cast iron skillet. After you remove casserole from oven, let it set for at about 15 – 20 minutes to “firm up.” It is a very moist casserole,; the key is to let it set for about 20 minutes so it is easier to cut and firmer. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, a baking pan will work; may need to cook it a little longer. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

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      • And one Jiffy (8.5 oz) box by weight, measures 1-1/2 cups by volume. It is not equal to 2 Martha White boxes — it is intended to say that you use only part (2 cups) of one family size Martha White box. Anyway, one Jiffy box worked just fine.

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      • Hello, If you don’t have Martha White brand, Jiffy brand (8.5 oz box) of corn muffin mix will work just fine. Made it today. Baked for entire 45 minutes using a heavy cast iron skillet. After you remove casserole from oven, let it set for at about 15 – 20 minutes to “firm up.” It is a very moist casserole,; the key is to let it set for about 20 minutes so it is easier to cut and firmer. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, a baking pan will work; may need to cook it a little longer. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

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      • Hello, tried out my recipe again using a Jiffy (8.5 oz) box of corn meal muffin mix. I think that the key is let the casserole set for about 15- 20 minutes after removing from oven.. Then it will “set up.” It is still a very moist casserole. As to the discrepancy in measures — dry ingredients are measured by weighting — as they should be — so the Jiffy Mix box weights 8.5 oz. Measuring cups are really for liquid ingredients or volume — many cooks don’t have a kitchen scale, so I list things by volume, too (or measuring cups). The Jiffy Mix is 1-1/2 cups in a measuring cup. Either 1 box Jiffy Mix or 2 cups .out of a box of Martha White should work. Anyway, I am so sorry for your disappointment in the recipe.

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      • Hello, that’s right, you can add more cornbread mix. However, patience helps, and if you let the casserole set for about 15 minutes, it will start to firm up — it is a soft casserole which makes it moist and delicious.

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  7. Ad a little bit of liquid Louisiana crawfish boil to your frozen crawfish tails to bring back the flavor. I do this to mine when I make my crawfish etouffee also only by your tails that are from Louisiana.

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  8. Your recipes should so good, got to try them!! My husband & I were born in Mississippi but lived & raised our family in Louisiana 40+ years!! Love Louisiana cooking!!

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    • NO, NO, you cannot just substitute plain cornmeal for the cornbread mix. The cornbread bread & muffin mix also contains baking soda, shortening, sugar and salt. The baking soda makes the cornbread casserole “rise.” Omitting it and you will have a very flat casserole. It doesn’t really matter what brand of cornmeal bread & muffin mix you use but it should be about an 8 oz box. We used the mix primarily for convenience but you can also make your own from scratch. Substitute 2 cups yellow cornmeal, 2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt (can be omitted). Stir these ingredients together and add. I have to say, I haven’t actually tried this, but it should work. Stay tuned, I’ll try it this weekend when I’m off of work and re-post my results. Tried it this weekend; suggest using 1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal, 2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt in place of the cornbread mix.

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  9. I’d really like to make it without the “sweet cornbread mix”. What substitutions should I make in order to make it less sweet?

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    • Hello John, You can substitute 1-1/2 to 2 cups yellow cornmeal, 2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt in place of the commercial cornbread & muffin mixes. Use 1-1/2 cups cornmeal if you want a moister casserole and increase to 2 cups if you really want a dish that is more like cornbread. Combine the cornmeal, baking soda and salt well in a small bowl before adding to other ingredients. Any brand of yellow cornmeal, such as Aunt Jemima® Yellow Corn Meal, should work. I made the casserole last night using 2 lb Jimmy Dean Sausage (cooked the sausage first) and it came out great! Cooked sausage cornbread casserole for only 30 minutes but definitely recommend cooking crawfish cornbread casserole for full 45 minutes. Let casserole “rest” for at least 20 minutes after removing from oven to “firm up”. Enjoy!

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  10. Made your Craw-fish Cornbread Casserole last night. My husband had purchased a 4lb bag of frozen craw-fish at the store and we had some left so tried this recipe. OMG we could not stop eating it … How ever I did omit all the hot seasoning just because my husband does not like hot seasoning:( and I miss read the directions and used 2 pkg of Martha White sweet cornbread mix packages, oops, but it was perfect, Cooked in a iron skillet heated in the oven with a generous amount of oil , I also had some extra mixture and put it in 6 muffins and they came out perfect as well, just took them out a little before the iron skillet, they all browned up beautifully. Had added some butter to the first muffin but it did not need it at all, perfect just the was it is. So happy with this recipe, Thank you so much and this is definitely a keeper in my recipe book. Can’t wait to try it with shrimp or crab-meat or the sausage. Thank you again.

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    • Hello, Glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Yes, it is a flexible and forgiving recipe — you can remove the spicy seasoning and it still tastes good! I have discovered that there are different sizes of Martha White Cornbread Mix — that has confused alot of folks. If you are using the 6 oz packages, then you could use 2 packages — as you found — and it should be fine. If you are using the very large family boxes — the 2 cups mix is all you need.

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    • Also, if you are using shrimp, I’d use very small shrimp; sausage needs to be browned first – from 1 to 2 lb. I used 1 lb sausage, but the casserole could easily be made with more sausage. Crab-meat is very expensive in our part of the world — I might find some other recipes for it, actually.

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  11. Thank you for the reply and answers, that is very helpful. I did use 2 of the 7oz pkg of the Martha White Sweet cornbread mix and like I said it was perfect. I really wouldn’t change a thing. Looking forward to trying the shrimp next Do you think the already boiled shrimp packages for shrimp cocktail would work or do I need to use the fresh shrimp?

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    • I always used frozen, raw peeled shrimp — small ones (71 -90 ct) — defrost them. These would need to be sauteed in some margarine or oil before adding to the casserole. The boiled shrimp for shrimp cocktail would work, too — although I have not seen these sold separately. Since they are already cooked, they could just be added to the casserole as is.

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    • Hello, Yes, crawfish can be difficult to find out-of-state and actually difficult and expensive to find in-state when not in season (Feb – May). That’s why my posts about crawfish are always in the spring. Crawfish are a succulent, juicy and tender crustacean. There’s not a really an equivalent substitute. However, you might try rock shrimp (I have not actually done this but understand that they are similar in texture to crawfish.) You can also make the casserole with different ingredients. Still a tasty casserole, but with a different flavor. You can make it using 1/2 lb of mild bulk sausage, browned first, or make a vegetarian version adding a 15-oz can of drained black beans. Or, it is always possible to order and have crawfish shipped.

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    • Hello, yes, the original recipe calls for cornbread mix (also called corn muffin mix). Some folks preferred to make their own “corn meal” mix (which didn’t contain sugar); but this is not necessary. Just go for it and hope you enjoy the results.

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  12. A little late to the party here, so apologies if I missed anything. But I/we were wondering if there is any nutritional information on this and/or any other recipe on this site? I absolutely KNOW they are good, that’s not in question. We have tried this and loved it. Specifically looking for the nutritional information to enable us to eat well and look after ourselves better.
    Thanks for all helpful replies.
    James

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    • Hello, adding nutritional information is a good suggestion. I actually have the nutritional software to do the analysis; but it is a very time consuming task to get the correct information entered, so has sort of fallen on the “back burner.” Thanks for your idea.

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  13. Can’t wait to make this for my family. Can you give me an idea of how many servings this makes? My family will be hot mad if there isn’t enough! Thanks!

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  14. I haven’t made this recipe yet although I definitely intend to, I do make what I call Mexican Cornbread, which is similar to this recipe, and when I make it or when I make regular cornbread, I use Aunt Jemima Corn Meal Mix. It is not sweet. It comes in 5 lb. or larger bags. To me Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix tastes like cake.

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    • Hello, yes, I agree. My Aunt Gaye is the person who suggested using Jiffy brand, it is sweet, and I am glad to know Aunt Jemima Corn Meal Mix is less sweet — I have another recipe to make with eggplant and want a less sweet cornbread mix with it. Thanks for your suggestions.

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      • Hello, in your honest opinion which way taste the best – using Martha cornmeal mix, jiffy or cornbread from scratch?
        Also, have you tried using it with the liquid Louisiana crawfish boil to your frozen crawfish tails as suggested by a viewer ? If so would you definitely recommend adding to your ingredients list? (I do like spicy)

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      • Hello, thanks for your questions and interest. I like cornbread mix that is a little less sweet, and Martha cornbread mix seems to be just right. Jiffty mix is sweet. Cornbread mix from scratch would be okay too, however, using a purchased mix is nice for convenience. As for liquid crawfish boil, no I haven’t tried it, don’t tend to keep this ingredient on hand, there are several other ingredients that can add “hot” such as Tabasco sauce. If uou want to use crawfish boil in the recipe, add with caution as these products are very concentrated. However, I might try it next spring during crawfish season to see the results.

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  15. Hi! Can the cream of corn be omitted or a substitute made? My husband can’t have kernels due to stomach condition. 😞 Thank you in advance!

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    • Hello, The cream of corn adds to the flavor as well as adds volume and liquid. However, I understand if you husband can’t eat corn and hate to see him miss this dish. Yes, you could omit the creamed corn and substitute in other ingredients. I suggest adding sour cream for volume (about 1/2 cup to 1 cup) and an extra egg. If still too thick you could increase the oil to 1/2 cup. I do have to point out that I haven’t tried these substitutions–they are my best guess to give you a quick reply. If you can give me a couple of weeks — I’ll give these substitutions a try — I’d hate to see them not work for you. Thanks.

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      • Thank you for your response. I’ll definitely give these substitutions a try. I’d love to hear any further feedback you have if you think of anything else.

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