Super Easy Crawfish Boil Recipe

Try this Super Easy Crawfish Boil recipe for your Mardi Gras party or for a fun backyard get together.

Easy Crawfish Boil Mardi Gras Party

Crawfish boils are a part of Louisiana life, friends and neighbors get together to gorge themselves on piles of succulent  “mudbugs” A crawfish boil is an all afternoon and many times late into the evening affair.  A crawfish boil is an ideal way to spend a lazy afternoon with the gang or for a super easy Mardi Gras party.

Outdoor Party
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Easy Backyard Crawfish Boil

So grab the biggest pot you own – you’ll want a large, 80-quart stockpot (an interior basket comes in handy.  And plan to cook your crawfish outdoors. If you don’t have access to an 80-quart stockpot, you can split the crawfish and sausage, into several pots and cook the potatoes, and corn inside, if need be.

The Crawfish Boil – Iconic Louisiana Cuisine

Crawfish boils are such an iconic Lousiana tradition. We throw a crawfish boil to celebrate just about any special holiday or even.  This is a really fun addition to any Mardi Gras or New Orleans themed party. After all, Crawfish are Lousiana poor mans Lobster.

How to Buy Crawfish for an Easy Crawfish Boil

Like lobster, crawfish should be purchased and cooked alive. Crawfish are perishable and should be cooked the same day you receive them.  So you’ll need to arrange pick-up or delivery of your crawfish the day of your party.  You’ll need about 3-4 pounds of crawfish per person.  The tails are delicious but tiny.

Live crawfish for an easy Mardi Gras Crawfish Boil
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To Care For Live Crawfish

Crawfish are shipped in a sack, so you’ll need to take the sack out of the box, and hose off the entire sack with fresh water in the back yard. Do not take the crawfish out of the sack. Do not leave the sack of crawfish submerged in water, they will drown since they aren’t able to move freely. Place the sack back into the cooler box or other cooler and lay a bag of ice loosely on top of the crawfish sack and close securely with a lid. Keep your cooler in a cool damp area like the garage or kitchen. Do not leave crawfish outside above 50° F or below 40° F.

If your crawfish were ordered un-purged or you don’t know if they were purged, about a 1/2 hour before you are ready to start your boil pour the sack of live crawfish in a plastic children’s pool, or a large ice chest. Add salt water to just cover the crawfish. Dead crawfish will float to the top, remove and discard dead crawfish. Immediately, drain salt water and add fresh water. Drain.  Repeat fresh water rinsing 3 or 4 times, discarding any additional dead crawfish and debris.

After purging and cleaning, do not leave the crawfish covered with water, they need air to stay alive. Keep the crawfish in cool & moist until you’re ready to start cooking.

Finding Live Crawfish for a Crawfish Boil

To find crawfish check with your local seafood market or try one of these online resources.

Louisiana Crawfish Company will send you live crawfish, either purged or not + an entire Mardi Gras Party Pack, complete with beads.

Louisiana’s Seafood Company sells by the sack or culled and purged by the pound. Plus, it’s veteran-owned.

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Easy Cajun Crawfish Boil

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Resting time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 20
Calories: 1196kcal
Author: Kelly DiMascio
There's nothing better than a Louisiana-style crawfish boil.  This Cajun-spiced crawfish boil brings just enough heat to make things interesting.  This boil is a meal in a pot complete with potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, and andouille sausage.
Print Recipe


  • 3 lbs yellow onions - peeled and cut in half
  • 6 heads garlic - cut in half
  • 6 lemons - cut in half
  • 73 oz ZATARAIN'S® Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil - Complete -  
  • 4 lbs small red potatoes
  • 40 lbs live crawfish - cleaned, culled and purged
  • 1 bunch celery - cut in bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup  ZATARAIN'S® Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil
  • 1 box Shrimp and Crab Boil - In a Bag
  • 15 ears corn-on-the-cob - Shucked and cut in half
  • 8 lbs Andouille sausage - cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces


  • Fill an 80-quart crawfish boiling pot with a basket 1/3 to 1/2 with water. Place pot on a large propane burner on high heat.
  • Add onions, garlic and lemon halves. Bring to full rolling boil. Stir in Crab Boil Complete. Add potatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Boil 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Remove potatoes and keep warm.
  • Return water to full rolling boil on high heat. Add crawfish, celery, Andouille sausage, liquid Crab Boil, and Crab Boil bag. Return water to full rolling boil on high heat. 
  • Start checking doneness just before the water returns to a full rolling boil. As soon as small gaps start to appear between the head and the tail on the largest crawfish, they are done. Turn off heat. 
  • Add corn and cooked potatoes. Let stand 45 minutes to an hour. 
  • Drain and serve on a large table covered in plastic and newspaper.


Resist the temptation to serve crawfish immediately.  Letting the crawfish, potatoes and corn rest in the spice broth is what makes this so tasty.  This allows all the wonderful the cajun spices to impart all that yummy taste throughout.
If you are serving fewer than 20 just change the number of serving in the box above and the recipe will recalculate the ingredients.
If you can't find crawfish, do a Shrimp Boil.


Calories: 1196kcal | Carbohydrates: 106g | Protein: 69g | Fat: 62g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 301mg | Sodium: 1789mg | Potassium: 2268mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 3080IU | Vitamin C: 49.5mg | Calcium: 1176mg | Iron: 42.6mg
Did you love this recipe? Please Share!Mention @MermaidsandMojitos or tag #mermaidsandmojitos!

How to Serve Food at a Crawfish Boil

Easy crawfish boil served traditionally on a checkered tablecloth
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This is definitely an outside —backyard, pool deck, porch dock or patio—party.  You’ll want to serve (and cook) everything outside. Eating crawfish is a roll-up your sleeves, tie back your hair, get messy kind of affair.

Cover a large table with a cheap plastic tablecloth, secure the table cloth with clamps or good old fashioned duck tape. Top the plastic tablecloth with newspapers. When the boil has finished resting and you’ve drained the liquid, just dump all yummy crawfish sausage and veggies onto the newspapers.  Make sure you have rolls and rolls of paper towel available for your guests. Place buckets on the table to dispose of crawfish shells.

Serve with a variety of Cajun and Creole hot sauces.  In my opinion, you must serve crawfish (and oysters) with Tabasco. I like to serve loaves of fresh French or other crusty bread alongside.  You might want to serve a green salad but that would be entirely optional.

Serve lots of cold beverages, these crawfish are delightfully spicy.  Fill a cooler with ice cold beer, I like Abita if you can find it.

If you are serving this for Mardi Gras a King Cake or 2 makes a fun dessert or try serving a traditional New Orleans style bread pudding.

How to Eat a Crawfish

How to Eat a Crawfish
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1. Hold the head – Hold the head with one hand and extend the tail all the way out.

2. Twist the head off – Place your thumb and forefinger on either side of the head and twist until the head separates from the tail.

3. Grab the tail – Put the head aside and focus on the tail, to get all the best meat. At this point, many people will suck the head for extra flavor.

4. Start peeling – Use your thumb and start peeling from the wide part of the tail. Peel layer by layer to loosen the meat away from the tail. The amount of layers you have to peel depends on the crawfish, so be patient. Be careful, if the crawfish are juicy this step may get a little dirty.

5. Pinch the tail & wiggle the meat out.

6 Enjoy!

*Instructions Courtesy of Louisiana Crawfish Company

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