Easiest Crawfish Boil Recipe

This easy crawfish boil recipe uses fully-cooked frozen crawfish, available at many grocery stores in the US. It’s quick and tasty and lets you bring Louisiana home any night!

A friend wanted to organize a crawfish boil for a group of us at my house a little while ago. I looked into what was involved and found it a bit overwhelming. The idea of ordering live crawfish and then prepping them, for a newbie like me, it was too much. I therefore came up with a much simpler method, which I’ll tell you about below.

Live Crawfish

If you want to do the real authentic crawfish boil, I’ve done the research for you. You can have fresh live crawfish delivered from these companies: The Louisiana Crawfish Company and Kyle LeBlanc Crawfish Farms. And, here’s info on how to prepare live crawfish for the boil.

Easier Crawfish Boil At Home

For the easier version that you can make without having to order anything online, I have the info for you here. This crawfish boil recipe uses fully-cooked frozen crawfish, which are available at many grocery stores in the US. Go and ask at your fish section to find out what their availability is like near you. If you can’t get your hands on the frozen crawfish, you can try ordering the fresh from the links below, or try this easy shrimp boil, since shrimp are much easier to get ahold of.

There’s no need to do anything ahead of time to prep the fully-cooked frozen crawfish. They just go for a quick dunk in simmering water with the potatoes, corn, onions, lemon, andouille sausage, and the flavors of Old Bay Seasoning. That quick dunk defrosts the crawfish and heats them through, while seasoning them a little bit in the flavorful liquid.

When everything’s ready, drain off the liquid and then either serve from the pot, or tip the pot onto a table lined with newspaper.

Eating Crawfish

There’s one more thing that you need to know to appreciate a crawfish boil. You need to know how to peel and eat a crawfish. Check out this video showing several different ways to do the task. I also found Southern Living’s illustrations of how to eat a crawfish helpful.


Easy Crawfish Boil

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: American


This easy crawfish boil recipe uses fully-cooked frozen crawfish, available at many grocery stores in the US. It’s quick and tasty and lets you bring Louisiana home any night!


  • 4 lemons
  • 12 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 3 large onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 and 1/2 lbs. whole small red potatoes, larger potatoes cut in half
  • 14 oz. andouille sausage, cut into 12 pieces
  • 6 cobs of corn, shucked and broken in half
  • 2 lbs. fully-cooked frozen crawfish*, rinsed
  • hot sauce (for serving)


  1. Fill a large pot with 6 quarts of water.
  2. Cut 2 lemons in half. Squeeze the juice from them into the water and add the squeezed lemon halves to the water as well. Cut the other 2 lemons into wedges and set aside for serving.
  3. Add the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, Old Bay, and salt to the water.
  4. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Add the potatoes. Cover and cook until they’re just tender when pierced with a fork, 9-10 minutes.
  6. Add the sausage and corn. Cook covered for 5 minutes.
  7. Gently add the rinsed frozen crawfish and cook covered until heated through, 2-3 minutes.
  8. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the crawfish, sausage, and vegetables to a large platter.
  9. To Serve: Cover a table with newspaper. Pile the crawfish, sausage, and vegetables right on top, or leave everything on the platter. Put out the lemon wedges and hot sauce. Squeeze the garlic cloves from the skin as a condiment as well. Make sure there are a lot of napkins on hand before you dig in!


*This crawfish recipe calls for fully cooked crawfish which are available at the fish counter in many states. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on live crawfish, follow a reputable source for information about how to clean and prep the crawfish. Proceed with the above recipe with this adjustment: Before adding the crawfish to the pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the crawfish. When water returns to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook covered for 10-15 minutes, until the crawfish have turned red and have started to float. Crack one or two open and make sure that the meat is white and that all yellow fat is no longer runny.

This post originally appeared in May 2013 and was revised and republished in March 2021.