The 8 Best Crawfish Etouffee Side Dishes

What are the best side dishes for crawfish etouffee? Keep it traditional with Southern-inspired sides such as deep-fried hush puppies, cornbread, and Cajun sweet potato fries. Seasoned rice, pea and lemon pasta, and French bread are excellent options as they provide sustenance and allow you to soak up the delicious sauce. Vibrant and refreshing side dishes include green beans almondine, and a tropical green salad.

Crawfish etouffee is a classic Louisiana dish brimming with Cajun culture, flavor, and flair. Authentic Here are all the tasty and exciting side dishes you can pair with crawfish etouffee:

Warm Seasoned Rice

Warm, lightly seasoned rice is a trusty side dish to complete your crawfish etouffee. With hints of garlic, onion, dried herbs, and pepper, it will provide a simple and hearty side that will still allow the main dish to shine. For best results, use rice as a base for the etouffee, allowing it to soak up all the sauce and incredible flavor.

Gently sauté 1 cup of long-grain white rice with 1 tablespoon of butter for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, dried parsley, and dried oregano. Stir to combine. Pour 2 cups of vegetable broth slowly into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice has absorbed all the water.

Remove the cooked rice from the stove and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve immediately. You can garnish the rice with the zest and juice of one lime and freshly chopped parsley.

Southern Hush Puppies

Another delectable Louisiana classic. Deep-fried hush puppies will turn your meal into an absolute feast. With a slight sweetness, these bite-sized delights will balance out the savory and robust flavors. Hush puppies are best served on the side, or dip them in the mouth-watering gravy.

Preheat oil to 350°F (180°C). Add 1 cup cornmeal, ⅓ cup self-raising flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons sugar to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Season with ½ teaspoon each onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup of buttermilk with 1 egg. Add to dry mixture and fold to combine. Gently drop rounded teaspoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked hush puppies from the pan or fryer.

Enjoy them hot and fresh, with tartar, sriracha, or remoulade sauce, if desired.

Garlic And Cheese French Bread

If you are seeking a comforting and effortless accompaniment for crawfish etouffee, turn to cheesy garlic French bread. Sharp cheddar cheese and fresh garlic will elevate the flavor of an etouffee, while the warm and crusty bread is ready to soak up the delicious sauce.

Place buttered French bread slices on a lined baking sheet. Top with minced garlic (as much as you like), freshly grated cheddar cheese, and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Bake the bread under the broiler for approximately 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Finish with a splash of olive oil, fresh chopped parsley, and toasted sesame seeds. Serve the French bread fresh out of the oven alongside the crawfish etouffee. Dip, dunk, and scoop to your heart’s (and tummy’s) content.

Spring Pea And Lemon Pasta

As crawfish etouffee typically does not include grains or starchy vegetables, a side serving of warm and comforting pasta will add sustenance to the dish. Sweet spring peas and lemon complement the Cajun flavors and add an element of freshness. Long, flat ribbons of pasta will wrap around the crawfish while soaking up the delicious saucy stew.

Add approximately 1lb of pasta to a large pot of salted boiling water and cook until al dente. We recommend pappardelle, fettucine, or tagliatelle pasta. While the pasta is cooking, sauté 1 finely chopped onion and 3 minced garlic cloves in a splash of olive until soft.

Add 3 cups of fresh or thawed green peas to the pan and sauté for approximately 2 minutes. Finally, add the juice and zest of 1 lemon, the cooked and drained pasta, salt, and black pepper. Toss to combine and gently cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

A simple yet tasty side dish, crispy sweet potato fries will offer sweetness and a satisfying crunch factor to the meal. Tossed in a simple Cajun-inspired spice blend, these fries will marry beautifully with the crawfish etouffee. Serve them on the side or mix it up with a little ‘chip and dip’ for an unforgettable flavor experience.

Preheat your oven to a toasty 425°F (220°C). In a small bowl, combine ½ tablespoon each garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried oregano, and dried thyme. Add ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper, along with ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Slice 2 sweet potatoes into thin matchsticks and transfer them to a greased baking sheet. Coat sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then sprinkle with Cajun spice blend. Toss to combine.  Bake for about 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway. Taste and adjust seasoning, and lightly drizzle with honey or maple syrup for extra sweetness.

Herb And Cheese Cornbread

For a truly southern soul food experience, pair your crawfish etouffee with cornbread. Sharp cheddar cheese and herbs spruce up the main dish without competing for flavor. Enjoy cornbread on the side, or use it to mop up the tasty etouffee juices.

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease a muffin tin that holds 12 cups and set aside. Place ¾ cup cornmeal, 1 cup flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, and a pinch of salt and black pepper in a mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup finely chopped parsley, 2 teaspoons finely chopped chives, and 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a second mixing bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs, 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons honey, and ¼ cup olive oil. Gently fold into the dry mixture until thoroughly combined. Divide batter into the muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through and golden.

Green Beans Almondine

An uncomplicated side dish that’s guaranteed to impress. Green beans almondine is a nutritious and ‘lighter’ accompaniment that brings a pop of color, texture, and elegance. Green beans coated with lemon and crunchy almonds perfectly complete the tasty crawfish etouffee.

Heat a large skillet and toast ¼ cup of slivered almonds in a drizzle of olive oil until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet and add approximately 1lb trimmed green beans with a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Sauté until they turn bright green and tender, about 8 minutes.

Add 5 minced garlic cloves and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Finish off with 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and the toasted almonds. Toss to combine. You can top the prepared green beans with chopped scallions and crumbled feta.

Tropical Green Salad

For a taste of paradise, serve your crawfish etouffee with a fresh, sweet, and vibrant tropical green salad. Chilled slivers of sweet mango, pineapple, and coconut add incredible contrast to the warm, rich, and spicy etouffee.

In a salad bowl or serving platter, layer a mix of baby spinach leaves and arugula. Top with peeled and thinly sliced mango and pineapple pieces. Add cucumber ribbons and a generous sprinkle of coconut shavings. Season with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a squeeze of lime juice. For extra crunch, top the salad with toasted cashews or pumpkin seeds.

Best Beverage Pairings For Crawfish Etouffee

This exquisite Cajun stew pairs remarkably well with cool, crisp, and slightly sweet rosé or white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Grigio, and Chenin Blanc. Light, fizzy, and fruity Prosecco offsets an etouffee’s richness and bold flavor.

For beer enthusiasts, we recommend a lager or traditional pilsner. These beers have crisp, clean notes with palate-cleansing qualities- perfect for hearty meals with complex flavors.

Classic gin and tonic is another excellent beverage choice for crawfish etouffee, as the herbal, citrus, and floral notes play well with the seafood and spices in the dish.

Sweet and tangy lemonade is also a good companion to the seafood and spices in an etouffee.

Best Sauces For Crawfish Etouffee

While crawfish etouffee is already chock-full of saucy deliciousness and brilliant flavor, you can amp up the heat with tangy hot sauce, Tabasco, or sriracha sauce.

Peanut sauce combined with ginger and fresh lime juice will add creaminess and a unique, nutty flavor to the dish.

To round off the bold Cajun flavors, you can add a few dollops of creamy and tangy tartar sauce.