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Garlic Butter Crawfish Tails are easy to make and full of flavor. Delicious crawfish meat is coated in a garlic buttery sauce with a hint of white wine. You can serve this Louisiana staple as an appetizer or dinner with your favorite pasta of choice!
Best Crawfish Tails Recipe
Crawfish are a more affordable alternative to pricier shellfish such as lobster. Despite the lower price point, crawfish tails are just as meaty, succulent, and flavorful!
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy this versatile shellfish! You can use crawfish in any seafood boil or seafood gumbo. For a change of pace, we love tender crawfish meat, sautéed in a simple garlic butter sauce.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Crawfish Tails: Use crawfish that have been peeled and deveined. If you use frozen ones, let them thaw before cooking.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter to control the salt level.
- Olive Oil: Regular olive oil works well.
- Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic for the best result.
- White Wine: Use a high-quality white wine such as Martini, Sav Blanc and Chardonnay for the best result. You can omit this ingredient or use chicken broth in a pinch.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed.
- Salt & Pepper: For seasoning.
- Optional chopped herbs: Herbs like parsley or basil help to add the fresh flavor and color to the dish.
How to Cook Garlic Butter Crawfish Tails
1. Add butter and olive oil to a large non-stick skillet.
2. Once hot, add minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
3. Add crawfish meat and sauté for about 1 minute on one side or until just beginning to turn pink. Then flip.
4. Add wine and lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the crawfish tails are cooked through. Remove from the heat immediately. Sprinkle with chopped herbs, and serve over pasta or rice!
Tips for the Best Crawfish Meat
- Get all of your ingredients ready before cooking: Crawfish cooks really quickly, so time is of the essence. Gather all your supplies and ingredients before you start up the fire.
- Check your crawfish tails carefully before cooking: Check to see whether your crawfish tails are pre-cooked or pre-seasoned. If so, you need to adjust accordingly. If you use raw whole rawfish, you need to peel and deveine them before cooking.
- Use a butter and oil combination to prevent the butter from burning: An easy trick to prevent your butter from burning is to add a bit of oil to the mix. This makes for a better garlic butter sauce.
- Make sure not to overcook your crawfish tail meat: Crawfish tail meat cooks fast, so be careful not to overcook!
How Long Do Crawfish Tails Keep?
If you purchased fresh crawfish, you’ll want to cook them within 2 days of purchase after storing them in cool storage. For frozen crawfish, you’ll have a lot more leeway. Peeled, cooked crawfish tails can be frozen and stored for up to 3 months. When you’re ready, thaw them out and add to your favorite southern dishes.
How Long to Cook Crawfish Tail Meat?
- Frozen RAW crawfish meat takes about only 2 minutes to cook.
- Pre-cooked crawfish tail meat cooks in about 1 minute, as you’re only heating it up.
- Fresh raw whole crawfish with shells usually requires about 6 minutes to cook through.
- Frozen raw whole crawfish with shells may take about 8 minutes to cook.
Pro Tips: If you buy frozen crawfish, carefully check whether it has been pre-cooked and adjust the cooking time to avoid overcooking.
What Do Crawfish Tails Taste Like?
Many people describe crawfish as a cross between crab and shrimp in terms of both taste and texture. Crawfish tails are very meaty with a strong, fishy taste that can be slightly sweet.
Can I Use Frozen Crawfish Tails?
Absolutely! It can be difficult to source fresh crawfish, so go ahead and utilize the frozen varieties found in supermarkets or fish markets.
Where to Buy Crawfish Tails?
Check the frozen seafood section of your grocery store for whole crawfish or crawfish tails. If you prefer to buy fresh, visit a fish market and check out the catch of the day. You can also order crawfish tail meat online.
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Easy Crawfish Tail Recipe
- 1/2 pound crawfish tails peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon white wine
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional chopped herbs like basil or parsley for serving
- Add butter and olive oil to a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Once hot, add minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add crawfish tails and sauté for about 1 minute on one side or until just beginning to turn pink. Then flip. (If your crawfish is already pre-cooked, you'll only need about 1 minute to heat them through.)
- Add wine and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the crawfish tails are cooked through. (Make sure not to over-cook your crawfish meat.)
- Remove from the heat immediately. Sprinkle with chopped basil or parsley. Serve over pasta or rice and enjoy!
- For this recipe, crawfish must be peeled and deveined before cooking. If you use the whole crawfish, go ahead and take care of this ahead of time.
- An easy trick to prevent your butter from burning is to add a bit of oil to the mix. This makes for a better garlic butter sauce.
- Make sure not to overcook your crawfish tail meat. Crawfish tail meat cooks fast, so be careful not to overcook!