Pappadeaux Crawfish Bisque

You can make delicious Pappadeaux Crawfish Bisque just like they do. Pappadeaux is known for its delicious seafood, and this bisque is no exception to that rule. Serve with hot buttered rice if you desire. You can make this Lousianna-inspired dish at home.

two servings of homemade Pappadeaux crawfish bisque

You can make delicious Pappadeaux Crawfish Bisque just like they do. Pappadeaux is known for its delicious seafood, and this bisque is no exception to that rule. This copycat Pappadeaux Crawfish Bisque is perfect to make when you are having crawfish. A bisque is a creamy soup that isn’t hard to make and you can enjoy this recipe during the crawfish season when you prepare it at home.

One of my readers tells me that Pappadeaux locations have some latitude in changing some of the ingredients in many of their recipes. This is refreshing as it lets you know they actually cook the food there – it isn’t made in a large kitchen and then shipped out to the restaurants like it is in many places.

Crawfish are also called mudbugs but don’t let that name put you off! These small bright red crustaceans have only a very short season in which to enjoy them. The edible part of a crawfish is in the tail, which means that in many recipes, much of the crawfish can’t be utilized because it consists of the head and shell. Crawfish bisque is special because it enables you to use the whole of the crawfish.

What is a bisque?

A bisque is a creamy soup and this one utilizes the shells of the crawfish. What you get is a flavorful broth from the shells. Bisque isn’t hard to make and you can enjoy the soup when you make it at home.

What gives a bisque the flavor?

What gives bisque its flavor is cooking the shells in the water. So if you are making an etouffee, you may want to use the meat for the etouffee and the shells can be used for bisque. When you do this, you leach out all of the flavors out of the shells. You will get a flavorful broth that is hard to resist. You may want to serve this soup with some French bread and butter.

Ingredients for Louisiana style crawfish bisque

What you need to make the bisque:

  • Crawfish – you can use crawfish tail meat
  • Olive Oil
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Onion
  • Tomato Paste
  • Heavy Cream
  • Tomato
  • Brandy
  • Salt – if desired
Pappadeaux crawfish bisque ingredients

How to Make Crawfish Bisque

Boil crawfish in a large pot of water. Drain and cool until crawfish can be handled easily.

Remove crawfish meat from shells. Refrigerate meat and save the shells.

Heat oil in a saucepan. Add shells paprika, and cayenne pepper. Saute for 5 minutes.

Add water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain the crawfish stock you just made into another pan. Crush shells to remove liquid then discard shells.

Heat liquid and add onion, bell pepper, tomato paste, cream, and chopped tomatoes.

Simmer for 1 hour, be sure to stir frequently. Taste soup now and see if it needs salt. Add salt if you desire.

Pour into soup bowls and enjoy!

crawfish bisque in a pot

Add crawfish meat and brandy. Simmer 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

crawfish bisque in a light blue soup crock

What to serve with Crawfish Bisque

A simple salad, and some fresh crusty bread, or even garlic bread, make an entire delicious meal. A bowl of this soup is so filling, that you won’t need to add much more to make a complete meal.

How to store leftover crawfish bisque

I recommend storing any leftover portion of this soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. When you are ready to serve this soup again, I recommend heating on low heat in a pot on the stovetop. You should heat the soup gently and slow so the soup does not seperate.

Bread to Enjoy with Soup:

Find more copycat soup recipes and delicious bread to serve with soup too.

two servings of homemade Pappadeaux crawfish bisque

Pappadeaux Crawfish Bisque

You can recreate the flavor of Pappadeaux Crawfish Bisque with this copycat recipe.
4.87 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Cajun
Keyword: Pappadeaux Crawfish Bisque
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 415kcal


  • 3 pounds crawfish
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 3 cups Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Tomato
  • 4 tablespoons brandy


  • Boil the crawfish in a large pot of water. Drain the crawfish and allow to cool so that they can be handled easily.
  • Remove the tail meat and save the head and shells. Place the tail meat in your refrigerator.
  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or a large saucepan. Add the crawfish heads and shells, paprika, and cayenne, and saute for 5 minutes. 
  • Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Strain the liquid into a separate pan. Crush the heads and shells to extract any remaining liquid and add that liquid to the pan. Discard the shells. 
  • Return to the heat and add bell pepper, onion, tomato, tomato paste, and cream. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently. 
  • Add the brandy and the crawfish meat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!


Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1540IU | Vitamin C: 10.6mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 0.6mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Amanda Bone

    I have a question, can you use frozen crawfish? I cannot always find fresh here. And what other substitutes for Sherry?

    • Stephanie Manley

      You could use frozen crawfish. I don’t know if you are avoiding Sherry, or are avoiding alcohol. If you are avoiding Sherry, use a dry white wine, like a Chardonnay. If you are avoiding alcohol, I suggest chicken stock. The flavor will not be the same without the Sherry.

  2. N Martin

    5 stars
    Cooking this right now. Tastes delicious so far, but I sincerely hope that after an hour of simmering it will thicken a bit!

  3. Yolanda

    4 stars
    Unfortunately we just found out that Pappadeux has discontinued making Crawfish Bisque here in their San Antonio, Texas locations. Going to try this recipe. Hope it comes out. Thanks for all the ideas.

    • Kent

      From San Antonio as well and was super bummed to learn they were discontinuing their bisque. One of my favorites!

      • Angelica Parker-Kirkland

        5 stars
        Me toooo, I’m pregnant and I have been craving their lobster bisque. I was so disappointed to find out the Atlanta location no longer serves the bisque. Such a sad sad day 😢

  4. Penny Jennings

    4 stars
    I cooked this last nigh and made a few changes, but all in all it was excellent. I did have left over heads so I boiled them and made my own stock. I also pureed all of the veggies, I did a small chop on the tails. I was out out of sherry/brandy or any liquor

  5. Cindy

    5 stars
    I substituted left over king crab meat and chicken stock for the water and it was amazingly good. Can’t wait to try it with crayfish.

  6. Carmen Rusu

    Hello Everyone,

    Does anyone have the recipe for the Pappadeaux Shrimp Brochette?

    Thank you

    Carmen R.

  7. Un4gtble14u

    Correction…. Do not use Brandy or Cognac. Their Lobster and Crawfish Bisque are the same soup base made with SHERRY! When cooking the brandy/cognac will be more harsh, it’s a high LVL of alcohol and is not as sweet as the Sherry. These liquors are made differently and when used in cooking it is important to not substitute Sharry with Brandy/cognac ( those two can be as they are far more similar)

    PS I’m not only an excellent home chef, but worked as a chef under the Executive Chef at the Wrigly building (along with side work as a foodie critic in Chicago for several years.

  8. Baltisraul

    I found out just recently that Pappadeaux locations have some latitude in changing some of the ingredients in many of their recipes. It has become obvious to us that trying to duplicate the exact Pappadeaux recipes is somewhat difficult and can become expensive to experiment to get it just right. We now have our favorites nailed down but it was not easy or cheap.

    • Stephanie

      I didn’t know that they changed their recipes regionally. It a sense it is refreshing as you know they actually cook the food there, and it isn’t made is a large kitchen and then shipped out to the restaurants like it is in many places.

  9. bastisraul

    We travel to Atlanta many times during the year and always go to Pappa’s. For us, it is by far the best chain eatery in the country. The only disappointing item was their bisque. When making at home, we made two changes and it worked. Substituted seafood broth for the water and 6oz of sherry for the brandy. A little roux also helps tighten this up. Their fondoux is to die for!

    • Stephanie Manley

      I am kinda funny bout my bisque, I like them when they aren’t too dark, and they are more creamy. Some folks want to roast everything so much for me it destroys that flavor.

  10. Jade

    This was originally posted in the Houston Chronicle many years ago. What is not posted is that the Chron ran a correction of the recipe later that included the missing roux. I make it a once a year or so because my husband loves it. I came up with a short-cut way of making it using Knorr shrimp bouillon and the frozen crawfish tails and it still tastes just as good as the restaurant, but much easier to make.

  11. Karen

    Well I”ve never had Pappadeaux’s bisque but this stuff is good! Did make a roux so it would thicken a little bit but very good!

  12. CG

    I was a kitchen manager for Pappadeaux for several years and this is not it. It sounds OK but it is not even close. I’ve made it a hundred times…I would know.

  13. John C

    I don’t know what any of the reply’s above are talking about, but I just had the Pappadeaux Crawfish Bisque at their Denver location and all the ingreediants in this recipe seemed to be in the one I just ate. The Bisque was not pureed, it had small pieces of onion, green peppers and a good amount of Crawfish Tail Meat. I looked the recipe online because I am from Kansas City and do not have access to Pappadeaux locations unless I travel, and I wanted to see what was out there to make myself when I got back home ? I’m going to try this when I get home and I’ll you you know if it is the recipe or not, but this sure sounds like it ?

    John C

    • Originalmunchie

      The key to this recipe (which was not noted) is having a savory and spicy boil when you cook the crawfish. In fact one would most likely be using leftovers from a crawfish, shrimp or crab boil when making a recipe such as this.

      Another note to others, the recipe does not call for puree, but the extraction of some of the most savory stock in the pot, which is found in the heads of crawfish. In the crawfish culture many who partake, eat the tail meat and follow with a strong suck on the head.

      This recipe, if not exact, is fairly close..and even if you disagree, it is very very tasty.

      ps next time u r @ pappadeaux order a three wheel motion from the bar. It’s better than a swamp.thing. 😉

      Live from Houston Texas,


  14. Jerry Patton

    We order this all the time at Pappadeaux’s and this is definitely not the recipe for the Crawfish Bisque they are serving now. This isn’t pureed and theirs has nothing green like green pepper in it.

4.87 from 15 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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