Is Crawfish Keto? How to Make It Keto-Friendly? 

is crawfish keto

Crawfish are in season. So many people are going to cook crawfish in various ways, from etouffee to simple crawfish boil. But if you were on a keto diet, you may be wondering whether eating crawfish would be suitable or not. So, is crawfish keto-friendly? 

Crawfish are perfectly compatible with a keto diet unless you are also a vegan or vegetarian. One of the criteria of a ketogenic diet is to take very little carbohydrates and the amount of carbohydrates in crawfish is next to nothing.  

You can prepare crawfish in several ways, most of them being keto-friendly. And that is what we are going to be discussing today. Plus, we will explore some of the benefits of eating crawfish as well as look at some other seafood options that are keto-compilable. 

Is Crawfish Keto?

Our body primarily utilizes two types of food as a source of energy – carbohydrates and fat. A keto diet or ketogenic diet emphasizes the latter. It is a high-fat and low-carb diet that is especially popular among diabetic people since they have a hard time utilizing carbs. 

Crawfish, similar to most seafood, have very little to no carbohydrates whatsoever. Instead, it is primarily composed of protein and a little bit of fat. Most of its weight is simply water. So, eating crawfish will not compromise your keto diet. You will be receiving next to no amount of carbs from eating an entire bowl of crawfish.  

Not only are crawfish keto-friendly, but they are also very delicious. They look like lobsters but taste even sweeter. Plus, they pack plenty of nutrients such as protein and vitamin B12. And you can prepare crawfish in multiple ways to keep your dining experience fresh. All of this makes crawfish one of the best shellfish to eat when you are on keto. 

How to Prepare Crawfish in a Keto-Friendly Way?

Now, crawfish themselves are totally carbohydrate-free, which makes them an ideal protein source in a keto diet. But the other ingredients that you cook with the crawfish may not be as keto-friendly.  

So, to prepare crawfish in a keto-friendly manner, you need to cook it with ingredients that are also low in carbs. That means you have to avoid ingredients such as potatoes, rice and similar grains, any sort of sugar, etc. All of these ingredients are loaded with some form of carbohydrates. 

Here are a few suggestions for keto-friendly crawfish dishes for you to try: 

Keto Crawfish Etouffee

So, a typical etouffee dish is not keto-compilable. But with a few tricks, you can still enjoy this wholesome meal without compromising your diet. Here is how you can make crawfish etouffee completely keto-friendly: 

  • Take a large skillet and melt butter in it over medium heat until the butter turns slightly brown. Browning the butter like this will increase the depth of flavor without needing any butter. 
  • Add your choice of vegetables into the butter such as diced carrots, zucchini, onion, pepper, garlic, etc. Cook them until the vegetables start to brown, which should take you 7 minutes. 
  • In the meantime, mix paprika, oregano, thyme, pepper, and salt in a bowl.
  • Add in the spice mixture and cook for another minute or so. 
  • Now, deglaze the pan with chicken or shrimp stock and let it simmer with the cover off for 8 minutes.  
  • At this point, add ½ cup of heavy cream and simmer the mixture for another 8 minutes. This will thicken the etouffee without the need for any roux. 
  • Once the sauce has thickened sufficiently, add the crawfish and cook for 3-5 minutes. Crawfish will not need much time to cook through. 
  • Take the pan off the heat. Sprinkle cheese over the etouffee if you want.  

Now, serve this etouffee over a bed of cauliflower rice, which is grated cauliflower cooked with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper. In the end, you will have a completely keto-friendly crawfish etouffee that keeps the carbs low and pleasure levels high. 

Keto-friendly Crawfish Spinach Dip

Here is another method for preparing crawfish that is both keto-friendly and packed with nutrients. All you will need for this recipe are – 1 cup of Louisiana crawfish, 10-ounce of frozen or fresh spinach (chopped), 1 cup of fresh salsa, 4-ounce of cream cheese, 1 cup of heavy cream, and 1 cup of shredded Parmigiano Reggiano (or similar cheese). 

  • Cook the spinach and drain them with a colander properly. 
  • Take a non-stick pot and place it over medium heat on the stove. Combine the crawfish, cooked spinach, and other ingredients. Cook them until the cheese is all melted and crawfish are cooked all the way through stirring occasionally so that the bottom does not burn. 

Keto-friendly Crawfish Boil

One of the easiest ways of enjoying crawfish is simply boiling them in hot water with various seasonings and vegetables. And here is how you can make crawfish boil that is completely keto-friendly and healthy: 

  • Take a large bowl and fill its ⅓ with water. Add in garlic, bay leaves, crab boil seasoning, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, oranges (halved), salt, pepper, and any other vegetables of your choice. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Put inside a few sausages. Cook this for about 20 minutes. 
  •  Add in the crawfish and return the mixture to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer again and cook for about 5 minutes or until the shells turn a bright red. Take one crawfish out and see if it is cooked all the way through.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and drain all the liquid with a colander. 
  • Serve the crawfish hot and with a bit of garnish of your choice.
Jump to Recipe

And there you have it, delicious and healthy crawfish that is perfectly keto-friendly.

Is Crawfish Etouffee Keto?

Etouffee is a dish originating in Cajun cuisine that typically involves some sort of cooked shellfish served over rice. Traditionally, you need to cook the shellfish in a roux, which is basically a mixture of flour and fat (mostly butter). Then you serve the shellfish – be it lobster, shrimp, crawfish, etc. – on a bed of rice. 

Now, all of this depicts a delicious and wholesome meal that many people enjoy. But the same cannot be said of people who are following a keto diet. First, making a roux for the etouffee involves flour. Second, people traditionally serve it with rice, which is mostly composed of carbohydrates. 

So, typical crawfish etouffee is not compatible with a keto diet. If you are on a keto diet and still want to enjoy this dish, then you need to make some modifications.  

Is Crawfish Boil Keto?

Simply put, a crawfish boil is just crawfish cooked in boiling water along with various seasonings and spices. This in itself is totally fine with a ketogenic diet.  

Now, a typical crawfish boil also involves things such as baby corn, potatoes, etc., which are high in carbohydrates. But you can very easily make crawfish boil without incorporating such ingredients or replacing them with various vegetables. Mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, asparagus, etc. are all great choices to pair with crawfish.  

is crawfish keto

What Are Some Benefits of Eating Crawfish?

Crawfish are not just delicious and easy-to-make seafood, they are also rich in valuable nutrients. [1] First, let’s look at the nutritional composition of crawfish per 100 grams of serving: 

Nutrients Value 
Calories 74 
Total Fat 1 g 
Saturated fat 0.2 g 
Unsaturated fat 0.8 g 
Total Carbohydrate 
Protein 16 g 
Iron 1% 
Vitamin B12 33% 
Vitamin B6 5% 
Copper 21% 
Phosphorus 26% 
sodium 58 mg 
Potassium 302 mg 
Cholesterol 114 mg 

Looking at the table, a couple of values stand out immediately. Crawfish are a terrific source of protein and vitamin B12. They also contain a significant amount of copper and phosphorus, two minerals that are hard to get through common food. Crawfish are also a good source of sodium, potassium, iron, and niacin.  

In addition to having practically zero carbs, crawfish are also low in calories. This is ideal for people looking to cut down on their weight. Regularly eating crawfish will get you a healthy dose of protein without loading too many calories. [2]

In terms of negatives, crawfish do pack a noticeable amount of cholesterol. This is undesirable for people with heart problems. Plus, the salt content in most crawfish boils can be excessive. In addition, crawfish may contain bacteria that causes nausea. So, keep these things in mind when you want to try crawfish or when buying one. 

So, to summarize, here are the benefits of eating crawfish: 

  • Great source of protein 
  • Low in carbs and calories 
  • Good source of vitamin B12 and niacin. 
  • Very rich source of minerals such as iron, copper, and phosphorus. 

Is All Seafood Keto Friendly?

Not all seafood is keto-friendly, but most of it is. When we talk about seafood, we mostly refer to any sort of fish and shellfish (crustaceans, mollusks, echinoderms) that humans consume as food. Most if not all of these animals are rich in protein, and unsaturated fat, and very low in carbohydrates and saturated fat.

What Seafood Has the Lowest Carbs?

Seafood such as salmon, trout, crawfish, lobsters, sardines, tuna, etc. is some of the best choices for people on a keto diet. Not do they taste great, but they also offer valuable nutrients with zero amounts of carbohydrates.  

Keto-Friendly Crawfish Boil

Traditional crawfish boil is not keto-friendly, but this recipe shows you that it can easily be turned in to a keto-meal.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crawfish boil, keto
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 537kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/3 pot Water
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp Crab Boil Seasoning
  • 10 pieces Asparaguses Cut in half.
  • 1 cup Mushrooms Cut in half.
  • 3 pieces Tomatoes Cut in half.
  • 2 pieces Zucchini Sliced in a few pieces.
  • 2 pieces Oranges Cut in half.
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 4 Sausages
  • 12 lbs Crawfish
  • More water if needed.

Instructions

  • Take a large bowl and fill its ⅓ with water.
  • Add in garlic, bay leaves, crab boil seasoning, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, oranges (halved), salt, pepper, and any other vegetables of your choice.
  • Add in sausages. You can slice them in halves if wanted.
  • Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook this for about 20 minutes.
  • Add in the crawfish and return the mixture to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer again and cook for about 5 minutes or until the shells turn a bright red. Take one crawfish out and see if it is cooked all the way through.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and drain all the liquid with a colander.
  • Serve the crawfish hot and with a bit of garnish of your choice.

Notes

Serve warm. If there will be leftovers, put them in a fridge and eat within two days.

To conclude, crawfish is an ideal choice of seafood for people following a keto diet. They are tasty, easy to prepare, and very nutritious to boot. And with the right ingredients, you can keep them low in carbs and high in taste.

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