Creole Crawfish Nachos

New Orleans icon Big Freedia is a legitimate force: She's the face (and booty) of bounce music, author of the memoir Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva, and star of the TV show Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce. In Beyonce's epic song "Formation," Big Freedia came in rapping the immortal words: "I came to slay." The New Orleans icon is also a huge nacho lover. "It's one of my favorite things to make for a snack," she says, "and like everything in New Orleans — whether it's food or music — we put our own spin on things!" Big Freedia drapes her signature nachos in spicy cheese sauce and buttery, Creole-seasoned crawfish. "Crawfish is something my mom made all the time when I was a kid, so I can make crawfish in many forms. It's so New Orleans."

Creole Crawfish Nachos
Photo: © W&P Design
4 to 6


Creole Queso

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup)

  • 1 tablespoon Creole spice blend (such as Tony Chachere's)

Crawfish Nachos

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

  • 1 pound cooked crawfish tail meat (fresh, frozen, and thawed, or canned)

  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning blend (such as Tony Chachere's)

  • 8 to 10 ounces tortilla chips (1 medium bag)

  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley


Make the queso

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes. Turn the heat to high and whisk in the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil while whisking, then lower the heat and gently simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheese, and whisk the queso until it’s smooth. Whisk in the Creole seasoning and keep warm until ready to use.

Make the crawfish and nachos

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium. Add the scallion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the crawfish and cook, stirring, until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the Creole seasoning and cook 2 minutes longer.

  2. Arrange the chips on a platter and spoon crawfish and any juices on top. Drizzle 1/2 cup of the queso over chips (reserve the rest for another use), sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Reprinted from ¡Buenos Nachos! by Gina Hamadey. Copyright © 2016 by W&P Design. Published by Dovetail (

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