Sweet, tender, and succulent lobster hugged in a crispy yet delicate crust bursting with bold and savory flavors will transport you straight to Bourbon Street. Skip the beads and throw this Cajun Lobster with Andouille Crust on the grill. Let the good times roll!
One of the most incredible dishes I have ever had was Chef Emeril Lagasse’s andouille crusted redfish at his namesake Emeril’s. The mild, tender, and sweet fish was so perfectly accented with the slightly spicy, crispy crown. This lobster recipe takes split lobster tails and combines them with an herbaceous stuffing that will instantly have your taste buds dancing a second line.
Why You’ll Adore This Recipe
When anything starts with lobster, you already know you’re in for a treat. Cajun Lobster with Andouille Crust only requires a few simple steps for maximum wow factor.
- Easy Process – The only real prep involved in creating this andouille crusted lobster is splitting the lobster tails, and then sauteing the sausage and vegetables for the topping.
- Balance of Flavors – While andouille is a sassy and vibrant flavor, you’re only using one link. The ambrosial lobster is still completely the star.
- Texture – Because the lobster is baked, the meat remains tender and juicy with the andouille crust giving it an accent of crunch.
- Versatility – This lobster tail recipe can just as easily be made in the oven as it can on the grill. In addition the same crust can be used on other types of seafood such as clams, oysters, and fish such as grouper or cod.
Ingredients for Andouille Crusted Lobster
With lobster the complete star of the dish, the rest of the ingredients are just accents. While lobster is a luxury ingredient, splitting lobster tails allows you to more easily share them…although once you take a bite it might be hard to resist keeping it all for yourself! But remember, sharing is caring.
- Lobster Tails – For easy stuffing and the best surface area, you will want lobster tails that are between 7-10 ounces. These cold-water Maine lobster tails were from LobsterAnywhere. They’re sustainably sourced and harvested from hardshell lobsters.
- Fresh Andouille Sausage – A little smoky, a little spicy, and deeply aromatic, this pork sausage adds both flavor and fat to the panko stuffing.
- Celery – Use the celery heart with leaves for the most flavor. Grassy, refreshing, and earthy, this adds freshness that balances the richness of the sausage.
- Scallions – Gives a delicate onion flavor without overpowering.
- Thyme – Citrusy, aromatic, and herbaceous, this wakes up the breadcrumbs while echoing the dried thyme in the Cajun seasoning.
- Lemon – Lemon zest adds a bright pop to the savory panko topping.
- White Wine – Used in both the andouille crust and also to help create steam for the lobster. Pick a dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked chardonnay, or Pinot Gris. This brings pop of acidic brightness without overpowering anything.
- Worcestershire Sauce – Gives a hit of umami. This is a common ingredient found in Cajun and Creole cooking, such as in New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp.
- Unsalted Butter – This is both the glue for the andouille crust, and also helps the panko to brown. Use a high-quality unsalted butter.
- Cajun Seasoning – A little spicy, a little salty, with an herbaceous pop of thyme, this brings all of the flavors together. Use your favorite variety.
- Panko Breadcrumbs – Light, airy, and flaky, these get crispy as they bake without becoming heavy. Use plain panko for this recipe, not the Italian variety.
- Garlic – Go ahead and have that Hulk moment. Give your garlic clove a smash and toss it into the butter when melting. This will infuse it with mellow flavor without overpowering.
How to Make Cajun Lobster with Andouille Crust
One of the things I love about lobster, and seafood in general is how time friendly it is to prepare. The delicate and lean lobster meat cooks quickly making this a dish that feels like a special occasion, yet it perfect for any night of the week. Making this Cajun grilled lobster come together even faster, you can do your mise en place ahead of time, having your lobster tails split and andouille stuffing made. All you have to do is assemble and bake.
- Split – Split your lobster tails in half. Start by trimming off the legs of your lobster with kitchen shears. Then using the same kitchen shears cut down the underside of the shell toward the tail. Flip the tail over and use your kitchen shears to cut down the top of the shell. With a sharp kitchen knife cut through the flesh, splitting your tail into two. Remove the vein from the meat and give the lobster halves a quick wash. Repeat with the second tail.
- Brown – Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add your sausage and cook, using your spoon to break it up into small pieces.
- Sauté – Once the sausage is browned add the celery and continue to sauté. Add the green onions, wine, and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Continue breaking down the sausage into fine pieces. Once most of the liquid has evaporated add the panko breadcrumbs. Toss them to combine, letting them absorb the remaining moisture. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and thyme.
- Arrange – Arrange your split lobster tails in a grill safe pan or oven safe baking dish. Pour the remaining wine into the dish and add fresh thyme and lemon slices if desired.
- Baste – Melt your butter with the Cajun seasoning, stirring until dissolved. Remove from the heat and use a pastry brush to brush the flesh of the lobster with the butter mixture.
- Top – Carefully spoon the panko-andouille mixture over the top of the lobster. Don’t worry if it spills over. Drizzle the remaining butter over the top of the lobster tails.
- Bake – If you are grilling the Cajun lobster tails, place your cast iron lobster on indirect heat in a 375-400 degree grill. It will take about 15-18 minutes. If you are baking this in the oven let your Cajun butter lobster cook for 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees. Your crust will be golden brown, the shells will be a vibrant red, the meat white and opaque, and most importantly the meat should have an internal temperature of 140 degrees.
- Drizzle – Drizzle any of the remaining pan drippings over your lobster when serving.
Fresh andouille sausage is best for this Cajun lobster recipe because of the fat content. However, you can use smoked, cooked andouille for this recipe as well. Use a food processor to pulse the sausage into a fine crumb. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to your pan when sauteing. You may need to add a little additional oil when you add your celery.
In addition to swapping out the fresh sausage, you can also swap the Cajun seasoning in this recipe for Creole seasoning. Many brands use very similar ingredients and have a similar flavor profile. Use what you like.
This Cajun seafood recipe can just as easily be made on the grill as it can be in the oven. Aside from needing kitchen shears and a sharp knife to split your lobster tails, you will need grill safe cookware as well. Cast iron is perfect for this. It can take the high heat of cooking over direct fire while also evenly conducting heat.
Aside from grill safe cookware, the most important tool you will need is an instant read thermometer. There is no buzz kill quite like realizing you turned your luxurious lobster into rubber from over cooking. For the best texture, always cook your lobster to 140 degrees. Lobster is like any other protein and has carry over cooking, especially resting in that hot shell.
Tips for Defrosting Lobster Tails
Unless you are lucky enough to live in New England, chances are you will be picking up frozen lobster tails for this recipe. Yes, you can buy lobster at the grocery store but most of the lobster you buy was previously frozen and defrosted. You don’t know how long it’s been sitting in that case which does affect the texture.
This is why I love sourcing my lobster from LobsterAnywhere. Not only because of the quality of the lobster itself but also because of the way it is flash frozen. This locks in the sweet and succulent flavor and tender texture without drying out or shrinking the meat, common with batch frozen lobster tails.
Always allow your lobster tails to defrost overnight up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. I like to defrost them on a wire rack fitted into a baking sheet just to help remove the excess moisture. This allows the meat to gently defrost without watering it down like other methods. Always cook your lobster meat within 24 hours of defrosting.
Tips From the Beach
This is completely an optional step, but once you have split your lobster tails gently ease the meat away from the shell, leaving it connected at the tailfin. This will make it easy to remove the flesh from the shell when you’re serving it without the delicate crust of the panko crusted lobster coming off.
It’s also an optional step, but adding slices of lemon to the bottom of your baking dish will not only infuse extra flavor into the buttery pan sauce, but also prevent the shells of the lobster from burning. This is especially helpful if you are cooking over charcoal.Print
Cajun Lobster with Andouille Crust
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 2-4 1x
Split lobster tails are basted in a Cajun butter and topped with a savory andouille panko topping before being baked.
- 2 7-10 ounces lobster tails, split
- 1 fresh andouille sausage removed from casing, about 1/2 cup
- 1 celery heart stalk with leaves, finely diced
- 2 scallions, finely chopped, plus extra for serving
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped, plus extra for pan
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional lemon slices for baking
- Use kitchen shears to remove the legs from the lobster tails. Starting with the bottom of the lobster, cut down the middle of the shell to the tailfin. Flip the lobster over and cut down the middle of top of the shell. Use a sharp kitchen knife to slice through the meat.
- Remove the vein in the lobster. Wash the split tails and pat them dry. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven or grill to 375 degrees.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and use your spoon to break it up as it browns.
- Once the sausage has browned and rendered its fat add the celery and leaves. Continue to stir, breaking up the sausage further. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the scallions and cook for 1 minute. Add 2 tbsp of the white wine and Worcestershire sauce. Let cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the panko and toss to combine, letting it absorb the remaining liquid. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the lemon zest and thyme. Allow to cool.
- Add the butter, Cajun seasoning, and garlic clove to a sauce pan and place it over medium-low heat. Continue to stir until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat.
- Arrange the split lobster tails in a cast iron pan or oven safe baking dish. You can add lemon slices to the bottom if desired.
- Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of wine into the pan.
- Brush the melted butter onto the flesh of the lobster tails.
- Use a spoon to add the andouille-panko topping. Don’t worry if a little spills over. Add a few thyme sprigs if desired.
- Drizzle the remaining butter mixture over the lobster, holding the garlic back.
- If cooking on the grill, place the skillet on indirect heat. Allow it to cook for 15-18 minutes until the internal temperature of the lobster is 140 degrees. If baking in the oven cook the lobster for 12-15 minutes until the internal temperature is 140 degrees.
- To serve, drizzle some of the pan drippings over the lobster and garnish with green onions.
- You can use smoked, cooked andouille for this recipe. Use a food processor to pulse it into a fine crumble. Add a tablespoon of neutral oil to your pan when cooking. You may need a little additional oil when you add the celery.
- You can assemble the lobster tails with the andouille crust earlier in the day and keep refrigerated until ready to cook.
- Adding lemon slices to the bottom of your baking dish will not only infuse a little extra flavor into the pan sauce but also prevent the lobster shells from burning.
- If desired, you can remove the lobster meat from the shell, leaving it attached at the tailfin before arranging it in your pan. This will make it easy to remove the meat from the shell without the delicate crust coming off once cooked.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 15
- Category: Seafood
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: Cajun
Keywords: andouille crusted lobster, split lobster tails, Cajun lobster recipe, Cajun lobster tails, Cajun lobster with andouille crust