Louisiana Boudin Sausage

4.96 from 23 votes
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A wall filled with Cajun boudin
Photo by Hank Shaw

It may be possible to have a bad meal in Louisiana, but it hasn’t happened to me yet. Everything from shrimp out of the back of a van to the off-the-track little diners and restaurants to the palaces of New Orleans to mom-and-pop boucheries in Cajun Country, Louisiana is an eater’s paradise. Cajun boudin is not the least among the state’s culinary glories.

Louisiana boudin (boo-dan) is unlike French boudin, which is a more general term for sausages there. Cajun boudin is more like a meat stuffing packed into a hog casing and poached, grilled or smoked.

Some people eat it by squeezing out the good stuff from the casing — sometimes onto a cracker (Saltines appear to be the general cracker of choice), squirting some mustard on it and sitting on the back of your tailgate munching away and pondering the mysteries of life and sausages. Many others skip the crackers and just eat boudin like a meaty pop-up popsicle.

Boudin is a meal in a bite: Meat, fat, carbs from the rice, lots of vegetables and plenty of spice. Like dirty rice in a casing. It’s Cajun fast food.

If you are a hunter or an angler, boudin is a dish you need to know about, because Louisiana boudin can (and is) made from pretty much anything. Pork yes, but also duck (as I did in this version), venison, rabbit, alligator, chicken, crawfish, shrimp, crabs, nutria, quail, turkey… you get the point.

And since you grind everything, it’s a fantastic way to use the wobbly bits like livers, gizzards and hearts. You won’t really notice they’re in the boudin, and you get the satisfaction of a) not wasting parts of the animals you’ve hunted, and b) telling your offal-hating friends what they just ate — after they’ve eaten seconds. Or thirds.

How do you make this wondrous sausage?

I honestly had no idea until I got a chance to tour Cajun Country as the guest of the folks from Tabasco a few years ago. Among other things, they introduced me to Legnon’s Boucherie in New Iberia. Ted Legnon is famous both for his cracklins’ and his boudin, but I honestly can only eat a few crackin’s at any one time. I can eat inordinate amounts of boudin, so I focused my attention to that.

Ar Legnons in Louisiana, making boudin
Photo by Hank Shaw

Boudin is a cooked sausage, in that everything is cooked before it’s ground up and stuffed into a casing. They’re sold in long links that are often tied into a ring and either poached and served or smoked to be eaten on the go. It’s a sloppy mixture that is only loosely stuffed into the casings — very unlike the tight stuffing you do with German sausages to get that characteristic knacken or snap.

Ratios of meat to rice vary; Legnon’s goes for a 1:1 ratio. My recipe is a little more meat-heavy.

The sausage can be mild or very spicy, with lots of vegetables (usually the “trinity” of onions, celery and green peppers) or few, red with paprika or just a humble gray. The point is that everyone makes boudin differently, and I’d be insane to claim that my recipe is definitive.

But I did learn from Legnon’s and I’ve eaten an awful lot of boudin, so I can tell you that my boudin is at least in the ballpark, even if it’s different from how your grandma or your local boucherie makes it.

If your boudin is different, how so? I’d be interested in hearing your variations.

New to making sausage? You can find my detailed tutorial on how to make sausages at home here.

Cajun boudin recipe
4.96 from 23 votes

Louisiana Boudin Sausage

Boudin can be made with basically any meat or seafood. Crawfish are as good as pork in my opinion. So use what you have in your freezer or fridge and have fun with it. If you don't want to make cased boudin, roll it into balls, bread it and fry it for the ultimate Cajun party treat. My recipe below is an amalgam of what I saw at Legnon's, from Chef Donald Link's book Real Cajun and from former Tabasco cook Eula Mae Dore's book Eula Mae's Cajun Kitchen.
Course: Cured Meat, Snack
Cuisine: Cajun
Servings: 12
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 pounds duck, venison, beef, pork, whatever
  • 1/2 pounds liver
  • 1/2 pound pork fat
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 poblano or green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Instacure No. 1 (optional)
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, or see below
  • 2 cups cooked white rice (long-grain is best)
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
  • Hog casings


  • Chop the meats, liver and fat into chunks that will fit in the grinder. Mix the meats, liver and fat with the onion, celery, poblano peppers and garlic, then the salt, curing salt (if using) and either the Cajun seasonings or the spice mix you made from this recipe. Put it all in a lidded container and set in the fridge at least an hour, and up to a day.
  • Put the contents of the container into a large pot and pour in enough water to cover everything by an inch or two. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until everything is tender, at least 90 minutes and up to 3 hours. Strain the cooking liquid (you'll need it later) and spread the meat, fat and veggies out on a sheet pan to cool.
  • When everything is cool enough to handle, grind it through the coarse die (6.5 mm) on your grinder. You can also hand chop everything.
  • Put your meat mix into a large bowl and add the cooked rice, parsley and green onions. Mix well, and add up to 4 cups of the reserved cooking liquid. Mix this for 3 to 5 minutes so you make a more cohesive mixture to stuff into a casing. You now have boudin.
  • You can just shape the mixture into balls and fry them (they're awesome), or use your boudin as stuffing for something else, like a turkey. Or you can case it. Stuff the boudin into hog casings, and while you're doing it, get a large pot of salted water hot -- not simmering, just steaming. You want the water to be about 165ºF to 170ºF. Poach the links for 10 minutes, then serve. If you are not serving them right away, no need to poach the links yet.
  • Boudin does not keep well, so eat it all within a couple days. It does freeze reasonably well, however.


Note that while I poach my boudin, the links are also excellent grilled or smoked. If you smoke them, you absolutely need to use the curing salt, Instacure No. 1, which you can buy online or in some butcher shops.


Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 2386mg | Potassium: 388mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3924IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!


Make this if you can’t find store-bought Cajun seasoning. It’s a little different from my normal spice mix, but it’s reflective of what you often find in boudin. If you want a redder sausage, increase the paprika. If you want it less spicy, reduce the cayenne.

  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Out of curiosity if one were to make a double batch should the curing salt be scaled accordingly? I ask this because everyone or manufacturer seems to have a different answer or ratio for using #1 salt. Each answer isn’t exactly clear cut it appears it depends on if it’s a brine, sausage or something else. I’m new to this and it’s delicious stuff. I’ve made several single batches but for the sake of using all the casings I want to do a bigger batch possibly quadrupling this recipe. Allows me to use all my random cuts of game left over.

  2. Me and My Wife just had my Father In law FedEx our Meat Grinder from Southeast Texas to North Carolina to show my Co-Workers a LiL Coon-Ass Cuisine!!!

  3. how long do you smoke it? Would you still poach or just smoke it and the same for if you are going to grill do you skip the poaching?

      1. Made boudin this year for the first time. My wife’s ranking goes: boudin balls, smoked links, poached. Said the poached had a homogeneous texture. Any thoughts on this ‘too smooth’ texture question?

  4. I’ve had equal success cooking the rice and add the uncooked meats when I stuff them. I do poach sausage afterward and that method it freezes nicely. But as you say there are a million different ways…. and all are tasty. Hank , my wife bought Metoyer buck buck moose book and enjoyed it a bunch. I a northern Illinois guy , but know my way around the bayou.

  5. In addition to Hank’s comments, I think the instacure adds a nice little note to the flavor that many will appreciate. Go with it unless you’re allergic to something in it. Also if you use a cup or so of a dry white wine in your liquids, you’ll find a way to tweak some flavors. Sausage is a living experiment in gustatory delight.

    1. Harold: The cure isn’t 100% needed for smoking, but I think it makes a better product, and is safer if your smoker isn’t hot.

  6. If you’re smoking it, how long and what temp? Since it’s already cooked, I’m guessing 1 hour cold smoke then inch up the temp for next 2 hours until 140/150 IT. Does that make sense?

    Also, what you suggest between hickory and apple? I don’t have any pecan or oak.

  7. Dear Hank, I made your recipe and it was fantastic. I doubled it since I had twice as much liver as your recipe called for. My husband, Deerslayer, loved it and informed me that I should make more. That was the ultimate compliment! I do have a question, though, What do you think about using par-boiled rice? Also, I used collagen casings because I was too lazy to look for hog casings. It took some wrangling. Any advice on how to tie up the links with collagen casings (since I have a bunch left)?

    1. Deerslayer’s Wife: Thanks for the kind words! I’ve never used either parboiled rice or collage casings, so I dunno. Maybe tie off the casings with twine?

  8. Mr Hank…

    Just can’t feed the wife liver in any fashion. People say woodcock is livery…you think that would be a good substitute?

  9. I just made this recipe today with step by step with the exception of a Black pepper I personally smoked with hickory. FANTASTIC!!!! WOULD RECOMMEND HIGHLY. It ended up making 8 “large” links. I used the Cajun seasoning provided with exception to the black pepper. Awesome!

  10. Work ed on oil rigs in the gulf,loved Cajun cookin.will try this one out for my birthday party,cajun style.I hunt pigs here in Florida and deer in Ohio,so that will be my meat.can’t waite

  11. Thanks for the Recipes…My favorite is Bougouis Meat Market in Thibideaux. We’ve got some Coho going into the smoker today!

  12. Hello M. Shaw.

    You wrote: 2 cups cooked white rice (long-grain is best)

    Should I understand that you only use approx 3/4 cup dried rice? Cook it and them add the 2 cups of cooked rice to your mix?

    If so your recipe is very far from a ratio of 1:1 for rice/meat… This is why I ask this question… Alos I have your books and your Cajun Boudin Balls recipe includes 5 cups cooked rice.

    Which recipe do a prefer for casing?


  13. Hank,

    You beautiful person!!! I have been looking for a good recipe for ages!! Thank you very much for sharing your recipe and tool recommendations. I will be trying your recipe next weekend for sure!

  14. Thanks for this recipe, Hank! Because I smoke 6 to 8 pounds of boudain (the way we spell it in Texas ;p ) every weekend for our family bbqs this is a recipe that was put to some good use. With my wife being from the Rio Grande Valley, and me a first generation Houstonian with cajun roots, we have a sort-of hybrid culture of dishes at these things: brisket(of course) that may or may not end up in a taco, carnitas, smoked ribs, and carne asada or fajitas, and the smoked boudain. But one thing that has become a huge representation of the cross-pollinization of cuisines is when my wife eats her borracho beans over an opened link of boudain. This has become popular with our guests and was made even better this past weekend with this recipe! But even as stand-alone links, which is my favorite, they were great!

    About the crackers, it must be a southwestern LA thing, because every time I’ve ordered it in Lake Charles, Vinton, even Breaux Bridge, where my grandparents lived, boudain links are traditionally served with a couple of packets of saltines. But who am I talk about tradition, I eat it with sriracha sometimes!

    1. This is a great recipe. If your wife likes borracho beans with the boudin, try making a pot of beans in the brine from this meat mix. Best beans I have ever had! As with any beans, throw in some bacon or ham or whatever. Just don’t throw out this brine!!!!

  15. Hank, I’m curious as to why you don’t use the stuffer attachment on the KitchenAid. Does it not work well with boudin? I just received some great looking pork liver and I’m itchin to give this a try.

    1. L.S. Because the stuffer attachment for the Kitchenaid is terrible. I highly suggest you make boudin balls instead if you don’t have a proper sausage stuffer.