A local favorite you can DIY.

Yats Cajun Creole Restaurant and Chili Cheese Etouffee Recipe

Before we had kids, my husband and I enjoyed many meals at Yats, a super casual restaurant that services up cajun creole meals over rice. Not only do we really like Joe, the owner of Yats but we like that there are many locations around town that we can visit wherever we happen to be. And the food! Need we say more about the food?

Recipe for Yats Chili Cheese Etouffee with Chicken

If you have not been to Yats before or have only been once, you might be surprised to know that the menu is ever changing. If you fall in love with a dish, it might not be there the next time you wander in, but that’s okay, something super delicious will be there for you. This has pushed us to try many a new dish during our visit. The staff at Yats is pretty patient — they’ll let you sample everything if you want and they’ll tell you what is in each one.

Our favorite menu items are the Drunken Chicken (not recommended for most children-spicy), Chili Cheese Etouffee with Chicken or Crawfish and of course, Red Beans and Sausage (this is Lulu’s absolute favorite!) Entrees are priced at about $7 each and come served over rice with a side of bread. Yum!

Ingredients for Yats Chili Cheese Etouffee

1 stick of butter
½ c. flour
1 cup of chopped green onions
1 cup of diced celery
1 cup of diced bell peppers (I used sweet peppers but green are recommended)
1 cup of diced onions (I used yellow onion)
2 teaspoon of minced garlic (I used the jar of minced cloves, but fresh would be best)
1 cup of Rotel Original diced tomatoes (or store brand chopped tomatoes and pepers)
½ teaspoon of dried thyme
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 teaspoon of dried basil
¼ teaspoon of  each: black pepper, white pepper & cayenne pepper
3 cup of chicken stock or bullion
3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz of half and half or heavy cream
1 teaspoon of chili powder
A pinch of each: ground coriander, ground cumin, ground cloves
A dash of Worcestershire sauce
A dash of hot sauce (Tabasco, or we use Sriracha)
1 lb of cooked crawfish, shrimp and/or chicken
Cooked white rice

How to Make Yats Chili Cheese Etouffee

Make a roux by heating the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat then blending in the flour. Consistently stir and scrape the bottom of the skillet. Cook until the roux is golden color, the more golden, the better.
Add the green onions, celery, bell peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes and cook until the onions have browned.
Add the thyme, tomato paste, basil and peppers (black, white, and cayenne)
Add the stock, bring to a boil and simmer until the mixture becomes thick. If you double the recipe, consider using a little less stock, or be prepared for this to take a long time.
Add the cheese, half and half, chili powder, coriander, cumin, cloves, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce and stir until the cheese and half and half are blended in well
Fold in the chicken (or shrimp or crawfish) and serve with white rice.
Serves 6-8

Making my own YATS Chili Cheese Étouffée was a lot of work and took a lot of time. I doubled the recipe and next time I’ll triple it to make it worth all of the work. I think grabbing the real thing at one of the nine Indianapolis area locations of YATS is probably well worth the money, especially since you can get a half and half order and try two different dishes.

YATS Locations

Yats on Mass Ave, 885 Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis, (317) 423-0518
Yats on College/Midtown, 5363 N College Avenue, Indianapolis, (317) 253-8817
Yats on 10th, 910 W 10th St, Indianapolis, (317) 602-8676
Yats at Traders Point, 5650 W 86th Street, Indianapolis, (317) 879-9287
Yats 86th & Ditch, 1420 W 86th Street, Indianapolis, (317) 991-5894
Yats in Carmel, 12545 Old Meridian Street, Carmel, (317) 581-1881
Yats in Fishers, 8352 East 96th St, Fishers, (317) 585-1792
Yats in Greenwood, 1280 U.S. 31, Greenwood, (317) 865-9971
Yats in Noblesville, 13901 Town Center Blvd, Noblesville, (317) 776-7050
Yats in Avon, 9259 E US Hwy 36, Avon, (317) 964-0565

9 thoughts on “Yats Cajun Creole Restaurant and Chili Cheese Etouffee Recipe”

  1. Great post! Will try recipe. Lots of work but worth it. Otherwise I’ll make five minute drive to Yats on College.

      1. I have always thought Yats was worth every penny, but during this pandemic I am cooking. This recipe is wonderful! Yes it had a lot of veggie chopping, but so does a decent salad. Cooking technique wise this is a very simple recipe. With stellar results. I make the etoufee up and freeze it in portions, adding meat when I thaw it for serving. Also great with smoked sausage.

  2. We had to move away from Indy so I’ve been DYING for this!! Thank you! Any advice on recreating their famous buttered bread??

  3. Pingback: Ways to Celebrate Mardi Gras in Indianapolis

  4. Sarah Pegg-Hofstetter

    This recipe is on point! I’ve been missing this since the start of social distancing so much! Thank you!!!

    1. I would guess that once I had the chicken cooked it was about 45 minutes. The slicing of the veggies takes time, but it’s so worth it, especially if you can’t get it in FW. FOR SURE, make a double batch and freeze it…if there’s any left.

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