31 New Orleans Classics for Mardi Gras
You don’t have to visit the Big Easy to enjoy its legendary Cajun and Creole flavors. Plan your Mardi Gras party with these classic recipes for appetizers, drinks, main dishes, and desserts.
A symbol of Creole cooking, gumbo is a staple in homes and restaurants across Louisiana. Andouille sausage and filé powder make this recipe a classic and, as in any good gumbo, a deep, rich roux thickens the stew.
- Recipe: Chicken-Andouille Gumbo
Crab-and-Shrimp Étouffée is Cajun comfort food at its best. The thick, spicy mixture of crawfish, shrimp, or crab (or a combination of these) with onions and peppers is cooked in a light gravy and then served with rice.
- Recipe: Crab-and-Shrimp Étouffée
Serve flavorful Okra Creole as a side or over rice for an easy entrée. This recipe uses frozen okra as a budget and time saver.
- Recipe: Okra Creole
Originating in New Orleans, the Muffuletta is a staple for Mardi Gras celebrations. It is made with an Olive Spread of herbs and vegetables that is slathered on ham, salami, and provolone cheese.
- Recipe: Muffulettas
Cajun seasoning and fish fry mix make an easy, flavorful breading for fried shrimp. Dip in tartar or cocktail sauce. Mix a package of shredded coleslaw with a simple dressing an easy side.
- Recipe: Bayou Fried Shrimp
Chop the ingredients ahead, and make the rice the day before to have Creole Fried Rice on the table in nothing flat. It’s also a great use for leftover rice―just be sure you have 3 cups on hand.
- Recipe: Creole Fried Rice
Full of spicy Louisiana flair, this dish is perfect for a Mardi Gras celebration.
You'll never make Red Beans and Rice from a box again after you try this easy slow-cooker recipe.
- Recipe: New Orleans Red Beans And Rice
Smoked sausage, ham, and red pepper add bold flavor in this classic recipe for Creole Jambalaya.
- Recipe: Creole Jambalaya
This spicy sauce will go perfectly with po'boys, fried shrimp and oysters, and crab cakes. Go easy on the red pepper if you want a less-spicy version.
Recipe: Spicy Rémoulade Sauce
With only 8 ingredients Cajun Corn Maque Choux makes a quick and zesty accompaniment to your Mardi Gras menu.
- Recipe: Cajun Corn Maque Choux
Serve not-too-spicy Cajun-Baked Catfish with your favorite hush puppies and coleslaw.
- Recipe: Cajun-Baked Catfish
A New Orleans classic gets a Lowcountry makeover in Creole Shrimp and Grits.
- Recipe: Creole Shrimp and Grits
Frozen cooked crawfish tails may be substituted for fresh crawfish in this Cajun dish, similar to gumbo.
- Recipe: Crawfish Étouffée
Assembled in just 15 minutes and made with purchased Italian olive salad, Easy Mini Muffulettas is a breeze to prepare.
- Recipe: Easy Mini Muffulettas
We tested John's Creole Red Beans with a spicy pork sausage. Substitute your favorite turkey or chicken sausage to lighten this hearty recipe and still get that full-bodied flavor.
- Recipe: John's Creole Red Beans
- Recipe: Cajun Shrimp Casserole
There are so many variations of this one-pot soup. Start with a classic roux of oil or flour and butter. Then add the "trinity"–green bell pepper, celery, and onion–before stirring in the meat and other vegetables and spices. Serve with rice, or over potato salad for authentic southern Louisiana presentation.
- Recipe: Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo
No Southern seafood meal is complete without hush puppies. We combine shrimp and okra in our hush puppies for a delightful contrast of taste and texture.
- Recipe: Shrimp-and-Okra Hush Puppies
A smaller version of the classic, our Dressed Mini Oyster Po'boys are served with a slaw and Creole dressing.
- Recipe: Dressed Mini Oyster Po'boys
Serve these classic crab cakes atop a mixed baby greens salad with a lemon rémoulade sauce.
- Recipe: Crab Cakes With Lemon Rémoulade
Sautéed bell peppers, mushrooms, and green onion mix with Cajun-seasoned chicken and a simple white sauce for a skillet meal that is sure to please at your dinner table.
- Recipe: Cajun Chicken Pasta
Spicy, buttery, and decidedly hands-on, this dish is a New Orleans classic. Crusty French bread―and plenty of napkins―are traditional accompaniments to New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp.
- Recipe: New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp
Similar to coffee cake, this ring-shaped confection is as rich in tradition and history as it is in color and taste.
- Recipe: Traditional King Cake
- Recipe: New Orleans Beignets
Bananas Foster was invented in a New Orleans restaurant and is still a favorite dessert today. This quick dish combines sweet, warm bananas and ice cream.
- Recipe: John's Bananas Foster
Said to be The Big Easy's first cocktail, it was originally served at the Sazerac Coffee House.
- Recipe: Sazerac
Chef Rusty Hamlin feeds the Zac Brown Band members and their fans at big, casual "Eat and Greet" suppers when the band is touring. Here's one of Rusty's favorite dishes, which he serves with Cajun Rémoulade and grits.
Cooking Video: Kicked-Up Cajun Rémoulade