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
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
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
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
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
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