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.
Stock your freezer with this classic Southern dish. Use empty cereal boxes to save space. Line an upright box with a zip-top bag (like lining a trash can). Fill, then seal the bag and freeze flat while still in the box. Once frozen, remove the bag from the box and stack.
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
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
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
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
We offer make-ahead and freezing instructions on this luscious Cajun Shrimp Casserole. Serve with spring mix lettuce drizzled with red wine vinaigrette.
- 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
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
If you've never been to New Orleans, you can still get a taste of its cuisine with our recipe for New Orleans Beignets, the official state doughnut of Louisiana.
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
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.
Recipe: Crab-Stuffed Catfish Fillets with Cajun Rémoulade
Cooking Video: Kicked-Up Cajun Rémoulade
You can easily make these mini muffulettas the day before the game. Just assemble, place in zip-top freezer bags, and refrigerate overnight. Store-bought craft paper and simple twine make clever, team-inspired sandwich wrappers.
Recipe: Mini Muffulettas
This easy appetizer melds the flavors of olives, egg, and salty salami.
Recipe: Muffuletta Deviled Eggs
Stirring the rice as it cooks releases the starch that helps hold the veggie patties together. Want to go beyond vegetarian? Top these burgers with grilled shrimp or sausage.
Master the art of make-ahead freezer meals by stocking up on these weeknight favorites. Here, we share recipes (along with a few helpful tips and tricks) that make the most of your greatest kitchen ally: the freezer.
Build deep flavors in Jambalaya by sautéing the aromatic trinity of onion, celery, and pepper in the andouille drippings with herbs, garlic, and spices. Make a double batch of cooked rice to spin this inexpensive staple into countless meals. Cool the rice, portion, and freeze in a zip-top freezer bag. To reheat: Transfer rice to a bowl, and sprinkle with water. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on High 2 minutes.
- Recipe: Jambalaya
Browned flour makes a low-fat gravy, while the slow cooker creates the creamiest grits without cheese or butter. And with a light gravy, you can indulge in andouille sausage.
Simmering andouille with the stock lends the base a tasy depth; adding the seafood at the last minute means it's perfectly cooked.
Recipe: Best Ever Seafood Gumbo
Just like any good Louisiana gumbo, this dip is thick and full of flavor.
Recipe: Warm Gumbo Dip