38 Classic Mardi Gras Recipes to Let The Good Times Roll

Shrimp Étouffée
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

You don't have to visit the Big Easy to enjoy its legendary Cajun and Creole flavors. With these Mardi Gras recipes for appetizers, main dishes, and desserts, every day can be a party. Try classic Mardi Gras recipes like shrimp étouffée, jambalaya, or red beans and rice, or fix something unexpected for a group of party guests like warm gumbo dip or cornbread hush puppies.

No collection of Mardi Gras recipes would be complete without sweets. Don't forget to bake up our favorite King Cake recipe, but there's no need to stop there. If you're looking to get creative with desserts this year, try our Praline-Cream Cheese King Cake or King Cake Beignets; both are guaranteed to impress. Then of course, there's the crème de la crème of the dessert spread, our Praline Cream-Beignet Tower. Take a look through our best Fat Tuesday recipes and start planning your menu—there'll be something for everyone at this Mardi Gras feast.

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Mardi Gras King Cake

King Cake
Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Ana Kelly; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Mardi Gras King Cake

Try this classic King Cake recipe at home for a taste of Nola in your own kitchen.

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Chicken-Andouille Gumbo

Chicken Soups Chicken-Andouille Gumbo with Roasted Red Potatoes
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Chicken-Andouille Gumbo

Andouille is a classic southeastern Louisiana ingredient – the best of this spicy pork sausage can can be found in the produce stands that line highways down in the lower portions of the state. This classic Cajun gumbo makes enough to please the crowd of out-of-towners that ascend down to the Louisiana boot during the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras. Make it ahead of time, and stock your freezer with the rich Cajun gumbo.

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Mini Muffuletta Sandwiches

Mini Muffuletta Sandwiches
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Mini Muffulettas Sandwiches

Invented at a New Orleans institution, Central Grocery, the Muffuletta sandwich combines the best of Italian and Creole food into one filling and very unique sandwich.

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Instant Pot Jambalaya

Instant Pot Jambalaya
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall Prop Stylist: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Instant Pot Jambalaya

This quick Jambalaya may taste like it's straight from the Big Easy, but it comes together faster than you can finish a hurricane cocktail.

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Crawfish Étouffée

Crawfish Étouffée
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Crawfish Étouffée

Étouffée (pronounced ay-too-fay) is French for "smothered," and this dish is just that – crawfish smothered in a creamy, rich sauce that you can only get in Southeastern Louisiana.

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Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Kay E. Clarke; Food Stylist: Margaret Monroe Dickey

Recipe: Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Don't have hours to wait? Use an Instant Pot to make this classic Creole dish in a flash without sacrificing flavor.

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Crawfish Dip

Crawfish Dip
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Crawfish Dip

If you have some leftover crawfish tails but aren't in the mood for an entrée, this is a unique (and easy!) way to use them. Filled with flavor from a variety of spices, guests will be wowed by the flavor of this simple dish that lets the slow cooker do most of the work. After making this dip, serve it in a slow cooker to keep it warm (and to avoid doing any extra dishes). Set this appetizer out with crackers or toasted baguette slices and watch it disappear at your next party.

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New Orleans Beignets

New Orleans Beignets
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: New Orleans Beignets

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.

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Shrimp-and-Sausage Gumbo

Shrimp-and-Sausage Gumbo
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Shrimp-and-Sausage Gumbo

When this smoky, spicy, classic shrimp and sausage gumbo is ready, it's best served over a bed of herbed rice.

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Crawfish Boil

SL's Stovetop Crawfish Boil
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Crawfish Boil

Nothing screams spring in New Orleans quite like a crawfish boil.

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Jambalaya

Creole Jambalaya
Melina Hammer

Recipe: Jambalaya

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.

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Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo

Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo
Southern Living

Recipe: Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo

There are countless ways to make a good gumbo, but chicken and sausage might be our favorite. Although we love seafood and we love okra, there's something about the simplicity of cooked chicken and spicy sausage simmered in a homemade roux that's pure comfort in a spoon. This classic recipe starts with a tradition roux made of flour and butter or oil. Then, add the Cajun "trinity" of seasonings – green bell pepper, celery, and onions – before stirring in the meat and other vegetables and spices. Serve this classic dish over long grain rice with a slice of toasted and buttered French bread.

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Brennan's Bananas Foster

Brennan’s Bananas Foster
Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Karin Olsen

Recipe: Brennan's Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster was invented in a New Orleans restaurant, and is still a favorite dessert in Louisiana and across the South today for its unmatched richness and sugar-sweet flavor.

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Muffuletta Deviled Eggs

Muffuletta Deviled Eggs
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe: Muffuletta Deviled Eggs

A twist on two classic Southern favorites, this deviled egg rendition will stand out on your appetizer table during Mardi Gras. They're bite-size versions of our favorite Italian sandwiches!

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Slow-Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Slow-Cooker Red Beans and Rice
Howard Lee Puckett

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Red Beans and Rice

According to an age-old tradition, Red Beans and Rice are eaten on Mondays in Louisiana. If it's Monday and you forgot to soak your beans overnight, but you are still craving the savory dish, then this recipe can be whipped up in your slow cooker with minimal effort while you complete your daily errands. Simply combine beans, sausage, celery, onions, garlic, Creole seasoning, and bell peppers in your slow cooker. Serve the savory mixture over a bed of hot rice. Garnish with parsley or onions, and make sure you set out the hot sauce! If you have leftovers, this recipe can be frozen and served again later.

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Muffuletta

Muffuletta
Southern Living

Recipe: Muffuletta

It's Louisiana's ultimate comfort food - muffulettas. Prepare the classic sandwich quickly on a weeknight and pair it with Zapp's potato chips, of course.

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King Cake Monkey Bread

King Cake Monkey Bread

Recipe: King Cake Monkey Bread

Easily made with a can of cinnamon rolls, this sweet and Southern recipe is a modern twist on a classic king cake.

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Praline-Cream Cheese King Cake

Praline-Cream Cheese King Cakes
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop styling: Claire Spollen; Food styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Praline-Cream Cheese King Cake

Toasted pecans and rich cream cheese make this king cake irresistibly delicious.

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Mini Crab Cakes with Cajun Sauce

Cheesy Mushroom Tartlets
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Mini Crab Cakes with Cajun Sauce

These crab cakes pack a serious flavor punch in one bite-size appetizer. Topped off with Cajun Sauce, you're sure to love this recipe.

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Cornbread Crab Cakes

Cornbread Crab Cakes

Recipe: Cornbread Crab Cakes

This recipe combines two of our favorite Southern dishes: crab cakes and cornbread. It's truly the best of both worlds.

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Crispy Andouille Hush Puppies

Crispy Andouille Hush Puppies
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Crispy Andouille Hush Puppies

This crunchy, bite-size cuisine is the perfect side dish for any barbecue or fish fry.

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New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

New Orleans Red Beans And Rice
Southern Living

Recipe: New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

Quintessentially Southern, this Red Beans and Rice dish is simple, classic, and oh-so delicious.

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Praline Cream-Beignet Tower

Praline Cream-Beignet Tower
Photo: Linda Pugliese

Recipe: Praline Cream-Beignet Tower

This Praline Cream-Beignet Tower is much easier than it looks. Delicious and striking, it's sure to impress your Mardi Gras guests.

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Shrimp, Sausage, and Black Bean Pasta

Shrimp, Sausage, and Black Bean Pasta
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Shrimp, Sausage, and Black Bean Pasta

Take a break from basic jambalaya and go for a creamy pasta instead. This recipe includes shrimp, sausage, and black beans for the ultimate trifecta.

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King Cake Beignets

King Cake Beignets
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: King Cake Beignets

Leave it to Test Kitchen Pro Ivy Odom to combine two Mardi Gras sweet treats—king cake and beignets—into one adorable, delicious dish for your Fat Tuesday menu.

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Jambalaya de Covington

Jambalaya de Covington
Jambalaya de Covington

Recipe: Jambalaya de Covington

This recipe came from Covington, Louisiana, the parish seat of St. Tammany Parish, north of Lake Pontchartrain, in 1987, and it's just as delicious today.

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Emily's Red Beans and Rice

Emily's Red Beans and Rice
Peter Frank Edwards

Recipe: Emily's Red Beans and Rice

New Orleans Chef Alon Shaya is the main cook of the house, but his wife Emily's red beans and rice are the star of the show.

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Homemade Moon Pies

Homemade Moon Pies
Shelbie Tunnell

Recipe: Homemade Moon Pies

Sure, you can catch Moon Pies from a float during Mardi Gras, but why not spend an afternoon with the kids making this copycat recipe from scratch?

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Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole
Southern Living

Recipe: Shrimp Creole

This Louisiana classic truly packs a punch, but those who like extra spice, toss in a little hot sauce or crushed red pepper.

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Creole Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Creole Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Creole Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

This dessert recipe comes from the Queen of Creole Cuisine herself, Leah Chase.

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Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Serve your family a warm and comforting Creole dinner with this easy take on jambalaya.

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Foil Packet Red Beans and Rice

Foil Packet Red Beans and Rice
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Foil Packet Red Beans and Rice

Foil packet dinners are an ingenious way to make a filling dinner with barely any cleanup afterward.

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Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs with Sausage

Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs with Sausage
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs with Sausage

This 20-minute recipe is perfect for an al fresco dinner with the family. Serve the kabobs over rice or grits for a full meal.

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King Cake Bread Pudding with Chicory Ice Cream

King Cake Bread Pudding with Chicory Ice Cream
Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: King Cake Bread Pudding with Chicory Ice Cream

This dessert mashup recipe is the sweetest ode to New Orleans you could serve.

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Sheet Pan Jambalaya

Sheet Pan Jambalaya
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Sheet Pan Jambalaya

We did it y'all: We figured out how to get you all that spicy, classic jambalaya flavor in one easy pan and just 35 minutes.

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Seafood Gumbo

Seafood Gumbo

Recipe: Seafood Gumbo

Packed with seafood, this classic Creole gumbo is one of our best heart-warming seafood dishes to date. The more spices, the better. The genius of this menu item is that, as is the case with all gumbo, it actually tastes better after it sits in the refrigerator for a while. Make it ahead of time, and let the flavors soak together overnight in the refrigerator.

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Mini King Cake Cupcakes

Mini King Cake Cupcakes
Jennifer Davick; Prop Styling: Lydia Degaris-Pursell; Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

Recipe: Mini King Cake Cupcakes

Why risk everyone not getting a slice of king cake this Fat Tuesday? Make these personal, mini versions of the classic dessert instead.

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Shrimp Étouffée

Shrimp Étouffée
Jennifer Causey; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Shrimp Étouffée

Have all of the ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start cooking. To make the meal come together even faster, you can cook the rice ahead of time and reheat it before serving. Once dinner's done, all you'll need is some hot sauce and plenty of crusty bread for mopping up all the rich, velvety sauce. Not a fan of shrimp? Substitute crawfish tail meat.

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