During Mardi Gras in New Orleans, traditional foods play a crucial role, serving not just as culinary delights but as vital connectors of culture and community. These dishes represent the city's diverse heritage and are central to the celebration, symbolizing unity and the joy of sharing among participants, thereby encapsulating the essence and spirit of Mardi Gras. We have gathered 26 recipes to celebrate Mardi Gras in the best way possible.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is celebrated with much more than just parades and costumes; it's an event deeply intertwined with unique and traditional foods that capture the essence of the city's diverse cultural heritage. The festivities are marked by an array of dishes that embody the melting pot of influences that shape New Orleans cuisine, from French and Spanish to African and Native American. Important to the Mardi Gras culinary tradition are savory staples like gumbo and jambalaya, both rich and hearty stews that feature a mix of meats, seafood, and spices, embodying the complexity and depth of New Orleans' culinary history. These dishes are more than just food; they are a communal experience, shared among friends, family, and even strangers, reflecting the communal spirit and joy of Mardi Gras. Through these meals, participants connect with one another and with generations past, celebrating not only the carnival but also the vibrant culture and enduring traditions of New Orleans.
We have gathered 26 typical Mardi Gras recipes you can get inspired by to contribute to the festive spirit that comes with this traditional holiday!
Jambalaya is a popular one-dish meal that hails all the way from New Orleans, Louisiana. An authentic jambalaya is Cajun or Creole, which means it’s spicy, zesty, and smoky. The chicken, sausage, and shrimp is juicy and full of flavor!
Few things are better than authentic Southern shrimp and grits. It's an easy recipe that's popular throughout the American South. The grits boast a rich, creamy cheesy flavor while the shrimp are perfectly seasoned with paprika, oregano, and garlic. Bacon adds another dimension to this dish, making each bite heavenly.
If you've been searching for a fabulous, flavorful sandwich to feed a crowd, look no further than the muffuletta. The muffuletta is a classic New Orleans sandwich made with layers of tangy marinated olive salad, plenty of cheese, and charcuterie.
Make traditional New Orleans-style gumbo with shredded rotisserie chicken, tender shrimp and savory andouille sausage for a complete and comforting dinner.
With its rich, spicy sauce and an incredible savory flavor, shrimp creole is an amazing, irresistible dish you can serve up for dinner for any occasion. With its spicy, tomatoey sauce and perfectly cooked pink shrimp, Louisiana shrimp creole is quick and easy enough to make as a delicious weeknight dinner, yet tastes impressive enough to serve for special occasions.
Gallo pinto is a typical dish from Costa Rica, but also known in other parts of South America such as Nicaragua. It is made up of cooked rice and beans that are lightly spiced thanks to salsa Linzano. This flavorful recipe has the name gallo pinto because in Spanish it means "spotted rooster" precisely because of the spotted, multi-colored appearance that beans give to rice.
Maque choux is a mouthwatering Cajun side dish recipe that's spicy, sweet, and creamy. It is a perfect dish to serve any time of year, although it's especially delicious in summer when corn is in season or around Mardi Gras.
If you're a fan of savory pies, you'll love this beautiful crawfish pie recipe. This easy-to-make, flavorful double-shelled pie is a specialty of the Cajuns of southern Louisiana.
When the weather is hot and your taste buds are craving a hearty yet flavorful dish full that will light up all your taste buds, nothing beats a shrimp boil. It's packed with tender shrimp, smokey andouille sausage, in-season sweet corn, and delicious red potatoes seasoned with a mouthwatering array of spices.
If you’re looking for a quick, spicy alternative to the classic prawn cocktail, then look no further. Cajun Shrimp Canapés are an easy and quick appetizer recipe… not to mention super tasty. Perfect for a party, game day, or even for a family dinner. Sliced cucumbers are topped with mashed avocado and spring onions, and rounded off with Cajun shrimp. The spicy shrimp flavor goes well with the creaminess of the avocado and the crunch of the cucumber. You can serve them cold, so they’re perfect to make ahead. Ready to impress your guests? Then make these Cajun Shrimp Bites today!
Cajun Chicken Pasta is a recipe that combines French and Southern cuisine. It's a sturdy country-style dish with such amazing flavors and drool worthy taste! Embarrassing though, every time I prepare this dish, I end up hogging more than half of what all has been cooked and can certainly have some more the next day.
If you're looking for an ultra-tasty, easy-to-make appetizer that you can make in no time, you'll love this simple crab cakes recipe. Made from jumbo crabmeat and seasoned with mayo, mustard, hot sauce, and parsley, these Maryland crab cakes are crispy on the outside and creamy and tender on the inside.
With a delicious crunchy golden brown outside and an ultra-soft, flaky inside, there's nothing like a fresh batch of hush puppies. Hush puppies are a mouthwatering Southern side dish that is especially typical main meals such as fried chicken or seafood.
With its crispy, flavorful battered shrimp, crunchy lettuce, tangy-spicy remoulade sauce, and tomato layered over thick, fluffy loaves of crusty bread, the Shrimp Po'Boy is one of the best sandwiches around. This famous, much-loved sandwich has origins in New Orleans during the early 20th century and remains one of the most popular and recognizable dishes in New Orleans' cuisine. The shrimp po'boy is a fantastic, hearty sandwich that's great for a delicious lunch or dinner.
If you're a fan of the savory, delicious Louisiana flavors in classic jambalaya, you'll love this easy, creamy jambalaya pasta. Sometimes called pastalaya, it is packed with bell peppers, succulent, perfectly browned chicken thighs, tomatoes, andouille sausage, and pasta tossed with a creamy tomato sauce, and topped with cheese. Jambalaya pasta is a delicious meal you can whip up any night.
Creamy alfredo sauce coats the sautéed peppers and shrimp in this delicious diner recipe. While you can feel free to make your own alfredo sauce, using a jar of sauce makes this recipe quick to make and guaranteed to be scrumptious. While this recipe uses fettuccini as the pasta, try using rigatoni or ziti noodles- they will all work well!
Cheese, seafood, and potatoes come together in this delicious recipe in the form of a Seafood Potato Au Gratin. Gratin is made from many dishes, and it’s actually just a fancy term used to describe a technique whereby an ingredient is topped with cheese (and sometimes breadcrumbs) and then baked until golden. While baking the cheese becomes gooey, caramelized, and delicious!
Fried okra is a quick and easy Southern recipe. Enjoy it as a summery side dish packed with fiber. These fried okra nuggets are super crispy and golden brown, enough to be known as southern popcorn just because they pop in your mouth. To make fried okra, simply soak the sliced okra pods in egg and coat with a mixture of cornmeal, salt, pepper, or your favorite seasoning mix. Then, pan fry okra until golden brown. Serve fried okra as you want together with your favorite main dish, such as braised brisket, BBQ ribs, or Southern fried chicken.
This is winter comfort food at its best – fragrant, moist bread baked in an egg custard, with a hint of warm cinnamon and nutmeg.
If you're looking for a great party or game day snack that your guests will go crazy for, fried boudin balls are the perfect appetizer for you. This delicious Cajun appetizer is made from boudin sausages which have been rolled into balls, battered, and deep-fried.
If you are looking for the perfect appetizer or something easy and delicious to pass around at a party, then look to further- this recipe is for you! These small sausage balls are addictively delicious and you can whip them up in a matter of minutes. Pancake mix, cheese, spices and sausage is all it takes and you are on your way to having the perfect little treat! As there are many gluten free pancake mixes available, this treat can also be made for those with gluten dietary restrictions without sacrificing flavor- a true crowd pleaser! So get out your measuring cups and mixing bowl and get ready to make an easy tasty treat.
For this year's Mardi Gras, why not celebrate by making a festive, colorful, and delicious Mardi Gras king cake? This easy-to-make recipe comes from New Orleans and is a must-have for any Fat Tuesday party. This festive day is held every year in the French Quarter to celebrate the Carnival season.
There's nothing like sinking your teeth into a freshly fried beignet. With their soft, pillowy inside and lightly crispy outside and sweet, sugary flavor, New Orleans beignets are a wonderful sweet you can serve for breakfast or brunch or enjoy as a light dessert.
So versatile, delicious and easy to make, this bananas foster recipe is going to be something you will want to enjoy all the time. The bananas foster is a famous, impressive American dessert of New Orleans created in the 1950s.
If you're looking for an incredible homemade sweet treat you can whip up in a flash, Southern pecan pralines are perfect for you. This old-fashioned dessert comes from New Orleans but has spread throughout the American South because their irresistible taste.
If you though that there is no way to improve on a donut, then you haven’t tried these Polish donuts. While they are a traditional dessert, they are just as popular in America, where they’ve become the dessert to eat during Mardi Gras.