What are some popular dishes served during Mardi Gras?

You don’t have to go to New Orleans to savor the famed Cajun and Creole cuisines. Every day can be a celebration with these Mardi Gras recipes for appetizers, main courses, and desserts. 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.

Without desserts, no Mardi Gras recipe collection would be complete. Don’t forget to make our favorite King Cake recipe, but don’t stop there. If you want to try something new for dessert this year, consider our Praline-Cream Cheese King Cake or King Cake Beignets; both are sure to please. Then there’s our Praline Cream-Beignet Tower, the crown jewel of the dessert presentation. 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.

Mardi Gras King Cake

For a taste of Nola in your own kitchen, try this famous King Cake 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. Prepare it ahead of time and save the creamy Cajun gumbo in the freezer.

Mini Muffuletta Sandwiches

The Muffuletta sandwich, invented at a New Orleans institution, Central Grocery, blends the finest of Italian and Creole cuisine into one satisfying and highly unusual sandwich.

Shrimp And Grits

This historic recipe is ideal for a Mardi Gras weekend breakfast or a beloved Mardi Gras dinner if you don’t have time to make a roux and gumbo.

Instant Pot Jambalaya

This simple Jambalaya tastes like it came directly from New Orleans, yet it comes together quicker than a hurricane cocktail.

Crawfish Étouffée

Étouffée (pronounced ay-too-fay) means “covered” in French, and this meal is just that – crawfish smothered in a creamy, rich sauce that can only be found in Southeastern Louisiana.

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

You don’t have hours to kill? Use an Instant Pot to make this classic Creole dish in a flash without sacrificing flavor.

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 creating this dip, keep it warm in a slow cooker (and to avoid doing any extra dishes). Put this appetizer out with crackers or toasted baguette pieces at your next gathering and watch it vanish.

Cajun Mac And Cheese

The andouille sausage, pepper Jack cheese, and Cajun spice give this creamy macaroni and cheese a pleasant bite.

New Orleans Beignets

If you’ve never traveled to New Orleans, you can still sample its cuisine with this recipe for New Orleans Beignets, Louisiana’s official state doughnut.

Hot Crawfish Dip

The creamy base of this dip complements rather than overpowers the sweet, delicate crawfish.

Shrimp-and-Sausage Gumbo

When ready, serve this smoky, spicy, traditional shrimp and sausage gumbo over a bed of herbed rice.

Crawfish Boil

Nothing says spring like a crawfish boil in New Orleans.


Build deep flavors in Jambalaya by sautéing the aromatic trinity of onion, celery, and pepper in the Andouille drippings with herbs, garlic, and spices. Prepare a double quantity of cooked rice to include this low-cost essential into a variety of dishes.

Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo

There are several methods to create a wonderful gumbo, but we think chicken and sausage is 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 traditional dish begins with a basic roux of flour and butter or oil. Next, before tossing in the meat and other veggies and spices, add the Cajun “trinity” of seasonings: green bell pepper, celery, and onions. With a piece of toasted and buttered French bread, serve this traditional meal over long grain rice.

Brennan’s Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster was created at a New Orleans restaurant and is now a popular dessert in Louisiana and across the South due to its unrivaled richness and sugar-sweet taste.

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 little replicas of some of our favorite Italian sandwiches!

Slow-Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Mondays in Louisiana are dedicated to Red Beans and Rice, an age-old ritual. 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. In your slow cooker, add beans, sausage, celery, onions, garlic, Creole spice, and bell peppers. Serve the flavorful combination with heated rice. Sprinkle with parsley or onions, and don’t forget the spicy sauce! If you have any leftovers, you may freeze them and reheat them later.


Muffulettas are Louisiana’s ultimate comfort dish. Prepare the classic sandwich quickly on a weeknight and pair it with Zapp’s potato chips, of course.

King Cake Monkey Bread

This sweet and Southern dish is a contemporary spin on a traditional king cake that is easily created using a can of cinnamon rolls.

Praline-Cream Cheese King Cake

This king cake is irresistibly delectable thanks to toasted nuts and luscious cream cheese.

Mini Crab Cakes with Cajun Sauce

In one bite-size snack, these crab cakes deliver a significant taste punch. Topped off with Cajun Sauce, you’re sure to love this recipe.

Cornbread Crab Cakes

This recipe combines two of our favorite Southern dishes: crab cakes and cornbread. It genuinely represents the finest of both worlds.

Praline Cream-Beignet Tower

This Praline Cream-Beignet Tower is considerably simpler to make than it seems. Delicious and striking, it’s sure to impress your Mardi Gras guests.

King Cake Beignets

Let Test Kitchen Expert Ivy Odom to combine two Mardi Gras sweet treats—king cake and beignets—into one gorgeous, delectable Fat Tuesday meal.

Jambalaya de Covington

This dish originated in 1987 in Covington, Louisiana, the parish headquarters of St. Tammany Parish, north of Lake Pontchartrain, and it remains as tasty today.

Emily’s Red Beans and Rice

New Orleans Chef Alon Shaya is the primary chef, but his wife Emily’s red beans and rice steal the show.

Homemade Moon Pies

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

Shrimp Creole

This Louisiana favorite packs a punch, but for those who prefer it spicy, add some hot sauce or crushed red pepper.

Foil Packet Red Beans and Rice

Foil packet meals are a clever way to cook a substantial supper with little cleanup.

Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs with Sausage

This 20-minute meal is ideal for an outside supper with the family. Serve the kabobs over rice or grits for a full meal.

Sheet Pan Jambalaya

We did it, y’all: we found out how to achieve all of that spicy, authentic jambalaya taste in only one pan and 35 minutes.

Seafood Gumbo

This traditional Creole gumbo is packed with seafood and is one of our most hearty seafood recipes to date. The more spices there are, the better. The brilliance of this menu item is that, like any gumbo, it tastes better after sitting in the refrigerator for a bit. Prepare it ahead of time and chill it overnight to allow the flavors to blend.

Mini King Cake Cupcakes

Why risk everyone not getting a slice of king cake this Fat Tuesday? Instead, make these individualized, mini-versions of the famous dessert.

Shrimp Étouffée

Before you begin cooking, have all of the ingredients prepared and ready to go. To make the dinner go even quicker, prepare the rice ahead of time and reheat it just before serving. All you’ll need after supper is some hot sauce and lots of crusty bread to soak up all the rich, silky sauce. You don’t like shrimp? Crawfish tail meat may be substituted.

Pecan Pralines

New Orleans is famous for their pecan pralines, a sugary confection balanced with toasty pecans. Create your own to give as presents or for Mardi Gras goodies.

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