60 of the Best Recipes for Mardi Gras

Updated: Feb. 21, 2023

Get a taste of the Big Easy with the best recipes for Mardi Gras. Whether it's king cake, beignets or muffuletta, these classic Mardi Gras recipes are so good, you'll be making them long after Fat Tuesday is over.

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Southern Shrimp and Grits

A southern specialty, sometimes called breakfast shrimp, this dish tastes great for brunch or dinner, and anytime company’s coming. It’s one of my favorite Mardi Gras recipes. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina

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Mardi Gras King Cake

This frosted king cake is the highlight of our annual Mardi Gras party. If you want to hide a token inside, do so by cutting a small slit in the bottom of the baked cake…and remember to warn your guests! —Lisa Mouton, Orlando, Florida
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Muffuletta

Muffuletta, which originated in New Orleans, is named after the round, crusty Sicilian loaf of bread it's traditionally served on. While I favor my own olive salad, there are several good versions available in most supermarkets. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah
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Easy Jambalaya

I brought this easy jambalaya to a Sunday potluck and it was quickly gobbled up. When friends asked me for the recipe, they couldn't believe how easy it was! —Tami Kuehl, Loup City, Nebraska
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Crawfish Beignets with Cajun Dipping Sauce

Get a taste of the Deep South with these slightly spicy beignets. You won't be able to eat just one! —Donna Lanclos, Lafayette, Louisiana
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Passion Fruit Hurricanes

This is our Test Kitchen’s version of the famous Hurricane beverage that's so popular in New Orleans. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
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Dutch Oven Red Beans and Rice

This is a one-pot meal that's ready in about 30 minutes. It is one of my husband's favorites and uses simple ingredients, so it's been a go-to recipe in our house for years. —Janice Conklin, Stevensville, Montana
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Bananas Foster Sundaes

I have wonderful memories of eating bananas Foster in New Orleans, and as a dietitian, wanted to find a healthier version. I combined the best of two recipes and added my own tweaks to create this southern treat. —Lisa Varner, Charleston, South Carolina
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Makeover Shrimp Rice Casserole

The cooks at Taste of Home made a lightened-up version of my shrimp casserole, and I love it. The makeover has only half the calories and sodium of my original recipe, and less fat, too. —Marie Roberts, Lake Charles, Louisiana
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New Orleans Beignets

These sweet, square and holeless French doughnuts are known as beignets. New Orleans’ traditional breakfast always includes a few of these powdered sugar delicacies. —Beth Dawson, Jackson, Louisiana

For another traditional Mardi Gras doughnut, try our paczki recipe.

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Southern Fried Okra

Golden brown with a little fresh green showing through, these okra nuggets are crunchy and addictive! My sons like to dip them in ketchup. —Pam Duncan, Summers, Arkansas
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Forgotten Jambalaya

During chilly times of the year, I fix this jambalaya at least once a month. It’s so easy—just chop the vegetables, dump everything in the slow cooker and forget it! Even my sons, who are picky about spicy things, like this dish. —Cindi Coss, Coppell, Texas
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Shrimp and Grits

For a sweet and spicy meal, I serve shrimp and vegetables in a honey, lemon juice, pepper sauce alongside dressed-up grits. It's my fresh spin on the southern classic. —Judith King, Madisonville, Tennessee
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Mardi Gras Cupcakes

Take these simple Mardi Gras desserts to a get-together and watch them disappear. Kids will love to help decorate them with the colorful sprinkles. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Cajun Pecan Catfish

This is one of our favorite recipes. It's quick, easy and delicious. Just serve with a side salad, biscuits and mixed fruit for dessert. We like it a lot for Christmas Eve. —Jan Wilkins, Blytheville, Arkansas
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Meaty Slow-Cooked Jambalaya

This recipe makes a big batch of delicious, meaty gumbo. Stash some away in the freezer for days you don't feel like cooking. —Diane Smith, Pine Mountain, Georgia
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Gulf Coast Jambalaya Rice

As the stew of the South, jambalaya is a definite staple. For ages, home cooks have been making their own tweaks on the traditional recipe. This rendition is my favorite. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida
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Cajun Shrimp Skillet

There’s plenty of sauce with these shrimp—I always have some bread on the side to soak it up. Make the dish your own by using your favorite amber beer or flavorful broth. —Mark Oppe, North Pole, Alaska
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Banana Beignet Bites

When I was a little girl, my grandmother took me aside one day and taught me how to make her famous banana beignets. Although we made them during the holidays, they're pretty fantastic any time of the year. —Amy Downing, South Riding, Virginia
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Black-Eyed Pea Sausage Stew

I always wanted to try black-eyed peas. I happened to have smoked sausage on hand one night, so I invented this full-flavored stew. It's the perfect way to heat up a cold night without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I usually double the seasonings because we like our food spicier. —Laura Wimbrow, Bridgeville, Delaware
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Low Country Boil

Ideal for camping and relaxing trips to the beach, this crowd-pleasing recipe makes an appetizing presentation of perfectly seasoned meats, veggies and seafood. —Mageswari Elagupillai, Victorville, California
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Bananas Foster Sundaes for 2

I have wonderful memories of eating bananas Foster in New Orleans and, as a dietitian, I wanted to find a healthier version. I combined the best of two recipes and added my own tweaks to create this southern treat. And with this version, it's the perfect dessert for two! —Lisa Varner, Charleston, South Carolina
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Crawfish Etouffee

I like to serve this Cajun sensation when I entertain. Etouffee is typically served with shellfish over rice and is similar to gumbo. This dish has its roots in New Orleans and the bayou country of Louisiana. —Tamra Duncan, Lincoln, Arkansas
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Traditional New Orleans King Cake

Get in on the fun of traditional king cake by hiding a little toy baby in the cake. Whoever finds it has one year of good luck! —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Hearty Red Beans and Rice

I take this dish to many potlucks and never fail to bring home an empty pot. I learned about the mouthwatering combination of meats, beans and seasonings while working for the Navy in New Orleans. If you want to get a head start, cover the beans with the water and let them soak overnight. Drain them the next day and continue with step 2 as directed. —Kathy Jacques, Summerfield, Florida
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Bourbon Pecan Pralines

Like authentic pecan pralines found in New Orleans, these treats are sweet, crunchy and rich! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Creole Scallop Cakes

Experimenting in the kitchen is a passion of mine...a passion I hope to pass along to my daughter. One day I had some scallops and decided to concoct a scallop cake instead of a crab cake. This scrumptious appetizer can be prepared ahead of time. The cakes and aioli sauce can both be made the day before, and you can cook the cakes just before serving. Not only does this simplify last-minute prep, it allows the flavors to blend, making the dish even more yummy. My family and friends love my specialty scallop cakes.—Iisha Leftrdige-Brooks, Sacramento, California
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Classic Red Beans N Rice

After living where Cajun cooking is common, we rely on this staple dish. Even If you've never tried red beans and rice, you'll like this recipe! —Jackie Turnage, New Iberia, Louisiana
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Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon

A real Southern favorite, black-eyed peas are traditionally served on New Year's Day to bring good luck. The bacon and thyme in my mom’s recipe make them extra special. —Ruby Williams, Bogalusa, Louisiana
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Cheesy Cajun Shrimp and Grits

I was born and raised in the South. A few years ago I moved temporarily to Pennsylvania, where good southern comfort food was hard to find. So I created this creamy, smoky Cajun shrimp and grits dish to remind me of home. —Kailey Thompson, Palm Bay, Florida
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Air-Fryer Shrimp Po'boys

My husband loves crispy coconut shrimp and po'boys, so I combined them with a spicy remoulade and voila! This air-fryer shrimp is a big hit with family and friends and is frequently requested. For catfish po'boys, substitute cornmeal for the coconut and add a few minutes to the cooking time. —Marla Clark, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Brunch Beignets

Enjoy breakfast the New Orleans way with these warm, crispy bites. Topped with powdered sugar, they are a delight! —Lois Rutherford, Elkton, Florida
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Grits & Sausage Casserole

You could call this the "so good casserole" because that's what people say when they try it. It's a Southern specialty.—Marie Poppenhager, Old Town, Florida
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Cajun Shrimp

These zippy shrimp bring a lot of pizazz to the table. Use as much or as little cayenne pepper as you'd like, depending on your family's tastes. We love ours served alongside rice pilaf. —Donna Thomason, El Paso, Texas
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Turkey Shrimp Gumbo

This slimmed-down version of gumbo tastes just as hearty as the classic version. —Michael Williams, Westfield, New York
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Deluxe Cornbread Stuffing

When my husband and I were newlyweds and far from family, we invited friends over for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. I searched for stuffing recipes and combined the best aspects of several to create this one. Everyone liked it, and I still make it for holidays. —Pamela Rickman, Valdosta, Georgia
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Blend of the Bayou

My sister-in-law shared this recipe with me when I first moved here. It's been handed down in my husband's family for generations. It's quick to prepare, nutritious and flavorful. I've passed it on to my children too.—Ruby Williams, Bogalusa, Louisiana
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All-Day Red Beans & Rice

My family loves New Orleans-style cooking, so I make this authentic dish often. I appreciate how uncomplicated it is. And its smoky ham flavor is scrumptious. —Celinda Dahlgren, Napa, California
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Buttery Cornbread

A friend gave me this Mardi Gras recipe several years ago, and it’s my favorite of all I’ve tried. I love to serve the melt-in-your-mouth side hot from the oven with butter and syrup. It gets rave reviews on holidays and at potluck dinners. —Nicole Callen, Auburn, California
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Shrimp Gumbo

A crisp green salad and crusty French bread complete this shrimp gumbo meal. I always have hot sauce available when I serve this and have found that the instant microwave rice packages make the process a little easier. —Jo Ann Graham, Ovilla, Texas
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Veg Jambalaya

This flavorful Mardi Gras entree uses convenient canned beans in place of the meat—and never lets you leave hungry. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

Smoked turkey sausage and red pepper flakes add zip to this saucy, slow-cooked version of Louisiana red beans and rice. For extra heat, add red pepper sauce at the table. —Julia Bushree, Georgetown, Texas
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Hush Puppies

A Mardi Gras fish dinner isn’t complete without a side of hush puppies, and my mom is well-known for this recipe. It’s the best! —Mary McGuire, Graham, NC
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Lora's Pressure-Cooker Red Beans & Rice

My dear mother-in-law passed this simple recipe to me. With meats, beans and savory veggies, it's tasty, easy and economical, too! —Carol Simms, Madison, Mississippi
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Cajun Grilled Shrimp

The kicked-up marinade on these shrimp makes this a flavor-packed dish. Serve over rice, and make sure to squeeze those charred lemons over top—that makes them taste extra bright and delicious. —Sharon Delaney-Chronis, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Zesty Garbanzo Sausage Soup

Even the busiest home cooks will have time to prepare this Cajun-inspired soup. If your family prefers spicier flavors, use medium salsa instead of mild.
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Spicy Shrimp with Rice

No one will doubt that "light" cooking can be tasty when you put a helping of this zippy shrimp in front of them. The seafood is seasoned just right with garlic, pepper and hot sauce. — Jeannie Klugh, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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Spicy Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

I created this easy skillet dish to use up the boil-in-a-bag rice in my cabinet. The result packs a lot of flavor. —Sonali Ruder, New York, New York
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New Orleans Gumbo

I’ve been making this New Orleans recipe for at least 30 years. I’m originally from New Orleans, and I think it’s a nice taste of the Vieux Carre (French Quarter). Everyone who tastes this gumbo wants the recipe. It’s an old standby for my family, who requests it frequently. —Dolores M. Bridges, Danville, Kentucky
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Springtime Beignets & Berries

I've always loved beignets, but never thought I could make them myself. Turns out they're easy! Sometimes I'll even make a quick berry whipped cream and pipe it inside for a fun surprise. —Kathi Hemmer, Grand Junction, Colorado
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Shrimp Po'Boys with Pineapple Slaw

This twist on the traditional po'boy sandwich adds flavor and veggies while reducing fat and calories. For a smoked flavor, grill the shrimp. For a lower-carb option, serve the po'boy open-faced on a baguette half. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia
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Cajun Pork and Rice

I created this Mardi Gras recipe upon returning home from traveling. With little food in the house, I used what was there. My husband loves this dish because it’s tasty, and I love it because it’s easy. —Allison Gapinski, Cary, North Carolina
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Louisiana Jambalaya

My husband helped add a little spice to my life. He grew up on Cajun cooking, such as Louisiana jambalaya, while I ate mostly meat-and-potato meals. —Sandi Pichon, Memphis, Tennessee
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True Shrimp Creole

An authentic Cajun dish, this tastes even better if refrigerated overnight to allow all the flavors to blend.
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Jambalaya Rice Salad

My cold rice salad has a little hint of spice for a classic jambalaya-style kick. Shrimp, tomatoes, ham and peppers give the dish bright colors and a delightful texture. —Karen Rahn, Hixon, Tennessee
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Slow Cooker Red Beans & Sausage

Being from Louisiana, my go-to comfort Mardi Gras recipe is red beans and rice. The Crock-Pot makes it so easy and the recipe reminds me of Sunday family dinners going back generations. Serve it as a slow-cooker side dish or make it a meal with hot buttered corn bread. —Lisa Bowie, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Andouille Sausage Soup

I make a soup every year for Mardi Gras. I came up with this recipe because I wanted to use lots of vegetables to keep it healthy, but wanted it to be interesting. My wife suggested adding the andouille and now it’s one of my favorite Mardi Gras recipes. —Steven Thurner, Janesville, Wisconsin
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Roasted Fresh Okra

If you have picky eaters who worry about texture, roasted okra is marvelous. It's OK to crowd the pan. Okra shrinks as it cooks. —Anna Katsoulis, Greenville, North Carolina
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Cornbread Casserole

Since my husband likes spicy foods, I frequently sprinkle chopped jalapeno peppers over half of this cornbread casserole for him. —Carrina Cooper, McAlpin, Florida
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Red Beans and Sausage

Turkey sausage, beans and a zesty blend of spices make this a deliciously unique meal.—Cathy Webster, Morris, Illinois