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25 Healthy Mardi Gras Recipes

Eat healthy Big Easy-style with these light Mardi Gras recipes.

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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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Meaty Slow-Cooked Jambalaya

Sure makes life easy having this tasty dish stashed away in the freezer! Another plus, you throw it all in the slow cooker—no skillet necessary. —Diane Smith, Pine Mountain, Georgia

Check out our best recipes for Mardi Gras.

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Cajun Pork Sandwiches

This recipe's simple spice rub gives pork tenderloin an irresistible flavor. You'll watch in delight as these tasty open-faced sandwiches disappear from the buffet table! —Mae Kruse, Monee, Illinois
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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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Blackened Catfish with Mango Avocado Salsa

A delightful and tasty rub makes this quick recipe fantastic. While the fish is sitting to allow the flavors to blend, you can easily assemble the salsa. My family loves this! —Laura Fisher, Westfield, Massachusetts
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Southern Seafood Gumbo

I tasted a similar dish at a local restaurant and later duplicated it pretty closely. I trimmed it down a bit and no one in my family seemed to mind. —Susan Wright, Champaign, Illinois
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Pressure-Cooker Red Beans and Rice

My family loves New Orleans-style cooking, so I make this dish often. I appreciate how simple it is, and the smoky ham flavor is scrumptious. —Celinda Dahlgren, Napa, California
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Bulgur Jambalaya

I like making this dish because it allows me to stay on track for my weight loss without giving up foods I love. —Nicholas Monfre, Oak Ridge, New Jersey
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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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Andouille Sausage Soup

I make a soup every football Sunday. 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 andouille sausage recipes. —Steven Thurner, Janesville, Wisconsin
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Black-Eyed Peas 'n' Pasta

Tradition has it that if you eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, you'll enjoy prosperity all year through—but I serve this tasty combination of pasta, peas and tangy tomatoes anytime. —Marie Malsch, Bridgman, Michigan
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Corn Okra Creole

This dish is representative of my area of the country, and particularly the Texas-Louisiana border. The okra, corn and Creole seasonings are all popular here. —Ruth Aubey, San Antonio, Texas
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Spicy Salmon Patties

Made with canned salmon, these patties are good hot or cold. I usually serve them on buns with slices of ripe tomato, sweet red onion, and red and green bell pepper. —Barbara Coston of Little Rock, Arkansas
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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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Bananas Foster Bread

This moist, tender bread has all the flavors of New Orleans’ famous dessert. And the rum-flavored glaze on top’s amazing! —Christen Chalmers, Houston, Texas
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Grandma Edna's Cajun Pork

My grandma used to make this for our family on special occasions. We love to carry on the delicious tradition. —Tonya Cline, Greenville, Ohio
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Blackened Halibut

Try serving this spicy halibut recipe with garlic mashed potatoes, hot, crusty bread and a crisp salad to lure in your crew. After trying a few halibut recipes, this one is my family's favorite. —Brenda Williams, Santa Maria, California
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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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Creole Blackened Chicken

I love blackened chicken and was thrilled when I discovered I could cook it at home. I adjusted an old recipe, making it spicier to fit my taste. If you prefer milder flavors, simply omit or reduce the cayenne pepper. —Lauren Hardy, Jacksonville, Florida
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Veg Jambalaya

This flavorful 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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Cajun Shrimp Skillet

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

When you want to cook okra without frying it, roast it with lemon juice for a lighter version. The smoked paprika gives it even more roasty oomph. —Lee Evans, Queen Creek, Arizona
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Cajun Crawfish Sliders

Add a touch of southern hospitality to your festivities with our upscale version of a slider. The crawfish gets a touch of spicy goodness from the chipotle mayo and jalapeno. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Spicy Roasted Sausage, Potatoes and Peppers

I love to share my cooking, and this hearty meal-in-one has gotten a savory reputation around town. People have actually approached me in public to ask for the recipe. —Laurie Sledge, Brandon, Mississippi

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