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55 New Orleans-Inspired Recipes for Mardi Gras

New Orleans is known for wild parties, beautiful architecture and some of the most flavorful food in the country. From shrimp to sausage to beignets, here is our list of New Orleans recipes perfect for a Mardi Gras party or any other time you want to let the good times roll.

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Seafood Gumbo

Gumbo is one dish that makes Louisiana cuisine so famous. We live across the state line in Texas and can’t seem to get enough of this traditional Cajun dish that features okra, shrimp, spicy seasonings and the “holy trinity”—onions, green peppers and celery. This recipe calls for seafood, but you could also use chicken, duck or sausage. —Ruth Aubey, San Antonio, Texas

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Traditional New Orleans King Cake Exps Hca20 47350 E11 14 3b 11

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

Check out these other Fat Tuesday recipes that are so delicious.

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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 the New Orleans classic. For extra heat, add red pepper sauce at the table. —Julia Bushree, Georgetown, Texas
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Mini Muffuletta

People love these hearty little sandwich wedges. The recipe is great for a party and can be made the day before.—Gareth Craner, Minden, Nevada
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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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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
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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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Forgotten Jambalaya

During chilly months, I fix this slow cooker jambalaya recipe 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 easy jambalaya. —Cindi Coss, Coppell, Texas
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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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New Orleans Gumbo

I’ve been making this New Orleans gumbo 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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Mardi Gras Cupcakes

Take these simple Mardi Gras cupcakes 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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Quick & Easy New Orleans Shrimp

I’ve simplified my mom's Shrimp Creole—she made it for us growing up. Now it's effortless comfort food I make for my own family. —Crystal Milne, Urbana, Illinois
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Quick Bananas Foster

Guests are always impressed when I ignite the rum in this delicious bananas Foster dessert. Use perfectly ripe bananas for best results. —Mary Lou Wayman, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Pretzel-Crusted Catfish

I'm not a big fish lover, so any concoction that has me loving fish is a "keeper" in my books. This combination of flavors just works for me. It's wonderful served with a nice buttery herb rice pilaf and corn muffins with butter and honey! —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey
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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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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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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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Blend of the Bayou

My sister-in-law shared this recipe with me when I first moved to Louisiana. It's been handed down in my husband's family for generations. It's quick to prepare, nutritious and beautiful. I've passed it on to my children, too. —Ruby Williams, Bogalusa, Louisiana
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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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Spicy Cajun Potato Salad

Here in Louisiana we have a lot of get-togethers, and if you want your dish to be chosen over all of the rest, it has to have a kick! This does the trick. —Amanda West, Sibley, Louisiana
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Bayou Gulf Shrimp Gumbo

This recipe skips the traditional hard-to-find spices yet still delivers the true seafood flavor that’s beloved in the Louisiana bayou. —Wolfgang Hanau, West Palm Beach, Florida
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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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Southern Fried Okra

Golden brown with a little fresh green showing through, this fried okra recipe is crunchy and addicting! My sons like to dip them in ketchup. —Pam Duncan, Summers, Arkansas
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Ragin' Cajun Eggplant and Shrimp Skillet

We always have a large summer garden where lots of produce lingers into fall. That's when we harvest our onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and eggplant, the main ingredient of this dish. This recipe turns Cajun with the Holy Trinity (onion, celery and bell pepper), shrimp and red pepper flakes. —Barbara Hahn, Park Hills, Missouri
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New Orleans-Style Spicy Shrimp

We have family members who attended college in New Orleans. This shrimp captures their favorite flavors from the Big Easy, with the right touches of spice and heat. —Susan Seymour, Valatie, New York
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Creole Roasted Turkey with Holy Trinity Stuffing

I jazz up turkey Creole style with the trinity of onions, bell peppers and celery—plus a stuffing that gets hotter and hotter the longer it sits. —Eric Olsson, Macomb, Michigan
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New Orleans-Style Scalloped Corn

This colorful casserole is popular for family gatherings in many New Orleans homes. I started making it years ago, and now our grown sons include it on their own menus. —Priscilla Gilbert, Indian Harbour Beach, Florida
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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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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 it your own by using your favorite amber beer or flavorful broth. —Mark Oppe, North Pole, Alaska
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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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Cajun Shrimp Lasagna Roll-Ups

If you enjoy Creole and Cajun dishes, you'll love this one. The seasoning and andouille sausage give it a nice kick, and seafood fans will appreciate the shrimp. —Mary Beth Harris-Murphree, Tyler, Texas
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Black-Eyed Peas with Ham

Here's a regional favorite I grew to love after moving to the South. You'll never want black-eyed peas from a can again! Serve the dish as a side with grilled chicken...or make it your main course and round out the meal with greens and corn bread. —Tammie Merrill, Wake Forest, NC
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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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Best Ever Beans and Sausage

When my wife asks what she should make for a gathering, she's always told to bring this—and a couple of copies of the recipe! — Robert Saulnier, Clarksburg, Massachusetts
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Corn Pudding

Cornbread mix and canned corn make this southern corn pudding casserole a snap to prepare. Now this is real comfort food! —P. Lauren Fay-Neri, Syracuse, New York
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Southern Pimiento Cheese Spread

A classic southern comfort food, this spread is used as an appetizer with crackers, corn chips or celery. It is also smeared between two slices of white bread for sandwiches and as a topping for hamburgers and hot dogs. —Eileen Balmer, South Bend, Indiana.
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Grandma's Collard Greens

My grandmother made the best collard greens recipe in the world. Eating them with a slice of buttermilk cornbread is pure bliss. —Sherri Williams, Crestview, Florida
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Homey Mac & Cheese

I also call this "my grandson's mac and cheese." Zachary has been to Iraq and Afghanistan with both the Marines and Navy, and I've been privileged to make his favorite casserole for him for over 20 years. —Alice Beardsell, Osprey, Florida
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Chicken and Okra Gumbo

We used to live in New Orleans, but our taste buds don't know we moved yet. I still make many Creole dishes, and gumbo is one of our favorites. —Catherine Bouis, Palm Harbor, Florida
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Sweet Tea Barbecued Chicken

Marinades sometimes use coffee or espresso, and that inspired me to add tea to perk up a barbecue sauce.—Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey
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Cheddar Corn Biscuits

Everyone asks for these cheesy corn biscuits, especially when I serve soup. If you're lucky and have leftovers, rewarm them and pass the butter and jam. —Susan Braun, Swift Current, Saskatchewan
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Iva's Peach Cobbler

My mother received this peach cobbler recipe from a friend of hers many years ago, and fortunately she shared it with me. Boise is situated right between two large fruit-producing areas in our state, so peaches are plentiful in the summer. —Ruby Ewart, Boise, Idaho
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Cajun Boil on the Grill

I came up with these everything-in-one seafood packets for a family reunion, since the recipe can be increased to feed a bunch. The foil steams up inside, so open carefully. —Allison Brooks, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Skillet Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

For a change of pace, you can substitute fresh or frozen peach slices for the pineapple in this old-fashioned recipe. —Bernardine Melton, Paola, Kansas
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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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Creole Cornbread

Cornbread is a staple of Cajun and Creole cuisine. This version is an old favorite, and it really tastes wonderful. I found the recipe in the bottom of my recipe drawer. —Enid Hebert, Lafayette, Louisiana
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Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

When my fiance first made this chocolate bourbon pecan pie for me, I declared it to be the best pie ever! Creamy chocolate combines with crunchy nuts in a great, gooey filling. We can't get enough of this recipe inspired by Kentucky Derby bourbon chocolate pecan pie. —Tanya Taylor, Cary, North Carolina
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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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Grandma's Cajun Chicken & Spaghetti

I’m originally from Louisiana, where my grandma spoke Cajun French as she taught me her spicy chicken spaghetti. —Brenda Melancon, McComb, Mississippi
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Cajun Corn Soup

I found this recipe years ago and substituted Cajun stewed tomatoes for a bolder taste. Now I prepare this dish for out-of-state guests who want to taste some Cajun food. Everyone who tries it gives it high marks. Plus, it's easy to prepare. —Sue Fontenot, Kinder, Louisiana
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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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Muffuletta Cheesecake

When I needed a party appetizer and couldn’t find a recipe I liked, I created my own. This savory spread boasts the flavors of a classic Italian muffuletta sandwich. —Helen Flamm, Dayton, Ohio
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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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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 down-home comfort food at its finest. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina

Laura Denby
Laura is a New York-based freelance food writer with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education and a degree in Journalism from Penn State. Her work has appeared in Taste of Home, Chowhound, the Culture Trip and Patch.
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