30+ Mardi Gras Recipes

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Make one more make them all! This collection of classic New Orleans recipes will help you celebrate Mardi Gras (aka Carnival or Fat Tuesday) in style.

A table set for a Mardi Gras feast.


Every year, Mardi Gras falls on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the first day of lent, a religious season observed by people of the Catholic faith.

While Mardi Gras is technically just one day, some places have turned it into a week-long celebration. Along with New Orleans, Brazil and Venice have some of the largest festivals.

I love Mardi Gras because it’s a chance to enjoy some of the best dishes from New Orleans without fighting the crowds and chasing down beads. Shrimp Po’ Boys, Gumbo, and Beignets are some of my personal favorites (and I’d never turn down a King Cake, either).

Try a new recipe or make your old favorites. Whatever your plans, I hope they include plenty of good food come Fat Tuesday!

The Main Event

New Orleans cuisine features a powerful fusion of French, Spanish, West African, and Native American influences. Sometimes spicy and always exploding with flavor, these are the classics you won’t want to miss.

A table set for a Mardi Gras feast.
Chicken gumbo in a small white bowl with rice on top.


Chicken Gumbo

Hearty Chicken Gumbo over rice is the ultimate Mardi Gras dinner. This chicken and sausage stew is so delicious, though, you'll want to make the easy gumbo recipe all year long.
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Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwiches on a platter.


Shrimp Po’ Boy

With my easy sandwich recipe guiding you along, the classic deli menu favorite of Shrimp Po' Boy sandwiches can be on the table just 15 minutes from now.
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Red beans and rice in a skillet.


Red Beans and Rice Recipe

What happens in New Orleans shouldn't stay in New Orleans if it's as delicious as Red Beans and Rice. Learn how to make weeknight Red Beans and Rice in just 40 minutes (that tastes like it's been simmering all day).
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Appetizers and Sides

You’ll either be adding bacon or deep-frying, and I’m not sorry about it at all. I can’t think of a better way to eat my veggies than with a crunchy coating!

A table set for a Mardi Gras feast.
Fried okra pieces in a white bowl.


Fried Okra

Delightfully crispy and ready in 15 minutes, my easy Fried Okra recipe is like the poppable cousin of fried green tomatoes. Try this Cajun Fried Okra as an appetizer or side dish for Mardi Gras or anytime you're craving the flavors of Louisiana.
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Hush puppies on a light blue plate with white dipping sauce.


Hush Puppies

Perfect Hush Puppies are a work of art. Fluffy and light on the inside, crispy and salty on the outside, these easy homemade Hush Puppies are about to become your new favorite snack recipe. Bonus: A warm platter of Hush Puppies can be yours in just 15 minutes!
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Whether you’re hunting for a plastic baby in your King Cake or setting your Bananas Foster aflame, there is no shortage of excitement and drama with Mardi Gras desserts.

A table filled with various Mardi Gras food.
A decorated king cake on a white counter surrounded by Mardi Gras decorations.


King Cake Recipe

Fat Tuesday isn't complete without a King Cake recipe. This homemade King Cake is like a supersized cinnamon roll, dressed up for Mardi Gras.
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Beignets on a plate next to a coffee mug with liquid in it.



To celebrate Mardi Gras or any day, learn how to make beignets from scratch. This classic doughnut-like treat is the perfect pairing for a hot cup of coffee.
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New Orleans is littered with famous cocktails, the most famous being the Sazerac but followed closely by the Hurricane (named after the glass, not the storm).

A table set for a Mardi Gras feast.
A hurricane cocktail with an orange slice garnish and a blue and white striped straw.


Hurricane Cocktail

This Hurricane Cocktail is a classic recipe from New Orleans. Made with two kinds of rum, three kinds of juice, and grenadine, it's sweet, fruity, and refreshing.
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A Sazerac in a clear glass on a counter.


Sazerac Recipe

For the New Orleans' take on a classic whiskey cocktail, try this Sazerac Recipe. It's made with rye whiskey, simple syrup, Peychaud's bitters, and a swirl of absinthe.
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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