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!

Table of Contents
  1. The Main Event
  2. Appetizers and Sides
  3. Desserts
  4. Drinks

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
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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Chicken gumbo in a small white bowl with rice on top.
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.
VIEW RECIPE
Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwiches on a platter.
Red Beans and Rice
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).
VIEW RECIPE
Red beans and rice in a skillet.

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
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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Fried okra pieces in a white bowl.
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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Hush puppies on a light blue plate with white dipping sauce.

Desserts

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.
King Cake
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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A decorated king cake on a white counter surrounded by Mardi Gras decorations.
Beignets
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.
VIEW RECIPE
Beignets on a plate next to a coffee mug with liquid in it.

Drinks

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.
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 hurricane cocktail with an orange slice garnish and a blue and white striped straw.
Sazerac
For the New Orleans' take on a classic whiskey cocktail, try a Sazerac. It's made with rye whiskey, simple syrup, Peychaud's bitters, and a swirl of absinthe.
VIEW RECIPE
A Sazerac in a clear glass on a counter.

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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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