Party-Ready Mardi Gras Recipes

Celebrate Fat Tuesday with these crowd-pleasing dishes.

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King Cake

According to tradition, a single bean or small plastic baby is hidden in the filling of this colorful cake. The hidden treat symbolizes luck and prosperity to whomever finds it in their slice –– and means they need to host next year’s party!

Get the Recipe: King Cake

Hurricane Passion Punch

This New Orleans classic warms you up no matter where you are. Don't skip the almond extract — it ties together all the ingredients, and gives the drink its trademark nutty backbone.

Get the Recipe: Hurricane Passion Punch

BBQ Shrimp Po-Boy

A Po-Boy is an iconic New Orleans sandwich, especially when filled with a “barbecue shrimp.” Though the shrimp never actually touches a grill, it’s cooked in a winning combination of butter, lemon, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, paprika and cayenne.

Get the Recipe: BBQ Shrimp Po-Boy


This loaded gumbo is a perfect excuse to throw a little shindig to celebrate like they do in Louisiana. Invite your closest friends and indulge in this rich and flavorful gumbo, exactly the way it's intended to be enjoyed.

Get the Recipe: Gumbo


Beignets (a fluffy, pillowy donut) are a New Orleans tradition. Trisha fries hers until golden-brown, then coats the beignets in lots of powdered sugar.

Get the Recipe: Beignets

Everything Jambalaya

Rachael says, “Although I was ‘not an easy child,’ my Cajun daddy says there are many reasons he loves me. I think this recipe may be at the top of a very short list!”

Get the Recipe: Everything Jambalaya


This massive sandwich is a New Orleans staple. To build it, hollow a round loaf of bread and stuff the hole with an olive-vegetable salad. Once that’s done, stack layers of Italian meats with provolone, wrap the whole thing in plastic and weigh the sandwich down. The last step is key, as it ensures that the sandwich will stay together and be flat enough to eat!

Get the Recipe: Muffuletta

Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits

No stovetop needed for this comfort food classic. Thanks to the Instant Pot®, this dish keeps the soul of Southern cooking with just a fraction of the work it would normally take.

Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Shrimp and Grits

No-Churn King Cake Ice Cream

Mardi Gras may come just once a year, but this ice cream keeps the party going year-round. No electric ice cream maker required — it's a cool way to enjoy all the flavors of the iconic Mardi Gras treat. And of course, we included a hidden treasure.

Get the Recipe: No-Churn King Cake Ice Cream

Vieux Carre Cocktail

Bobby’s cocktail, named after the French Quarter, is a legendary local cocktail. For his boozy brunch beverage, Bobby mixes rye, cognac, vermouth, bitters and Benedictine liqueur.

Get the Recipe: Vieux Carre Cocktail

Fried Pickle Po' Boy

The classic po' boy sandwich gets recast with fried pickles as the star, satisfying pickle fanatics and vegetarians alike.

Get the Recipe: Fried Pickle Po' Boy

Shrimp and Chicken Etouffee

You’ll find all the big flavors of the Big Easy in this saucy dish. Don’t skip the andouille sausage — the seasoned meat adds tons of flavor to the meal.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp and Chicken Etouffee

New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp Dip

This super-flavorful dip is inspired by the spicy shrimp dishes of New Orleans.

Get the Recipe: New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp Dip

Braised Mustard Greens

Valerie uses ham hocks, onion and garlic to give her side dish Southern flair.

Get the Recipe: Braised Mustard Greens

Crawfish Boil

Nothing says springtime in New Orleans like a crawfish boil. Alton makes his own seasoning to perfect the flavors in his Cajun dinner.

Get the Recipe: Crawfish Boil

Broiled Trout with Brown Butter New Orleans Sauce

Trout fillets are broiled and served with a creamy and slightly spicy butter sauce with mushrooms and peppers.

Get the Recipe: Broiled Trout with Brown Butter New Orleans Sauce

New Orleans-Style Shrimp

This cost- and weeknight-friendly dish of shrimp, corn and tomatoes gets its bold flavor from Creole seasoning, an aromatic and spicy mixture that usually includes paprika, cayenne pepper, dried herbs, plus granulated onion and garlic.

Get the Recipe: New Orleans-Style Shrimp

Blackened Catfish Tacos

Catfish is an iconic Southern dish, especially when it’s fried. Trisha brines her filets overnight, then shakes them in a cornmeal-flour mixture before frying until they get crispy.

Get the Recipe: Blackened Catfish Tacos

Slow-Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Claire’s creamy dish works great as a side or its own meal. She uses andouille sausage to get those Creole flavors.

Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Grilled Crawfish with Spicy Tarragon Butter

There are three key ingredients to Bobby’s crawfish dish: tarragon, Tabasco and butter, which according to Bobby, “make everything taste good.”

Get the Recipe: Grilled Crawfish with Spicy Tarragon Butter

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes

With just four ingredients you can turn okra and tomatoes into a flavorful side dish.

Get the Recipe: Stewed Okra and Tomatoes


No Southern meal is complete without a side of hush puppies. Claire uses sugar in her batter, making their slight sweetness a nice break from spicy sauces so you can keep going back for more.

Get the Recipe: Hushpuppies


In New Orleans, beignets are served with a snowstorm of powdered sugar. The puffy fried dough squares are sold at loads of places, including the rightfully famous Café du Monde. Anytime you order beignets to go, the paper bag is likewise loaded with powdered sugar. Capture that spirit by tossing these New Orleans–style beignets with powdered sugar in a large paper grocery bag. Or use a baking sheet coated with sugar. Whatever approach you choose, be sure to eat them while they’re piping hot. That’s half the point. The other half is finding yourself covered in white powder after a few bites.

Get the Recipe: Beignets