Join in on the Fat Tuesday festivities with 25 Mardi Gras Food Recipes. No matter where you are in this great, big, beautiful world, you can experience a taste of Southern Louisiana's rich tradition. Feast yourself before the fasting Lenten season with these classic Mardi Gras recipes.
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Mardi Gras Food Recipes Fit For A King!
Mardi Gras celebration in Cajun country wasn't always an elaborate carnival season as it is today. This Catholic holiday is observed the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, a time of consecration during the weeks before Easter.
That's how it was at our house: a fun day (no school) spent with family and friends. Sometimes, the biggest celebrations were attending the Kaplan Mardi Gras parade, but we usually settled for family dinners with our favorite Cajun cuisines (many from the list below) for a simpler observance.
The traditional Mardi Gras originated in medieval Europe and is prevalent throughout Louisiana because of the strong influence of Catholicism. Today, Mardi Gras is a festival of parades and parties celebrated worldwide starting weeks before Ash Wednesday.
With many tourists pouring into New Orleans and other festival cities, the foods of Louisiana have become synonymous with Mardi Gras. Here are 25 traditional and not-so-traditional Cajun and Creole recipes appropriate for Mardi Gras season.
Click the highlighted dish's name above its picture, and you'll be taken to the recipe post. Enjoy!
Mardi Gras APPETIZERS to Start With
This Muffuletta Cheese Ball is like the New Orleans classic muffuletta sandwich. Spread it on a cracker or cut veggies for a quick and easy snack food fit for a Mardi Gras party or any occasion! The flavors of salty olive salad, provolone cheese, and salami meld with cream cheese and Italian seasonings make for an appetizing appetizer.
Spicy Cajun seasoning and cheesiness are in these Crawfish Nachos. Along with tasty bites of crawfish, you'll find the flavors of lime, cilantro, and more jalapeno peppers. Yes, more!
These Roasted Pecans are buttery, crispy, and SPI-CEY! It takes some unique Louisiana flavors and only minutes to roast these nuts into delicious snackers. Make sure you have plenty of pecans before you start; you'll want to make multiple batches to keep and share!
This Crawfish Dip is perfect for parties or as an appetizer before a meal. You can serve this spicy dip with chips or crackers for a memorable gathering. Yum
These spicy crackers are baked saltines packed with flavor. They're easy to make and a great Mardi Gras food recipe for your party. Oh, yeah, and with a link of hot boudin, too. Smack!
SALADS on the Lighter Side
With bright and festive colors of purple, gold, and green, here's a tasty marinated dish tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing. Fat Tuesday reminds me of celebrations with parades, as does this fun salad I discovered years ago. It's perfect for Mardi Gras season and anytime, especially during the holidays.
Like the famous New Orleans muffuletta sandwich, this Muffuletta Pasta Salad packs a punch of flavor. It has the same combination of spicy cold cuts, Italian cheeses, and salty olives found in that classic muffuletta recipe from the Big Easy. The salad is perfect for a light lunch, appetizer, or side dish at any meal.
Whether picnicking or eating in, this Easy Crab Salad will satisfy your hunger for something light and refreshing. It has flavorful veggies, imitation or real crab meat dressed in a creamy mayo and Greek yogurt dressing spiked with hot sauce.
GUMBOS, SOUPS, and a BISQUE
Gumbo is the most well-known classic dish of all Cajun meals, and this Chicken Gumbo recipe is a traditional sausage gumbo from my Momma's kitchen. It's easy to follow and makes good gumbo every time.
The combination of shrimp and okra makes Shrimp Okra Gumbo a unique dish. The classic Cajun recipe thickens with smothered okra instead of a traditional flour and oil roux. This makes a healthful, gluten-free recipe. You can serve it as a main dish, a side dish, or a most amazing appetizer.
Nothing compares to my Momma's seafood gumbo! So far, I have not tasted one as good as hers. That's why I'm happy to share her recipe with you in hopes you become a fan of her seafood gumbo, too!
A steamy bowl of Shrimp and Corn Soup is the perfect antidote for bone-chilling, wet winter days. This soup is a favorite dish in south Louisiana made with its spicy tomatoey broth that balances the sweetness of the corn and shrimp flavor. Warmth for the body, good for the soul!
A delicious creamy seafood bisque with lumps of crabmeat and shrimp flavored with a kick of cayenne pepper and a hint of sherry. So good!
STEWS and ETOUFFEE
The Crawfish Étouffée is a classic Cajun dish that cooks the holy trinity of onions, celery, and green bell peppers in butter, smothering the seafood with this flavorful buttery sauce. Serve it over a bed of white rice. Ca c'est Bon! You can substitute the crawfish with shrimp for delicious shrimp étouffée.
Va Vite means "go quickly" in Cajun French, a fitting name for these Red Beans And Rice made in the Instant Pot. This dish is flavored with spicy sausage, adding pizzaz to the sauce served over white rice. Traditionally this New Orleans meal is served on Mondays, known as wash day. Perfect for a list of Mardi Gras Food ideas.
Shrimp Creole is a spicy-delicious thick stew. You make it with a slow-cooked tomatoey sauce flavored with seasonings, fresh herbs, and the Cajun trinity.
Cooking authentic Cajun food should be a simple and convenient experience, just like this Pork Jambalaya recipe. If you can chop vegetables and stir in a pot, you can make this tantalizing rib-sticking meal of tender pork, smoked sausage, and perfectly seasoned rice.
If you're looking for a satisfying meal to feed your family, I highly recommend this Cajun Meatball Stew. The moist and tender meatballs cooked in a dark, rich roux gravy are another one of those creative meals with Cajun flavors birthed from necessity.
LAGNIAPPE! (Something Extra)
A crawfish boil is a Cajun's delight and makes for a great Mardi Gras party. It's my pleasure to share our family's methodology on how to boil crawfish. I have included helpful tips and a short video on peeling those tasty tails at your next crawfish boil.
If you're a fan of the southern shrimp dish, barbecue shrimp, tune in to this Barbecue Shrimp Bowl recipe. It has all the flavor of the saucy New Orleans classic with spicy andouille sausage and a bit of lagniappe. That means something extra!
This crawfish dish is a special treat, like the famous Louisiana crawfish pie. It's filled with tasty crawfish in a spicy and luscious sauce, topped with a buttery puffed crust. The filling has a few unique ingredients that put it above the rest. You may find yourself making double batches 'cause they're just that good!
SWEETS for the finish
The rich traditions of Louisiana are fun to explore, mainly when they include celebratory foods like this traditional King Cake Recipe. It's filled with the classic flavors of cinnamon sugar swirled in tender bread dough, baked to perfection, and then iced with sprinkles of purple, green, and gold sugar. It's the perfect Mardi Gras King cake for the list of mardi Gras food recipes!
I'm excited to bring you this luscious cake recipe, the Cajun Cake. It's a "made from scratch" treat of simple ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. Its canned pineapple and coconut topping make it a moist and easy-to-make dessert.
This traditional Galette Des Rois of northern France is an original king cake. It's a simple and easy-to-make pâtisserie of golden buttery puff pastry. The filling is a creamy frangipane tucked with a hidden prize and full of meaningful symbolism.
My Maw Maw Noelie's Pecan pralines are among many favorite sweet treats in Cajun cooking. This homemade candy is cooked with white sugar, evaporated milk, and pecans. The creamy, fudge-like candy is melt-in-your-mouth good.
And That's a Wrap of 25 Mardi Gras Food Recipes, Enjoy!
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Have a nice day!
“Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."Nehemiah 8:10