A collage of favorite dishes from 24 Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

24 Mardi Gras Food Recipes

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Join in on the Fat Tuesday festivities with these 24 Mardi Gras Food Recipes wherever you are. They include appetizers, salads, main dishes, and desserts. With these appealing treats, you can experience a taste of Louisiana’s rich tradition of feasting before the fasting of Lenten season.

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Mardi Gras Food Recipes Fit For A King!

Mardi Gras in Cajun country wasn’t always an elaborate celebration as it is today. It was simply a Catholic holiday enjoyed before Ash Wednesday, a time when one prepared their heart for the days before Easter. That’s how it was at our house; a fun day with family and friends. Sometimes it meant attending the Kaplan Mardi Gras parade, but we always sat before a meal supplied with our favorite Cajun cuisine.

The holiday 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 24 traditional and not-so-traditional Cajun and Creole recipes that are appropriate for the Mardi Gras season. Click the highlighted dish’s name above its picture and you’ll be taken to the recipe. Enjoy!

Mardi Gras APPETIZERS to Start With

Muffuletta Cheese Ball

A cheese ball covered with chopped chives on a plate with crackers for Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

This Muffuletta Cheese Ball tastes like a classic New Orleans muffuletta sandwich. Spread it on a cracker or some veggies for a quick and easy snack food fit for a party or any occasion! The flavors of salty salad olives, provolone cheese, and salami that meld together with cream cheese and Italian seasonings make for an appetizing appetizer.

Crawfish Nachos

A dish of cheesy crawfish dip on top of tortilla chips with lime slices for Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

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!

Cajun Roasted Pecans

Roasted pecans in a star-shaped bowl for Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

These Cajun 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!

Chunky Cheesy Creamy Crawfish Dip

A bowl of Chunky Cheesy Creamy Crawfish Dip with tortilla chips for Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

This Chunky, Cheesy, Creamy Crawfish Dip is perfect for parties or as an appetizer before a meal. You can serve this spicy dip with chips or crackers and make it a memorable gathering. Yum!

Cajun Firecracker Ranch Crackers

A bowl is full of seasoned saltine crackers.

The Cajun Firecracker Ranch 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

My Mardi Gras Salad

My Mardi Gras Salad is a tossed salad of peas, asparagus, onions, and peppers for Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

For its bright and festive colors, here’s a tasty marinated dish with a sweet and tangy dressing named My Mardi Gras Salad. Fat Tuesday reminds me of celebrations with parades and this fun salad I discovered years ago. They are perfect for Mardi Gras season but can be enjoyed anytime.

Muffuletta Pasta Salad

A large bowl of muffuletta pasta salad for Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

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 sandwich. The salad is perfect for a light lunch, appetizer, or side dish for any meal.

Shrimp Salad

A serving of Shrimp Salad with 2 lemon slices.

This Shrimp Salad is akin to Shrimp Remoulade, dressed in a spicy-cool sauce with a sweet Cajun kick. The crispy bites of red peppers and the surprising ingredient of artichoke hearts make this salad extra special. Yep, artichoke hearts! It will be love at first bite, I’m sure!

MAIN DISHES

GUMBOS, SOUPS, and a BISQUE

Chicken Gumbo, Simply Classic Cajun

A white bowl full of rice, potato salad, sausage, and a chicken leg made from the Chicken Gumbo, Simply Classic Cajun recipe.

Gumbo is the most well-known dish of all Cajun meals, and this Chicken Gumbo recipe is the classic version straight from my Momma’s kitchen. It’s easy to follow and makes a delicious pot every time.

Shrimp Okra Gumbo

A bowl of Shrimp Okra Gumbo with rice for Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

The delicious 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 it a healthful, gluten-free recipe. You can serve it as a main dish, a side dish, or a most amazing appetizer.

Seafood Gumbo

A bowl full of Seafood Gumbo

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 give it a try and become a fan of her seafood gumbo, too!

Shrimp And Corn Soup

A white bowl filled with Shrimp And Corn Soup for Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

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!

Seafood Bisque

A spoon in a blue bowl of seafood bisque with lumps of crab and shrimp. on a wooden table with small salt and pepper shakers.

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

Crawfish Etouffee, To Etouffee ​​Is To Smother

A serving of Crawfish Étouffée on white rice.

The Crawfish Étouffée is a classic Cajun dish made by cooking onions, garlic, celery, and bell pepper in butter, smothering the seafood with this flavorful sauce. Serve it over a bed of white rice. Ca c’est Bon! I’ll show you how easy it is to make with crawfish or shrimp.

Va Vite Red Beans and Rice

A plateful of white rice topped with "Va Vite" Red Beans And Rice for Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

Va Vite means “go quickly” in Cajun French, which is a fitting name for these Red Beans And Rice made in the Instant Pot. You go quickly on your way in making them, and they go quickly away from the pot onto the plate and into the belly. This traditional New Orleans meal is served on Mondays, known as wash day. Perfect for a Mardi Gras Food Recipes list.

Shrimp Stew With Eggs

A white bowl of shrimp stew on rice with a poached eggs cut into with a fork.

There are two ways to make Shrimp Stew With Eggs. One is to boil the eggs, peel, and add them to the stew’s gravy. Recently I’ve discovered another way that I like better. It starts with a rich roux and then ends with freshly cracked eggs poured right into the gravy for poaching. If you like a soft-centered egg, you may prefer it this way, too! A delicious version of another classic Cajun dish.

Shrimp Creole

A pot of shrimp creole garnished with lemon wedges for Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

The classic 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.

Pork Jambalaya, A Traditional Cajun Dish

A pot of Pork Jambalaya.

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 gravy are another one of those creative meals birthed from necessity.

LAGNIAPPE! (Something Extra)

How To Boil Crawfish

Bowl with dip and crackers in a pan of crawfish for Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

Cooking and eating crawfish is a Cajun’s delight and makes for a great Mardi Gras party food. So with that said, it’s my pleasure to share our family’s methodology on how to boil crawfish with you. I have included helpful tips and a short video on how to peel those tasty tails. 

Barbecue Shrimp Bowl

Cooked shrimp, sausage, and mushrooms in a spicy sauce in a pan stirred with a wooden spoon.

If you’re a barbecue shrimp fan, tune in to this Barbecue Shrimp Bowl recipe. It has all the flavor of the spicy, saucy New Orleans classic with a bit of lagniappe. That means something extra!

Crawfish Pot Pie, A cajun Delight

A spoonful of Crawfish Pot Pie with pot pies.

This Crawfish Pot Pie is a special treat like the traditional 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

King Cake Recipe: A Traditional Version

A King Cake with colored sugars of purple, green, and gold for Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

The rich traditions of Louisiana are fun to explore, mainly when they include celebratory foods like this King Cake Recipe. It’s filled with the classic flavors of cinnamon sugar swirled in tender bread dough, baked to perfection, then iced with sprinkles of purple, green, and gold sugar.

Cajun Cake, An Immoderate Indulgence

A piece of Cajun Cake on a purple plate and a bite-sized piece on a fork for 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 found in most kitchens. Its ingredients of canned pineapple, and coconut topping make it a moist and easy-to-make dessert.

French Toast Or Pain Perdu (Lost Bread)

French toast with powdered sugar and blue berries on a white plate.

French toast is a classic breakfast pastry known as pain perdu or lost bread. This dish transpired years ago by saving precious homemade bread before it spoiled and had to be thrown out. It’s a traditional Louisiana treat!

And That’s a Wrap of 24 Mardi Gras Food Recipes, Enjoy!

A collage of favorite dishes from 24 Mardi Gras Food Recipes.

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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


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