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Our Best Mardi Gras Recipes

Fat Tuesday. Is there a more joyous food holiday? This special occasion revels in the richest, fattiest, most calorie-laden and decadent edibles available. After all, it’s the last day before the fasting of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is actually the culmination of the entire Carnival season, a months-long celebration featuring public parades, parties, costumes, masks, high-spirited revelry, and magnificent feasting.

From Belgium to Brazil, Mardi Gras festivities take place all over the world. In America, the party reaches its peak in New Orleans, Louisiana, the birthplace of U.S. Mardi Gras celebrations. Way back in the late 1600s, French King Louis XIV sent delegates overseas to defend France’s claim on the American territory of Louisiane. At that time, Louisiane included the modern-day states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and portions of eastern Texas. On Tuesday March 3, 1699, the king’s delegates made camp on the Mississippi River about 60 miles downstream from what is now New Orleans. It happened to be Fat Tuesday, and in honor of that day, they named the encampment area Mardi Gras Point (Point du Mardi Gras in French). By 1723, New Orleans became the capital of Louisiana, and the first NOLA Mardi Gras parade took place in 1837. The city was a natural epicenter for Carnival celebrations in the region and eventually the entire United States, a badge of honor that New Orleans has welcomed with open arms. For two weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday, local NOLA social clubs or “krewes” pull out all the stops with elaborate parties, balls, costumes, masks, dances, marching bands, parades, and floats, where riders toss “throws” such as colorful beads, doubloons, moon pies, lingerie, and coconuts into the cheering crowds. Anything goes during Mardi Gras, and it’s a wild time. Or as they say in the Big Easy, laissez les bons temps rouler. Let the good times roll!

King cake is the most iconic Mardi Gras food, decorated in the traditional colors of purple (for justice), green (for faith), and gold (for power). This rich, buttery cake is twisted and baked in a ring-shaped mold then decorated with colored icing sugar. It’s customary to hide a baby Jesus figurine inside the cake. Whoever gets the trinket bakes the next king cake to keep the party going.

Sweet pancakes are also traditional on Shrove Tuesday, as Mardi Gras is sometimes called, along with all manner of rich, fried pastries from doughnuts to beignets. In New Orleans, other Cajun and Creole foods find their way to Mardi Gras tables from jambalaya and gumbo to muffuletta, andouille po’ boys, grilled oysters, red beans and rice, pralines, hurricanes, and Sazerac cocktails. If you can’t make it down to New Orleans to partake of these foods and drinks, enjoy them at home! Here are some of our richest, most delicious NOLA-inspired recipes to help you celebrate Mardi Gras in style, no matter where you are.

Po boy with lid off showing shrimp and andouille

BBQ Shrimp And Andouille Po Boy Grills Up A Taste of N’awlins

By:

Meathead

Savory New Orleans BBQ shrimp and spicy Andouille sausage are the stars of the show in this recipe for a grilled po boy. Served on crusty French style bread and packed full of meat and/or seafood, the po' boy sandwich is a New Orleans staple and our Barbecue Shrimp & Andouille Po-Boy twist is surely an instant classic.
Red beans and rice

Red Beans And Rice Recipe, A New Orleans Classic Made At Home

By:

Meathead

Enjoy a taste of New Orleans with this recipe for classic red beans and rice! In NOLA, Sunday is ham night, and on Monday, the leftover ham and the ham bone are used to make Red Beans and Rice, a traditional Creole stew that can be prepped quickly and simmers for several hours before diving in.
Grilled oysters in the shell

Grilled Oysters With Roasted Garlic Butter And Romano

By:

Dave Joachim

If you've only ever eaten oysters raw, this recipe will be a revelation. And if you've never warmed up to oysters, give this recipe a try. Oysters Grilled with Roasted Garlic Butter and Romano are easy to make, drenched with rich flavors, and utterly delicious.
this item is for members only
Shrimp and andouille sausage in a bowl

Original New Orleans BBQ Shrimp Recipe Does Right Bayou

By:

Meathead

New Orleans barbecue sauce is a rich, hot buttery sauce used on shrimp but it works beautifully on many other dishes. Technically, since there is no smoke in the recipe, so it really isn't barbecue, but there's no reason why you can't bask in its delicious mix of butter, garlic, Louisiana hot sauce, and more.
candied pecans

Candied Pecans From The Grill Are Sinfully Delicious

By:

Meathead

Candied pecans are always a hit as a snack and this recipe takes them over the top by roasting them on the grill. Serve them straight, mixed with dried fruit, or sprinkled as garnish on your favorite dishes. If you don't have a smoker or grill you can make most of these recipes just fine in your indoor oven.
grilled shrimp atop grits

Show Some Southern Flair With Grilled Shrimp And Grits

By:

Clint Cantwell

Enjoy a taste of the south with this tested recipe for a grilled twist on the classic pairing of shrimp and grits. Whether it’s for brunch, lunch, or dinner, this delicious combination of rich and creamy stone ground grits and perfectly grilled shrimp is sure to please any crowd.
Grilled andouille sausage on a plate

How To Make Traditional Louisiana Andouille Sausage At Home

By:

Meathead

Andouille sausage is the soul of New Orleans Creole cooking. It is spicy, garlicky, and smoky. Here is how to make this classic Louisiana sausage.
Grilled catfish sauced and plated

Make Grilled Catfish That Doesn’t Stick With This Genius Trick

By:

Clint Cantwell

A base of sliced citrus is the key to perfectly grilled fish in this recipe for grilled blackened catfish with charred lemon cream sauce. Grilling the catfish fillets on top of orange slices ensures the fish won't stick to the grill grate and adds a touch of citrus flavor.
louisiana-bbq-sauce

Bayou Bite Louisiana BBQ Sauce Recipe

By:

Meathead

This Louisiana BBQ sauce recipe is spicy and sweet with Chipotle Tabasco, roasted jalapenos, red peppers, and Steen's Cane Syrup. Referred to as Bayou Bite, this delicious sauce blends sweet and hot peppers for a mildly spicy finishing and dipping sauce for ribs, chicken, steaks, chops and so much more.
Powdered sugar dusted pecan tassie

Bite-Size Pecan Pies Are Easy To Make And Easier To Eat

By:

Meathead

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this delicious recipe for pecan tassies, mini bite size pecan pies. Crunchy, nutty, gooey, flaky, and easy to pop one after another, these tasty tartlets are often served at Southern weddings, but are most common at Christmas and Thanksgiving, when pecans are still fresh.

Bayou Bite Louisiana BBQ Sauce Recipe

By:

Meathead

This Louisiana BBQ sauce recipe is spicy and sweet with Chipotle Tabasco, roasted jalapenos, red peppers, and Steen's Cane Syrup. Referred to as Bayou Bite, this delicious sauce blends sweet and hot peppers for a mildly spicy finishing and dipping sauce for ribs, chicken, steaks, chops and so much more.

Hot Southern Comfort Cider Recipe

By:

Meathead

This hot Southern Comfort cider recipe is the perfect cold weather drink, après ski if you will, or après snow blower. While it can be made with other liquors and liqueurs, Southern Comfort works best. It is technically a liqueur, but not as sticky sweet as most, making it perfect for the hot cider.

Cajun Seasoning Rub Recipe

By:

Meathead

This spice blend features classic Louisiana flavors like cayenne and allspice, perfect for making andouille sausage, jambalaya, gumbo, and blackened fish. It is also good rubbed on barbecued meats and mixed into burgers.

Best Pimento Cheese Recipe Ever

By:

Meathead

In the South, you cannot have a social gathering without Pimento Cheese sandwiches. You can buy it in plastic tubs at the grocery, but it is exponentially better when you make it yourself thanks to this tested recipe. It's also rather simple, comprised primarily of pimentos, mayonnaise, and grated cheddar cheese.

You Say Smoked Pimento Cheese is Fancy? I Say It’s Fantastic!

By:

Meathead

Pimento cheese is a canvas. A springboard for creativity. Shredded cheddar, mayo, and chopped pimentos are just the start. From there, the sky's the limit. I love this smoky take on the classic, and it's not heresy. Many Southerners "doctor" the original recipe to show their creativity and one up their neighbors.

Break Out The Foil And Wrap Up This Easy Shrimp Boil For A Taste Of The Beach In Your Backyard

By:

Clint Cantwell

This mouthwatering grilled shrimp boil recipe is an effortless family style feast for your backyard cookout. There’s something truly engaging about diving into a steaming hot peel-and-eat shrimp boil, fingers dripping with spicy juices as you devour the tender shrimp, potatoes, sausage, and corn, all done on the grill.

Candied Pecans From The Grill Are Sinfully Delicious

By:

Meathead

Candied pecans are always a hit as a snack and this recipe takes them over the top by roasting them on the grill. Serve them straight, mixed with dried fruit, or sprinkled as garnish on your favorite dishes. If you don't have a smoker or grill you can make most of these recipes just fine in your indoor oven.

Make Grilled Catfish That Doesn’t Stick With This Genius Trick

By:

Clint Cantwell

A base of sliced citrus is the key to perfectly grilled fish in this recipe for grilled blackened catfish with charred lemon cream sauce. Grilling the catfish fillets on top of orange slices ensures the fish won't stick to the grill grate and adds a touch of citrus flavor.

Griddle Up Shrimp And Cheesy Polenta Cakes

By:

Paul Sidoriak

Shrimp and corn are a match made in heaven. Instead of the usual shrimp and grits, enjoy the combination in this recipe for Griddle Grilled Shrimp with Cheesy Polenta Cakes. A white wine griddle sauce takes this recipe up a notch.

Show Some Southern Flair With Grilled Shrimp And Grits

By:

Clint Cantwell

Enjoy a taste of the south with this tested recipe for a grilled twist on the classic pairing of shrimp and grits. Whether it’s for brunch, lunch, or dinner, this delicious combination of rich and creamy stone ground grits and perfectly grilled shrimp is sure to please any crowd.
this item is for members only

Creole Seasoning Rub Recipe

By:

Dave Joachim

This recipe for spicy Creole seasoning is perfect for gumbo, jambalaya, and crawfish etoufee. It also works well rubbed on pork, chicken and turkey.

Grilled Oysters With Roasted Garlic Butter And Romano

By:

Dave Joachim

If you've only ever eaten oysters raw, this recipe will be a revelation. And if you've never warmed up to oysters, give this recipe a try. Oysters Grilled with Roasted Garlic Butter and Romano are easy to make, drenched with rich flavors, and utterly delicious.

How To Make Traditional Louisiana Andouille Sausage At Home

By:

Meathead

Andouille sausage is the soul of New Orleans Creole cooking. It is spicy, garlicky, and smoky. Here is how to make this classic Louisiana sausage.

BBQ Shrimp And Andouille Po Boy Grills Up A Taste of N’awlins

By:

Meathead

Savory New Orleans BBQ shrimp and spicy Andouille sausage are the stars of the show in this recipe for a grilled po boy. Served on crusty French style bread and packed full of meat and/or seafood, the po' boy sandwich is a New Orleans staple and our Barbecue Shrimp & Andouille Po-Boy twist is surely an instant classic.
this item is for members only

Original New Orleans BBQ Shrimp Recipe Does Right Bayou

By:

Meathead

New Orleans barbecue sauce is a rich, hot buttery sauce used on shrimp but it works beautifully on many other dishes. Technically, since there is no smoke in the recipe, so it really isn't barbecue, but there's no reason why you can't bask in its delicious mix of butter, garlic, Louisiana hot sauce, and more.

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Published On: 6/28/2019 Last Modified: 3/23/2021


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