No dinner plans tonight? Well, kick back and relax with these delicious Creole and Cajun recipes. Whether it's Mardi Gras or not, if you can't be in New Orleans, eating like you are is the next best thing.
Creole Seafood Jambalaya"My family has been making a version of this dish for generations."--chef John Besh
Cajun Shrimp LinguineClassic Cajun flavors--the smoky, spicy seasoning; sweet shrimp; and onion, green bell pepper, and celery trinity--give this pasta toss a New Orleans vibe.
Creole Shrimp and Okra
Think of this main as shrimp and grits with a distinctly Cajun attitude. Halved okra not only looks gorgeous, but it'll also give off less "slime" than chopped okra. Let the vegetables caramelize a bit in the pan for a richer base.
Sausage, Shrimp and Quinoa Skillet
We swapped rice for protein- and fiber-rich quinoa in this faux dirty rice, but any cooked whole grain would work well; give bulgur or farro a try to change things up.
Andouille Sausage Jambalaya with ShrimpTraditionally, rice is cooked in the jambalaya liquid, but for this flavorful slow-cooker version, it's best to stir in the cooked rice at the end.
Turkey and Andouille Sausage GumboThis gumbo is a great use for leftover roasted turkey, though cooked chicken will also work. We skip the long-stirred roux here in favor of filé powder, a thickener made from the sassafras plant; look for it on the spice aisle. For the best results, stir in the filé powder off the heat.
Shrimp-and-Andouille Gumbo DipBring a taste of New Orleans to the table with this fabulous seafood gumbo dip.
Creole Chicken and VegetablesThis speedy one-dish meal is a great way to bring the flavors of New Orleans to your table without spending all day in the kitchen. The use of frozen veggies, quick-cooking rice, and a few on-hand spices are the secrets to speed. Watch the video for more prep tips.
Cajun-Seasoned Pan-Fried Pork ChopsCajun seasoning adds a bit of zip to the breading of this Southern specialty.
New Orleans Red Beans and Rice with Pickled PeppersIn New Orleans, red beans and rice are traditionally served on Mondays because the dish uses up leftover Sunday ham. Grace Parisi likes making the recipe any day of the week, and she replaces the ham with smoky bacon.
Chicken-and-Sausage GumboNot all gumbos are full of seafood—this one brims with pieces of tender chicken and spicy sausage. And, in keeping with the tradition of gumbos, it's thickened with a rich roux and file powder.
Best Ever Seafood GumboThe genius of this menu is that most of the work can be done ahead of time
Chicken MuffulettaMuffalettas are one of the signature sandwiches of New Orleans, and this chicken version is considerably lower in fat than the traditional ones packed with ham and salami. But it still has the olive salad that sets muffalettas apart from other sandwiches.
Chicken and Sausage JambalayaJambalaya is a signature dish of Creole cuisine and is a one-skillet meal featuring cooked rice with vegetables and almost any kind of meat. Chicken and andouille sausage are the stars here, with a supporting cast of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic.
Chicken CreoleCreole cooking and Cajun cooking have some similarities, but are not exactly the same. Creole cuisine tends to be a little more elegant and often features more tomatoes and fewer spices than Cajun dishes. This Creole chicken dish features both cubed chicken and ham cooked in a mixture of tomatoes, herbs, and white wine. Turn it into a complete meal by serving it with rice.
Steel-Cut Oats Jambalaya
The Creole classic gets a fun makeover with steel-cut oats, which are higher in protein and fiber than white rice. But I wouldn't dare change the heart of the recipe--the trinity of onion, bell pepper, and celery. Be sure to use quick-cooking steel-cut oats for the best results.
Oyster-and-Shrimp Po' BoysOyster-and-Shrimp Po’ Boys are classic New Orleans sandwiches that come on a French loaf, often with shredded lettuce, tomato, and remoulade or Creole mayonnaise.
Cajun Oven-Fried ChickenAdd a touch of Cajun spice to this all-time favorite Southern dish. Because it's oven fried, this chicken has less than 4 grams of fat per serving.
Chicken Cakes with Creole SauceThink of crab cakes, but with chopped cooked chicken breast instead of crabmeat. When you're watching your pennies, this is a great choice. The quick and easy Creole sauce is made with light mayo, yogurt, Creole mustard, and a bit a ground red pepper for an extra kick.
Pan-Fried ShrimpServe a lighter version of fried shrimp with a creamy Creole dipping sauce. Fresh, seasonal veggies make the perfect accompaniment.
Creole Shrimp and RiceCreole Shrimp and Rice is table-ready in just 40 minutes. Creole seasoning adds a kick of spice to this quick and healthy meal.
Creole ChickenAthena Kolbe, 38, Detroit "It has been 10 years since I devised this dish, and it's still one of my family's favorites."
Creole Shrimp and Sweet Potato GritsThis dish gets a great kick from some Sriracha hot chili sauce and a creamy texture with smoked gouda cheese.
Crab-Stuffed Catfish Fillets with Cajun RémouladeChef Rusty Hamlin feeds the Zac Brown Band members and their fans at big, casual "Eat and Greet" suppers when the band is touring. Here's one of Rusty's favorite dishes, which he serves with Cajun Rémoulade and grits.
Cajun Chicken StewJennifer Nelson, 31, Crosby, Texas "This warm and soothing slow-cooked dish is so nice to come home to after a long day."
Natalie's Cajun-Seasoned Pan-Fried TilapiaFlavor budget-friendly tilapia fillets with Cajun (or Creole) seasoning, dredge in flour and cornmeal, and pan fry for a quick-cooking weeknight meal.