Our Best Mardi Gras Recipes
Bring the flavors of the festivities to your kitchen with these traditional Mardi Gras recipes.
Praline-Cream Cheese King Cake
If you’re looking for a new king cake recipe to celebrate Mardi Gras, you must try this one. Our resident queen of confections, Pam Lolley, puts a new twist on this celebratory dessert. If you’re a little intimated, don’t be. Follow this recipe and don’t forget to put the baby in!
Savory Crawfish Beignets with Cayenne Powdered Sugar
Louisiana’s favorite fritter isn’t limited to the sweet morning variety. These beignets incorporate jalapenos, crawfish, and a kicky dusting of cayenne-powdered sugar, perfect for commencing any Big Easy feast.
Beignet Ice Cream Sandwiches
Coffee and beignets belong together, so coffee ice cream and beignets...? Yeah, that's a no-brainer. This easy, but impressive, New Orleans-inspired dessert recipe is the perfect treat for your Mardi Gras celebrations. With only five ingredients, you'll be surprised by how easy these ice cream sandwiches are to whip up (especially if you go with store-bought beignet mix).
Cheddar Cheese Straws
These big-batch cheese straws are an ideal snack for a lively Mardi Gras party, and the recipe is simple because they can be made ahead. They have just the right amount of spice and cheesy flavor. Mix things up by turning them into cheese wafers.
Traditional King Cake
Make New Orleans-Style Beignets and Celebrate Mardi Gras Wherever You Are
Halfway through college, the falafel restaurant down the street from me started selling, somewhat improbably, New Orleans-style chicory coffee and beignets. The coffee was a dollar a cup, and beignets a dollar each—four bucks for a half-dozen, handed to you in a brown paper bag covered in powdered sugar. It was quite the five-dollar feast, and my introduction to the beauty of a beignet. They're like doughnuts, but airier and crisper, light enough that it was entirely reasonable to eat two or three or four of them, and entirely likely that I too would be coated in powdered sugar by the end of it.
Just about nothing is easier than eating beignets, but making them is fully within reach. And if you’re jonesing to be down in New Orleans right now for Mardi Gras, they’re just the thing. Make the dough the day before you plan to fry them up, go out Mardi-Gras-ing wherever you are, and know that they’re simple enough to make even if you’re powerfully hungover. (And you’ll probably be craving something fried anyway.)
Frying? you might be thinking. Hungover? I mean it! There’s so much less ado about frying than we often think there is. Just keep these things in mind: You’re not contending with a vat of oil, just about an inch. Heat the oil slowly. Fry in a deep-sided pot and use long-handled tools like tongs to maneuver the beignets. And when you’re done, let the oil cool before pouring it into a container (like an empty can or jar), then throw it away—don’t drain it down the sink. You’re done.
Note: For plain, not-chocolaty beignets, replace the ¼ cup cocoa powder with ¼ cup all-purpose flour and omit the espresso powder.
Chocolate Buttermilk Beignets
Duck Confit Dirty Rice
Go next-generation with this Acadian classic by getting “dirty” with shards of prepared duck confit in place of sausage or ground meat.
Louisiana Hot Crab Dip
Fresh crab meat is the star of this classic New Orleans appetizer.
Chocolate Chunk Bread Puddings
Try not to chop the chocolate too finely for this bread pudding recipe so you'll have good-sized chunks to bite into. Hawaiian sweet bread is a soft, sweet bread found in the bakery section of most grocery stores. Leftovers are good for ham and Swiss sandwiches.
Mini King Cupcakes
Every good Mardi Gras party ends with a king cake, which traditionally holds a baby figurine inside that represents the Christ child. Whoever finds the baby enjoys good luck the following year--and must prepare the cake for next year's celebration. These miniatures are a twist on the classic dessert.
Instant Pot Gumbo
Gumbo is traditionally a time- and labor-intensive dish, but our Instant Pot recipe delivers full-on flavor in just one hour.
Make a Mardi Gras Menu
Indulgent food, spiked drinks, and the famous King Cake (pictured here) can only mean one thing: you’re celebrating Mardi Gras. Whether you’re hosting a Mardi Gras party at home or simply serving a meal inspired by the festival, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite dishes. So choose the recipes you like, make a custom menu, and enjoy the same cuisine that’s being served in The Big Easy.
Turn a Mardi Gras classic into perfect portable party hors d'oeuvres.
“Big Easy” Gumbo
Gumbo is a staple that originated in Louisiana. This party favorite is great for serving a crowd, especially during carnival season. It's filled with chicken, shrimp, and andouille sausage, and the Creole seasoning gives the hearty gumbo bold flavor.
Easy Mini Muffulettas
Muffulettas first originated in New Orleans on Sicilian bread. We’re adding our own spin to this classic by making it more snack-friendly for guests. Serve these sandwiches as part of a lunch buffet, and they will be eaten up in no time!
Hot Crawfish Dip
In Louisiana, February means two things: Mardi Gras and crawfish. Two-thirds of all mudbugs are harvested this month. Most locals start with a boil (corn, sausage, and potatoes), but what's left goes into crawfish pie, and luscious appetizer dips.
Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage
This French- and Spanish-influenced dish has deep roots in Creole country. Our jambalaya is given a surf-and-turf feel with the combination of shrimp and andouille sausage. When served with rice, this 5-star dish is filling and fast (ready in less than 40 minutes).
Cajun Bloody Mary
For a pretty presentation, rub the rims of glasses with lemon wedges, and dip in a mixture of black pepper and coarse salt.
Crepes are a French treat that can be served for breakfast or dessert. The oranges and grapefruits in these Louisiana crepes help balance their sweetness. Sprinkle on powdered sugar, and voilà—a masterpiece!
As New Orleans’ official cocktail, the Sazerac lives up to its name. Some still say Sazerac may have been News Orleans’ first cocktail, but whether this is true or not, the combination of flavors is what made it a classic. We hear the key to this drink is Peychaud's Bitters, but you’ll have to mix one up to find out.
Shrimp Po’ Boys
Fried shrimp and baguettes give a Southern feel to a French sandwich. Cayenne in the shrimp breading and Tabasco in the sauce give these po’ boys an extra kick.
New Orleans Beignets
Even if you can’t make it to New Orleans, these beignets will bring a taste of the city to you. French-inspired fritters are perfect for breakfast with a café au lait. The warm, doughy pastries will have you believing you are sitting in the famous Café du Monde in the French Quarter.
Cajun Red Beans and Rice
Add some New Orleans flair to a meal by making red beans and rice, Cajun style. The red beans, andouille sausage links, and array of spices will fill your kitchen with the aroma of the city.
Toast the festivities with mimosas during brunch. The pineapple juice and grenadine add a unique flavor and color to the traditional cocktail and are sure to impress guests.
One of the signatures of a New Orleans-style dish is that it’s fried, and these calas are no exception. The original recipe, titled “Callers,” is featured in one of the city’s oldest cookbooks. These rice fritters are lighter than the original recipe and sprinkled with powdered sugar to give them a sweet touch.
Preparing this spicy Southern meal is a great way to bring everyone together. Make it a shrimp boil party by boiling the ingredients, dumping the mix onto paper sacks, and letting your guests eat straight off the table.
John’s Bananas Foster
Bananas Foster was invented in a New Orleans restaurant and is still a favorite dessert today. This quick dish combines sweet, warm bananas and ice cream. The only challenge is the flambé, but that just adds to the festive spirit of Mardi Gras!