32 Creole Dinners
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.
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.
Creole Seafood Jambalaya
"My family has been making a version of this dish for generations."--chef John Besh
Cajun Shrimp Linguine
Classic Cajun flavors--the smoky, spicy seasoning; sweet shrimp; and onion, green bell pepper, and celery trinity--give this pasta toss a New Orleans vibe.
Red Beans and Rice with Fried Eggs
Red beans and rice is a tried and true standby for good reason—at it’s simplest, the dish is hearty, tasty, comes together fast, and can be whipped up with ease, even during those hectic weeks you can’t seem to make it the grocery store. We amped up this largely pantry staple-based recipe with a runny yolked fried egg and a package of frozen “seasoning blend,” which includes chopped bell pepper, onion, and celery. If you have fresh onions, peppers, etc. on hand and a few extra minutes for chopping, feel free to go that route instead! Microwaveable rice keeps the dinner super speedy to prep, but you can use traditionally cooked rice here just as well.
Collard Green Creole Dirty Rice
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.
Slow Cooker Shrimp Boil
For a classic summery meal without a fuss, look no further than this slow cooker shrimp boil. With a simple ingredient list and a largely hands-off cooking method, this easy seafood boil is a perfect recipe to plan on for casual warm weather entertaining or even as a low-effort meal to make at the rental house during a beach vacation. We opted to pull the corn out after 30 minutes of cooking as we preferred it on the crisp side, but as long as your slow cooker is large enough, feel free to leave it in the pot as the shrimp and sausage cook.
Sausage, Shrimp & 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 Shrimp
Traditionally, 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 Gumbo
This 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 Dip
Bring a taste of New Orleans to the table with this fabulous seafood gumbo dip.
Creole Chicken and Vegetables
This 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 Chops
Cajun seasoning adds a bit of zip to the breading of this Southern specialty.
New Orleans Red Beans and Rice with Pickled Peppers
In 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.
Not 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 Gumbo
The genius of this menu is that most of the work can be done ahead of time
Muffalettas 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 Jambalaya
Jambalaya 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.
Creole 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' Boys
Oyster-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 Chicken
Add 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 Sauce
Think 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 Shrimp with Creole Mayonnaise
Serve a lighter version of fried shrimp with a creamy Creole dipping sauce. Fresh, seasonal veggies make the perfect accompaniment.
Creole Shrimp and Rice
Creole Shrimp and Rice is table-ready in just 40 minutes. Creole seasoning adds a kick of spice to this quick and healthy meal.
Athena 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 Grits
This 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 Rémoulade
Chef 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 Stew
Jennifer 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 Tilapia
Flavor budget-friendly tilapia fillets with Cajun (or Creole) seasoning, dredge in flour and cornmeal, and pan fry for a quick-cooking weeknight meal.