22 New Orleans Classics to Celebrate Mardi Gras

Make each one of these Mardi Gras recipes—it’s called Fat Tuesday for a reason

Whether or not you observe Lent, Fat Tuesday is a great excuse for an indulgent New Orleans-style feast. We have all the Mardi Gras recipes you need, from colorful king cake and crawfish étouffée to gumbo and bananas Foster. Make sure you have the right tools and ingredients for gumbo: the thick, rich stew is great no matter what you put in it and is a great way to clean out leftover vegetables from your fridge. Oysters and okra are also perfect for the holiday and require only minutes to prepare. For even more Cajun food recipes, check out our classic New Orlean’s recipes. We’ve rounded up our favorite Mardi Gras recipes here.

Oxtail Gumbo

Oxtail Gumbo

This recipe combines inexpensive cuts of meat, including oxtail, ground sausage, and turkey necks, yielding a rich, hearty gumbo that, despite its humble ingredients, is nothing short of extraordinary. Get the recipe for Oxtail Gumbo »Ingalls Photography
Smothered Okra

Smothered Okra

Pickled okra is great smothered in tomato. Get the recipe for Smothered Okra »Ingalls Photography

Duck and Andouille Gumbo

Duck and Andouille Gumbo
This stew uses rendered duck fat in the roux instead of butter and quartered ducks in lieu of the classic chicken. Get the recipe for Duck and Andouille Gumbo »Christina Holmes
Smoked Turkey and Andouille Gumbo

Smoked Turkey and Andouille Gumbo

Located in a Lafayette, Louisiana farmhouse from the 1830s that has served as both a Confederate Army headquarters and, during the city's 1980s oil boom, a singles bar, Café Vermilionville smokes the turkey for this luxurious gumbo right out back in a makeshift smoker. The resulting dish embodies the rich flavors of dark roux and barbecued meat. Get the recipe for Smoked Turkey and Andouille Gumbo »Ingalls Photography

Oyster Pie with Buttermilk Biscuits

Oyster Pie with Buttermilk Biscuits
This classic oyster stew from Justin Devillier, the chef of La Petite Grocery in New Orleans, is packed full of Swiss chard and flavored with smoky ham and absinthe, which perfumes each steaming bite with an enticing note of licorice. The buttermilk biscuits on top are just as delicious cooked separately and slathered with butter and honey. Get the recipe for Oyster Pie with Buttermilk Biscuits »Christina Holmes; Spoon from Old World Kitchen
Redfish on the Half Shell with Creamy Grits

Redfish on the Half Shell with Creamy Grits

Grilling fish skin-side-down with scales still attached protects the delicate meat and insulates it from the heat, resulting in perfectly tender flesh. Get the recipe for Redfish on the Half Shell with Creamy Grits »Christina Holmes
Crawfish Etouffée

Crawfish Etouffée

Crawfish tails are cooked with tomatoes, paprika, and cream to make a luscious stew. Get the recipe for Crawfish Etouffée »Todd Coleman
King Cake

King Cake

This traditional cake, made here with a rich brioche dough and stuffed with a decadent cream cheese filling, is drizzled with a buttermilk glaze and sprinkled with crunchy green, gold, and purple sanding sugars. Get the recipe for King Cake »Helen Rosner
Fried Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Fried Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

New Orleans chef Donald Link was born and raised in the Cajun town of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and this rustic gumbo, which is often served at his St. Charles Avenue restaurant Herbsaint, always reminds him of home. To give the gumbo added flavor, Link makes his roux with the same oil he uses to fry the chicken, which he later shreds and adds to the pot, along with his homemade andouille sausage. The result is a dark, thick, rustic stew with just the right amount of heat. Get the recipe for Fried Chicken and Andouille Gumbo »Chris Granger
Brigtsen's Oysters LeRuth

Brigtsen's Oysters LeRuth

Sweet crabmeat and shrimp enrich the stuffing of these broiled oysters. Get the recipe for Brigtsen's Oysters LeRuth »Todd Coleman
Mr. B's Gumbo Ya-Ya

Mr. B's Gumbo Ya-Ya

This dark-roux gumbo originates in Cajun country. Get the recipe for Mr. B's Gumbo Ya-Ya »Todd Coleman
White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Bananas and Rum Sauce

White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Bananas and Rum Sauce

Two of our favorite New Orleans desserts combine in an extravagant white chocolate and banana rum bread pudding. Get the recipe for White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Bananas and Rum Sauce »Todd Coleman
Creole Okra Gumbo

Creole Okra Gumbo

Most gumbos begin with a roux—a flavorful thickener made by cooking fat with flour. But there are as many ways to make a gumbo as there are cooks in Louisiana. Many versions of the dish, especially those of Creole origin, are made without a roux, including this recipe from The Times Picayune's Creole Cookbook (Random House, 1989), which uses a combination of tomatoes and okra as a thickener. While adding tomatoes to gumbo is heresy in many Cajun kitchens, Creole cooks are fans of the bright, sweet complexity they add to the dish—and so are we. Get the recipe for Creole Okra Gumbo »Ingalls Photography
Oyster Po'boy

Oyster Po'boy

This classic New Orleans sandwich is stuffed to the gills with spiced cornmeal-breaded oysters and rich mayonnaise on French bread. Get the recipe for Oyster Po'boy »Chris Granger
Banana Fosters

Brennan's Bananas Foster

Banana liqueur heightens the flavor of the bananas in this flambeed dessert from the New Orleans restaurant Brennan's. Get the recipe for Brennan's Bananas Foster »Matt Taylor-Gross
New Orleans French Bread

New Orleans French Bread

Known for its irresistibly crunchy crust and sparse crumb, French bread is the ideal po'boy canvas, or cut it into quarters and serve with crab maison. Get the recipe for New Orleans French Bread »Anna Stockwell
Crab Maison

Crab Maison

A popular appetizer at Galatoire's restaurant in New Orleans, this light and satisfying salad is a great lunch with crusty French bread. Get the recipe for Crab Maison »Anna Stockwell
Upperline's Oysters St. Claude

Upperline's Oysters St. Claude

Fried oysters are paired with a garlicky sauce in a toothsome appetizer served at Upperline, a restaurant in New Orleans' Uptown neighborhood. Get the recipe for Upperline's Oysters St. Claude »Todd Coleman
LeRuth's Red Shrimp Rémoulade

LeRuth's Red Shrimp Rémoulade

Spicy paprika and whole-grain mustard sauce coats plump shrimp in this classic New Orleans red rémoulade from the late chef Warren Leruth. Get the recipe for LeRuth's Red Shrimp Rémoulade »Ingalls Photography
Crispy Pigs' Ears

Pigs' Ears (Oreilles de Cochon)

These crunchy fritters are typically eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack with a cup of cafe au lait. Get the recipe for Pigs' Ears (Oreilles de Cochon) »Anna Stockwell
Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller

This ubiquitous New Orleans dish was invented at Antoine's in 1889. Get the recipe for Oysters Rockefeller »Todd Coleman
Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice

In this slow-cooking Creole classic, ham hocks give the dish a savory, smoky depth. Get the recipe for Red Beans and Rice »Maxime Iattoni
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