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.

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 »

Smothered Okra

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

Duck and Andouille Gumbo

Duck 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.

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 »

Redfish on the Half Shell with Creamy Grits

Chef Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery learned this popular Louisiana fish camp technique—cooking “on the half shell”—after moving to New Orleans from California. Grilling fish skin-side-down with its scales still attached protects the tender meat from ripping and insulates it slightly from the heat, resulting in perfectly tender flesh. Get the recipe for Redfish on the Half Shell with Creamy Grits »

Crawfish Etouffée

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

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.

Fried Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Fried Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Brigtsen’s Oysters LeRuth

Sweet crabmeat and shrimp enrich the stuffing of these broiled oysters.

Mr. B’s Gumbo Ya-Ya

This dark-roux gumbo originates in Cajun country. Get the recipe for Mr. B’s Gumbo Ya-Ya »

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.

Creole Okra Gumbo

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 »

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 »

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 »

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.

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 »

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.

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) »

Oysters Rockefeller

This ubiquitous New Orleans dish was invented at Antoine’s in 1889. Get the recipe for Oysters Rockefeller »

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 »