Classic New Orleans Recipes

Explore the culinary capital of the United States

New Orleans is arguably the culinary capital of the United States. With influences from Europe, Africa, and America, the city has a vibrant, unique food culture. Long-standing Cajun and Creole restaurants like Brennan's, Brigtsen's, Bon Ton Cafe, Commander's Palace, and Galatoire's are keeping the city's cuisine alive. Whether you're putting together a Cajun seafood boil with crawfish and corn or making a classic gumbo, we've rounded up all the New Orleans recipes you need for a Big Easy feast.

There are a million ways to make gumbo. Every cook has their own recipe for this thick, hearty meat stew. What remains relatively constant is the base: the trinity of celery, bell peppers, and onions, and a dark flour-based roux for thickening. From there you can experiment—try our versions with smoked turkey, duck, or fried chicken, Andouille is a traditional addition to any gumbo. For an elegant twist on the dish, try using smoking goose and foie gras.

Crawfish are a New Orleans staple. The simplest way to eat them is in a big seafood boil with shrimp, corn, and potatoes. For something cooler, try our cajun crawfish salad creamy with mayonnaise. Maybe the most classic way to prepare crawfish is to make etouffee, a creamy stew of crawfish tails, tomato, and paprika. Served with white rice, it's an unbeatable comfort food.

While we're talking shellfish, oysters are another iconic New Orleans food. It's hard to beat them raw on the half shell, but oysters Rockefeller comes close. To make the dish, invented at Antoine's in 1889, oysters are topped with chopped vegetables and bread crumbs and boiled.

Get a taste of the Big Easy with these New Orleans recipes.

Boudin Blanc Sausage

Boudin Blanc

In 1805, Meriwether Lewis ate buffalo boudin blanc cooked by Toussaint Charbonneau, Sacagawea's husband, deeming it "one of the greatest delicacies of the forest." Russell Moore of Camino in Oakland, California, substitutes pork and chicken for buffalo in his modern version, whipping the mixture to yield a smooth, light stuffing.Joseph De Leo
Crawfish Pie

Crawfish Pie

To make this Louisiana classic, a savory filling of crawfish, aromatics, and tomatoes is baked in a flaky pastry dough.Helen Rosner
Crawfish Etouffée

Crawfish Etouffée

Crawfish tails are cooked with tomatoes, paprika, and cream to make a luscious stew.Todd Coleman
Commander's Palace Shrimp & Tasso Henican

Commander's Palace Shrimp & Tasso Henican

Red pepper jelly and pickled okra and onions add piquancy to this dish.Todd Coleman
Brennan's Turtle Soup

Brennan's Turtle Soup

A touch of sherry heightens the flavor of a rich, silky turtle soup thick with tomatoes—a throwback dish in most other places, but not in New Orleans.Todd Coleman
Tommy's Pompano en Papillote

Tommy's Pompano en Papillote

Pompano filets enrobed in a seafood sauce are baked in parchment-paper packets at Tommy's Cuisine.Todd Coleman
Brennan's Bananas Foster

Brennan's Bananas Foster

Banana liqueur heightens the flavor of the bananas in this flambeed dessert from the New Orleans restaurant Brennan's.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.Ingalls Photography
Galatoire's Rémoulade Blanc

Galatoire's Rémoulade Blanc

Inspired by a rémoulade served in New Orleans' Galatoire's, this white, mayonnaise-y blend of Creole mustard, horseradish, cayenne, and white pepper is rooted in the classic French recipe.Ingalls Photography
Cajun Seafood Boil

Cajun Seafood Boil

This spicy boil is inspired by one served at Charlie's Seafood in Harahan, Louisiana.Todd Coleman
Brennan's Eggs Hussarde

Brennan's Eggs Hussarde

This take on eggs Benedict incorporates a rich red wine sauce.Todd Coleman
Mr. B's Barbecued Shrimp

Mr. B's Barbecued Shrimp

Jumbo peel-and-eat shrimp are bathed in a tangy, spicy butter in this classic dish.Todd Coleman
Brigtsen's Oysters Bienville

Brigtsen's Oysters Bienville

This oyster dish gets its robust flavors from bacon, ham, and sherry.Todd Coleman

Brigtsen's Scallops with Sweet Potato Puree and Onion Marmalade

Brigtsen's Scallops with Sweet Potato Puree and Onion Marmalade
Sweet potato puree and onion marmalade enhance the natural sweetness of scallops in this dish.Todd Coleman
Brigtsen's Jalapeño Shrimp Coleslaw

Brigtsen's Jalapeño Shrimp Coleslaw

Creamy seafood coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment to Creole-spiced seafood.Todd Coleman
Brigtsen's Oysters LeRuth

Brigtsen's Oysters LeRuth

Sweet crabmeat and shrimp enrich the stuffing of these broiled oysters.Todd Coleman
Brigtsen's Jalapeño Shrimp Cornbread

Brigtsen's Jalapeño Shrimp Cornbread

Baked and served in individual ramekins, this spicy seafood cornbread has a spoonably soft, luscious texture.Todd Coleman
Mr. B's Gumbo Ya-Ya

Mr. B's Gumbo Ya-Ya

This dark-roux gumbo originates in Cajun country.Todd Coleman
Smoked Turkey and Andouille Gumbo

Smoked Turkey and Andouille Gumbo

Made with smoked turkey wings and a dark roux, this is a medley of rich, smoky, and roasted flavors.Ingalls Photography

Smoked Duck Gumbo

Smoked Duck Gumbo
Prejean's restaurant in Lafayette, Louisiana, dishes up this rich gumbo chock full of smoked duck and andouille sausage.Chris Granger
Smothered Okra

Smothered Okra

Pickled okra is great smothered in tomato. Get the recipe for Smothered Okra »Ingalls Photography
Smoked Goose and Foie Gras Gumbo

Smoked Goose and Foie Gras Gumbo

Opened in 1880, the iconic New Orleans restaurant Commander's Palace is known for its refined versions of classic Creole dishes, such as pecan-crusted Gulf fish served with sweet corn, Gulf crab, and spiced pecans, quail lacquered with chicory-style coffee, and this elegant gumbo from chef Tory McPhail, made with rich, smoky goose meat, foie gras, and a variety of mushrooms.Ingalls Photography
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.Chris Granger

Crawfish Pasta

Crawfish Pasta
Versions of this satisfying, cream-laced crawfish pasta are served at restaurants throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. The level of heat from hot sauce is left up to the cook.Helen Rosner
Cajun Crawfish Salad

Cajun Crawfish Salad

Cooked and chopped shrimp can be used in place of crawfish for this Cajun salad adapted from one in Justin Wilson's Homegrown Louisiana Cookin' (Macmillan, 1990).Helen Rosner
Cajun Benedict

Cajun Benedict

Chef Justin Girouard of the French Press restaurant in Lafayette, Louisiana, replaces the Canadian bacon and hollandaise with boudin and gumbo in this bayou-based twist on the classic breakfast dish.Todd Coleman