30 Best Mardi Gras Recipes Worthy of Carnival (2024)

With these easy Mardi Gras recipes, you can bring the fun of Bourbon St. and the colorful festivities of Carnival to your own backyard.

Mardi Gras is a day for feasting and celebration, when you should let loose and enjoy literally EVERYTHING New Orleans has to offer – and that goes double for the food!

30 Best Mardi Gras Recipes Worthy of Carnival (1)


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It’s a time to experience all of the fantastic flavors of Cajun cooking and the bold cuisine that’s so uniquely Nawlins.

From appetizers to dessert, this list of Mardi Gras recipes is jam-packed with bold flavor, and they’ll transport you to NOLA in a single bite.

1. Mardi Gras Salad

This fruit salad knows how to party! It’s fresh, colorful, sweet, and… boozy?

Yep! Boozy. Your choice of fresh fruit is soaked in a delicious rum sauce that features two types of rum, honey, lime juice, and orange juice.

It’s citrusy, floral, and perfectly sweet.

If you don’t drink alcohol (or if kids will be at your party), just leave out the rum. It’s still amazing!

2. Mardi Gras King Cake

Nothing says “Mardi Gras,” quite like a traditional King Cake.

This sweet brioche roll is filled with cinnamon and covered in icing, kind of like a cinnamon roll.

But rather than rolling the dough, the King Cake is typically braided as a representation of the Three Wise Men.

Plus, the icing is topped with sprinkles in gold, green, and purple- traditional Mardi Gras colors.

This delicious bready, cakey treat is eaten throughout the carnival season. Now, you can make it yourself!

3. Magnolia Bar and Grill Crawfish Etouffee

Crawfish may be called mudbugs in the South, but the taste is fit for fine dining. And this delicious etouffee features crawfish proudly.

Etouffee means “smothered” in French, and in this dish, you’ll pour a soup/stew onto a bed of rice, thus smothering it.


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This crawfish version is buttery, spicy, and wonderfully acidic. The crawfish tails add just a tiny bit of sweetness, and there’s umami goodness in every bite.

4. Cajun Dirty Rice

This flavorful dish comes from humble beginnings but has grown into a national phenomenon.

Most people have probably had some variation of dirty rice during their lifetime, and if you haven’t, now’s the time to try!

This version is simple but very delicious.

The rice is cooked in broth for added flavor. Then it’s fried with sausage, peppers, onions, celery, and bold spices.

5. Homemade Beignets for Mardi Gras

These sweet treats were first made famous at Cafe du Monde and again via Disney. They’re fluffy, sugary, and heavenly to bite into.

Typically, fresh out of the fryer beignets are covered in a carpet of powdered sugar.

This recipe is fun because it uses festive almond icing instead. It’s absolutely outlandish and worth every calorie!

6. Mardi Gras Muffuletta

While most Mardi Gras fare has French-Creole roots, this Italian sandwich is Mardi Gras approved.

It’s savory, filling, and sure to help mitigate a night of drinki… *ahem* festivities.

This sandwich is STUFFED with all the best parts of a charcuterie board, including lots of spicy meats, flavorful cheese, and salty olive tapenade.

Seriously, it’s so good.

7. Shrimp Boulettes

These shrimp meatballs may be small, but they pack a mighty flavor punch. They’re also fast and easy to prepare, making them the perfect party food.

Salty and spicy, they have a fantastic crunch too! Everyone will love them, and I bet more than a few people will nag you for the recipe.

8. Easy Cajun Butter Shrimp

If you’re looking for an easy dinner that everyone will love, look no further.

In about 10 minutes, you’ll have flavorful and delicious shrimp that’s spicy, sweet, and savory.

This dish tastes indulgent thanks to the butter, but in reality, it’s relatively healthy. Serve it with rice and veggies to round out the meal.

9. Mardi Gras Pasta

This scrumptious pasta is a fusion of Cajun flavor and Italian decadence.

It’s spicy, creamy, and sure to delight your senses. Make sure you get some before it’s gone because I guarantee it will go FAST!

10. Hot Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya Dip

Move aside Buffalo chicken dip – you’ve met your match with this spicy Cajun-inspired dip!

Featuring chicken, shrimp, andouille sausage, and way more flavor than boring Buffalo sauce, it’s also ridiculously cheesy.

Your guests will love this, so I suggest doubling the recipe.

11. Paczki (Polish Donuts)

If your sweet tooth is calling for something fried and delicious, try Paczki.

Paczki is made with an enriched dough that’s fried and topped with powdered sugar.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: it sounds good, but didn’t we just talk about beignets?

I dare say that these are even better because they’re brimming with your choice of yummy filling.

It could be custard, curd, jam, chocolate… even peanut butter or Nutella!

They might typically be served around Mardi Gras, but I think they’re great all year.

12. New Orleans Shrimp Po’Boy

You really can’t go wrong with a Po’Boy sandwich.

They’re essentially subs filled with local Louisiana fillings, but they call for special Po’Boy bread rolls.

Similar to French bread, Po’Boy rolls are a little softer and chewier. That makes them perfect for carrying lots of fried, yummy things.

This delicious version features Cajun-seasoned fried shrimp as the main event, served with tomatoes, lettuce, and tartar sauce.

Feel free to switch up the toppings as you like!

13. Shrimp Creole

Creole is like the etouffee’s lighter, chunkier, and spicier sibling.

It’s a little less soupy but has all the Cajun flavors you know and love. Serve over rice and enjoy.

14. Sausage and Creamy Cajun Orzo Skillet

Done in one pot and on the table in less than 30 minutes, this dish isn’t just super scrumptious; it’s a must-make this Carnival season.

This sausage and orzo dinner is creamy, filling, and chock-full of flavor. Feel free to add more veggies for a nutrition boost.

Everyone will love it!

15. Glazed New Orleans BBQ Shrimp and Sausage Kabobs

One bite of these, and they’ll be your new go-to for parties, potlucks, and BBQs.

Between the fresh shrimp and smoky andouille sausage, they’re pretty hard to resist.

The meat is pan-seared and infused with a smoky, spicy, garlicky glaze. Add a bit of honey if you want it to be a little sweeter.

16. Shrimp and Grits

This is the quintessential Southern dish, and it is comfort food at its finest.

This version of shrimp and grits features warm grits, cajun-seasoned shrimp, and andouille sausage.

All of that is covered with a smooth, rich white wine gravy.Yum!

17. Nouveau New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice are a Nawlins staple. This version is a fun, Caribbean spin on the original.

From the kidney beans and bacon to the ground meat, bell pepper, and spices, it’s pretty hard to beat.

But the pièce de résistance is the pineapple salsa on top. After that, every bite is an adventure.

18. Crawfish Beignets with Cajun Dipping Sauce

This savory take on the NOLA classic will blow your mind and your taste buds.

They may not be the soft and sweet beignets you’re thinking of, but they are fried and delicious.

More like a savory seafood fritter, these babies are crispy, savory, and best served with a heavenly tangy, spicy, creamy sauce.

19. Passion Fruit Hurricane

Batten down the hatches; there’s a storm a-brewing! A fantastic, fruity, boozy storm.

Because it’s not Mardi Gras without a trip down Bourbon St. to get a drink…or two…or three.

The flavors of passion fruit, lime, grenadine, orange, and rum will send your taste buds soaring.

After one sip of this tropical, sweet-sour co*cktail, you’ll want another. Then another.

Just be careful not to have too much, or your head might feel like it’s been through a real hurricane.

20. Louisiana Crawfish Boil

Gather your friends because a crawfish boil is not just dinner… it is an EVENT.

There are many ways to do a Boil, but a few things are non-negotiable.

You need crustaceans, of choice, along with potatoes, corn, veggies, and a boatload of seasonings.

Feel free to add any veggies you like – just make sure they hold up well to boiling.

I also love adding andouille sausage for extra smokiness.

If you live in an area where you can’t get crawfish, shrimp work really well, too.

21. Maque Choux

Maque Choux is a yummy side dish commonly found on a Cajun dinner table.

It’s pretty healthy since it’s mostly veggies, and while corn is the star of the show here, it has some great accompaniments, too.

Red and green bell peppers, onion, garlic, and cream all contribute to this tasty dish. It’s fresh and flavorful!

22. Muffuletta Deviled Eggs

This dish combines the best parts of muffuletta and deviled eggs into one!

The process is the same as your average deviled eggs – you just need to add more goodness to the yolk mixture!

This recipe features spicy Italian cold cuts, provolone cheese, and salty olive tapenade.

Plus, all of the usual devil-y suspects: mayonnaise, mustard, and seasonings.

It’s creamy, tangy, spicy, and sinfully delicious!

23. Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller is a rich, indulgent, and distinctive dish. But, of course, that’s not surprising since they’re named after one of the richest men in history!

Although they’re fancy, they’re surprisingly easy to make. You just need oysters, greens, Pernod (alcohol), parmesan, alliums, lemon juice, and hot sauce.

First, open the oysters, add sautéed, seasoned greens and alliums, and then top with parmesan.

Then, you bake it until the top is browned. Bon appetit!

24. Cajun Black-Eyed Peas

Like most things Mardi Gras, Cajun black-eyed peas are steeped in tradition.

Every family has its own unique way of preparing them, but this particular recipe is delicious and super easy.

All you need are a few simple ingredients, such as peas, bacon, broth, and seasonings.

The best part is that you can throw it all in one pot, then in less than 30 minutes, you’ll have a filling, savory, comforting dinner.

The whole family will love it, and I have a feeling you’ll need to make it for more than just Mardi Gras.

25. King Cake Ice Cream

If your party is getting crazy, cool down with this luscious ice cream.

You’ll start with a cinnamon and cream cheese ice cream, to which you’ll add a hint of lemon zest to cut through the richness.

Then, go ahead and throw in big chunks of delicious King Cake.

26. Mardi Gras Jello Shots

These drunken treats go beyond your basic, college-era Jello shots.

Their three jiggly, colorful, alcoholic fun layers contain vodka, Limoncello, and Chambord.

So, they’re super boozy.

Plus, lemon and lime juices boost all of the flavors.So let the good times roll!

27. King Cake Oreo Balls

These colorful treats are a sure-fire hit at any Mardi Gras party! They’re rich and chocolatey and full of Oreo goodness.

Covered in white chocolate and Mardi Gras-colored sprinkles, these are seriously festive.

In fact, they’re one of my favorite Mardi Gras desserts ever!

28. Mardi Gras Moon Pie Bars

Moon Pies are a tantalizing and nostalgic mix of Graham Crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate.

Meanwhile, this delicious dessert bar is everything you love about Moon Pie, but better.

Its texture is almost like a chocolate chip cookie, and it tastes like a s’more. So basically, it’s all the best parts of your childhood in one tasty bite.

29. Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Transport yourself directly to the French Quarter with this hearty jambalaya.

Succulent dark meat chicken and smoky andouille sausage impart rich flavor and protein. Then you have the South’s answer to mirepoix- celery, onion, and green pepper.


Nourishing rice, sweet and acidic fire-roasted tomatoes, and lots of seasoning all play a role in making this dish tomatoey, smoky, and delectable.

You can’t go wrong with jambalaya.

30. Easy Louisiana Biscuit Beignets

Try these easy beignets if waiting around for dough to prove isn’t your jam.

Rather than a homemade dough (overrated), this recipe uses layered biscuits from a can. So easy!

These are extra simple because they’re bite-size! Smaller chunks of dough are easier to fry properly, after all.

Top with powdered sugar right as they come out of the fryer. Serve the beignets warm and watch them disappear.

30 Best Mardi Gras Recipes Worthy of Carnival (2)

30 Best Mardi Gras Recipe Collection

With these easy Mardi Gras recipes, you can bring the fun of Bourbon St. and the colorful festivities of Carnival to your own backyard.


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30 Best Mardi Gras Recipes Worthy of Carnival (3)

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30 Best Mardi Gras Recipes Worthy of Carnival (2024)
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