5 Louisiana-Inspired Recipes for Mardi Gras Week

We’re in the mood to start celebrating Mardi Gras a little early this year. We have the classics like dirty rice, po boy sandwiches, and green gumbo, plus, some inspired dishes like Cajun chicken salad and bread pudding.

Early Mardi Gras meal plan.

Mardi Gras falls on March 1 this year, and we're ready for it! We’re happy to share some of our favorite recipes inspired by the Pelican State. 

These aren’t all totally authentic Creole or Cajun recipes, and they’re certainly not all Lenten foods (if you're observing starting on Weds; we have plenty of recipes for it if you’re looking, though!). Some are pepped up with Creole or Cajun seasoning—like Slow Cooker Cajun-Spiced Stuffed Peppers—and others, like Shrimp Po Boy, are New Orleans through and through. 

  • Asparagus Mimosa with Hard Boiled Eggs and Capers

    Asparagus Eggs Caper Vinaigrette
    Elise Bauer

    The influence of French cuisine still lives strong in New Orleans, and the earliest asparagus of the season is often in abundance in stores now. The “mimosa” in this salad is grated hard boiled eggs. Double or triple the recipe and serve it with a good bread. Feeling ambitious? Make Green Gumbo instead, omitting the meat (green gumbo is traditionally vegetarian for Lent).

  • Cajun-Style Dirty Rice

    Overhead view of dirty rice in a skillet.
    Michelle Becker

    What makes it dirty, you ask? Traditionally, it’s the giblets from chicken. Leave out the liver, if that’s unappealing to you, but trust us—this does not taste liver-y! Dirty Rice is made substantial with bacon and ground pork, but look at the recipe comments for ways readers have made their own tweaks! Serve collard greens on the side.

  • Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich

    Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich
    Elise Bauer

    Bread medium shrimp in seasoned cornmeal and flour, then pan-fry it quickly before sandwiching on rolls with a zingy remoulade.

  • Slow Cooker Cajun-Spiced Stuffed Peppers

    Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers
    Lisa Lin

    Basically, this is classic stuffed pepper, but kicked up with Cajun spice. Just mix up the filling, stuff, and get slow cooking! Don’t have a slow cooker? You can bake these in the oven. 

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • Cajun Chicken Salad

    Cajun Chicken Salad
    Elise Bauer

    Lighten up with a simple salad of poached chicken and remoulade. Cajun seasoning is a little spicier than Creole seasoning. Use whichever you have.

  • Weekend Baking: Bread Pudding

    Scooping easy bread pudding out of a white casserole dish.
    Cambrea Bakes

    This New Orleans classic is one of our most popular dessert recipes. If you can make French toast, you can make this—and no griddling required! Enjoy for brunch or dessert, with or without the rich bourbon sauce (you can omit the bourbon, if you’d like).