Traditionally, people celebrate Fat Tuesday by indulging in the richest, most decadent delicacies they can find. New Orleans is unofficially the Mardi Gras center of the world, and its foods have become synonymous with the season. It only makes sense, then, to celebrate the holiday with Cajun-inspired dishes that pay homage to the New Orleans traditions. You may be miles away from Bourbon Street, but you can throw your own Fat Tuesday party at home in your apartment by making and digging into these savory and sweet treats. Find some of our favorite Fat Tuesday recipes below, and treat yourself tonight.
Your Fat Tuesday feast isn’t complete without beignets. The most famous beignets are found at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans’s French Quarter. These are the next best thing.
Jambalaya originated in Louisiana and is influenced by French, Spanish and African cuisine. It’s traditionally made from items like andouille sausage, chicken and some sort of shellfish, like crawfish, along with rice and celery. Not only is it stick-to-your-bones comfort food; it’s super easy to make.
Our list of Fat Tuesday recipes wouldn’t be complete without a king cake recipe. But first, what exactly is king cake? Typically made from a brioche-like dough, it’s another traditional New Orleans food that has become a must-have for any Fat Tuesday celebrator. In fact, New Orleans residents hold king cake parties beginning in January to kick-off the Mardi Gras season. King cakes also usually have a plastic “baby” (or a bean) in their centers, which is said to bring luck and prosperity to whoever finds it. This king cake recipe also features a delectable cream cheese filling.
Po’boy sandwiches are a staple of New Orleans cuisine. The fillings range from fried shrimp, like this one, to oysters to meats, typically served on a crusty loaf of French bread with remoulade sauce or mayonnaise. This recipe allows you to bring that Lousiana flavor right into your home with spices like cayenne, garlic and paprika.
We’re big fans of crab cakes around here. We’ve shared this recipe before, and we love it so much we had to share it again. Crab cakes have a bit of a fancy reputation, but this recipe takes the intimidation out of the equation thanks to its easy-to-follow steps. We also love that this recipe doesn’t include anything that overpowers the taste of crab. It’s simple, subtle and delicious.
Next, we suggest making this simplified version of the classic dish shrimp etouffee. It packs all the flavor and richness of a traditional etouffee, but requires a lot less work to prepare.
Finally, take a stab at frying up your very own hushpuppies with this easy recipe, which includes a homemade spicy honey sauce for dipping. Pro tip: Use an ice cream scooper to achieve perfect hushpuppy balls.