6 Mardi Gras Dishes From The Big Easy

It wouldn’t be Fat Tuesday without a cajun feast that fills your customers up to the brim. When planning your Mardi Gras menu, there’s no better inspiration than the Big Easy itself, New Orleans. From sugary breakfasts to spicy main courses, here are some of our favorite dishes from the French Quarter and beyond.

Strawberry Beignets

Start your customers’ mornings off on the right foot by serving some sugary, pillow-soft squares of pure goodness. Although traditional beignets don’t include fruit, we like to add a strawberry mixture into ours in order to add a little extra dose of sweetness. Be sure to save some extra strawberries to top your finished product too!

Andouille Jambalaya

Andouille sausage is a classic ingredient in creole cooking, offering that signature creole spice in spades. A classic jambalaya has a rich flavor profile stemming from a mixture of spices, meat, rice, and fresh vegetables, with each ingredient complimenting each other perfectly. When preparing, don’t forget to throw in onions, green bell peppers, and celery in order to add an extra level of texture and nutrition. 

Red Beans And Rice

Essentially the popular cousin of jambalaya, red beans and rice contains the same rich cajun flavors but offers an extra dose of flexibility in seasoning and ingredients. We like using fresh herbs like parsley and thyme to lighten up the overall flavor profile, but you can hit the bowl with some cayenne pepper to turn up the heat. In terms of protein, we’d recommend andouille sausage, chicken or shrimp. 

Mardi Gras King Cake

One of the most traditional and colorful Fat Tuesday dishes, Mardi Gras king cake combines moist bread with cream cheese filling and a variety of colored sugars. Generally, king cakes are a mixture of green, yellow, and purple sugars segmented around the cake to represent faith, power, and justice respectively. Don’t be afraid to really hit home the sugary flavors here; cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla can help your cake transcend to something special. 

Shrimp Étouffée

Literally translating to “smothering” in French, Étouffées are a spectacular choice for a show stopping main course. While there are a ton of regional variants to this dish, we’re partial to the classic shrimp Étouffée, but many chefs substitute chicken or crawfish when they’re in the mood. To prepare, first create a broth to add to the Étouffée itself and then serve over rice and barbecued or sautéed shrimp.

  • Fun Fact: Étouffée is also the name of the cooking method used to prepare the dish!

Bananas Foster

Originally invented by French Quarter institution Brennan’s in the early 1950’s, bananas foster has grown to become one of the most sought-after desserts in southern cooking. It’s easy to see why too; it’s extremely rich flavor profile and rum flambé make it one of the most delicious and visually exciting dishes in the southern pantheon. For best results, be sure to immediately add the banana mixture to ice cream once you’re done with the flambé.

  • Pro Tip: Want to impress your guests? Flambé table side!