No One Cooks a Gumbo Like Your Mawmaw, But Even She Would Approve of These Cajun Recipes
If you grew up with a Cajun grandma, just admit that her gumbo, rice and gravy, and maque choux kind of ruined all other food for you. No cooking can compare. Did she sneak in a secret ingredient? Filé? Bouillon cubes? Holy water? Whatever the case, only flavorful, no-fuss recipes can rival her own. These 15 Cajun dishes taste delicious enough to earn a c'est bon from Mawmaw herself.
Southern Dirty Rice
Home cooks recommend adding chopped celery and green bell peppers in with the onions. These three veggies make up the holy trinity of Cajun cooking. Just don't omit any key ingredients! "This recipe is real close to my Cajun momma's dirty rice. Très bon," says Brian W. "You have to have livers and gizzards in dirty rice or else it's not dirty rice."
You better believe that boudin (a rice dressing made with meat like ground pork shoulder and chicken livers) tastes even better fried. Reviewers concur that it's worth the extra effort.
Cajun Corn and Bacon Maque Choux
"This is a Cajun recipe I've had forever," recipe creator Jodi Hanlon says of this hot corn side. "I first prepared it when I was in my high school class in Metairie, Louisiana."
Husband's Grandmother's Shrimp Gumbo
"My husband's grandmother taught me this recipe. She actually cooked for Cajun festivals. She used 40-gallon trash cans for her stock pots. People would line up for this." — ranch_maven
"Love a good jambalaya recipe without tomatoes! I grew up in South Louisiana and never had it with tomatoes," Candy Mattick says. Though traditional Cajun jambalaya doesn't call for tomatoes, some home cooks add them to the dish (as pictured). If you're a tomato fiend, opt for a jambalaya recipe with more of a Creole influence.
Cajun Sweet Dough
Reviewer Andrew61309 added extra flavor to these hush puppies with Tony Chachere's seasoning, a Louisiana favorite.
Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
"I've been making gumbo for over 20 years from my mom's recipe that she got from a Cajun neighbor when she lived in Lafayette, Louisiana, in the early 60s. And this recipe is almost exactly like the one I make," Carrie Clayton says. "It truly is the best ever gumbo."
Roast Chicken Pan Gravy
Louisiana Crawfish Etouffee
Crawfish étouffée began as a Cajun dish. Tomatoes (like the canned tomato sauce used in this recipe) reflect the crossover between Cajun and Creole cultures. "This is the first étouffée recipe I have found that is truly an étouffée," Brenda Stewart says. "I'm from Louisiana, and you can count on this being authentic."
Old Fashioned Potato Salad
Authentic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
"Cajun Country reviewer here to say that this is about as authentic as it gets, though, technically, a Cajun home cook doesn't use recipes or measurements. According to Louisiana tradition, this would be served on a Monday — supposedly an easy meal for laundry day because of the simmering time," Cassandra says. "Practically speaking, it's a tasty and inexpensive any-day meal."
Hamburger Steak with Onions and Gravy
"Hamburger steak with gravy is a classic Cajun dish here in South Louisiana (really). I use ground round or even chopped sirloin, mix the ingredients into the meat, and let the patties sit in the fridge for about an hour before cooking. The flavors mix very nicely and the meat firms up and doesn't fall apart in the skillet." — mksmith