8 Cajun Vegetable Side Dishes
Like gumbo, crawfish etouffee, and jambalaya, many Cajun dishes consist of rice and meat or seafood. Sure, Louisiana cooks remain ever faithful to the Holy Trinity of celery, onion, and bell pepper. But these diced veggies often get cooked down or lost in rich dishes. If you're left wanting more plants on your plate, read on for eight authentic Cajun vegetable recipes. From healthy to hearty, these side dishes will round out your meal.
Roasting okra chars it and dries it (in a good way) so that it's not the slimy stuff you know from stewed recipes.
Cat's Cajun Dirty Cauliflower "Rice"
This low-carb take on dirty rice replaces rice with cauliflower. But this meaty, spicy recipe doesn't go light on flavor: "My husband didn't notice the rice was cauliflower," reviewer Mary Anne says. "This is a 'cookbook worthy' recipe."
"Mirliton (chayote) squash is the vegetable that is used to make this wonderful dressing. It's very popular here in Louisiana around the holidays," recipe submitter MOUNTMAN says. And never mind that it takes an hour to prep. You'll want to make this shrimp- and ham-stuffed casserole year round.
Baked Chayote Squash
Here's a just-as-decadent, less-involved recipe for mirliton. Fill squash halves with a Cheddar and Parmesan stuffing, and kids will happily eat their veggies.
Melody's Corn Maque Choux
This traditional Cajun side balances vegetables with bacon, bacon drippings, butter, and beef broth. Though it's not exactly a light dish itself, this maque choux pairs well with rich, roux-based dishes.
Vegan Red Beans and Rice
Believe it or not, you'll find meaty red beans and rice grouped in the "Vegetables" section of Louisiana's most popular community cookbook. Skip the sausage with this vegan version, which sneaks in celery, onion, and bell pepper.