20 Mardi Gras Party Foods

Authentic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice on a white plate
Photo: Mart

Mardi Gras is one big party. And from rubbing elbows at an elaborate ball to cutting into a king cake at home, there's no one way to celebrate. That goes for your Mardi Gras party menu, too! Whether it's a feast worthy of Fat Tuesday or a humble bowl of gumbo, you can't go wrong. Our selection of festive foods includes New Orleans classics, such as the muffuletta and bread pudding, peppered with nontraditional picks like Crawfish Beignets and Cajun Chicken Pasta.

01 of 20

Crawfish Beignets

plate of savory beignets filled with cheese and crawfish
Tastefull Wonders

Fill refrigerated biscuit dough with a cheesy crawfish mixture, then fry them like beignets for a next-level appetizer.

02 of 20

Oven Baked Jambalaya

rice with tomatoes, sausage, shrimp
cookin'mama

When you're feeding a crowd, turn to our 16-serving Oven Baked Jambalaya. Finishing the dish in the oven for an hour and a half saves you stove space and leaves your hands free to work on the rest of your menu.

03 of 20

Rockin' Oysters Rockefeller

oysters with green sauce topping
caroll capecod

Made famous at Antoine's in New Orleans, the original recipe for Oysters Rockefeller has remained a secret since 1889. This variation could become your secret recipe.

04 of 20

Crawfish Pirogue

crawfish etouffee in a bread boat
Staci

Pirogue, a French word, refers to a narrow, canoe-like boat. And recipe creator Caren Lee uses it to describe these small, hollowed-out bread boats, filled with buttery, stew-like crawfish etouffee.

05 of 20

Muffuletta Sandwich

muffuletta sandwich quartered and served on two dishes
fabeveryday

Cut into fourths, this New Orleans original may just replace your go-to party sandwiches from here on out.

06 of 20

The Best Cream Cheese King Cake

cream cheese king cake on a gold dish
Smart Cookie

Add a plastic baby to your king cake once it's baked and cooled. Tradition holds that whoever finds the baby in their slice has to show up with the next king cake. Just think, you could indulge in this dessert not just at one party but all Mardi Gras season.

07 of 20

King Cake Cupcakes

King Cake Cupcakes on a gold stand
Allrecipes Magazine

"Less yeasty and more cake-like than king cake," recipe submitter thehungryscientist says, these buttermilk cupcakes make a flavorful, faster alternative. Sprinkle the cream cheese frosting with gold luster dust and green and purple sanding sugars for the full effect.

08 of 20

Crawfish Cornbread

cornbread with crawfished mixed in
Jennifer Baker

Serve this full-flavored cornbread as an appetizer, side dish, or even a main. Reviewer Brooke Alison Gage says, "I could have made a meal out of this!"

09 of 20

Melody's Corn Maque Choux

corn maque choux in a white dish
naples34102

This take on succotash will stand out against heartier dishes that go heavy on meat. Yet, cooked in butter, bacon drippings, and beef broth, it's not light on flavor.

10 of 20

Spicy Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole over white rice
Krystal Rollow

What makes this dish Creole versus Cajun? Tomatoes. And lots of them. It also packs in celery, onions, garlic, and (of course) shrimp.

11 of 20

Muffuletta Spread

olive muffuletta spread
lutzflcat

Serve this muffuletta-style olive spread with crackers, cheese, and deli meat to create the ultimate Mardi Gras charcuterie board. "A nice addition to a pasta salad, a cheese board, or spooned on to grilled fish, pork, or chicken," recipe creator lutzflcat says.

12 of 20

Bread Pudding with Praline Sauce

slice of bread pudding with praline sauce on a white plate
kitseallyboy

New Orleans loves its French bread, and using it up in bread pudding. Praline sauce gives this dessert extra flair.

13 of 20

Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies on a blue plate
Victor Protasio

Start your Mardi Gras party with hush puppies. These small, seasoned cornmeal balls fry to a golden crisp in just five minutes per batch.

14 of 20

Tasso Ham

ham covered with spices on a cutting board
Dane Prescott

If you have a smoker grill and time to spare, you have to try this lesser-known Cajun dish. To make this salty, spicy ham party ready, consider serving it in Baked Ham and Cheese Party Sandwiches.

15 of 20

Shrimp and Tasso Pasta

shrimp and tasso ham pasta with creamy sauce
FashionQueen 86

Pasta would also make an excellent vehicle for serving tasso ham. "This recipe is one of my family's all-time favorites," recipe submitter TRAVLEE says. "You may substitute crawfish for the shrimp and it turns out just as delicious. The tasso gives the sauce its wonderful smoky flavor. You can substitute smoked ham for the tasso but the smoky flavor may not be as intense."

16 of 20

Authentic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

red beans and sausage over rice on a white plate
Mart

Home cook Mart definitely paid attention to presentation, as pictured, carefully spooning red beans over the rice then topping the dish with green onions and a red pepper for garnish. We're taking notes.

17 of 20

Easy Cheesy Crawfish Dip

cheesy crawfish dip in a bowl beside crackers

Pull out the slow cooker for this party favorite, or make a similar recipe in a skillet with our 30-minute Niki's Famous Crawfish Dip.

18 of 20

Merwin's Shrimp Gumbo

shrimp and andouille gumbo with rice in a glass bowl

"A classic, dark brown, shrimp gumbo in true Louisiana Cajun country fashion," recipe submitter Merwin Chambers says. Roux can make or break your gumbo, so be sure to stir the flour and oil constantly to keep it from burning.

19 of 20

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta on a white plate
TTV78

You won't find pasta in traditional Cajun cooking (it's always rice), but this surefire dish delivers on flavor. Just ask the 2,000+ reviewers who have rated it five stars!

20 of 20

Beignets

stack of beignets topped with powdered sugar
catherine.drew

We can't forget beignets! Best for a small party at home, these babies need time to deep fry — unless you eat them as an appetizer. But no judgment. It's Mardi Gras.

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