Mardi Gras Food and Drink Recipes for Fat Tuesday Celebrations

These classic Mardi Gras food and drink recipes are great for big and small celebrations. This collection of New Orleans cuisine includes everything from breakfast fare to Cajun appetizers, gumbos, po’ boys and étouffées, spirited cocktails and Mardi Gras desserts. New Orleans dishes are what you want for your Mardi Gras party.

Where did New Orleans cuisine originate from

New Orleans cuisine is steeped in a rich heritage of Creole and Cajun cooking that takes cues from a melting pot of European, Caribbean, African and Native American influences.

Culinary customs, methods, and techniques from Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Africa, and the West Indies, as well as traditions closer to home, converge to make the cuisine from New Orleans truly a worldly experience.

With so many amazing food cultures coming together in one place it’s no wonder that Louisiana cuisine, from humble to haute, is considered an epicurean powerhouse.

Newsletter Signup
Join our community of food lovers!

Get my latest recipes, helpful kitchen tips and more good things each week in your inbox.

revelers dressed in costumes and masks for Mardi gras.
Masks and costumes are everywhere from humorous to bawdy and sometimes BOTH.

What is Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras (literally Fat Tuesday in French) marks the Carnival celebration period extending from the Feast of the Epiphany to its culmination on Shrove Tuesday.

Traditionally, Mardi Gras is the last day of feasting and revelry before Lent, a traditional time of Christian penitence.

A typical Mardi Gras street scene in New Orleans during a parade.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

No other city in America treats Mardi Gras with the same exuberance and abundance as New Orleans. It’s not a one-day affair, but a month long lead up to the big day with parades, beads, masks, costumes, imbibing and FOOD.

Mardi gras food runs the gambit from traditional King Cake and Gumbo to to soft, sugar coated beignets and sweet, high alcohol Hurricanes. Whether you’re celebrating in the Crescent City or not, paying homage with some of those classic recipes is a fun and delicious way to mark the end of Carnival and the beginning of Lent.

Spending time in the Crescent City

Personally, New Orleans is one of my absolute favorite vacation destinations.

I love the attitude of the residents, the slow drawl of a Cajun dialect and the sites and sounds which are a feast for the senses.

From the grand estates that line the Garden District to the debauchery of Bourbon Street, the fantastic shopping along Magazine Street and the food, food, food, that’s taken so seriously even the hole in the wall joints have an Instagram following.

And lest you think it’s all heavy, fried, or sauced food, I discovered my favorite salsa recipe at a low-key Mexican restaurant that we ducked into to get out of the rain. Not exactly Mardi gras food, but it’s good!

mardi gras food and traditional new orleans cuisine.
a sampling of the cuisine that made New Orleans famous.

Mardi Gras Breakfast

Start your Mardi Gras celebration with these New Orleans inspired breakfast dishes. From the traditional beignets made famous by Cafe Du Monde to the unexpected King Cake pancakes, these tasty recipes will get you into a party mood.

Personal Note: One of our favorite breakfast spots when visiting The Big Easy is Stanley's in Jackson Square. My pick is the soft-shell crab benedict. My husband goes for the boudin benedict. Avoid: The Court of the Two Sisters - major tourist trap and the food is just meh, not to mention over-priced.

Boozy Mardi Gras Drinks:

When planning your food menu for Fat Tuesday, don't forget something to wash it all down with.

These classic Mardi Gras drinks range from sophisticated slow-sipping craft cocktails to drinks that flow like Kool-Aid. No matter which you choose, these Bourbon Street inspired cocktails are perfect to toast the occasion.

Inspired Cajun Appetizers

The Crescent City is situated so close to the Gulf of Mexico, it's no wonder that seafood is a major part of New Orleans cuisine. Many of these Cajun appetizers are based on the local Southern Louisiana oysters shrimp and crawfish synonymous with the region.

Mardi Gras Food - Mains & Entrees

These classic New Orleans inspired dishes are perfect for any Mardi Gras party, big or small. From New Orleans Gumbo recipes to classic Red Beans and Rice, Po' Boys, Muffulettas and Etouffées, these are some of the best Mardi Gras food ideas. Get inspired.

Mardi Gras Food - Side Dishes

You can transform a simple rotisserie chicken dinner into a Mardi Gras celebration with Cajun, Creole or Big Easy inspired side dishes. Here are a few that will complement everything from smothered beef and pork to blackened fish, chicken and seafood.

Mardi Gras Desserts

These Cajun desserts are worth every single calorie. Besides, Lenten fasting starts the next day so make one, two or three of these Mardi Gras desserts to hold you and your guests over 'til Easter.

Save the pin for later!

A Pinterest Pin to save for later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Christina says:

    Great collection of mardi gras recipes, thanks so much!

  2. So much yummy looking variety! Thanks for this great compilation! Now to choose…