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Healthy Mardi Gras Recipes and Menus

Featured Recipes

Catfish Courtbouillon

Cajun courtbouillon (pronounced koo-bee-yon) is a vegetable-and-fish stew recipe. In this healthy catfish recipe from Louisiana native chef Donald Link, the catfish and stew are combined at the end, making for a pretty presentation and keeping the catfish nice and crispy.

» Catfish Courtbouillon

Grilled Redfish with Andouille & Shrimp Couche Couche

New Orleans chef Chuck Subra turns couche couche, a Cajun breakfast food where a cornmeal batter is cooked in oil until browned, into a savory stuffing for grilled redfish. If you prefer not to make cornbread from scratch, use 4 cups diced prepared cornbread.

» Grilled Redfish with Andouille & Shrimp Couche Couche

Seafood Gumbo

Gumbo, a hearty stew made with anything from sausage or duck to rabbit or seafood, starts with a roux, a mix of flour and oil that’s cooked until it turns dark and nutty, giving the stew recipe its signature earthy flavor. This crab and shrimp gumbo recipe comes from Eula Mae Doré, who was the cook at the Commissary on Avery Island, home to the Tabasco company. Just as most cooks of her generation did, she learned Cajun cooking by watching, rather than from cookbooks. Serve with brown rice. (Recipe adapted from Eula Mae’s Cajun Kitchen by Eula Mae Doré and Marcelle R. Bienvenu; Harvard Common Press, 2007.)

» Seafood Gumbo

Tilapia Po’Boy

Forget deep-fried fish—the tilapia in this healthy po’boy recipe, a classic Cajun sandwich recipe, is coated in cornmeal and cooked in just 2 tablespoons of oil. The result? A healthy, crispy fish sandwich without extra calories. Serve with coleslaw and sweet potato fries.

» Tilapia Po’Boy

Shrimp Cakes with Spicy Cajun Mayo

Shrimp cakes are common all over the Gulf Coast, but this recipe is healthy because they’re made with whole-wheat breadcrumbs, packed with fresh vegetables and are delectably crisp without having been deep-fried. Serve these shrimp cakes as a first course, on top of a salad or like a burger on a whole-wheat bun with the Cajun mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato.

» Shrimp Cakes with Spicy Cajun Mayo

Bananas Foster

This famous New Orleans banana dessert recipe gets a kick from rum (we like dark). Impress your friends with this healthy fruit dessert tonight!

» Bananas Foster

Vegetarian Muffalettas

Muffaletta sandwiches, named for a Sicilian bread brought by immigrants to New Orleans, are usually loaded with cured meats, pickles and cheese. Our healthy vegetarian recipe has a trio of smoky grilled veggies. Chopped olives and banana peppers deliver the signature flavor of the classic.

» Vegetarian Muffalettas


Take “Fat Tuesday” a little less literally this year with a more creative, more colorful approach to your Mardi Gras menu. Our perfect-for-a-dinner-party recipes are low in calories and celebrate the colors of Mardi Gras: purple, green and gold. These hues traditionally symbolize justice, faith and power, respectively. To us, they also reflect nutrients galore. Gold-tinged produce provides beta carotene. Those green vegetables deliver folate and lutein, a phytochemical linked with healthy vision. “Red” (or purple!) fruits and vegetables can be rich in anthocyanins, antioxidants that may prevent age-related cognitive decline, and flavonoids, antioxidants that help keep blood vessels healthy.

And of course, if you want to stick to traditional Cajun favorites, we have healthier versions of those as well. These Mardi Gras recipes are delicious and totally perfect for entertaining—just toss in some colorful beads and you’ve got yourself a party.

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