Healthy Mardi Gras Recipes

Find healthy, delicious Mardi Gras recipes including appetizers, drinks, dinner and dessert recipes. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Cajun Bean Soup

Rating: 5 stars
1
This healthy Cajun-inspired bean soup recipe features black-eyed peas, collards and a bit of andouille sausage. Serve it with cornbread and pass the hot sauce.

Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya

Rating: 2 stars
3
The slow cooker makes easy work of this healthy jambalaya featuring brown rice and plenty of veggies. If you don't want to make your own seasoning, just skip Step 1 and use 1 1/2 teaspoons purchased salt-free Cajun seasoning in Step 2.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Rating: 4 stars
2
This slow-cooker gumbo recipe skips the fat when browning the flour and swaps in turkey sausage and brown rice, resulting in a healthier dish with the classic Creole taste.

Creole Chuck Steak Etouffee

Rating: 4 stars
2
In this steak étouffée recipe, boneless chuck is slowly cooked in a flavorful liquid full of aromatic vegetables, spicy sausage and broth. This beef étouffée recipe calls for a 2 1/2-pound piece of chuck, but if chuck steaks are available at your market, purchase eight 4- to 5-ounce steaks instead of cutting your own from the roast. Serve the steak étouffée with stone-ground grits, polenta or rice, and pass the Tabasco.

Cajun Pecan-Crusted Catfish

Rating: 3.33 stars
1
Crunchy, battered catfish fillets have jumped out of the Louisiana backwaters to become a national favorite, thanks in large part to the Cajun cooking craze that started in the '80s. Here, the fillets are coated in a spicy mélange of cornflakes and pecans and baked for a traditional yet surprisingly healthy take on this bayou favorite.

Two-Bean Enchilada Casserole

Rating: 4.67 stars
2
This classic and comforting Mexican dish is easy to make on a busy weeknight.

Louisiana Gumbo

Rating: 4.58 stars
8
Chock-full of shrimp, chicken, sausage, okra and tomatoes, this flavorful stew is a staple in Louisiana. Make it a meal and serve with Real Cornbread (see associated recipe).

Blackened Salmon Sandwich

Rating: 4.94 stars
1
Blackened salmon is great in a sandwich with a spread of mashed avocado and low-fat mayonnaise plus peppery arugula leaves, cool tomato slices and zesty red onion. We grill our Cajun-style salmon so there is no need for any added cooking oil. Catfish makes an excellent stand-in for the salmon but you'll want to use a grill basket if you have one to keep the fish from breaking apart.

Green Chile Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Rating: 5 stars
1
Prepare this dish the night ahead of time so all you have to do is pop it in the oven for an easy and delicious dinner.

Sausage Gumbo

Rating: 4.14 stars
5
To keep it simple, we've opted for just the essential ingredients in this rendition of the hearty Creole favorite: sausage, okra, rice and a little spice.

Low-Sugar Mexican Flan

Rating: 5 stars
2
This inverted caramel custard dessert is often found on Mexican dessert menus. This recipe is low in calories and fat.

Homemade Salsa

If you like mild salsa, use banana peppers in this recipe. For a hotter version, try jalapeño or one of the alternate pepper choices.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Grilled Redfish with Andouille & Shrimp

New Orleans chef Chuck Subra turns couche couche, a Cajun breakfast where cornmeal batter is browned in oil, into a savory stuffing for grilled redfish.

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!

Dirty Rice

Rating: 4.25 stars
3

A Louisiana favorite, our version of this spicy dish uses whole-grain Wehani rice. Long-grain brown rice also works. Traditionally made with chicken liver, which gives it a “dirty” color, we use healthy lean chicken sausage instead.