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.

Editors' Picks

Grilled Creole-Style Jambalaya

Every one of the ingredients used in this grilled spin on a Louisiana favorite is awesome with some charred flavor. Even the rice gets some smokiness from grilled tomatoes, a signature in this Creole-style dish. Also known as the Holy Trinity, the combo of bell pepper, onion and celery (which here we swapped for celery seed) is used to flavor Cajun and Creole dishes like gumbo and this jambalaya. No skewers? Use a grill basket instead. 
By Adam Dolge

Hurricane Cocktail

This hurricane cocktail is refreshing with less sugar and calories than the original. The fruit-forward flavor is amplified by passion fruit-flavored sparkling water, which adds effervescence and a sweet floral finish. Serve this drink for Mardi Gras or anytime you want a fruity cocktail.
By Karen Rankin

Chicken & Shrimp Gumbo

Rating: 5 stars 12
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).
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Sausage Gumbo

Rating: 3.5 stars 8
To keep it simple, we've opted for just the essential ingredients in this rendition of the hearty Louisiana favorite: sausage, okra, rice and a little spice.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Shrimp & Cheddar Grits

Rating: 5 stars 10
The South's version of creamy polenta, grits are easy to make on a weeknight--especially when topped with quickly broiled shrimp and scallions. Use the sharpest Cheddar you can find for these cheesy grits. Serve with: Sautéed greens and a tall glass of iced tea.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.
By Diabetic Living Magazine

Rosemary-Ginger French 75

Rating: 5 stars 1
Rosemary and ginger add a flavorful twist to a classic citrusy gin cocktail topped with a little bubbly for a festive libation.
By Stephanie Olson

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Rating: 4 stars 20
This zesty Cajun-style pasta is full of lean chicken, peppers and onions. Serve with sautéed green beans.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Real Cornbread

Rating: 3.5 stars 13
This traditional cornbread is made without flour, isn't sweet and has a crumbly texture. You can change the adaptable recipe to suit your cornbread preference. For a variation, substitute 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for the baking powder and use buttermilk instead of milk. If you're looking for a more muffinlike texture, substitute flour for half the cornmeal.
By Sarah Fritschner

Blackened Salmon Sandwich

Rating: 5 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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Southern Kale

Kale becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender in this recipe. Assertive garlic and salty country ham stand up to kale's bold flavor.
By Sarah Fritschner

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen
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Inspiration and Ideas

Take a Culinary Trip to New Orleans with These Authentic Cajun & Creole Recipes
Take your tastebuds to South Louisiana with these authentic Cajun and Creole recipes. Dishes like Catfish Courtbouillon and Crawfish Etouffee will make you feel like you're in the Crescent City. And since no visit to New Orleans is complete without a side trip to the surrounding Cajun and Creole country, we also included recipes from chefs in New Iberia and Avery Island (home of Tabasco) to give you an authentic experience of Louisiana cuisine.
Air-Fryer Beignets
Rating: Unrated 3
Classic beignets are deep-fried, but not these! The air fryer gives these beignets a healthier twist by using less oil to achieve the crispy exterior and soft chewy inside that makes this South Louisiana specialty so mouthwatering.
Moyo de Poulet Fumé

Combining smoke and heat, this dish is easy and quick to assemble. If you like fiery food, cut long slits in the peppers to release their juices. Four jalapeños, which are more readily available, may be substituted for the habaneros (also called Scotch bonnets), but the habaneros contribute a flavor all their own. Smoked chicken is available in specialty meat shops. Serve hot over rice.