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 4
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 3
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.

Louisiana Gumbo

Rating: 4.58 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).

Two-Bean Enchilada Casserole

Rating: 4.67 stars 3
This classic and comforting Mexican dish is easy to make on a busy weeknight.

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 8
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.

Slow-Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup

Rating: 5 stars 2
This stuffed pepper soup uses the slow cooker to create a flavorful, easy meal perfect for any night of the week.

Air-Fryer Beignets

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.
By Karen Rankin

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.

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!

Corn Bread-Topped Chicken Enchilada Casserole

For a twist on the classic chicken enchilada casserole, this slow cooker recipe is topped with homemade corn bread.