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: Unrated
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: Unrated
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: Unrated
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: Unrated
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: Unrated
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.

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.

Two-Bean Enchilada Casserole

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

Louisiana Gumbo

Rating: Unrated
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).

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

Blackened Salmon Sandwich

Rating: Unrated
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.

Sausage Gumbo

Rating: Unrated
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.

Green Chile Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Rating: Unrated
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.

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!

Louisiana Catfish with Okra & Corn

Rating: Unrated
3

Purchased Cajun or Creole seasoning flavors both the catfish and vegetables in this 30-minute dinner. This dish is best with fresh vegetables, but we were pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out with frozen okra and corn. Serve with cheese grits and a green salad.