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

Crawfish Etouffee

Literally translated as “smothered” and pronounced ay-TOO-fay, the crawfish recipe is typically a saucy stew served over rice. In this healthy recipe from chef Patrick Mould, the tasty crustaceans (use shrimp if you can't find crawfish) are smothered in a sauce made with plenty of onions, garlic and Cajun seasoning.
By Patrick Mould

Grilled Cajun Jambalaya

Every one of the ingredients used in this grilled spin on a Louisiana favorite is awesome with some charred flavor. Plus, using a grill cuts down on the cleanup for this Cajun jambalaya recipe. Even the rice gets some smokiness from grilled tomatoes. 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

Shrimp Po' Boy

Rating: 4.5 stars 6
This twist on the Louisiana favorite piles grilled shrimp and creamy-dressed cabbage onto a crusty bun. Bread that's soft on the inside and crusty on the outside is perfect for a Po' Boy sandwich. We grill both sides of a whole-wheat bun for that added crunch. You may need a few extra napkins to enjoy it, but this quick and easy sandwich is well worth it. Serve with: Sauteed corn and bell peppers.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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

Dirty Rice

Rating: 4 stars 5
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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Gateau de Sirop

This easy cake recipe by Cajun food authority Marcelle Bienvenu is studded with pecans and is typical of Cajun cooking--it's rustic, humble and made with ingredients that are always on hand. Serve this easy cake recipe for breakfast with cafe au lait or as a simple dessert accompanied by whipped cream or ice cream. Cane syrup comes from cane juice that has been cooked until it's golden and toasty-flavored. You can use molasses or honey in its place.
By Marcelle Bienvenu

Louisiana 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 Creole favorite: sausage, okra, rice and a little spice.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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

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

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

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
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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.
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.