Healthy Cajun & Creole Recipes

Find healthy, delicious Cajun and Creole recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

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

Three-Bean Chili

Rating: Unrated
2
This rib-sticking bean chili is richly flavored with cumin, chili, paprika, oregano and an assortment of peppers. Use whatever beans you have in your pantry.

Cajun Shrimp

This Cajun shrimp recipe is as quick and easy as it gets. It's spicy and buttery, with a kick of lemon and fresh parsley to round out the flavors. The shrimp get a nice char on one side, then finish cooking in butter so the texture remains tender.
By Ali Ramee

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.

Vegan Jambalaya

You won't miss the meat in this healthy jambalaya recipe. Vegan smoked sausage takes its place while the classic "trinity" of vegetables--onion, red bell pepper and celery--get a kick from jalapeño peppers. And everything is cooked in one skillet, which means cleanup is a breeze!

Seafood Stew

Rating: Unrated
2
Our rich stew is made with green beans. The saffron contributes a pungent flavor and intense yellow color.

Pork, White Bean & Kale Soup

Rating: Unrated
16
Kale is matched up here with white beans and chunks of lean pork tenderloin to create a soup that's satisfying and quick to make. Smoked paprika gives the soup a Spanish flair so some warm bread and sliced Manchego cheese would go well on the side.

Jambalaya Stuffed Peppers

Rating: Unrated
1
In this healthy stuffed peppers recipe, a delicious jambalaya filling of chicken and Cajun spices gets baked inside of bell peppers. Traditional jambalaya is made with green bell peppers, but you can use green, yellow, or orange peppers (or a mix) for this dish. Look for bell peppers with even bottoms, so that they stand upright on their own.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Rating: Unrated
17
This zesty Cajun-style pasta is full of lean chicken, peppers and onions. Serve with sautéed green beans.

Vegetarian Gumbo

Rating: Unrated
2
This flavorful vegan dinner is a veggie version of the Louisiana classic. It's chock-full of butternut squash, tomatoes, poblano peppers and okra, to name just a few. This vegetarian gumbo is a quick dinner packed with flavor and spice that's done in only 30 minutes. To make it a meal, serve it with cornbread drizzled with olive oil.

Seafood Gumbo

Rating: Unrated
1
Gumbo, a hearty stew made with anything from sausage or duck to rabbit or seafood, starts with a roux cooked until it turns dark and nutty, giving the stew recipe its signature earthy flavor. This crab and shrimp gumbo recipe comes from Eula Mae Doré, who was the cook at the Commissary on Avery Island, home to the Tabasco company. She learned Cajun cooking by watching, rather than from cookbooks. Serve with brown rice. (Recipe adapted from Eula Mae's Cajun Kitchen by Eula Mae Doré and Marcelle R. Bienvenu; Harvard Common Press, 2007.)

Inspiration and Ideas

Louisiana Gumbo

Chock-full of shrimp, chicken, sausage, okra and tomatoes, this flavorful stew is a staple in Louisiana.

Crawfish Etouffee

In this healthy recipe from chef Patrick Mould, the tasty crustaceans are smothered in a sauce made with plenty of onions, garlic and Cajun seasoning.

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.