Simple, Sweet & Savory Mardi Gras Menu (PHOTOS)

Liz Alterman | Feb 15, 2015 Food & Party

donuts

Want to celebrate Mardi Gras without traveling to New Orleans or spending all day in the kitchen? You're in luck! We've found some simple but delicious recipes that are so good, you'll want to throw on some beads and dance in the street! 

You don't have to be Emeril Lagasse, king of Cajun cuisine, to prepare a fun feast for your family with this menu. Get Fat Tuesday off to a sweet start with beignets -- the heavenly French donuts -- and end it with the classic King Cake or beloved pecan pralines. 

Check out these New Orleans favorites and then tell us: What's your go-to Mardi Gras dish? 

 

Image © Desgrieux/photocuisine/Corbis

  • Beignets

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    Image © fotoholik/shutterstock

    Start or end the day with these sweet Mardi Gras Beignets, which are traditionally served along with coffee or café au lait. Though the yummy French donuts may seem like a fancy little treat, they're super easy to prepare thanks to pre-made bread dough. Just fry them up, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and enjoy a true New Orleans staple!

  • Hurricanes

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    Image via ThomasCizauskas/shutterstock

    Get your evening off to a fun and flavorful start with a Hurricane, the official cocktail of Mardi Gras. You can choose to make it a family-friendly beverage by using simply tropical fruit punch, lime juice, and lemon-lime seltzer. Or, prepare a grownups-only batch by adding light and dark rum. Either way, this fruity tropical drink is sure to be a hit. 

  • Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

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    Image via JeffreyW/Flickr

    Creole seasoning and smoked sausage give this Chicken and Sausage Gumbo a spicy kick. This recipe calls for creating a rich roux which thickens this stew. Served over a bed of rice, this dish will warm you up fast! 

  • Louisiana Red Beans & Rice

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    Image © Matthew Mead/AP/Corbis

    Louisiana Red Beans & Rice is a classic Mardi Gras dish that can be prepared in a Crock-Pot. To give it a little extra heat, add some hot sauce after serving. 

  • Shrimp Etouffee

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    Image via Emily Carlin/Flickr

    Don't be put off by the fancy name, Shrimp Etoufee is easier to prepare than you might think. Plus, lemons, parsley, butter, garlic, and thyme add tons of flavor to this visually stunning entree. 

  • New Orleans Bread Pudding With Bourbon Sauce

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    Image © awseiwei/shutterstock

    Want to be transported to Bourbon Street without the expense of a plane ticket? Try this decadent New Orleans Bread Pudding for dessert. The show-stopping bourbon sauce can be whisked together easily with just a few ingredients: butter, sugar, egg yolk, evaporated milk, and a couple splashes of bourbon. 

  • Pecan Pralines

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    Image via Wally Gobetz/Flickr

    It wouldn't be Mardi Gras without this traditional favorite: pecan pralines. What's the secret ingredient that cools down your palate after a spicy meal? Melted vanilla bean ice cream. Yum!  

  • King Cake

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    Image via Eric Wagner/Flickr

    A small, plastic baby wrapped up in a pastry? Count us in! This festive confection is decorated with purple, green, and gold sugar so it just seems to scream Party! And, the person who gets the piece of King Cake with the little doll in it has to host the next shindig so you end the night with another party to look forward to!

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