Mardi Gras 2021: Everything You Can Eat on Fat Tuesday

Celebrate Mardi Gras with your fave Fat Tuesday recipe

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Break out your beads because Mardi Gras is right around the corner on Tuesday, February 16! For those of you who don’t know, Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. Depending on where the celebrations are taking place, Fat Tuesday is also known as Carnival Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday. There is no doubt that Mardi Gras 2021 will be different, but that certainly does not mean Mardi Gras is cancelled. 

Celebrate Mardi Gras in true carnival style from the comfort of your own home and cook up one (or all) of these 12 savory and sweet recipes.

Sazerac Cocktail

Sazerac cocktail on table next to wooden muddler
Source: The Spruce Eats

Total Time: 5 minutes

Before you start preparing your favorite Fat Tuesday recipes, fix yourself a true New Orleans cocktail: a Sazerac. Born in the New Orleans bar scene in the 19th century, the Sazerac is considered by many to be America’s first cocktail. A single sip of its delectable flavors helps you understand everything you need to know about letting the good times roll.

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Crawfish Dip

Crawfish dip in a bowl served with a plate of crackers
Source: Southern Living

Total Time: 1 hour 

Nothing says Fat Tuesday quite like a larger-than-life Louisiana-style crawfish boil. In Louisiana, crawfish is essentially a food group. If you’re looking for a pared-down crawfish dish, this delicious dip is the way to go. 

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Red Beans & Rice

Red beans and rice that’s garnished with green onions and parsley served in a bowl
Source: The New York Times

Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes

On Fat Tuesday (or whenever they need a mood boost), you can find New Orleanians preparing a pot of red beans and rice in their home kitchen. This emblematic dish of Louisiana Creole is easy to cook on low heat all day. For an authentic taste, consider using handmade Louisiana andouille sausage to lend a bit of heat and flavor to the beans. Don’t forget to add a slap of hot sauce for an extra kick.

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Jambalaya served in a bowl with a side of cornbread
Source: Allrecipes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Just because you can’t make it to New Orleans for Fat Tuesday doesn’t mean you can’t treat your taste buds to some delectable Cajun food. Jambalaya is a rice dish that typically includes chicken, andouille sausage, shrimp and a punch of Southern heat and flavors. Surprisingly, jambalaya was created as the answer to a problem.

What was the problem, you might ask? In the 1700s, Spanish colonists living in Louisiana didn’t have access to saffron and were unable to make paella. Using what they had readily available to them locally, the colonists were able to make a variation of their beloved paella: jambalaya.

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Muffaletta Sandwich

Muffaletta sandwich served on a plate
Source: Food Network

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

The muffuletta is a classic New Orleans sandwich with Sicilian origins—it’s even older than New Orleans’ beloved po’boy. The first versions of the muffuletta sandwich first appeared in New Orleans among Italian immigrants in the 1890s.

This special sammy combines an olive tapenade with layers of thin-sliced Italian cold cuts, and is the perfect item to make for a low-stress dinner. For an authentic taste, be sure to let it rest before eating so the bread absorbs those olive juices.

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Oysters Bienville

Oysters Bienville served over a plate of ice
Source: Epicurious

Total Time: 45 minutes

Louisiana oysters are a timeless classic and can be prepared in a number of ways. One such prep is the popular Oysters Bienville, named for the founder of New Orleans, Jean Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville.

First concocted at Arnaud’s Restaurant in the French Quarter, this dish is now a staple at many fine dining institutions. When looking for oysters to prepare this appetizer, find the ones with tightly closed shells and a fresh scent.

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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Chicken and sausage gumbo served in a bowl with rice on top
Source: The New York Times

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Today, gumbo is as much a cultural emblem of Louisiana as jazz or the bayou. This popular dish has a variety of mixed origins, with French, Spanish, African, Native American, Caribbean and German influences.

At its core, gumbo is a rich and thick soup made with a combination of rice, veggies, meat or seafood. However, you should think of every gumbo as a blank canvas; an open opportunity for variety. Feel free to make a vegetarian version, for example, if you prefer your gumbo meatless.

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Fried Shrimp Po’Boys

Fried shrimp po’boy served with a side of tartar sauce and hot sauce
Source: Country Living

Total Time: 40 minutes

There’s nothing like a shrimp po’boy to transport you to the Big Easy. Po’boys were created in the early 1900s to feed striking streetcar workers—and now they’re a cornerstone of NOLA cuisine.

While you can dress your modern-day po’boy with just about any filling from roast beef and gravy to fried catfish, the shrimp in this recipe are the perfect contrast to the flaky bread.

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King Cake

King cake served on a plate
Source: Taste of Home

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

There’s no Fat Tuesday celebration without a traditional king cake—complete with a small plastic baby. Yes, you read that right. It’s a custom in New Orleans to bake (or hide) a symbolic bean or small plastic baby in a king cake. There comes a time at every Mardi Gras party for the cutting of the king cake, and the rule goes that the person who gets the piece containing the baby must host the next year’s celebration. 

While this practice of embedding special items in cakes originated in Old World Europe, the tradition of embedding a plastic baby into a king cake started in New Orleans. In the 1950s, a bakery called McKenzie’s popularized this practice, though the trinkets were originally made of porcelain. Thankfully, they’ve  been replaced over the years with safer plastic versions. 

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New Orleans-Style Beignets

A pile of New Orleans-style beignets dusted with powdered sugar
Source: Baker by Nature

Total Time: 3 hours

New Orleans-style beignets are a Fat Tuesday essential. With a single bowl and a few kitchen staples, you can whip up a batch of these bad boys and transport yourself to the French Quarter, no plane ticket needed.

These fun-size dough nuggets are like biting into buttery, fluffy pillows with lightly crisp exteriors. For a true New Orleans taste, be sure to add a thick layer of powdered sugar and serve your beignets with a warm cup of coffee.

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Bread Pudding

piece of bread pudding covered in bourbon sauce served on a plate
Source: Simply Recipes

Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

While bread pudding was not invented in New Orleans, it is still an iconic Fat Tuesday dish—a fact that’s often overshadowed by the rest of your typical Mardi Gras smorgasbord. Make this delicious dessert to get a taste of the Big Easy in the comfort of your home. Serve your bread pudding with whipped cream, mascarpone, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or simply dust with powdered sugar for an extra bit of sweetness.

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Bananas Foster Sundaes

Two bowls of bananas foster sundaes
Source: Taste of Home

Total Time: 15 minutes

A traditional Bananas Foster dessert is a sight to see. Bananas are sautéed in butter, sugar and cinnamon and then bathed in rum, which is set aflame. So how was this decadent favorite born? In the 50s, New Orleans was the main port of entry for bananas from South America.

In an effort to promote the imported fruit, the owner of Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans, Owen Brennan, challenged his chef to include bananas in a new dessert. The now famous dish is named after Brennan’s friend, Richard Foster, a civic and business leader in New Orleans.

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No matter how you choose to spend Fat Tuesday this year, remember: Laissez les bons temps rouler—let the good times roll. If you don’t have the Gopuff app yet, download it from the Apple Store or Google Play to make ordering even easier. 

Make sure to follow Gopuff on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

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