It’s Mardi Gras and that means it’s time to stuff your face with the best Fat Tuesday recipes New Orleans has to offer. The city has is globally renowned for its carnival celebrations featuring revelers dressed in purple, green and gold and beads thrown from parade floats.

“There’s a thing I’ve dreamed of all my life, and I’ll be damned if it don’t look like it’s about to come true — to be King of the Zulu’s parade. After that, I’ll be ready to die,” musician Louis Armstrong once said about New Orleans’ famous Mardi Gras parades. 

Want to join the fun? Here are 12 recipes representing Louisiana traditions to help you widen your waist before the solemn Christian celebration of Lent begins Wednesday.

King Cake Recipes: This ring-shaped treat is coated in the royal colors of purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power) to pay tribute to the three kings who visited baby Jesus on Epiphany, the 12th day after Christmas. Southern Living has a traditional recipe that will keep southerners happy, or try a modern take from Make a more upscale version with help from this Epicurious recipe. 

Gumbo Recipes: This savory stew made from shrimp, crab, chicken, duck and/or sausage is a hearty addition to any Mardi Gras fest. Southern Living recommends this chicken and sausage version, but Emeril’s classic seafood gumbo is also sure to fill you up. Really want to impress your friends? Try this ultra-silky version from Saveur. 

Jambalaya Recipes: This BuzzFeed recipe has pictures and easy instructions if you’re a novice. Rachel Ray also is known for her approachable style, but if you crave sophistication, this New York Times recipe kralbet will help you get the Mardi Gras party started.

Other Recipes To Try: This muffuleta from the Palm Beach Post has plenty of cold cuts and olives. Or try this tempting shrimp etouffee with plenty of trimmings. If you are not a king cake fan, these beignets will satisfy your sweet tooth. Want to really get your hands dirty? These crawfish boil tips are essential reading before you start cooking.


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