30 Classic New Orleans Recipes
Cajun Red Beans and Brown Rice with Andouille
We use nourishing whole grains and mix in veggies to create a family dinner without the fuss. Prep the beans overnight to reduce cooking time the next day.
This Jambalaya recipe is loaded with flavor thanks to a hit of Cajun seasoning and Andouille sausage. Andouille, a smoky, garlicky pork sausage, adds depth, but you can use any flavorful chicken or pork sausage. Pair this hearty recipe with crusty bread for dipping and serve it up at your next tailgate, office party, or casual weekend gathering. Jambalaya has a tendency to bring people together, so consider doubling the recipe and inviting neighbors.
Saucy Crawfish with Whole Corn Grits
Substitute shrimp for the crawfish, if you prefer. Toasting the flour brings nutty flavor to the sauce, similar to a brown roux. Microgreens make an elegant garnish.
Cajun Crab and Quinoa Cakes
These cakes are served with a simple tartar sauce to cool down the Cajun-style spice rub.
Cajun-Spiced Smoked Shrimp with Rémoulade
No grilling skillet, no problem: Thread the shrimp on skewers instead. The delicious, tangy, and cool rémoulade is the perfect condiment.
Blackened Chicken with Dirty Rice
Bring classic New Orleans' fare to the table with this dazzling duo. Perfectly seasoned blackened chicken and spicy dirty rice make the perfect pair.
New Orleans turns out one of the world's most exuberant sandwiches and calls it a poor boy: always joking down there, always delicious. Delightfully crunchy and deliciously messy, this lighter po'boy delivers classic satisfaction.
Sheet Pan Jambalaya
Admittedly, this is not a classic jambalaya recipe. But it does capture the ingredients and flavors that are characteristic of jambalaya—bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, sausage, shrimp, rice, and Creole seasoning. It’s just a chunkier, fresher take on the classic. Bell peppers, onions, and sausage get a head start on the pan, and then shrimp and tomatoes get added. As the veggies cook on the pan, they release some of their flavorful juices; and then you add the rice, which soaks up all the tasty liquid. It’s a perfect candidate for sheet-pan cooking.
Crab Cakes with Spicy Rémoulade
Serve these succluent crab cakes over mixed greens with a side of this must-have rémoulade. Delicious crab, combined with crunchy panko crumbs, and crisp onions and peppers are the secret to our signature crab cakes. Cooking Light Editor Scott Mowbray raves, "These are the best crab cakes we've ever made!"
Crab and Vegetable Gumbo
The gumbo-blend vegetables contain chopped celery, onion, bell pepper, corn, and okra. If you can't find this particular blend, substitute a mixture of frozen okra and corn.
Pan-Fried Shrimp with Creole Mayonnaise
Serve a lighter version of fried shrimp with a creamy Creole dipping sauce. Fresh, seasonal veggies make the perfect accompaniment.
Cajun Shrimp Linguine
This quick-cooking gumbo is a delight for both the cook and hungry diners. Don't be fooled by its speedy preparation: There's nothing basic about the flavor of this gumbo.
Red Beans and Rice
If you want stick-to-your ribs fare, this dish is it: The beans and brown rice deliver complex carbohydrates and protein, both of which take longer to digest. We love the smoky heat of andouille sausage, but regular smoked turkey sausage links or hot Italian sausage also work.
Creole Shrimp and Creamed Corn
This dish is a fresh, tasty twist on shrimp and grits. The shrimp mixture takes on bold flavors from Creole seasoning, smoked paprika, thyme, and garlic—making for a robust mixture that’s complemented by the sweetness of the creamed corn. Aim for large shrimp here so the dish feels a little more special; we suggest 16/20 count shrimp or 10/15 count if you want them even bigger.
Open-Faced Blackened Catfish Sandwiches
Don't skip out on the creamy cilantro slaw. It pairs wonderfully with oh-so-savory blackened catfish.
Blackened Grouper Sandwiches With Rémoulade
Firm white fish like grouper, tilapia, and mahi mahi are perfect for crusty sandwiches because they won't fall apart after cooking.
Seared Cajun-Style Steak with Green Tomato Relish
Many seasoning blends now offer low- or no-salt options, making spice rubs an easy, instant way to spruce up quickly seared chicken, seafood, or steak without overdoing the sodium.
Fried Catfish with Hush Puppies and Tartar Sauce
Proof that you can get fried food to fit into a healthy diet. Coat the fillets and prepare the batter for hush puppies while you wait for the oil to come up to temperature. You can also make the tartar sauce up to two days ahead and keep it refrigerated.
Smoky Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo
This is certainly not a soup to disrespect. To build all that great flavor with lower sodium, we began by making a quick homemade shrimp stock reduction, drawing lots of shrimp flavor from the shells. We slashed more sodium by ditching the sausage and instead using meaty chicken thighs for richness. The briny shrimp needed just a light dusting of smoked paprika to take the flavor to a whole new level—no extra salt required. Canola oil replaced saturated fat--heavy butter in the nicely darkened roux.
Creole Deviled Eggs
Chef Stage, of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in New York City, remembers his mother's deviled eggs, which he updates for this recipe with vibrant Creole seasonings.
Brown Sugar Bourbon Sparkler
This festive drink is the perfect choice, whether your letting the good times roll on Bourbon Street or celebrating this lively holiday in your own neighborhood.
Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce
This bread pudding is a slimmer, trimmer, and top-rated (by our picky Test Kitchen judges) redesign. Baking Tip: The layer of sauce in the middle of the pudding is the secret to this velvety-rich interior.
Oven-Fried Shrimp and Okra Louisiana Po'boys
We buttermilk-battered shrimp and baked it in a hot oven to golden crispiness, adding fresh okra to the mix for some extra Gulf state color. Creamy caper-spiked remoulade keeps things moist, and hot dog buns make this Cajun country treat right-sized.
This flavorful New Orleans classic is a quick meal that tastes like it has been slow cooking all day. Serve it with crusty French bread.
Brennan's Bananas Foster
A hit in every dessert class, bananas foster was created at New Orleans's Brennan's Restaurant in the 1950s. For best results, be sure to use firm, ripe bananas.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Gumbo is usually a labor of love. The brilliant accelerator here is that we sauté chicken and veggies in the roux while it cooks and develops the trademark deep, rich color and nutty flavor (instead of browning the roux separately). Test Kitchen Director Vanessa Pruett says, “Drippings from authentic andouille sausage start a strong foundation, adding spicy, garlicky goodness to the dish.”
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
Jambalaya is a classic Creole dish that combines rice with a variety of other ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, peppers and some type of meat or shellfish. This easy one-dish meal features both smoked sausage and shredded rotisserie chicken.
Creole Tomato Salad
New Orleanians rave about Creole tomatoes, grown exclusively in south Louisiana. If you can get them, they're perfect for this simple no-cook salad, but if you don't live in the area, use your favorite
King Cake Cupcakes
King Cakes can be a portion-control nightmare. The cinnamon croissant-esque cake is topped with gobs of sticky-sweet glaze and buckets of colored sugar sprinkles. With our recipe makeover, you still have the experience of waiting for a yeast dough to rise and rolling it out. But instead of one big ring, we’re turning the dough into individual cinnamon buns. We keep the sugar numbers low by containing the sugar to a cinnamon-sugar sprinkle in the swirl and a tiny swirl of glaze on top. You’ll get all the flavors of your favorite Mardi Gras King Cake, but you won’t walk away feeling like you definitely understand why they call it Fat Tuesday.