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Mardi Gras Munchies: 7 Recipes to Get the Party Started!

A Mardi Gras carnival mask on a dark background next to pastries covered in powdered sugar.
LongJon/Shutterstock

They don’t call it Fat Tuesday for nothing! Load up on all the rich, delicious foods perfect for partygoers. From crab cakes to hush puppies, we have all the Mardi Gras recipes you need to live it up before Lent.

We can’t think of a better way to honor this season of debauchery than by throwing a real-deal, party. But, if you’re going to host all your family and friends for boundless booze and beads, you’ll need to supply some snacks as well.

That’s where this list comes in! We’ve gathered all the party treats in superbly southern form, so you can honor the Mardi Gras traditions of New Orleans and offer your guests more than booze-laced Hurricanes. These finger foods and ritualistic fare are ideal for your Fat Tuesday celebration.

Savory Bites

A crab cake stack from with tartar sauce and chopped parsley on top.
Spend with Pennies

When it comes to celebrating excess in the world of savory snacks, fried food is where it’s at. Is it healthy? No—absolutely not, nor should it be. Mardi Gras was made for pleasure, after all, not piety!

Check out these delectable nibbles:

  • Crab Cakes: In the Southern U.S., seafood is a staple, and crab cakes, in particular, are perfect for parties. They’re also hearty, rich, and decadent, making them ideal for Mardi Gras.

Get the Recipe: Spend with Pennies

  • Fried Okra: A southern staple, these can replace plain ole potato chips. They add southern flair to any party and make for exceptional noshing alongside beer or other alcoholic beverages.

Get the Recipe: Food Network

A plate full of shrimp po'boy sliders.
Johnathan Boulton/Delish
  • Shrimp Po’Boy Sliders: Crispy shrimp and creamy sauce make these little guys a great choice for Mardi Gras. They scream southern comfort in the best way. Plus, their small size makes them ideal for mixing and mingling.

Get the Recipe: Delish

  • Hush Puppies: As we mentioned previously, fried food is the best choice for a Fat Tuesday bash. And what would a southern soiree be without some hush puppies?

Get the Recipe: House of Nash Eats

  • Jambalaya: Anytime you can make an entire meal in one pot, it’s going to be great for gatherings, and jambalaya is no exception. Make a big batch and let guests help themselves throughout the celebrations.

Get the Recipe: The Forked Spoon

Sweeter Snacks

A King Cake on a serving platter.
Tori Avey

There are really only two Mardi Gras style sweets you should consider for your bead and booze-soaked bash: King Cake and Beignets.

Sure, you can create a whole dessert table if you want, but as long as you have these two, we can’t imagine anyone complaining:

  • King Cake: This one’s synonymous with Mardi Gras, and not just in New Orleans, but in Fat Tuesday celebrations around the world. Tradition demands you bake a small toy baby into the cake. Whoever receives it has to bring the rainbow-colored pastry the following year. If you’re going to follow the ritual, just be sure to let guests know first—no one wants to choke on a plastic baby Jesus.

Get the Recipe: Tori Avey

  • Beignets: These are a New Orleans classic full of French heritage, and that makes them ideal for Mardi Gras. They can be a bit messy to make, as they require deep frying—the subsequent oil slick across your kitchen counter. Of course, with next to no effort, you could also order them from nearly any French bakery.

Get the Recipe: Jo Cooks

Lauren Sakiyama Lauren Sakiyama
Lauren Sakiyama is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. She has managed restaurants, country clubs, and large-scale event operations, but her passion has always been about the food. Read Full Bio »

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