With Mardi Gras in full swing, and Ash Wednesday falling on March 5th (if you’re wondering why it’s so late, you’re not alone), Cajun food is on the brain. While New Orleans may be the known for music, drinks, parades and a little voodoo, it’s the food the draws me back again and again. Beignets, chicory coffee, dirty rice, jambalaya, gumbo, red beans & rice, king cake, pralines, muffalettas … my goodness this city has so much food associated with it! Is there one other city in America that has so much food associated with it?

Some of StyleBlueprint’s most loved recipes through the years have been the ones inspired by New Orleans cooking. Here is a round-up of the best jambalaya ever, two kinds of red beans & rice and a few gumbos. So, pick your recipe and call some friends over and Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

This jambalaya, from a Louisianna native, is the real deal. Yes, it has lots of bacon grease as part of the recipe, but man, it is so dang good. Definitely worth every last bite. See recipe here.

Red beans and rice is a favorite of mine to cook. This is a great way to cook red beans in the crock pot when life is extra busy. See the recipe here.

Red Beans & Rice on StyleBlueprint

This is seriously an EASY red beans and rice recipe and the exact one I used when my friends and I threw a little shindig for Christmas a couple years ago … that suddenly had about 180 people. Yes, this recipe is that easy to make! I add okra as it’s my favorite, but feel free to leave it out if it’s not yours (but it does thicken it up quite nicely. See the recipe here.

shrimp, crawfish and andouille gumbo

We have two recipes for gumbo here. Both a chicken, seafood and sausage gumbo AND a shrimp, crawfish and andouille gumbo (pictured above). See both recipes here.

Vegan Gumbo on StyleBlueprint

Embracing a vegan lifestyle? Check out this delicious gumbo adapted from the writer’s grandmother’s original recipe. Add meat if that’s your thing, but make a big pot of this soup! See the recipe here.

Want to host an entire Mardi Gras meal? One StyleBlueprint reader walked us through how to do just that on this article, and it left us very hungry!

Of course, you could jump in the car and road trip it to New Orleans, but you could also hit the party store for some beads, cook at home, invite some friends over, and watch the Olympics. That’s a pretty good gathering that can only happen every so often, so take advantage.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading StyleBlueprint today.

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Interested in a trip to New Orleans? Here’s our 48-hour itinerary.