Mardi Gras Magic: Festive Fat Tuesday Recipes for a Flavorful Celebration

Get ready to tantalize your Mardi Gras taste buds with recipes for Jambalaya, NOLA fav beignets, and New Orleans signature cocktails.

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February 8, 2024 5 min read

As Mardi Gras festivities sweep through the streets with vibrant colors, lively music, and flamboyant parades, it’s time to bring the spirit of this iconic celebration into your kitchen. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with a traditional dish of Jambalaya and a decadent sweet which includes, of course, a NOLA fav, beignets. But no festivity is complete unless you’ve got accompanying beverages. And Escoffier Culinary Arts Instructor, Luke Shaffer, doesn’t disappoint with his take on two quintessential New Orleans cocktails, the Hurricane and Sazarac!  So, don your apron, gather your ingredients, and let’s dive into a world of flavor and festivity with these mouthwatering Mardi Gras recipes!”

“Laissez les bons temps rouler!”
Luke Shaffer, Escoffier Culinary Arts Chef Instructor
Luke Shaffer
Escoffier Culinary Arts Chef Instructor

Creole Jambalaya Recipe

Makes 8 servings

  • 28 oz  Tomatoes, canned, diced, drained with liquid reserved
  • 4 c  Chicken stock, unsalted or low-sodium
  • 1 lb  Chicken thighs, boneless skinless
  • 1 lb  Andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
  • 1 c  Yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 c  Celery, small dice
  • 1 c  Green bell pepper, small dice
  • 4 ea  Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp  Tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp  Louisiana-style hot sauce, Louisiana or Crystal brand
  • 1 Tbsp  Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 ea  Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 ea  Bay leaves
  • 2 c  Long-grain rice
  • 1 lb  Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 ea  Scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp (plus more as needed)  Cajun seasoning*
  • Vegetable or Canola oil (as needed)

Cajun Seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp  Black pepper, ground
  • 1 Tbsp  White pepper, ground
  • 1 tsp  Cayenne pepper, ground
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp  Garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp  Onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp  Dried thyme, ground
  • 1 tsp  Coriander seeds, ground
  • 2 Tbsp  Kosher salt
  • 1 ea  Bay leaves, ground


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 °F.
  2. Add enough stock to the reserved tomato liquid to make 4 cups total.
  3. Heat a Dutch oven or large sauce pot over medium-high heat.
  4. Season chicken thighs with Cajun seasoning.
  5. Add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and brown chicken thighs on both sides – about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board and allow to cool enough to handle.
  6. Once cooled, dice into bite-size pieces.
  7. Add andouille sausage to the pot and cook on each side until slightly darker in color.
  8. Add celery, onion, and bell pepper to the pot and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes.
  9. Add garlic and tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute.
  10. Add hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning, and diced chicken.
  11. Add rice and stir to combine.
  12. Add stock + tomato liquid and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid, and place in the oven.
  13. Allow to cook until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed – about 30 minutes.
  14. Toss shrimp in additional Cajun seasoning.
  15. Remove from the oven and gently stir in shrimp and scallions.
  16. Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
  17. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  18. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
  19. Serve with additional hot sauce on the side.


Beignet Recipe

Yields 24 pieces

  • 1 tsp  Active dry yeast
  • ¾ cups  Warm water
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • ½ tsp  Kosher salt
  • 1 ea  Egg, beaten
  • ½ cup  Evaporated milk
  • 3 ½ cups All-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp  Shortening
  • As needed  Vegetable oil, for frying
  • As needed  Confectioner’s sugar, for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water; stir to dissolve and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Add sugar, salt, beaten eggs, and evaporated milk.
  3. With a whisk or electric mixer, blend the mixture thoroughly. 
  4. Add 2 cups of flour and the shortening; beat until smooth.
  5. Gradually blend in the remaining flour.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Heat oil in a large, deep saucepan or electric deep fryer to 360 F.
  8. Roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch in thickness. Cut into 2 1/2 to 3-inch squares.
  9. Deep fry beignets for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are lightly browned on both sides.
  10. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle generously with confectioners’ sugar.

Sazarac Cocktail Recipe

  • Absinthe
  • Simple Syrup
  • 4 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 2.5 oz Rye
  • Ice
  • Lemon peel garnish


  1. Do an absinthe rinse on a serving glass
  2. Add ice, to chill
  3. Add simple syrup to a second mixing glass
  4. Add bitters to simple syrup
  5. Add rye to the mixture
  6. Add ice to the mixture and stir for 20-30 seconds
  7. Dispose of ice in chilled serving glass
  8. Strain drink into chilled serving glass
  9. Garnish with lemon peel

Hurricane Cocktail Recipe

  • 2 oz  Light rum
  • 2 oz  Dark rum
  • 1 oz Lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 oz  Orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • ½ oz  Passion fruit puree
  • ½ oz  Simple syrup
  • 1 tsp  Grenadine
  • 1 ea  Orange wheel for garnish
  • 1 ea  Preserved cherry (such as Luxardo) for garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients (except the garnishes) in a shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain into a hurricane glass filled with fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with orange wheel and cherry


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