25 Fat Tuesday Recipes | Mardi Gras Menu Ideas

While we in the U.S. may associate Fat Tuesday with Mardi Gras and New Orleans, people all over the world observe this time of year in unique ways. Whether you are getting ready for the austerity of Lent or just letting loose during carnival, we have you covered with these Fat Tuesday recipes from across the globe.

King Cake

"I'm from New Orleans and have had pretty much every bakery's king cake. This recipe could easily compete with the top ones! My husband said this one was the best he's ever had, and I'd have to agree.”

-Jenn from New Orlea

French Market Beignets

These fried dough squares are a popular snack during New Orleans’ carnival festivities. You can recreate them at home with this tried-and-true recipe.

Mom's Sit Sandwich

This sandwich is inspired by the famous Italian-influenced muffuletta sandwich in New Orleans. Sitting on the sandwich is an old-school technique that helps all the juices seep into the bread and makes the sandwich easier to slice and eat.

Seafood Gumbo

"This seafood gumbo is awesome! I cooked the roux until it was a nice caramel brown color. The crab boiling entices you with its smell and gives such incredible flavor. I used halibut and included the oysters.”

-ratherbeswimmin

Barb's Gumbo

This stew is a creative interpretation of Southern Louisiana gumbo, which includes tomatoes for tang and corn for a touch of sweetness. Both additions counter the spicy Creole flavors of this dish.

Mardi Gras Hurricane 2

"The first sip of this drink instantly transported me across the Pacific and back to my hometown, New Orleans, sitting at Pat-O-Briens in the French Quarter sipping Hurricanes on a hot summer afternoon.”

-A Good Thing

Green Onion Blinis with Red Pepper Relish & Goat Cheese

In Russia and many other Slavic countries, people mark the pre-Lent season with these traditional pancakes called blinis. You can top blinis with anything, but this combination of red peppers and goat cheese is worth trying.

Brazilian Brigadeiros

Brazil is world-famous for its carnival celebrations. While most people focus on the elaborate carnival floats and infectious samba beats, no celebration is complete without mouthwatering treats, like these fudge-like brigadeiros.

Crêpes

In France, people celebrate Fat Tuesday with these delicate pancakes. You can fill them simply with jam or chocolate sauce or go all-out with ice cream and fruit.

Slow-Cooker Jambalaya

“Very good taste! So easy to prepare, too. We had some smoked sausage from New Orleans shipped to us, so I put that in, and it was great with the shrimp. We dipped some french rolls in the sauce.”

-Dana-MMH

Homemade Bratwurst

You may think that bratwurst is only for Oktoberfest, but these succulent German sausages make an appearance during many other celebrations, including Fat Tuesday. Try making your own from scratch with this recipe.

Pretzels

In Germany, Fat Tuesday is called Fasching, and people celebrate it with just as much fervor as anywhere else. Carnival merrymaking isn’t complete without a warm, chewy pretzel.

Brazilian Cheese Puffs

These Brazilian cheesy breads, known as pão de queijo, are an all-time favorite at parties all throughout the country. They’re gluten-free, savory and addictively chewy. A great way to regain some energy from all that dancing.

Chicken, Shrimp & Andouille Jambalaya

"This was my first time making Jambalaya and I am sure glad I used your recipe! Wonderful flavor.”

-Bergy

Caipirinha

If you’re celebrating Fat Tuesday Brazilian style, these cocktails are a must! The simple combination of cachaça, lime and sugar goes down easy but packs a powerful punch. If you can’t find cachaça, rum or aguardiente are good substitutes.

Sweet Tortelli

These sweet little hand pies are a requirement for Italian Fat Tuesday celebrations, especially around the city of Bologna in northern Italy.

Brazilian Black Bean Stew

Many consider this stew, called feijoada, to be the national dish of Brazil. Regardless, it is a favorite during any celebration, and Carnaval is no exception. You can leave it simmering all day, and guests can serve themselves whenever they feel peckish.

Shrimp & Eggplant Beignets with Remoulade Sauce

If you don’t have so much of a sweet tooth but want to get in on the beignet action, these are a great savory alternative that feature two popular Creole ingredients: shrimp and eggplant. The remoulade sauce is a traditional creamy dressing with just a bit of a kick.

English Pancakes

In England, Fat Tuesday is known by another name: Shrove Tuesday. For centuries, Britons have been commemorating the date with a feast of pancakes. However, don’t get these confused with the fluffy American griddled cakes. These are thinner — somewhere between a crêpe and an American-style pancake.

Mardi Gras Rice

"I used a precooked short grain brown rice which made this a snap to put together. Not having red cabbage I used finely shredded green and purple bell pepper. Very nice.”

-PaulaG

Authentic Polish Paczki

People in Poland celebrate Fat Tuesday with these rich filled fritters. They’re not only popular in Poland but in U.S. cities with large Polish-American communities, as well. These pastries are so closely associated with Fat Tuesday in these cities that the day is locally referred to as Paczki Day.

Bahian Fish Stew

The coastal state of Bahia in Brazil is known for its rich West African heritage and its unique carnival celebrations. The people of Bahia are famous for their zesty seafood stews, and this dish — called muqueca — is a perfect example of the local cuisine.

Swiss Onion Tart

This tart is a favorite during Fat Tuesday celebrations in Switzerland. Enjoy it hot or cold. The leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and reheat beautifully.

Buss Up Shut

The Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago is also famous for its unique carnival, which features steel drum bands and infectious soca music. People recharge with portable meals of spicy curries wrapped in flat breads called rotis. Buss Up Shut is a popular flaky flatbread used in these wraps.

Trini Fried Dough & Chickpea Sandwiches

This is an extremely popular street snack in Trinidad and Tobago, especially during carnival. In its native country, the dish is called doubles because it includes two pieces of fried dough sandwiching the curried chickpeas.

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