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70 of the Best Recipes for Mardi Gras

Get a taste of the Big Easy with the best recipes for Mardi Gras. Whether it's king cake, beignets or muffuletta, these classic Mardi Gras recipes are so good, you'll be making them long after Fat Tuesday is over.

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Southern Shrimp and Grits

A southern specialty, sometimes called breakfast shrimp, this dish tastes great for brunch or dinner, and anytime company’s coming. It’s down-home comfort food at its finest. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina

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Easy JambalayaTaste of Home

Easy Jambalaya

I brought this easy jambalaya to a Sunday potluck and it was quickly gobbled up. When friends asked me for the recipe, they couldn't believe how easy it was! —Tami Kuehl, Loup City, Nebraska

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MuffulettaTaste of Home

Muffuletta

Muffuletta, which originated in New Orleans, is named after the round, crusty Sicilian loaf of bread it's traditionally served on. While I favor my own olive salad, there are several good versions available in most supermarkets. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah

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Mardi Gras King CakeTaste of Home

Mardi Gras King Cake

This frosted king cake is the highlight of our annual Mardi Gras party. If you want to hide a token inside, do so by cutting a small slit in the bottom of the baked cake…and remember to warn your guests! —Lisa Mouton, Orlando, Florida

By the way, we can answer the question, “what is a king cake“.

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Gumbo in a JiffyTaste of Home

Gumbo in a Jiffy

This is a yummy dish. My husband loves the kick that the sausage gives this quick gumbo, and it’s such a cinch to assemble. —Amy Flack, Homer City, Pennsylvania

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Crawfish Beignets with Cajun Dipping SauceTaste of Home

Crawfish Beignets with Cajun Dipping Sauce

Get a taste of the deep South with these slightly spicy beignets. You won't be able to eat just one! —Donna Lanclos, Lafayette, Louisiana

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Passion Fruit HurricanesTaste of Home

Passion Fruit Hurricanes

This is our Test Kitchen’s version of the famous Hurricane beverage that's so popular in New Orleans. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin

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One Pot Red Beans And Rice Exps Tohas20 245145 F04 10 2b Home 5

Dutch Oven Red Beans and Rice

This Dutch oven red beans and rice recipe is a great one-pot meal. It's one of my husband's favorites and it uses simple ingredients, so it's been a go-to recipe in our house for years. —Janice Conklin, Stevensville, Montana

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Bananas Foster SundaesTaste of Home

Bananas Foster Sundaes

I have wonderful memories of eating bananas Foster in New Orleans, and as a dietitian, wanted to find a healthier version. I combined the best of two recipes and added my own tweaks to create this southern treat. —Lisa Varner, Charleston, South Carolina

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New Orleans BeignetsTaste of Home

New Orleans Beignets

These sweet, square and holeless French doughnuts are known as beignets. New Orleans’ traditional breakfast always includes a few of these powdered sugar delicacies. —Beth Dawson, Jackson, Louisiana

(For another traditional Mardi Gras doughnut, try our paczki recipe.)

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Molasses-Bourbon Pecan PieTaste of Home

Molasses-Bourbon Pecan Pie

Guests’ mouths water when they glimpse this southern charmer. Its flaky crust perfectly complements the rich, nutty filling. —Charlene Chambers, Ormond Beach, Florida

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Southern Fried OkraTaste of Home

Southern Fried Okra

Golden brown with a little fresh green showing through, this fried okra recipe is crunchy and addicting! My sons like to dip them in ketchup. —Pam Duncan, Summers, Arkansas

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Forgotten Jambalaya

During chilly months, I fix this slow cooker jambalaya recipe at least once a month. It’s so easy…just chop the vegetables, dump everything in the slow cooker and forget it! Even my sons, who are picky about spicy things, like this easy jambalaya. —Cindi Coss, Coppell, Texas

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Shrimp and GritsTaste of Home

Shrimp and Grits

For a sweet and spicy meal, I serve shrimp and vegetables in a honey, lemon juice, pepper sauce alongside dressed-up grits. It's my fresh spin on the southern classic. —Judith King, Madisonville, Tennessee

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New Orleans-Style Scalloped CornTaste of Home

New Orleans-Style Scalloped Corn

This colorful casserole is popular for family gatherings in many New Orleans homes. I started making it years ago, and now our grown sons include it on their own menus. —Priscilla Gilbert, Indian Harbour Beach, Florida

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Mardi Gras CupcakesTaste of Home

Mardi Gras Cupcakes

Take these simple Mardi Gras cupcakes to a get-together and watch them disappear. Kids will love to help decorate them with the colorful sprinkles. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Cajun Pecan Catfish

Cajun Pecan Catfish

This is one of our favorite recipes. It's quick, easy and delicious. Just serve with a side salad, biscuits and mixed fruit for dessert. We like it a lot for Christmas Eve. —Jan Wilkins, Blytheville, Arkansas

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Creole Shrimp & SausageTaste of Home

Creole Shrimp & Sausage

Add diversity to weeknight meals and get a taste of low-country cuisine with this simple take on a Louisiana Creole classic that uses bulgur instead of rice. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Meaty Slow-Cooked JambalayaTaste of Home

Meaty Slow-Cooked Jambalaya

Sure makes life easy having this tasty dish stashed away in the freezer! Another plus, you throw it all in the slow cooker—no skillet necessary. —Diane Smith, Pine Mountain, Georgia

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Gulf Coast Jambalaya Rice Exps173510 Sd143203b10 24 5bc Rms 6

Gulf Coast Jambalaya Rice

As the stew of the South, jambalaya is a definite staple. For ages, home cooks have been making their own tweaks on the traditional recipe. This rendition is my favorite. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida

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Cajun Shrimp SkilletTaste of Home

Cajun Shrimp Skillet

There’s plenty of sauce with these shrimp—I always have some bread on the side to soak it up. Make it your own by using your favorite amber beer or flavorful broth. —Mark Oppe, North Pole, Alaska

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Banana Beignet BitesTaste of Home

Banana Beignet Bites

When I was a little girl, my grandmother took me aside one day and taught me how to make her famous banana beignets. Although we made them during the holidays, they're pretty fantastic any time of the year. —Amy Downing, South Riding, Virginia

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Black-Eyed Pea Sausage StewTaste of Home

Black-Eyed Pea Sausage Stew

I've always wanted to try black-eyed peas, and I happened to have smoked sausage on hand one night, so I invented this full-flavored stew. It's the perfect way to heat up a cold night without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I usually double the seasonings because we like our food spicier.

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Low Country Boil Exps Cimzs20 45042 E12 13 7b 2

Low Country Boil

Ideal for camping and relaxing trips to the beach, this crowd-pleasing low country boil includes a combination of shrimp, crab, sausage, corn and potatoes. —Mageswari Elagupillai, Victorville, California

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Bananas Foster Sundaes for 2Taste of Home

Bananas Foster Sundaes for 2

I have wonderful memories of eating bananas Foster in New Orleans and, as a dietitian, I wanted to find a healthier version. I combined the best of two recipes and added my own tweaks to create this southern treat. And with this version, it's the perfect dessert for two! —Lisa Varner, Charleston, South Carolina

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New Orleans-Style Stewed ChickenTaste of Home

New Orleans-Style Stewed Chicken

This New Orleans stewed chicken is like a gumbo but with far less liquid and bigger pieces of meat. Don't let the long list of ingredients trick you into thinking it's a difficult recipe to cook. Most of the ingredients are herbs and spices that coat the chicken. —Eric Olsson, Macomb, Michigan

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Crawfish Etouffee

Crawfish Etouffee

I like to serve this Cajun sensation when I entertain. Etouffee is typically served with shellfish over rice and is similar to gumbo. This dish has its roots in New Orleans and the bayou country of Louisiana. —Tamra Duncan, Lincoln, Arkansas

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Traditional New Orleans King Cake Exps Hca20 47350 E11 14 3b 5

Traditional New Orleans King Cake

Get in on the fun of traditional king cake by hiding a little toy baby in the cake. Whoever finds it has one year of good luck! —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Hearty Red Beans and RiceTaste of Home

Hearty Red Beans and Rice

I take this dish to many potlucks and never fail to bring home an empty pot. I learned about the mouthwatering combination of meats, beans and seasonings while working for the Navy in New Orleans. If you want to get a head start, cover the beans with the water and let them soak overnight. Drain them the next day and continue with the recipe as directed. —Kathy Jacques, Summerfield, Florida

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Bourbon Pecan PralinesTaste of Home

Bourbon Pecan Pralines

Like authentic pecan pralines found in New Orleans, these treats are sweet, crunchy and rich! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Creole Scallop CakesTaste of Home

Creole Scallop Cakes

Experimenting in the kitchen is a passion of mine...a passion I hope to pass along to my daughter. One day I had some scallops and decided to concoct a scallop cake instead of a crab cake. This scrumptious appetizer can be prepare ahead of time. Both the cakes and aioli sauce can be made the day before, then cook the cakes just before serving. Not only will this simplify last-minute prep, but it allows the flavors to infuse into the mixture, making the dish even more yummy. My family and friends love my specialty scallop cakes.—Iisha Leftrdige-Brooks, Sacramento, California

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Classic Red Beans N Rice Exps Cimz19 13610 E09 05 4b 6

Classic Red Beans N Rice

After 25 years in a place where Cajun cooking is common, we’ve come to rely on this staple menu item. If you've never tried red beans and rice before, I promise you'll like this recipe.—Jackie Turnage, New Iberia, Louisiana

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Black-Eyed Peas with BaconTaste of Home

Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon

A real Southern favorite, black-eyed peas are traditionally served on New Year's Day to bring good luck. The bacon and thyme in my mom’s recipe make them extra special. —Ruby Williams, Bogalusa, Louisiana

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Cheesy Cajun Shrimp and GritsTaste of Home

Cheesy Cajun Shrimp and Grits

I was born and raised in the South. A few years ago I moved to Pennsylvania, where good Southern comfort food was hard to find. So I created these creamy, smoky Cajun shrimp and grits to remind me of home. —Kailey Thompson, Palm Bay, Florida

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Zesty Sausage Beans Exps Hscbz19 50061 E07 18 5b 3

Zesty Sausage & Beans

Packed with sausage, beans and bacon, this dish is guaranteed to satisfy the heftiest appetites at your table. —Melissa Just, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Coconut Shrimp Po Boys Exps Thcomj19 234370 E02 27 3b 6

Air-Fryer Shrimp Po'Boys

My husband loves crispy coconut shrimp and po'boys, so I combined them with a spicy remoulade and voila! This air-fryer shrimp is a big hit with family and friends and is frequently requested. For catfish po'boys, substitute cornmeal for the coconut and add a few minutes to the cooking time. —Marla Clark, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Brunch BeignetsTaste of Home

Brunch Beignets

Enjoy breakfast the New Orleans way with these warm, crispy bites. Topped with powdered sugar, they are a delight! —Lois Rutherford, Elkton, Florida

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Big-Batch Jambalaya

I make this dish for our annual Super Bowl party because it feeds so many people. It leaves my mouth watering for it the rest of the year! —Kecia McCaffrey, South Dennis, Massachusetts

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Grits 'N' Sausage Casserole

You could call this the "so good casserole" because that's what people say when they try it. It's a Southern specialty.—Marie Poppenhager, Old Town, Florida

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Cajun Shrimp Exps Sdjf19 19359 B10 17 2b 3

Cajun Shrimp

These zippy shrimp bring a lot of pizazz to the table. Use as much or as little cayenne pepper as you'd like, depending on your family's tastes. We love ours served alongside rice pilaf. —Donna Thomason, El Paso, Texas

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Turkey Shrimp GumboTaste of Home

Turkey Shrimp Gumbo

This slimmed-down version of gumbo tastes just as hearty as the classic version. —Michael Williams, Westfield, New York

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Deluxe Cornbread StuffingTaste of Home

Deluxe Cornbread Stuffing

When my husband and I were newlyweds and far from family, we invited friends over for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. I searched for stuffing recipes and combined the best aspects of several to create this one. Everyone liked it, and I still make it for holidays. —Pamela Rickman, Valdosta, Georgia

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Blend Of The Bayou Exps Cimz18 18080 C09 05 5b 2

Blend of the Bayou

My sister-in-law shared this recipe with me when I first moved to Louisiana. It's been handed down in my husband's family for generations. It's quick to prepare, nutritious and beautiful. I've passed it on to my children, too. —Ruby Williams, Bogalusa, Louisiana

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Bayou Gulf Shrimp Gumbo Exps Sscbz18 133336 C08 23 4b 6

Bayou Gulf Shrimp Gumbo

This recipe skips the traditional hard-to-find spices yet still delivers the true seafood flavor that’s beloved in the Louisiana bayou. —Wolfgang Hanau, West Palm Beach, Florida

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All Day Red Beans Rice Exps Sscbz18 45258 C08 23 2b 3

All-Day Red Beans & Rice

My family loves New Orleans-style cooking, so I make this authentic dish often. I appreciate how uncomplicated it is. And its smoky ham flavor is scrumptious. —Celinda Dahlgren, Napa, California

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Buttery Corn Bread Exps Ghbz18 14600 E08 09 2b 2 167

Buttery Cornbread

A friend gave me this cornbread recipe several years ago, and it's my favorite of all I've tried. I love to serve the melt-in-your mouth cornbread hot from the oven with butter and syrup. It gets rave reviews on holidays and at potluck dinners. —Nicole Callen, Auburn, California

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Shrimp Gumbo Exps Ssmz21 47346 E10 16 2b 4

Shrimp Gumbo

A crisp green salad and crusty French bread complete this shrimp gumbo meal. I always have hot sauce available when I serve this and have found that the instant microwave rice packages make the process a little easier. —Jo Ann Graham, Ovilla, Texas

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Veg Jambalaya Exps Opbz18 133448 C06 29 1b 6

Veg Jambalaya

This flavorful entree uses convenient canned beans in place of the meat—and never lets you leave hungry. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado

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Louisiana Red Beans and RiceTaste of Home

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

Smoked turkey sausage and red pepper flakes add zip to this saucy, slow-cooked version of the New Orleans classic. For extra heat, add red pepper sauce at the table. —Julia Bushree, Georgetown, Texas

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Hush Puppies Exps Hca19 390 E06 22 4b 9

Hush Puppies

A fish dinner isn’t complete without a side of hush puppies, and my mom is well-known for this recipe. It's the best! —Mary McGuire, Graham, NC

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Lora's Pressure-Cooker Red Beans & RiceTaste of Home

Lora's Pressure-Cooker Red Beans & Rice

My dear mother-in-law passed this simple recipe to me. With meats, beans and savory veggies, it's tasty, easy and economical, too! —Carol Simms, Madison, Mississippi

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Cajun Grilled Shrimp Exps Sdas18 119900 C03 28  2b 3

Cajun Grilled Shrimp

The kicked-up marinade on these shrimp makes this a flavor-packed dish. Serve over rice, and make sure to squeeze those charred lemons over top—that makes them taste extra bright and delicious. —Sharon Delaney-Chronis, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Zesty Garbanzo Sausage SoupTaste of Home

Zesty Garbanzo Sausage Soup

Even the busiest home cooks will have time to prepare this Cajun-inspired soup. If your family prefers spicier flavors, use medium salsa instead of mild.

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Spicy Shrimp with RiceTaste of Home

Spicy Shrimp with Rice

No one will doubt that "light" cooking can be tasty when you put a helping of this zippy shrimp in front of them. The seafood is seasoned just right with garlic, pepper and hot sauce. — Jeannie Klugh, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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Corn Okra CreoleTaste of Home

Corn Okra Creole

This dish is representative of my area of the country, and particularly the Texas-Louisiana border. The okra, corn and Creole seasonings are all popular here. —Ruth Aubey, San Antonio, Texas

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Creole Chicken ThighsTaste of Home

Creole Chicken Thighs

Cajun seasoning adds loads of flavor and spice to this easy-to-assemble meal. The slow cooker does the work so you don't have to! —Matthew Laman, Hummelstown, Pennsylvania

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Spicy Cajun Sausage and Rice SkilletTaste of Home

Spicy Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

I created this easy skillet dish to use up the boil-in-a-bag rice in my cabinet. The result packs a lot of flavor. —Sonali Ruder, New York, New York

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New Orleans GumboTaste of Home

New Orleans Gumbo

I’ve been making this New Orleans gumbo for at least 30 years. I’m originally from New Orleans, and I think it’s a nice taste of the Vieux Carre (French Quarter). Everyone who tastes this gumbo wants the recipe. It’s an old standby for my family, who requests it frequently. —Dolores M. Bridges, Danville, Kentucky

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Springtime Beignets Berries Exps Tham17 199933 C11 10 1b 5

Springtime Beignets & Berries

I've always loved beignets, but never thought I could make them myself. Turns out they're easy! Sometimes I'll even make a quick berry whipped cream and pipe it inside for a fun surprise. —Kathi Hemmer, Grand Junction, Colorado

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Shrimp Po'Boys with Pineapple Slaw

Shrimp Po'Boys with Pineapple Slaw

This twist on the traditional po'boy sandwich adds flavor and veggies while reducing fat and calories. For a smoked flavor, grill the shrimp. For a lower-carb option, serve the po'boy open-faced on a baguette half. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia

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Cajun Pork And Rice Exps174893 Edsc143234b04 15 4bc Rms 2

Cajun Pork and Rice

I created this recipe upon returning home from traveling. With little food in the house, I used what was there. My husband loves this dish because it's tasty, and I love it because it's easy. —Allison Gapinski, Cary, North Carolina

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Louisiana JambalayaTaste of Home

Louisiana Jambalaya

My husband helped add a little spice to my life. He grew up on Cajun cooking , while I ate mostly meat-and-potato meals. —Sandi Pichon, Memphis, Tennessee

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True Shrimp CreoleTaste of Home

True Shrimp Creole

A true Cajun dish, this recipe is even better if refrigerated overnight to allow all the flavors to blend.

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Jambalaya Rice SaladTaste of Home

Jambalaya Rice Salad

My cold rice salad has a hint of spice for a classic jambalaya-style kick. Shrimp, tomatoes, ham and peppers give it bright colors and a delightful texture. —Karen Rahn, Hixon, Tennessee

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Sausage & Chicken Gumbo

Sausage & Chicken Gumbo

This recipe for classic southern comfort food was the first thing I ever cooked for my girlfriend. It was simple to make but tasted gourmet—definitely love at first bite. —Kael Harvey, Brooklyn, NY

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Slow Cooker Red Beans & Sausage

Slow Cooker Red Beans & Sausage

Being from Louisiana, my go-to comfort food is red beans and rice. The Crock-Pot makes it so easy and the recipe reminds me of Sunday family dinners going back generations. Serve it as a slow-cooker side dish or make it a meal with hot buttered corn bread. —Lisa Bowie, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Andouille Sausage SoupTaste of Home

Andouille Sausage Soup

I make a soup every football Sunday. I came up with this recipe because I wanted to use lots of vegetables to keep it healthy, but wanted it to be interesting. My wife suggested adding the andouille and now it's one of my favorite andouille sausage recipes. —Steven Thurner, Janesville, Wisconsin

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Roasted Fresh OkraTaste of Home

Roasted Fresh Okra

If you have picky eaters who worry about texture, roasted okra is marvelous. It's OK to crowd the pan. Okra shrinks as it cooks. —Anna Katsoulis, Greenville, North Carolina

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Cornbread CasseroleTaste of Home

Cornbread Casserole

Since my husband likes spicy foods, I frequently sprinkle chopped jalapeno peppers over half of this casserole for him. —Carrina Cooper, McAlpin, Florida

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Red Beans and SausageTaste of Home

Red Beans and Sausage

Turkey sausage, beans and a zesty blend of spices make this a deliciously unique meal.—Cathy Webster, Morris, Illinois

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.