Cajun Food & Recipes

Take a trip to New Orleans from within your kitchen by making these authentic Cajun recipes.

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Shrimp and Oyster Po' Boys

The cornmeal coating on the shrimp and oysters keeps this sandwich crispy while allowing its wet ingredients to star as well. Don't be stingy with the mayonnaise-based po' boy sauce — its flavor is the anchor for the sandwich.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp and Oyster Po' Boys

Smoked Turkey and File Gumbo Pot Pie

Use our Smoked Turkey and File Gumbo recipe as a hearty base for an unconventional pot pie. The buttery biscuit rounds make this dish even more comforting and help dictate portion size for dishing.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Turkey and File Gumbo Pot Pie

Bananas Foster with Spiced Rum

It's not a party until bananas are set ablaze. Caramel-soaked, flambeed fruit gets even more decadent with pound cake and vanilla ice cream.

Get the Recipe: Bananas Foster with Spiced Rum

Jambalaya

The base of this flavorful jambalaya comes from homemade chicken stock, and it takes less than half an hour for the rest of the ingredients to cook up into a hearty meal.

Get the Recipe: Jambalaya

Fried Green Tomatoes with Spicy Remoulade Sauce

Tomatoes are so plentiful in the gardens in the South in the summer that frying the green ones is a widespread practice. Although panko is a popular coating for fried foods, resist the urge since cornmeal is most traditional.

Get the Recipe: Cajun Fried Green Tomatoes with Spicy Remoulade Sauce

Hurricane

The hurricane is America's entree into the category of tropical fruity cocktails, courtesy of Bourbon Street (though you won't find a drop of bourbon in it!).

Get the Recipe: Cajun Hurricane

Muffuletta

The round, flat shape of the muffuletta, the bread this sandwich is made on, was perfected by the Italian immigrants in southern Louisiana. Traditionally, a mixture of Italian meats and cheeses is piled high on the bread, with olive oil bringing it all together. Serve warm with gently melted cheese for the finishing, irresistible touch.

Get the Recipe: Cajun Muffuletta

Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille

Jambalaya is a dish invented in the New World by Spanish explorers hungry for their native paella. Saffron was not available, so they used more tomato to compensate for it. The spices in the andouille mirror the chorizo typically found in paella, and seafood is always a popular add-in, as is chicken.

Get the Recipe: Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille

New Orleans Beignets

Beignets — fried yeast dough coated in powdered sugar — are a true guilty pleasure. Be very generous with the powdered sugar and serve them with cafe au lait; you will immediately be transported to Cafe du Monde in New Orleans.

Get the Recipe: Cajun New Orleans Beignets

Blackened Catfish with Pontchartrain Sauce

Blackened seasoning, a staple in Cajun cooking, is generously slathered on meaty catfish fillets before cooking. The thick buttery sauce in this recipe is named for Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana and, like the lake, this sauce teems with shellfish.

Get the Recipe: Blackened Catfish with Pontchartrain Sauce

Pecan Pralines

Pralines are, first and foremost, a labor of love. These are true American pralines: buttery with a fudgy texture, not chewy like a caramel or crisp like a toffee. For best results, wait for a clear day with low humidity, and don't rush the stirring at the end — it really makes a difference.

Get the Recipe: Cajun Pecan Pralines

Half-and-Half Po'Boy

A typical po'boy only has shrimp, but this sandwich kicks it up a notch with fried oysters, too.

Get the Recipe: Domilise's Half-and-Half Po'Boy

Crawfish Cheesecake

Don't worry — this isn't a weird food hybrid that has crawfish on top of sugar-filled cheesecake. This savory rendition is filled with romano cheese and Cajun seasoning and topped with sweet corn and pepper maque choux.

Get the Recipe: Crawfish Cheesecake

Red Beans and Rice

This recipe is the ultimate New Orleans Monday tradition (though if you happen to make it on a Tuesday or Wednesday, it'll still taste just as good). Don't skimp on the scallions — they add a fresh and crunchy finishing note to the creamy beans.

Get the Recipe: Red Beans and Rice

Cajun Tomato Gravy with Eggs

This hearty and satisfying dish is commonly found in southern Louisiana households on Friday nights (usually during holidays when meat is not eaten). The eggs can also be hard-boiled separately, peeled and then added to the gravy before serving.

Get the Recipe: Cajun Tomato Gravy with Eggs

Boudin Bites with Spicy Cajun Mayo

Boudin, a truly Cajun sausage, is so popular in the South it is often sold in convenience stores and gas stations. People buy it and push the meat-and-rice sausage out of the casing for eating on the spot. Its intense flavor makes it a great stuffing for pork chops or chicken.

Get the Recipe: Cajun Boudin Bites with Spicy Cajun Mayo

Smoked Turkey and File Gumbo

Turkey and oysters might seem like an odd combination, but they traditionally come together in the form of oyster stuffing on Thanksgiving. In this gumbo, the turkey is smoked and the oysters are simmered gently just before serving. And since this cooks quickly, it's perfect for any regular night of the week.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Turkey and File Gumbo

Rum Layer Cake with Pecan Rum Glaze

This cake is very moist and deliciously rum-y. With the glaze, it is like rum-cake-meets-pecan-pie. Adding whipped cream makes this dessert really special and a total crowd-pleaser.

Get the Recipe: Cajun Rum Layer Cake with Pecan Rum Glaze

Cajun Spicy Marinated Bean Salad

The marinated beans make this salad truly special. Made from an old family recipe, the beans add a vinegar-y crunch that complements the earthy flavor of the tomatoes. In the South, these beans would be served on their own as part of a relish tray.

Get the Recipe: Cajun Spicy Marinated Bean Salad

Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya Pasta

Although the name "jambalaya" usually conjures up visions of rice, this unconventional version swaps out the rice for pasta, which is equally good for soaking up the spicy sauce.

Get the Recipe: Chicken and Tasso Jambalaya Pasta

Pain Rouler (Round Bread)

The doughs for pain rouler and the famous Mardi Gras king cake start similarly but then diverge; the king cake goes sweet while the pain rouler incorporates a savory and satisfying herb-and-cheese filling.

Get the Recipe: Cajun Pain Rouler (Round Bread)

Okra Gumbo with Andouille, Chicken and Crab

Nothing says "Cajun" like a good gumbo. This one is rich and satisfying because of the dark roux made with butter and flour. Some gumbos use file as a thickener, but this one relies solely on the okra to give the stew its perfect consistency.

Get the Recipe: Cajun Okra Gumbo with Andouille, Chicken, and Crab with Fried Okra Croutons

Corn Maque Choux

This classic creamy side dish takes advantage of both the sweetness and the starchiness of fresh corn. The trinity of onions, bell peppers and celery gives it a distinctive Cajun flavor, while the tomatoes add brightness. Although usually a side dish, it sometimes takes center stage with the addition of shrimp or crawfish.

Get the Recipe: Corn Maque Choux

Crawfish Etouffee

Etouffee is a rich, flavorful dish usually served over hot white rice. The creamy texture and bold flavors make this dish extremely popular in the French Quarter of New Orleans. This recipe uses crawfish, but shrimp could be easily substituted.

Get the Recipe: Crawfish Etouffee

Cajun Spicy Remoulade

Remoulade — the Cajun version of tartar sauce — is perfect as a dip or spread for any type of sandwich, from po' boys to BLTs.

Get the Recipe: Cajun Spicy Remoulade

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