Want to take a vacay to the French Quarter and spend your days eating some of the best food in the world? Don’t we all. Too bad it costs money and requires taking time off work. Here’s some good news. You can prepare your own authentic New Orleans dishes right at home and then pretend like you’re there. Preparing new meals is always fun and exciting and lets you try new things every night of the week. Here are some traditional New Orleans foods you’ve got to put on your menu.
1. Gumbo is Your Top Choice
I love gumbo and you will too! This dish is a combination of okra, sausage, chicken and shrimp in a tasty broth. It’s usually served over rice and is a filling and delicious meal that tastes great warmed up for many days afterward. You will love the slightly spicy flavor of the dish and there are lots of variations so you can experiment with recipes until you find the one you love best. Try this one to get started: foodnetwork.com
2. Jambalaya is a Close Second
Jambalaya is a staple in New Orleans and you’ll find it on menus all over the place. It’s really easy to make and is a meal that everyone will love. You can make it in small or large batches depending on the crowd around your kitchen table. Recipes vary, but rice is the base and there’s always some kind of meat and lots of veggies. Here’s a traditional recipe that should give you a feel for why jambalaya is probably going to be your new favorite food: foodnetwork.com
3. Beignets Are Guaranteed to Be a Crowd Pleaser
What is a beignet? It’s only one of the most mouthwatering desserts you’ll ever have. Basically it’s just a donut, but it has a flavor that can’t be beat. Beignets are found everywhere in New Orleans and they make the perfect thing to enjoy with a mug of hot coffee or cocoa. Try your hand at making them yourself, using this recipe: epicurious.com
4. You Can’t Go Wrong with Red Beans and Rice
Here’s a New Orleans staple that you won’t be able to get enough of. True to its name, it’s a combination of red beans and rice, seasoned with all sorts of tasty things, including thyme, chicken stock and sautéed veggies. Many recipes also call for smoked sausage, which adds the perfect dose of taste of the dish. Here’s a recipe you’ll love: foodnetwork.com
5. Ever Tried Alligator? You’ll Love It
In a city surrounded by swamps, it’s no surprise that people enjoy eating alligator. I’ve had it and it tastes a lot like chicken. It’s traditionally battered and fried so it doesn’t really look like an alligator anymore. You might also see it in bisque. Either way, you’ll be surprised at just how great it tastes. Try this recipe for fried alligator tail: food.com
6. Etouffee is Yummy and Easy to Make
This dish is traditionally made with crawfish and also features a thick sauce filled with celery, onions, green peppers, tomato and cayenne pepper. The finished dish is served over rice and is so good you’ll go back for seconds and thirds. Is your mouth watering yet? Make this recipe to satisfy your craving: tasteofhome.com
7. Every Sandwich Lover Will Enjoy a Po’Boy
This type of sandwich was originally made with potatoes and gravy on a roll to feed starving people. However, it is a popular menu item and is often made with roast beef, fried shrimp or fried oysters. The recipe is versatile so experimentation is a must for this meal. Here’s a great one to get you started: bonappetit.com
Have you ever tried any of these delicious meals? What else would you add to this list?