Sporked’s Grocery Guide for Mardi Gras

Welcome to our roadmap of the best food for Mardi Gras you can find at the grocery store, courtesy of Sporked’s taste-tests. Listen, this Mardi Gras grocery guide is going to make you hungry. Dangerously hungry. So here’s my advice: Close those food delivery apps. Throw your phone across the room. Avoid your kitchen, because every time you go in there hoping to find one of these savory or sweet Southern staples hiding in the back of the fridge, you’re bound to be disappointed. Here’s what you can do: Grab a pen and your grocery list. Take some notes. And settle in to plan your Fat Tuesday feast with these mouthwatering Mardi Gras food ideas. 

Best Andouille Sausage

best andouille sausage
Credit: Merc

Whether you add it to gumbo, jambalaya, or any other Southern dish of your choosing, Andouille sausage is a foundation of traditional Mardi Gras food. You simply can’t skip it. Luckily, you don’t have to live in Louisiana to get a spicy, smoky, and robust andouille sausage. 

Best Cajun Rice Dishes

best cajun rice dishes
Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon / Cajun Grocer / Walmart / World Market

The best boxed dirty rice should be tender, richly seasoned, and sizzling with flavor. In case you have preference, this list includes Creole and Cajun-style seasoning options. 

Best Canned Kidney Beans

canned kidney beans
Credit: Merc / Amazon / Target / Walmart

If kidney beans are your go-to bean for red beans & rice, well, we taste-tested just about every canned brand on the market. Brighten your recipes with the best of the best!

Best Frozen Mac and Cheese

best frozen mac and cheese
Credit: Liv Averett / Vons / Walmart

Our top frozen mac and cheeses are richly indulgent and egregiously cheesy—the perfect addition to any Mardi Gras spread. That said, if you’re cooking for a small army and want to cut costs, check out our boxed mac and cheese ranking as well. 

Best Hurricane Mix

best hurricane mix
Credit: Merc / Amazon

When it comes to everyone’s favorite Fat Tuesday rum drink, the Hurricane, we found there were two major purveyors of Hurricane Mix on the market: Pat O’Brien’s and Franco’s. We compared both so you don’t have to! (Though if you want to, go for it.) 

Best Pralines

best pralines
Credit: Merc / Loretta’s

It’s not Mardi Gras without copious amounts of alcohol and a continuous sugar high. Pralines (pronounced praw-leens), or pecan candy to some New Orleans natives, make the perfect sweet snack or dessert treat. Every bite mixes grainy, chopped-pecan texture with a decadently creamy chew.

Best Zapp’s Potato Chip Flavors

best zapp's chips
Credit: Merc / Utz

Founded in Louisiana in 1985, Zapp’s is a Mardi Gras snack staple—but we advocate for stocking these year-round. With an airy crunch and roasted peanut oil flavor, the chip quality itself is just so damn good. Grab a bowl and fill it up. 

Best Cornbread Mixes

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon / iStock / Target / Walmart

Bring on the buttery, sweet, crumbly fluff. We tried classic, honey-butter, spicy, and gluten free cornbread mixes, and these top five simply do right by Southern fare standards. 

Best Abita Beer

Abita Beer Flavors
Credit: Liv Averett / Drizly / Total Wine

Goodbye, Bud Light. It was nice knowing you, but Mardi Gras is all about Louisiana’s craft brewing company Abita. Some of these brews can be tough to find outside of New Orleans (we ranked the ones we could track down here in Los Angeles), but you can likely find the popular ones on this list at a store near you.

Louisiana-Made Food Brands

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon / Cajun Grocer / Gambinos / Loretta’s Pralines / World Market

Speaking of Louisiana companies, we made a list of authentic Louisiana-Made food brands you can buy from online. We highly recommend ordering a king cake from Joe Gambino’s Bakery, as king cakes aren’t going to be as easy to find in stores. 

Fried Shrimp for Po’boys

best frozen fried shrimp
Credit: Merc

If your Mardi Gras feast includes fried shrimp po’boys, please consult our findings on the best frozen fried shrimp. Big, well-seasoned frozen fried shrimp is hard to come by—these are the ones actually worth picking up. 

Best Provolone and Best Salami for Muffuletta

best salami

The New Orleans-style Muffuletta, a sandwich that typically features Sicilian sesame bread and layers of cured meats, cheese, and olive salad, requires the perfect provolone and Genoa salami for a strong flavor profile. Here’s what we recommend for both!

Best Vegetarian Mardi Gras Food

vegetarian mardi gras foods
Credit: Liv Averett

Yes, this Mardi Gras grocery haul is is heavy on the meat products—even our #1 cornbread mix is made with lard! But we compiled options for vegetarian Mardi Gras foods that won’t compromise on any of the snappy, simmering, multi-layered flavors of New Orleans cuisine. 

Mardi Gras Party Must-Haves from Amazon

mardi gras food from amazon
Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

If you don’t live anywhere near the Big Easy, getting your hands on beignets, king cakes, and those good, creamy red beans can be a pain. That’s where Amazon comes in…

About the Author

Sporked Staff

The Sporked Staff tastes everything and anything. They are obsessive about groceries and finding the best of any type of food or drink, from frozen fried shrimp to Dijon mustard to gummy candy. And they're always on a hunt for the best new products. When they aren't eating professionally, they're eating recreationally. And often they're browsing grocery store aisles, just for fun.

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