Host a Mardi Gras Dinner Party

Host a Mardi Gras dinner party at home that’s more about the New Orleans’ flavors and less about the “wild” factor. Set an elegant Mardi Gras tablescape and serve classic recipes and cocktails. This is perfect for a winter theme dinner party directly influenced by our visit to New Orleans.

Mardi Gras party ideas for adults

Mardi Gras Party theme for Adults

The weekends leading up to Fat Tuesday are the perfect time to host a Mardi Gras dinner party and share a taste of New Orleans. After visiting New Orleans last year I knew I had to create something special for the occasion. We were so taken with the food, the fun, and the old world atmosphere!

These Mardi Gras party ideas include a chic table setting with multi-course meal. Traditional dishes you can include are oysters Rockefeller, jambalaya, etouffee, red beans and rice, and gumbo. 

Mardi Gras tablescape
New Orleans theme dinner party menu

Mardi Gras Tablescape

The first thing you might notice about this party decor is that the colors are more muted. The traditional colors of gold, purple, and green are brought in through brass & amber, mossy green, and amethyst. Right away this sets the tone for a more adult dinner party ambiance.

  • Use gold-rimmed vintage dishes layered with modern pieces for place settings. Shop vintage and thrift stores to find old pieces; and they don’t have to match each other! This totally FEELS like New Orleans to me. It’s a city filled with Old-World charm and French influences.
  • Create a centerpiece with a small floral arrangement placed on a silver tray and surrounded by classic beads, of course!
  • Finally, each guest gets a mardi gras mask at their place setting, to enjoy throughout the night and take photos with if desired.
mardi gras centerpiece
winter theme party ideas, mardi gras

New Orleans theme dinner menu

Our Mardi Gras dinner party is heavy on the seafood because it’s so abundant and popular in New Orleans, especially oysters and shrimp.

  • This is the time to serve oysters Rockefeller. These are presented over a bed of rock salt, on the vintage French oyster plate I bought on our trip. You can make your own or pick them up from a local fish market like I did.
  • Serve crab avocado stacks as an elegant appetizer. This recipe is inspired by the one we had at Criollo. Pretty and delicious!
  • The next course is a citrus salad. It adds a burst of freshness to the menu.
  • The main entree is classic shrimp jambalaya. It’s easy to make ahead and you can’t beat the flavors.

More Entree Recipes

  • etouffee
  • red beans and rice
  • gumbo
small cheese and charcuterie on vintage platter
oysters rockefeller on vintage oyster plate
jambalaya in bowl for dinner party menu

Mardi Gras Cocktails

This party is all about the flavors of The Big Easy. And every good dinner party has to start with cocktails! Welcome guests with one signature drink or a tasting of some of the classics.

  • Start off with a sriracha bloody Mary. These are abundant in New Orleans and they all tasted different.
  • The Sazerac is iconic and is known as the city’s first cocktail. 
  • Mix up a pitcher of hurricanes if you want the party to take on a livelier tone.
  • Serve a plate of cheese and charcuterie along with the cocktails. And add some Zapp’s potato chips to the plate. They’re authentic Louisiana chips that come in lots of flavors that are out-of-this-world delicious!
king cake

Desserts for Mardi Gras 

  • End the meal on a sweet note with a traditional King Cake. Or “king” cake as I’ve shown here. Simply top a simple layer cake with a gold decorative crown.
  • Or make another New Orleans’ favorite, Kahlua creme brulee.
  • Another option is banana pudding mini desserts
  • Try your hand at bananas foster if you dare.

Mardi Gras Party Favors

  • Send your party guests home with a sweet favor box filled with colorful macarons. They’re so good!
  • Another idea is to package up some homemade beignets.  

If you’re ready to say goodbye to the wild side, and hello to the REAL star of N’awlins {the food} then I hope you’ll give this Mardi Gras dinner party a try. Carnival or not, it’s never a bad time to celebrate the flavors of this great Southern city!

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  1. I think I found the recipe….
    possibly not exact as often something is kept secret, but worth a try.

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