How to Throw a Great Vegan Mardi Gras Party
Ready to eat, drink, and be merry for Mardi Gras? Party down vegan style with these tips and tricks.
Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Carnaval—whatever you want to call it, February 21 is a day dedicated to living it up. While traditionally Mardi Gras was celebrated as a way to satisfy indulgences prior to Lent, it has evolved in America as a day to wash down Cajun and Creole cooking with a healthy pint of beer. Whether taking to the street for festivities and parades in New Orleans or planning a Mardi Gras party all your own, these vegan recipes, tips, and tricks are sure to color your party plans all shades of purple, green, and gold.
Big Easy Menu
It's no secret that Cajun and Creole food is almost synonymous with New Orleans, and unfortunately it's also no secret that said Southern fare is generally chock-full of meat and dairy. Luckily, veganizing classic Louisiana dishes is simple by knowing the right substitutions. Spicy, zesty Jambalaya is a snap with the meat-free Italian sausages made by Field Roast or Tofurky, or with savory, seasoned Soyrizo. For down-home barbecue main courses, grill up Hickory BBQ Ribs à la Morningstar Farms, or fry Gardein BBQ Pulled Shreds to make hearty sandwiches. Seitan Creole is another tangy, stick-to-your-ribs main that's easy to whip up at a moments notice. If meat-free alternatives aren't appealing, ditch them for veggie-based Muffalettas! Classic side dishes like rustic Cajun Stuffed Peppers and smoky Red Beans and Rice will perfectly compliment your Mardi Gras menu. Of course, what's a dinner party without dessert? Throw your guests into a themed-party frenzy by capping things off with deliciously rich King Cake, a Fat Tuesday favorite that's dyed yellow, green, and purple and traditionally contains a hidden plastic baby or trinket toy—let's call that "ingredient" optional.
Since Mardi Gras parades and parties have a reputation for getting rambunctious, it's a good idea to know which beers and drinks are vegan-friendly before leaving the house. Fans of light beer are in luck, as brews from Budweiser, Corona, and Miller are all safe options for plant-based palettes. If darker beer is more your cup of, well, beer, order a New Belgium 2 Below winter ale. If you're more of a cocktail sipper, order a mixed drink with Bacardi or Smirnoff vodka, Seagram's gin, Malibu rum, or Jack Daniel's whiskey, which are all vegan-friendly liquors. For Mardi Gras party planners, pick up a case of Mike's Hard Lemonade to pour into your punch bowl.
Theme of the Crop
You can't argue with facts: The sky is blue, grass is green, and themed parties are always more fun. Since Mardi Gras and Carnaval are one in the same, plan a lavish masquerade party—masks required! Think crazy costumes with outlandish headdresses, roaring New Orleans jazz music, and purple, green, and gold everything. Since a Mardi Gras party with a well-stocked selection of alcohol is a guaranteed success, set up a makeshift home bar that would put any pub on Bourbon Street to shame. Like any celebration, it's all about creating the right atmosphere. With a full menu of tasty eats, sippable drinks, and loud, danceable tunes, you're sure to throw a Fat Tuesday soirée that would make the French Quarter proud.
Celebrate Spring with a Vegan Twist
Put a progressive spin on holiday traditions without foregoing the festive feelings of the season.
Read More »
Guide to Vegan Passover Seder
Get down with the Haggadah, gulp Kosher wine, find the afikoman, and enjoy grub from the old country.
Read More »
11 Spicy Vegan Dishes for Hot Sauce Lovers
Turn the heat up—all the way up—with these scrumptiously spicy recipes that are also meat- and dairy-free.
Read More »
Zombie-Free French Toast
The duo behind The Vegan Zombie fame share their go-to recipe for French Toast—zombies not included.
Read More »
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi Adopt Esther the Wonder Pig
The Hollywood couple falls in love with famous pig after watching videos on YouTube.
Read More »
- A Day in the Life: Vedge Chef Rich Landau
- 3 Gluten-Free Seasonal Springtime Dishes
- Colleen Holland: My Top 10 Favorite Vegan Beauty Brands
- 13 Stellar Vegan Jackfruit Recipes
- Vegan St. Patricks Day 101
- The Best Vegan Brunch Youll Ever Eat
- Colleen Hollands 15 Most-Anticipated Vegan Cookbooks of 2014
- Everything You Need to Know About Juicing
- It's Never Too Late to Go Vegan
- A Guide to Vegan Sweeteners
- Your Valentine on Veganism: An Infographic
- How to Date a Vegan
- Three-Course Vegan Dinner for Two
- 8 Delicious Vegan Aphrodisiacs
- 4 Mouth-Watering Vegan Super Bowl Recipes
- The VegNews Guide to Vegan Beer
- Girl Scout Cookies Veganized!
- Colleen Holland: My Top 10 Favorite Vegan Foods in 2014
- VegNews Exclusive: Q&A with The Cooking Channels Jason Wrobel
- 6 Vegan Superfoods to Eat Now