Great Recipes from Top New Orleans Chefs

oysters Rockefeller
Photo: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

New Orleans is a city rich with many things, not the least of which are its culinary traditions. If you find yourself in the Crescent City, the list of must-visit restaurants is decidedly long; from iconic mainstays like Commander's Palace to legendary neighborhood spots such as Dooky Chase and relative newcomers Campère Lapin and Turkey and the Wolf, you'll be counting the minutes before you're hungry enough to sample more of NOLA's unique flavors.

If a trip is not in the cards anytime soon, or if you're looking to recreate a memorable New Orleans dining moment at home, this recipe roundup features dishes from some of the city's best chefs. Try your hand at Emeril Lagasse's Oysters Rockefeller, Donald Link's Shrimp and Crab Gumbo, or Kelly Fields' King Cake with Caramel Crunch — whatever you choose, it's bound to be delicious.

01 of 22

Shrimp and Grits with Mustard Seed Chowchow

Shrimp and Grits With Mustard Seed Chowchow
Victor Protasio

New Orleans–based chef Isaac Toups loves Bellegarde Bakery's stone-ground grits for their creamy texture and buttered popcorn flavor. Chowchow can be made up to a week in advance and is delicious with grilled meats or other rich dishes.

02 of 22

Louisiana Lump Crab Cakes

Cajun Crab Cakes Recipe | Mosquito Supper Club
Denny Culbert

Melissa Martin of Mosquito Supper Club in New Orleans shared this recipe from her book, Mosquito Supper Club: Cajun Recipes from a Disappearing Bayou. “When you grind shrimp in a food processor, it becomes sticky, and just a small amount will hold crabmeat and smothered vegetables together well enough to form into patties,” she advises. “You’ll need a pound of crab meat for this recipe.”

03 of 22

Smoked Ham Hock and Lentil Soup

Smoked Ham-Hock and Lentil Soup
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

"I love making this lentil soup when the weather begins to cool," says 2017 Food & Wine Best New Chef Nina Compton, chef-owner of New Orleans hot spot Compère Lapin. "The ham hock aroma hangs around the kitchen beautifully; the smell alone makes you warmer. Adding a little ginger and lemongrass brightens the soup and reminds me of being back home in St. Lucia. Using local okra reminds me of my Louisiana home and adds a different texture."

04 of 22

Steak Diane

Steak Diane
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

When planning the 1998 reopening of the Emeril's Delmonico in New Orleans after a historic renovation, chef Emeril Lagasse wanted to bring back the tableside service that was so popular in dining rooms long ago. Steak cooked Diane-style has come to mean sautéing thinly sliced or pounded filet mignon in butter and then flambéing and basting it in a luxe Cognac sauce; Lagasse adds sliced mushrooms to the pan for more rich flavor.

05 of 22

Shrimp and Crab Gumbo

Shrimp-and-Crab Gumbo
© Tina Rupp

This gumbo from chef-owner Donald Link of Herbsaint in New Orleans owes its flavor to the roux, a mix of flour and oil that's cooked until it's coffee-colored.

06 of 22

Crème Fraîche Biscuits

Crème Fraîche Biscuits
© Petrina Tinslay

When they're not adding a Southern ingredient to a French recipe, chefs Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing are adding a French ingredient to a Southern recipe. Here, crème fraîche takes the place of buttermilk in these extremely fluffy biscuits.

07 of 22

Blue Crab Beignets

Blue Crab Beignets
Greg DuPree

Chef Justin Devillier's beignet batter thinly coats a creamy, warm crab filling with a crisp, light crust. The batter is loose and can be tricky to shape at first; keep frying and practicing — your beignets will improve with each batch. These are ideally eaten while still very hot, so make them while enjoying aperitifs in the kitchen.

08 of 22

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie with Praline Sauce
Photo by Adam Friedlander / Food Styling by Pearl Jones

Chef Susan Spicer's sweet potato pie is seasoned with cinnamon, allspice, and freshly grated nutmeg, but it's the bourbon-pecan praline sauce poured on top that gives this pie a New Orleans accent and sets it apart.

09 of 22

Grilled Gulf Shrimp with Sweet Corn Coulis

Grilled Gulf Shrimp with Sweet Corn Coulis
Photog by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Tender, juicy sweet peas and yellow corn kernels make for a light and refreshing salad atop a silky, creamy corn coulis in this easy-to-double recipe by Meg Bickford of Commander's Palace in New Orleans. Tangy sour cream and buttermilk balance the natural sweetness of the vegetables and Gulf shrimp.

10 of 22

Pasta Salad with Feta and Herbs

Pasta Salad with Feta and Herbs Recipe
Eric Wolfinger

This Southern-inspired pasta salad from Mason Hereford’s Turkey and the Wolf gets a touch of tangy heat from hot sauce and loads of crunch from nutty sunflower seeds. Use Duke’s mayonnaise for an extra-tangy bite to the dressing.

11 of 22

Grillades and Cheesy Grits

Grillades and Cheesy Grits

Fred Hardy II / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

A New Orleans classic, grillades rely on succulent beef top round that’s cooked low and slow for hours until it becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender. Served with savory, cheesy grits and a luscious gravy using the fond from the beef, chef Michael Gulotta’s grillades and grits is comfort food at its finest.

12 of 22

Okra Gumbo with Blue Crabs and Shrimp

Okra Gumbo with Blue Crabs and Shrimp
© John Kernick

In this recipe from The Dooky Chase Cookbook, the legendary New Orleans chef Leah Chase used okra — and lots of it — to thicken this no-roux gumbo, along with the traditional Creole trinity of onions, bell peppers, and celery.

13 of 22

Spicy Crab Spaghetti

Spicy Crab Spaghetti
Victor Protasio

At Pêche in New Orleans, chef Ryan Prewitt uses a light sauce to dress his housemade whole-wheat pasta recipe. Look for fresh crabmeat, not pasteurized, as well as fresh basil. 

14 of 22

Bellegarde Bakery Ciabatta

Bellegarde Bakery Ciabatta
Victor Protasio

At Bellegarde Bakery in New Orleans, baker Graison Gill is part of a generation of renegade bakers who are eschewing industrially ground white flour in favor of grinding their own flours from crops like red Ruby Lee wheat and heirloom corn. This recipe uses yeast rather than sourdough starter, which lets the flavor of the fresh flour come through.

15 of 22

Oysters Rockefeller

oysters Rockefeller
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

First created at Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans in 1899, this famous baked oyster dish was named for the Rockefeller family because of its incredibly rich sauce. Try making it at home with star chef Emeril Lagasse's expert recipe.

16 of 22

Spicy and Sticky Baby Back Ribs

Spicy and Sticky Baby Back Ribs
© Quentin Bacon

To create the flavorings for these ribs, chef Donald Link combines eight spices for a rub and prepares a barbecue sauce with homemade pork stock. An easier way is to cut back the number of spices in the rub to the five essentials and use canned beef broth in the barbecue sauce.

17 of 22

Creole Shrimp with Garlic and Lemon

Creole Shrimp with Garlic and Lemon
© Quentin Bacon

Eco-minded chefs are cooking with wild American shrimp, but not just for ethical reasons. "They taste cleaner and crisper, since they swim in the tides," says Tory McPhail, former longtime executive chef of Commander's Palace in New Orleans.

18 of 22

Curried Pumpkin and Buss Up Shut (Paratha Roti)

Curried Pumpkin and Buss Up Shut
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Chef Nina Compton's curried pumpkin is packed with warm spices, aromatic ginger, and rich coconut milk for a perfectly balanced bite. Fresh habanero chiles add a touch of fruity heat to the chunks of tender pumpkin and softened callaloo leaves. Buss up shut gets its name from "busted-up shirt," which describes the flatbread's torn, crinkled texture, perfect for sopping up flavorful curry.

19 of 22

King Cake with Caramel Crunch

Mardi Gras King Cake
Oriana Koren

Pastry chef Kelly Fields of NOLA's Willa Jean bakery makes this traditional Mardi Gras dessert with a caramel crunch layer to give the rich cake more texture. "With cream cheese icing for a less-sweet approach, I find myself craving this cake year-round," she says.

20 of 22

Chile-Lime Crab Salad with Tomato and Avocado

Chile-Lime Crab Salad with Tomato and Avocado
© Anna Williams

The mix of fresh crab, avocado, and juicy heirloom tomatoes here is a classic combination. But chef Sue Zemanick makes it seem new by tossing the salad with a vibrant, spicy dressing spiked with jalapeño.

21 of 22

Pita Bread

Pita Bread
Laura Rege / Food & Wine

Chef Alon Shaya of New Orleans' Shaya restaurant makes these beautiful pita breads in a 700°F wood-burning oven. You can recreate the heat at home with a pizza stone and your broiler. Shaya recommends letting the dough rise for the full two days for the best flavor.

22 of 22

Spiced Pickled Beets

Spiced Pickled Beets
© John Kernick

Chef Martha Wiggins spices her pickled beets with cinnamon, bay leaves, allspice, and cloves for the perfect cocktail snack.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles