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Porch & Parish

How to Mardi Gras like a Local

Feb 13, 2024 05:14PM ● By Ashley Evans

Please listen to me. Just because you’ve been to Bourbon Street doesn’t mean you know how to Mardi Gras. That’s not what the locals are doing. That’s what the high school kids with fake ID’s and the tourists are doing.

The locals, the true Louisianans, are eating cold Popeye’s fried chicken for breakfast on their way to their high school best friend’s mama’s aunt’s house on the route, and there’s a bathroom. The bathroom is in a super sketchy garage and there’s not much toilet paper, so make sure you bring an extra roll. No one has lived there in years but they refuse to sell the house because it’s on the route, aren’t you listening?!

And then after the parade, or between the parades, depending on the day, you gotta eat the red beans and rice. Red beans and rice are as essential to the Mardi Gras experience as king cake. Let’s discuss. 

There's a Monday tradition of eating red beans and rice on Monday, and it's been that way for at least 100 years. At the time, Monday was typically wash day. Women would spend the day doing laundry while a big pot of red beans simmered on the stove all day, requiring little to no attention. 

The other important thing to note about red beans and rice is it's a filling dish, cheap to make, can feed a crowd, and can simmer on the stove all day while you're out parading. 

We polled the locals on their preferred method for cooking this classic Louisiana dish, and here's the combined recipe:


Mardi Gras Red Beans Recipe 

1 lb dried red beans

16 oz Guidry’s chopped onions, green onions, and celery: aka the “trinity”

½ pound to 1 lb of andouille sausage, sliced

3 cloves of minced garlic

Creole seasoning to taste

Soak beans overnight, covering them with about three inches of cold water

Rinse and put in slow cooker in the morning with 7 cups of water and remaining ingredients

Cook on high 4-6 hours

Garnish with green onions, if desired, and serve with fresh, hot rice

*An immersion blender or similar at the end of cooking gives the beans a creamy texture

So baby, don't look so mean,
fix me some beans,
before you know it I done licked the plate clean,
on Monday night in New Orleans.

Don't forget to soak your red beans!