New Orleans-Style Slow-Cooker Dinner

Make weeknight dinner fast and easy. Here's a main course recipe and three suggestions for rounding it out into a complete meal. Find out how to effortlessly dress up starters, sides, and desserts to fit the meal's main course.

Once you prep the gumbo and turn on the slow cooker, this weeknight menu is a snap. Jazz up tartar sauce from a jar to make Creole Shrimp Cocktail, cook a package of red beans and rice, and serve an easy but elegant Bananas Foster for dessert. It really will feel like Mardi Gras right in your own home. The kids will love it. Bring out the beads for them to play with before dinner.

The Menu

  • Chicken and Sausage Gumbo (see recipe below)
  • Creole Shrimp Cocktail
  • Red Beans and Rice
  • Bananas Foster

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Creole Shrimp Cocktail

Stir a few drops of hot red pepper sauce and a dollop of spicy brown mustard into prepared tartar sauce. Use as a dip for cooked, peeled shrimp.

Red Beans and Rice

Zatarain's, a Louisiana based company, makes a variety of New Orleans-style side dishes in easy-to-prepare packages. The Red Beans and Rice combo is perfect with this dinner. Look for it at your supermarket.

Bananas Foster

Try this classic New Orleans dessert made simple: Scoop vanilla ice cream into bowls, top with sliced bananas. For each portion, melt 1 Tbs. butter with 2 Tbs. brown sugar in a small saucepan. Add a pinch of cinnamon; bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. Remove pan from stove and spoon over the kids' portions. Add 1 Tbs. of rum per person for the adults if desired.


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