Favorite Gumbo

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My favorite gumbo recipe is made with a richly-flavored dark roux, your choice of proteins (chicken, sausage and/or seafood), lots of veggies, and served with rice.  So hearty and delicious!

Favorite Gumbo

Mardi Gras is tomorrow…which means it’s time to cook up a big pot of my favorite gumbo! ♡

I first shared this New Orleans-inspired gumbo recipe here on Gimme Some Oven about five years ago.  And while I have definitely enjoyed other versions over the years (my vegetarian gumbo recipe, for example, is surprisingly satisfying), nothing beats a classic dark roux-based gumbo made made with good Andouille sausage in my book.  It’s one of those special-occasion meals that requires a bit of extra time and tlc to prepare.  But it features some of my all-time favorite zesty Creole flavors and always tastes like such a treat.  So if you’ve never tried making a batch of homemade gumbo before, I say this week is the perfect time to give it a try!

Granted, there are lots of strong opinions and regional differences out there when it comes to how to make “authentic” gumbo, including variations in thickening techniques (using a roux vs filé powder vs okra vs a combo), whether or not to include tomatoes (I happen to love them), which seasonings to use (and how spicy to make the broth), proteins to include (chicken, sausage, various kinds of seafood, etc), and on and on.  So while I can’t guarantee that this gumbo recipe is necessarily authentic, I can vouch that it is absolutely delicious and always a favorite with friends and family whenever I cook up a big batch.  And I’m delighted that so many of you have loved it over the years too!

You are, of course, welcome to make any tweaks to the ingredients that you prefer.  (Especially when it comes to proteins — feel free to choose either chicken, sausage or shrimp, or you can follow my lead and use all three!)  The one thing that I strongly recommend is using a dark brown roux as the base for this recipe.  Its rich, deep, nutty flavor adds so much flavor to this recipe and is worth the extra time it takes to make.

So round up all of your favorite gumbo ingredients, settle in for a lot of stirring, and let’s cook up a delicious pot of gumbo together!

Pot of Chicken, Sausage and Seafood Gumbo

Gumbo Ingredients:

Before we get to the full recipe below, here are a few notes about the ingredients that you will need to make this chicken, sausage and seafood gumbo recipe…

  • Proteins: Feel free to use whatever proteins you love best in your gumbo!  I’ve made this one with my favorite trio of Andouille sausage, chicken and shrimp.  But feel free to choose just one or two of those options, or add in some extra crawfish, crab, and/or oysters to make more of a seafood gumbo.
  • Roux: To make the roux for this recipe, I recommend the classic combination of vegetable oil (or any neutral-flavored oil) and all-purpose flour.
  • Veggies: We will use the Louisiana “holy trinity” of celery, onion and bell pepper as the veggie base for our gumbo, plus some extra garlic for seasoning.
  • Chicken stock: To serve as the base for our broth.
  • Fire-roasted tomatoes: I know that tomatoes can be a bit controversial in gumbo, but I happen to love them in this recipe and recommend adding in a can (fire-roasted, if possible).
  • Okra: Likewise, okra can also be a controversial addition to this dish, but I love the extra flavor it adds and always add at least one cup of fresh okra (or you can use frozen okra that has been thawed) to the gumbo during the last 15 minutes of cooking.  I find that 15 minutes is about the ideal amount of time that okra needs to cook to reach its best texture.
  • Seasonings: We will use a classic mix of Creole seasoning, dried thyme, cayenne, bay leaves, salt and pepper to season the soup.  (Or if you don’t have Creole seasoning on hand, you can sub in some Cajun seasoning.  Just note that Cajun seasoning is usually significantly spicier, so you may want to use a bit less and also wait to taste the gumbo and see if you still want to add extra cayenne.)
  • Rice: Either white or brown rice for serving.
  • Toppings: And finally, I always recommend some thinly-sliced green onions for topping your bowls of gumbo.  Plus you’re also welcome to add some chopped fresh parsley and/or a dash of hot sauce, if you’d like.

Ladle full of Sausage, Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

Tips for How To Make A Roux:

The roux is unquestionably the star of this gumbo recipe, lending the most delicious, rich, nutty depth of flavor to the stew.  It’s easy to make, but does require some extra time, attention, and a few important techniques.  So here are my best tips for how to make a good roux!

  • Prep your other ingredients in advance: First off, as much as I typically like to multi-task while cooking, it’s important here that you give the roux your undivided attention.  So go ahead and have the next round of ingredients in the recipe prepped and ready to go before you begin making the roux.
  • Use a wooden spoon/spatula: I really like to use this wooden spatula for making a roux, because the flat edge makes it easy to stir the edges of the pan well.  But any large wooden or silicone spoon will also work, or you can also use a whisk.
  • Go low and slow: The process of making a good roux unfortunately cannot be rushed.  So as tempting as it might be to crank up the heat to move the process along, it’s best to maintain a consistent medium heat and let the roux cook steadily and slowly until it reaches your desired color.  And if you notice that the roux seems to be browning too quickly or starts to smell ever-so-subtly burnt, immediately turn down the heat a bit.
  • Stir constantly (really): It’s easy to accidentally burn the roux if it is not being stirred constantly, especially in the later/darker stages.  In the earlier stages, I will stir the roux every 15-30 seconds.  But by the end, I’m slowly stirring the entire time so that it does not burn.
  • Aim for a milk chocolate color: Different cooks prefer different colors of roux for gumbo, but I recommend cooking yours until it darkens to somewhere between a copper penny and milk chocolate brown color for optimum flavor.
  • If it burns, start over: If you follow the tips above, the roux should not burn.  But if it does and you notice that there are little black flecks floating around and the roux smells burnt, unfortunately there is no salvaging it.  You’ll need to start over.

Closeup of Andouille Sausage, Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo with Rice

More Favorite Creole & Cajun Recipes:

Looking for more Creole and Cajun-inspired recipes to try?  Here are a few of my faves:

Bowl of Gumbo with Andouille Sausage, Chicken and Shrimp

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Favorite Gumbo

Favorite Gumbo

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings 1x

Description

My favorite gumbo recipe is made with a richly-flavored dark roux, your choice of proteins (chicken, sausage and/or seafood), lots of veggies, and served with rice.  So hearty and delicious!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced into coins
  • 2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large bell peppers, cored and diced
  • 2 large celery stalks, diced
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen chopped okra
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined raw large shrimp (optional)
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • white or brown rice, for serving
  • toppings: thinly-sliced green onions and/or chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Brown the sausage. Heat a large heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the sliced sausage in a single layer and briefly cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned.  Transfer the sausage to a clean plate and set aside for later.
  2. Make the roux. Add the oil to the stockpot and whisk in flour until combined. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches a dark brown color (similar to milk chocolate), about 20 to 30 minutes. Keep a very close eye on the roux as it cooks, adjusting the heat if it seems to be browning too slowly or too quickly, and whisk it constantly to be sure that it does not burn.
  3. Sauté the veggies. Once the roux reaches the dark brown color, immediately stir in the bell peppers, celery, and onion until combined.  Continue to cook, stirring every 10 to 15 seconds, until the vegetables have softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add in the broth. Gradually add in the chicken stock, stirring in a few cups at a time so that the broth can thicken. Then add in the tomatoes, cooked chicken, okra, Creole seasoning, thyme, cayenne, bay leaves, cooked sausage, and stir to combine.
  5. Simmer. Continue cooking until the gumbo just barely reaches a low simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering the soup for 5-10 minutes.  (Or if the broth is too thick for your liking, continue simmering a bit longer to reduce it down.)
  6. Add the shrimp. Stir in the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until they are opaque and cooked through.
  7. Season. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Taste the gumbo and season with however much salt and pepper it may need, to taste.  (Feel free to also add extra Creole seasoning and/or cayenne too.)
  8. Serve. Serve warm with a big scoop of rice, sprinkled with your desired toppings.


Notes

Recipe update: Recipe updated slightly in 2021 to decrease the amount of roux, slightly adjust the seasonings, and include the option to use either chicken, sausage, and/or shrimp.

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Recipe rating

99 comments on “Favorite Gumbo”

  1. Made this for Christmas Eve tonight and it was perfect. My husband and I started doing gumbo every Christmas Eve when we got married seven years ago and I’ve been searching for the right recipe ever since and we’ve finally found it seven years later!!

  2. Making this right now… I added shrimp at the end but that was the only adjustment and it tastes outstanding.. like I’m in some Cajun grandmas kitchen instead of mine..😬👌

  3. Two fatal flaws:
    1. You made the roux BEFORE cooking the meat and the holy trinity. You need to cook/infuse the oil with those flavors first. That’s what gives the roux its deep flavor.
    2. You called it “filo powder”. It’s Filé powder.

  4. The picture for this recipe clearly shows the shrimp in it but the actual recipe doesn’t even list shrimp or how much shrimp.

  5. I’m from New Orleans and this looks like a pretty authentic gumbo recipe. I’ve seen so many versions of gumbo online that are nowhere close to authentic. Kudos to you.

  6. My husband is a true Coonass from New Orleans, and that’s where we met. He makes excellent gumbo but since I’m allergic to shellfish he makes it with chicken and sausage. I can’t even me in the house for 24 hours after shellfish is cooked as first it has to air out. It’s a terrible sacrifice for him but he doesn’t plan on being a widower any time soon. We just finished the last of the Gumbo Aux Herbes (Green Gumbo) he made last month and I froze 4 containers. I know what his brothers are making today in New Orleans, Gumbo of course!

  7. I like squirrel and duck in mine.

  8. I made this last night and it was super good. We are vegetarian so I replaced the sausage with italian sausage substitute. I could not find an andouille sausage substitute. Thank you!

  9. First time to make gumbo and was shocked how easy the recipe made it. I used all 3 proteins, chicken, sausage and shrimp, and it was such a hit!

  10. This gumbo is to die for! Thanks for a delicious treat in place of Mardi Gras. We used shrimp and andouille sausage and lots of veggies. We did not have okra, but added extra onions and celery. This recipe is a keeper!

  11. Just made this earlier today. I wasn’t positive that I liked Gumbo or okra but I’m eating my second bowl right now. This recipe is so good! I’m excited to share it with my “soup club.” Thank you!

  12. I made this yesterday and it is DIVINE. It’s rare that I like my own cooking (even if it’s good) and even more rare that my husband asks me to add a new meal to the rotation. We’ll have leftovers for the next few days and I’m so excited about it haha. Thanks!

  13. Wonderful gumbo. I added more cayenne and a bit more creole seasoning, cause we like it spicy. Definitely a keeper.

  14. I’ve made this twice and my whole family loves it! The second time I added extra shrimp and okra and adjusted the spices accordingly and it was super hearty! Thanks for the delicious recipe :)

  15. I Love LOVE it

  16. That was a lot of oil. I added a bit more water to my gumbo as it was coming out like a thick soup. I forgot that it is to be eaten with rice. Now it may be too watery to have with rice. Added only 1 chicken breast. Wasn’t sure how much shrimp to add as it was not stated in the recipe list. Please adjust. Tasted good but felt weird about the amount of oil I consumed.

  17. Made this last night and it was a hit! I was hoping for some leftovers but everyone loved it! Great recipe!

  18. Ok, I’m writing because I’m hoping someone can help me figure out what happened. I’ve made this recipes dozens of times and never had an issue (always been fabulous!) but made it again last night, and somehow it turned out both oily and less thick than usual. I’m wondering if maybe my roux separated somehow…any thoughts on what I might have done wrong?

  19. First timer here. I’m hooked with just a couple bites! Thanks. Now, on to discover more recipes on this site!

  20. Great first × Time making gumbo but its time iam caching a slight cold brought onion soup mix.Hope it come out well today on my menu.Thanks

  21. Any recommendations for how to prepare the chicken before adding to the gumbo? I was debating using your Carnitas recipe, or would you suggest just boiling and shredding it?