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!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 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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90 comments on “Favorite Gumbo”

  1. I’d love to try this! Do the leftovers freeze well?  

  2. This looks so unbelievably delicious. It’s been chilly and rainy where I live, and this sounds like exactly what I want to come home to after a long day at work. Yum!

    • Thanks Gabriella — we hope you enjoy (it’s the perfect kind of cool, rainy day food). :)

  3. This dish looks so comforting! This recipe’s definitely going on my list.

  4. This sounds delicious!! I would just make a big batch and eat if for lunch the next day.

  5. Staying alive! Looks awesome. Put in in coach, I’m ready to play. (gym teacher here!) 

  6. Try making you roux in the oven like Alton Brown.  It takes a little longer, but frees up time to do all the chopping while the roux is cooking.

    • Thanks for this tip Kathy! :)

    • America’s Test Kitchen uses the same roux in oven method and it is an AMAZING improvement on the flour+oil on stovetop method. Works perfectly every single time and you save 1600 calories becuase you don’t have to use 1 cup of oil to make it like traditional recipes.

  7. Yum, this looks amazing! With the cold spring we’ve been having, this is definitely going on the menu!

  8. I made this several weeks ago and it was delicious!  My husband REALLY enjoyed it.  He told me it is the BEST gumbo he has ever eaten.  I had picked up a roasted chicken from COSTCO and thought I would try this recipe using the chicken.  So happy I did!  THANK YOU for this fantastic find!

    • Thanks for sharing Shelly — we’re so glad you and your husband enjoyed this! :)

  9. Reading about all your lunch options, I was thinking “is she from Kansas City because when I lived in Olathe, KS these were all my favorite lunch spots and they were all within 10 minutes of one another.” And then I did some investigating (ok, I went to your About page–no actual sleuthing) saw that you ARE from KC!
    So was I close? Did we go to the same Spin! Pizza?? :P

    • My sisters used to work at Spin and I was a waiter at Minskys on college for years. I live in Salt Lake City now and I miss the food in Kansas.

  10. The list of dishes that you had mentioned for under $5 is good. I could see myself in your post. Homemade Gumbo is the best thing. Your dish looks yummy. Beautiful color and glaze on the recipe. The rice is super white and the contrast color provided by the fresh parsley is a treat not just for the taste buds, but for the eyes too!!!

  11. Wow! It looks so delicious and tasty! I can feel the smell! I will definitely make this for dinner! I risk my kids to filthy the rug because they can’t eat on the dining table. Thanks for sharing :)

  12. I made this this weekend it is to die for! It also made a huge quantity, so I have a large container in my freezer and still have leftovers for this week. I skipped the okra as I’m not a huge fan. It’s also very difficult to find andouille sausage in my area, so I went for a double smoked sausage, which seemed to work just as well. I also made my own creole seasoning so that I could go easy on cayenne to make it more toddler friendly. I love this recipe!

  13. Looks delicious. I haven’t had gumbo in a while, thanks a lot

  14. Looks so saucy and delicious. I haven’t ever tried a gumbo before – coming from Australia it’s not very well known. Definitely have to try this though. Lovely photos.

    • Thanks for your sweet words Thalia! And we hope you can give the gumbo a try sometime — we love it! :)

  15. Sometimes I find myself craving the weirdest things, and I’ve got to confess that one of those things is gumbo. And being a Midwestern gal, good gumbo isn’t always easy to come by. This, however, might just solve my problem! It looks AMAZING!

  16. Looks very delicious. I’m just wondering is it spicy or not?

    • Thanks Eva — we hope you like it! And it’s definitely got a kick to it (from the andouille sausage and the cayenne), but it’s all relative. We’d suggest starting with 1/2 teaspoon of the cayenne and tasting it — you can always add more if you like. We hope this helps!

  17. I really liked your recipe smells delicious. Would like to know if one could make this wonderful GUMBO in a crock pot. this would be perfect after a long day at work. Thanks for the recipes and your time.

    • Hi Don! We haven’t tried a crockpot version of this, but we think it should work fine! We highly recommend browning all of the veggies first, as well as the sausage (that’s what gives the gumbo such great flavor). Add the chicken at the very end, right before serving. Cook on low for about 6 hours, or on high for about 3-4 hours. We hope you enjoy!

  18. This is very similar to Chef Paul Prudhomme’s recipe. I watched his video and learned a lot about making gumbo. Hubby wants it but I think he is not a Cajun flavor person so I will have to modify it a little. He loves my jambalaya, he likes mild, so I will try to make a lovely gumbo. : )

  19. Looks awesome! Can’t wait to cook it. We don’t have okra in where I live, what do I replace it with?

    • Thanks Galya — we hope you enjoy! Okra is the main ingredient for what makes gumbo gumbo though. To still achieve some of the consistency the okra gives gumbo, you could try mixing 2 Teaspoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water, and for the veggies, green beans and/or eggplant would be the closest veggies that resemble okra. We hope this is helpful!

  20. Do you cook the sausage first? And do you remove the casing?

    • Hi Carly! No need to do either of those things. Just add the sausage in step 3 (you can remove the casing if you prefer though). We hope you enjoy!

  21. I have a pot of this simmering on the stove right now. It smells heavenly, I can’t wait to try it. Unfortunately, I accidentally got the wrong kind of tomatoes (Italian style). I didn’t realize it until it was time to add them to the recipe. Hopefully, it won’t ruin it. From what I understand gumbo is one of those recipes that is very open to various methods and ingredients. Fingers crossed :-)

  22. Okay, follow up post. This was absolutely amazing!! Perfect for a cold evening and so filling! The roux makes the sauce so silky smooth. I’ll be freezing the leftovers for another night. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe.

  23. Hi Nelda! The instructions are listed in the third paragraph. Once the rice is tender, add in the shrimp and okra and stir to combine. We hope you enjoy! :)

  24. Looks good I definitely will try that recipe

  25. This looks delicious! Do you have any recommendations on modifying the recipe to use seafood as the main protein?

    • Thanks, Katherine — we hope you enjoy! And sure, if you wanted to use seafood as your main protein, we would suggest shrimp and we would add it in step 4 (after you’ve added the stock). We hope this helps!

  26. Just made this and oh man, it is good! I was a little intimidated about the roux since I don’t have a Dutch oven but my stainless steel pot worked just fine on lower heat. I also didn’t have cooked chicken on hand so I seasoned some raw chicken with creole seasoning then simmered with the canned tomatoes before shredding it and dumping all of it in in step 3. It was helpful to have a soux-chef nearby, lots of stirring =little time for anything else. But seriously, worth it. Yum. Already trying to decide who I am want to invite over to share this with when I make it again. 

  27. Can olive oil be used?

  28. I make a ton of gumbo, and if you make your roux in the oven it takes about 90min and you only stir it a couple times. 350 degrees. And you have very little chance of burning it. Super easy to get that deep chocolate brown color

  29. 5 stars
    I make this recipe often! Great dish for a group of people and it is AMAZING! Everyone always complements it over and over! I usually cook it for several hours and the leftovers are frozen for an easy meal another time! Thanks for this recipe!!

  30. 5 stars
    The Roux is a key main ingredient that makes gumbo what it should be.
    If you are familiar with Gumbo , you know you have to make a Roux or it is not really gumbo.
    Especially if you make it Louisiana or Cajun gumbo.
    I used to work in a seafood restaurant and made Louisiana gumbo and I got rave reviews

  31. 5 stars
    Just made this terrific recipe. It’s easy and versatile. I rarely make gumbo, probably because the recipe I’ve used before is the one from the Lafayette Junior League cookbook, which is great, but it’s too much of a production. In that recipe and many others, you’re basically frying chicken as a major part of it. To me, this much simpler and easier recipe is the ideal non-seafood gumbo.

    I did it with a couple of minor modifications and it turned out great. The amounts listed seem mostly just right for my tastes. I didn’t include okra, and used 1 tsp of file instead. I just used regular canned diced tomatoes. If you’re using a Creole seasoning like Konriko and a spicy andouille sausage I don’t think it’s necessary to add any cayenne pepper until the end, to your taste. In an enameled Dutch oven, the roux turned out perfect. The result had just the right thick gumbo consistency, and I can tell it’s going to be even better as a leftover. Great job with this recipe.

  32. I’m vegetarian. I’ve really missed having gumbo. Could I substitute vegetable broth and leave out the chicken and sausage and have this be a good vegetarian gumbo recipe? I really love all the recipes I’ve tried on your site. They are so good!

  33. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe several times and it is Amazing!Havent changed a thing. I’m always worried about burning the rue but each time I go a little longer and darker And I think I got it down. I’m going to make it tomorrow for my birthday at work treat in 3 days and am going to add cooked shrimp at the end for the first time. I just hope the shrimp doesn’t break down while reheating in the slow cooker and ruin a perfect dish. We will see. A+++ on this recipe

  34. 5 stars
    Twenty two years ago my husband and I spent our honeymoon in New Orleans. One if the things we did was took a a cooking class. The B&B we were staying at asked us if they bought the ingredients if we would make Jambaylaha and Bread Pudding for everyone. It was one of our highlights of our trip. I have lost the recipes we were given 😞. I have been. Searching for one ever since. I decided to try your recipe. I also decided to add shrimp to it. Was very pleased…will be making this again. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  35. This is very much how I make my gumbo; exception being I fry the grease from the sausage before.
    Technical question – Is it a gumbo sin to serve on hot cornbread instead of rice? (try it)
    Also I love mushrooms in mine. Is this wrong ?

  36. 5 stars
    Absolutely the best thing I’ve ever cooked – and my husband agrees! This recipe helped me conquer my fear of the roux, and it was 100% worth it!

  37. I love your jambalaya. It’s so delicious and easy. I remember trying one of your other recipes that turned out great so I tried this one. I’m torn between your jambalaya (which is fabulous) and the excellent gumbo recipe. I’ve made gumbo in the past but never ate it because it didn’t taste right to me. Your recipe makes me serve it immediately or there wouldn’t be any food left. Yes I eat it out of the pot while simmering it the last ten minutes. I don’t like okra so I use file powder that’s when I throw in the shrimp.

  38. So delicious! One question – Does the garlic go in at the same time as the onions, peppers and celery? If so, I missed that the first time we made it and added it later, not sure it got cooked all the way! My hubs doesn’t care for okra so we will try it with file powder this time around. Thank you for sharing this lovely dish!

  39. Just Great!

  40. I made this just now and it came out amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  41. Hint on rux you can cook in oven at 225°F stir to keep sides and bottom from getting to dark as needed to keep it cooking consistently till it reaches your disiered color the darker the better and turn off oven. You can take out then or leave in oven till ready to use. Can make day before this takes longer but have less chance of burning and frees you up from constantly wisking rux.

  42. Can I can this gumbo for use later?Will it keep for 6 months or so, with traditional canning methods?

  43. AWESOME!!!!!! I’m from southern cook’n family and this was amazing. It is a team sport NOT a one man but it was worth it to all involved.

  44. Delicious! It took a little time to make but good things come to those who wait.

  45. I am making this for the second time! It is a great Gumbo! Thanks for the recipe!

  46. This gumbo is awesome! My husband said it was restaurant quality, LOL. Takes a little prepping but the results are awesome.

  47. Very good! I didn’t measure all the vegetable amounts or add the chicken (used shrimp). I also used some Hatch Chile’s I had on hand instead of cayenne. Looking forward to leftovers today! Spouse made happy noises while pigging out!

  48. Very good . Great anytime of the year.

  49. Loved it!

  50. I love Gumbo but don’t have too many restaurant options to order it. I made this tonight, and while making the roux, I thought I measured the oil/flour mixture incorrectly. However, I continued with the recipe and I’m so glad I did. This was amazingly delicious and the family loved it! Definitely a keeper! Thank you!!!