This traditional New Orleans gumbo recipe is super easy, delicious, and hearty! You'll love the smoky sausage, tender shrimp, fire-roasted tomatoes, and lots of spices, herbs, and Creole seasoning. Serve this creole gumbo over white rice, or lower the carbs and serve it over cauliflower rice---SO good!!
This Recipe for Gumbo is a Southern classic!
This famous Louisana dish dates back to the 1800s! Every family has their own way of making it, and it's delicious in so many different ways. This recipe is a classic, traditional-style New Orleans Creole gumbo using easy-to-find ingredients.
What is Gumbo?
Gumbo is a stew of ingredients typically involving shrimp, sausage, or other proteins such as chicken. A "holy trinity" of vegetables includes onion, celery, garlic, and a rich dark roux--a flour and butter mixture used to make it thick, hearty, and flavorful. Spices used are creole seasoning, mesquite, paprika, cajun seasoning, bay leaf, dried thyme, parsley, cumin, oregano, and sage. Tomatoes are added if it is more of a Creole gumbo, whereas Cajun gumbo doesn't usually include them.
Gumbo vs Jambalaya
The primary difference between the two is actually fairly simple! Both have very similar flavor profiles, seasonings, and proteins--however, Gumbo is a stew served over rice and cooked separately. Gumbo is also thickened using a roux, whereas Jambalaya is served with rice cooked with the ingredients and is viewed more like a rice dish.
Etoufee vs Gumbo
The primary difference between Etoufee and Gumbo is simply the type of roux. Etoufee has a lighter roux that is made using flour and butter. Traditional protein is seafood-based, using crawfish or shellfish. It is served over rice like Gumbo is but is usually very thick like gravy, unlike a stew-like Gumbo.
Why you'll love this Easy Gumbo Recipe
Traditional Ingredients. Rich brown roux, flavorful sausage and shrimp, fire-roasted tomatoes, slowly simmered vegetables, and, of course - Creole seasoning all come together to create a traditional New Orleans-style gumbo.
It's easier to make than you think. The roux is the most important part of gumbo, so this step cannot be skipped. After that, it's just a matter of cooking the vegetables until tender, then adding everything else to the pot!
New Orleans Gumbo Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this delicious gumbo recipe:
- Green Bell Pepper
- Onion: you can use white, yellow, or sweet onion based on your preference.
- Garlic: mince your own fresh garlic or use store-bought pre minced to save time.
- Smoked Andouille Sausage: any brand and spice level of your choice.
- Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes: find these in the canned tomato section of your grocery store; omit them if desired.
- Chicken Broth: use low sodium or fat-free; substitute with vegetable stock if you want to!
- Creole Seasoning: this is usually a blend of spices that come together to create the classic Creole flavor we all love! It is normally paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, and cayenne pepper.
- Fresh Parsley: substitute with dried parsley or omit.
- Dried Thyme: substitute with dried oregano if you do not have thyme.
- Bay Leaves
- Medium Shrimp: use raw, peeled, and deveined shrimp in this recipe so that they are ready to go and don't overcook in the gumbo.
- Green Onions
- Salt and Pepper
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
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How To Make Gumbo
Here's an overview for making this classic gumbo. Full instructions see the recipe card below.
1. Melt butter in the large Dutch oven and brown sausage on both sides. Remove and set aside, covered with foil.
2. Add the rest of the butter and melt. Whisk in the flour and stir the roux until caramel colored.
3. Add celery, onion, and green pepper. Cook and stir occasionally about 20 minutes. Add garlic.
4. Reduce the heat and add in broth, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, Creole seasoning, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally about 30 minutes.
5. In the last 10 minutes, add raw shrimp, sausage and green onions.
6. Remove bay leaves and serve over hot cooked rice!
How to Make Roux for Gumbo
Making a roux for gumbo starts with flour and butter. The melted butter and flour mixture are slowly cooked until they are dark caramel in color. The key to a good gumbo is to let your roux caramelize and get a nice dark brown color. This is what is going to give your gumbo the BEST flavor!
How to Serve this Louisiana Gumbo Recipe
- The traditional way to serve gumbo is over white rice. You could substitute with cauliflower rice if you are trying to reduce carbs!
- Garnish with fresh sliced green onions and chopped fresh parsley.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.
- Pair with a slice of cornbread for a classic combination!
- You can serve gumbo with potato salad, coleslaw, okra, or even deviled eggs.
New Orleans Gumbo Recipe Storage
Allow your gumbo to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. You can store it in the fridge for up to 4 days, and you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
Easy Gumbo Recipe FAQs
The longer you cook gumbo, the more blended the flavors become. The most important step in gumbo is the roux. Be sure to caramelize it slowly to get that deep, rich color and flavor.
In this recipe, we use broth, but you can use either stock or broth. Using stock or broth will add to the flavor of the gumbo.
Gumbo is layer upon layer of flavors that come together for a really delicious end result. Start with a roux that you let carmelize, then add your veggies and chicken stock, let it simmer with spices and herbs, and finish with flavorful smoked sausage and shrimp.
Creole gumbos will often include tomatoes, while Cajun gumbos do not. However, as with most recipes, you will find many variations!
New Orleans Gumbo
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 medium green bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 2 stalks celery (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 (12 to 14-ounce) package smoked andouille sausage (cut into ½" thick slices)
- 1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon creole seasoning
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound medium shrimp (peeled, deveined, tail removed)
- 4 green onions (sliced)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat a dutch oven over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of butter. Brown sausage on both sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove sausage from the pan and set aside covered with foil.
- Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the same pot and melt. Whisk in flour. Reduce heat to medium-low if needed, and stir constantly (to avoid burning) until the roux is caramel colored, about 15 minutes.
- Add celery, onion, green pepper. Cook an additional 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are very soft. Add garlic in the last 2 minutes. (Note: The recipe can be made in advance up to this point)
- Reduce heat to low. Add in broth, diced tomatoes, parsley, thyme, creole seasoning, and bay leaves. Bring to a gentle simmer and continue cooking 2½ hours, stirring occasionally.
- In the last 10 minutes of simmering add in raw shrimp, sausage, and green onions.
- Remove bay leaves. Serve over hot cooked rice.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- VARIATIONS: Cooked chicken may be added when the raw shrimp is added. Diced ham may also be used; Cajun seasoning may be substituted for the Creole seasoning.
- TIPS: Cook the roux slowly to avoid burning. Stir it almost constantly until it reaches a dark caramel color. Do not rush this step.
- Make the roux in advance and store in an airtight container up to 3 days.
- You can also cook the roux, and then onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic then refrigerate or freeze until later.
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