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New Orleans Gumbo

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This New Orleans Gumbo is a southern classic! It is full of sausage, shrimp, the “Holy Trinity” of vegetables, okra, and a dark roux. Enjoy the flavors of Louisiana in this comforting Creole dish!

Every region of the country has their signature dish and Gumbo is the star of Louisiana. This soup is so full of flavor and comfort. For more southern favorites, try Beignets, Southern Hush puppies, and Shrimp Creole.

A bowl of New Orleans Gumbo and rice topped with scallions.

New Orleans Gumbo

You many not be able to travel to the south and enjoy all the yummy comfort food but you can still enjoy it in your own home! This gumbo is actually quite easy to make. The hardest thing is being patient with cooking the roux but you can do it!

What is Gumbo?

Gumbo is a popular Louisiana soup and is actually the state’s official cuisine. Gumbo can be Cajun or Creole but almost all are made with a dark roux, a combination of meat and shellfish, Creole or Cajun Seasoning, and the “holy trinity” of vegetables- green bell pepper, onion, and celery.

A stew of shrimp, okra, tomatoes, and sausage in a pot.

How to make Gumbo:

A good gumbo takes time and attention, especially in the beginning, but it pays off.

  1. Make the Roux– Heat butter over medium-low heat in a large deep pot. When melted, whisk in the flour a little at a time and then continue to cook, stirring constantly (Don’t walk away!), until it is as dark as chocolate, about 30-40 minutes.
  2. Add the onions, peppers, and celery and cook for 6-8 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaves, Cajun seasoning, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.

  4. Add the okra and simmer another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a skillet with oil over medium high heat and cook sausage 2-3 minutes per side.

  5. Stir the sausage and raw shrimp into the gumbo and simmer another 4-5 minutes or until shrimp is pink and cooked through.

  6. Serve over white rice and garnish with scallions.

See also  Lemongrass Cauliflower Shrimp Fried ‘Rice’

Process shots of making a dark roux; mixing in celery, onion, and green bell pepper; and adding in tomatoes and seasoning.

What is the difference between Creole and Cajun Gumbo?

Cajun gumbo uses oil for the roux and does not contain any tomatoes. A Creole Gumbo typically contains tomatoes and uses butter in the roux. The recipe below uses tomatoes, tomato sauce, and butter so it is a Creole version.

A close up shot of shrimp and okra in a bowl of Gumbo.

Can it be made in advance?

The roux can be make up to 4 days in advance and then stored in the fridge. Making the roux in advance will save you a lot of time since that is where the bulk of your undivided attention is needed.

Like with any soup or stew, gumbo tastes best the next day so making it in advance works great.

Tips for making the best Gumbo:

  • Do not rush or shorten the cooking time of your roux. The darker the roux, the more depth of flavor your gumbo will have.
  • Do not burn your roux. Cooking the roux requires your full attention so make it when you don’t have distractions. You can always store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it in your soup.
  • Use okra! It is delicious and helps to thicken the broth. Fresh okra isn’t as readily available around the country but you should be able to find frozen okra in your local grocery store and it works just as well.

A pot of authentic Gumbo made up of okra, tomatoes, shrimp, and sausage.

More southern classics you’ll love!

A bowl of shrimp, sausage, and okra gumbo over rice.

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