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Louisiana’s official dish, gumbo, is a savory stew that typically includes a wide variety of meats, seafood, poultry, and vegetables. Of course, every accomplished cook likely has their own tried-and-true method for creating this dish. Still, we’re confident that many of these variations will make delicious additions to your recipe collection.
Slow-cooked meats in a dark brown roux are the hallmark of most gumbo recipes, traditionally served atop a bed of rice. Every Gumbo dish needs to have bell peppers, onions, and celery (Trinity).
In addition, traditional New Orleans gumbo typically includes tomato, sausage, okra, and cajun spices. Gumbo is the west African name for okra, and many say that gumbo without okra is not gumbo.
1. April’s Gumbo Recipe
April shows you her two ways to make a gumbo recipe. First, you can make it the way it has always been by cooking it on low heat in a Dutch oven with a tight lid. You will need to stir it occasionally to prevent it from burning on the stovetop.
The second option is more helpful to use a slow cooker to prepare it if you have things to do and cannot babysit the pot all day. This method ensures your gumbo doesn’t burn on the stove.
April’s recipe will be excellent, whichever way you cook the gumbo. Besides the bell peppers, onions, and celery, she uses 4 pieces of boneless skinless chicken tenders and 1 lb of frozen shrimp cooked as the meaty portion of the dish.
For spices, she opts for Creole seasoning. All are served on a bed of rice and eaten with a spoon like soup. Never call gumbo a soup in Louisiana. You might stir up some anger.
To have enough food to feed 8 people, you only need 30 minutes to prepare all the ingredients before starting the 6-hour cooking process. Then, check the ingredient multiplier to double or triple the recipe.
2. Mr. B’s Ya-Ya Gumbo Recipe
In the French Quarter’s core, MrB’s Bistro is known for serving authentic New Orleans cuisine, including Paul Prudhomme’s “Gumbo Ya-Ya.” He coined his dish “Gumbo Ya-Ya” in the early 1970s after he tasted his version and said it was so good that you want to say Ya-Ya. For those who don’t know him, he was a well-known American chef specializing in Cajun and Creole (European French cuisine) dishes.
When It comes to gumbo, you have basically 2 options to thicken the dish. Traditional gumbo uses okra, but modern cooks use filé powder with a dark brown roux. Whichever way you choose is up to your taste preference.
Besides the recipe we linked to here from the new Orleans website, you can find other variations of Mr. B’s gumbo. Here you will find an adaptation of the Commander’s Kitchen gumbo Ya-Ya recipe.
3. Leah Chase’s Gumbo Recipes
=> Click here for the Z’Herbes recipe
Leah Chase was a legend in New Orleans. She believed feeding people was her highest calling and did so deep into her 90s. In 2019, at the age of 96, she passed away. Dooky Chase restaurant is famous for its creole cuisine.
The annual Z’Herbes green gumbo recipe is only made on Holy Thursday before Easter. Before 2020 they would serve over 1500 patrons the Z’Herbes gumbo with rice and fried chicken on the day.
Leah Chase served many famous people over her lifetime. So whether you are a president or an average Jo, you can be sure that Dooky Chase’s gumbo will bring a smile to your face.
One such celebrity chef who took great inspiration from Leah was Marcus Samuelsson. So here you will find his gumbo recipe in honor of Leah Chase.
4. Lauren’s New Orleans Gumbo Recipe
Lauren, from better from scratch, relates her experience growing up eating their neighbor’s homemade gumbo. Their neighbor was from New Orleans and wanted to share his recipe with Lauren’s mother. So for years, their family made this authentic New Orleans Gumbo their neighbor taught them.
This recipe will guide you on making the dark brown roux from scratch. It is a long process, but it will be worth it in the end. For protein, Lauren adds chicken, smoked Andouille sausage, and prawns. Don’t forget the trinity (celery, onions, and bell pepper).
5. Creole Gumbo Recipe From AllRecipes
Here we have a recipe handed down and perfected through generations. It is sometimes a challenge to get recipes with exact measurements from people who have been doing them for many years.
They will say stuff like a bit of this and some of that, and they go by feel. However, they have a recipe that has some great ingredients.
This recipe will yield around 20 servings using the trinity and crab meat. Other ingredients are bacon drippings, prawns, okra, tomatoes, smoked sausage, and ile spice. All are cooked in a roux for an extended time to melt all the flavors.
6. Rian and Justin’s Easy Gumbo Recipe
Rian and Justin bring us their cajun prawn gumbo. In their opinion, you should try to keep the shrimp tails on since this gives the dish a better flavor profile.
If you are daring, you can use the head section too, or if you are squeamish, omit it from your version. An authentic flavor is achieved by using Andouille smoked sausage, which they recommend you seek out.
Some other recipes say you could substitute the Andouille for some other smoke sausage, but they say you should not.
They give us an alternative to making it from pork and cajun spices and liquid smoke. It will not be perfect, but it will provide a close comparison.
7. Maria’s Classic Cajun Gumbo Recipe
Maria grew up in New Orleans and remarks that there is no single recipe for gumbo. Like all other recipes mentioned, each chef or home cook adds subtle tweaks to the classic recipe. This recipe, however, is her take on the traditional version, and she demonstrates which ingredients you should use to create an authentic dish.
You will find a bit of history surrounding the recipe and some variations on the recipe page. In the recipe notes section, she gives some good information regarding ingredients like tomatoes, okra, and cajun spices. If you can’t locate cajun seasoning in the supermarket, she breaks it down so you can make your own.
8. Ali’s Vegetarian Gumbo Recipe
Ali used to make her classic gumbo for Mardi Gras. Still, with her husband being a vegetarian, she felt her Andouille gumbo needed to change. At first, she was worried that it would not be as good as the classic gumbo without all the meaty bits, but with all the traditional spices and dark roux, it is a great dish.
She encourages you to take the time to make the brown roux from scratch, as this is the star ingredient that brings everything together. The veggies she selected are the trinity and okra, of course.
Then she opted to use fire-roasted tomatoes, cauliflower, and mushrooms. So give this vegetarian dish a try.
9. Daniel’s Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo Recipe
Daniel goes into a lot of detail about the complexities of gumbo. He talks about how it is not a stew or a soup; it is gumbo. He also brings us along, discovering the importance of each ingredient.
All contribute to the overall dish. Focusing on the roux, we all know that the roux is definitely one of the top contenders for the spot of being the most essential ingredient.
For the thickening agent, you can choose filé powder, okra, or both. The protein part seems to come down to what you feel comfortable having in your pot. Daniel settled on chicken and Andouille sausage in his version.
10. Food Network Features Valerie’s Best Gumbo Recipe
Valerie Bertinelli, the famous American actress, brings us her version of chicken gumbo with Andouille and smoked sausage. She gives a few pointers on best practices for preparing the veggies before starting the roux.
Now the roux is the most essential part of gumbo, and you need to get it right. She says to not go anywhere since you don’t want your roux to burn. Burning your roux will force you to start over.
The other tips she shares are to use a large dutch oven and canola oil since it has a higher smoking point. She suggests lightly frying the okra to release the slimy goop that will thicken the gumbo. Her recipe takes about 2 hours and creates 12 – 15 servings that are served over rice.
11. Ashlea’s Gluten-Free Gumbo Recipe
Making a gluten-free version of gumbo might be easier than you think. Using gluten-free flour as the substitute for the regularly used wheat flour is how you create the roux.
Interestingly Ashlea uses avocado oil to brown the chicken and sausage. When compared to other oils, avocado oil has the greatest smoke point. The remaining components are the same as traditional gumbo.
She has a few extra ingredients like tomato paste in addition to canned tomatoes and coconut aminos that we haven’t seen before. Coconut aminos don’t come from coconuts as one would expect. Instead, it is made from fermented coconut tree sap.
As a result of fermentation, it has a dark soy sauce taste. Since gluten-free flour has no gluten that naturally thickens the sauce, she has to create a flour slurry to thicken the dish.
12. Trish’s Quick and Easy Gumbo Recipe
What is in Trish’s gumbo? She has chicken, shrimp, and Andouille sausage as the proteins. You guessed the trinity (celery, onion, and green bell pepper) for the veggies, right? Cajun seasoning and a dark roux?
After adding the chicken broth, she lets it simmer until the sauce thickens before adding some shrimp. Finally, it goes over a bowl of rice sprinkled with sliced scallions for decoration.
She gives some substitutions and variations if you don’t like some of the ingredients or can’t find them in your local market. Using chorizo or Italian sausage, chicken breasts, and other colored bell peppers if you prefer. Yellow or red bell peppers may sweeten the dish. You can substitute shrimp for crab, white fish, or oysters (shucked).
13. Real Cornbread With Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo Recipe
Here you find a healthier option, gumbo. Don’t create the roux with oil or butter to cut down on some calories. Instead, toast the flour directly till dark brown.
Ensure that you move the flour constantly; otherwise, it will burn. Next, use 1 tablespoon of oil to fry the trinity veggies and add the toasted flour. The oil and juices from the vegetables and the chicken broth will help to create the roux.
To create a healthier option, use low-sodium chicken broth and half the portion of Andouille sausage. You can still get the smokey flavor but reduce the sodium.
In addition, if you can get STP (sodium tripolyphosphate) free shrimp, you will get the health benefits of lower sodium. Here is the recipe for the cornbread.
14. Cajun Beef Shank Cross-Cut Gumbo Recipe
Almost all the recipes we featured thus far used chicken and pork sausages, but now we see a recipe that uses beef. So, this gumbo will tame your appetite if you are a beef lover like most Americans.
Beef shanks are cut from the meaty part of the upper leg. Cross-cut means you will have a roundish bone in the meat with some marrow.
Stewing this meat in a pressure cooker until tender makes for a hearty meal. Adding smoked beef sausage instead of pork (Andouille) adds the smokey flavor but keeps the dish true to the beef.
Follow the steps they have for the roux and serve it with rice and pickled okra. Interestingly pickled okra does not have the sliminess you find with chopped okra.
15. Laura’s Lean Mac and Cheese Ground Beef Gumbo Recipe
When you see this recipe, you might think this is not gumbo. Most people will agree, and we left this one in so you can decide if you would like it this way or add your spin to it.
Ground beef with Mac and cheese is a staple in many homes. So it is only natural to call it gumbo when you add cajun spices, celery, onions, and green bell peppers (trinity).
It misses the base ingredient, roux, but this will be perfect if you don’t like the taste of roux or saucy dishes.
16. Mary’s Seven Steak Gumbo Recipe
Seven steak beef or center-cut pot roast are a cross cut from the steer’s shoulder blade or chuck section. The iconic bone shaped like a 7 gives this cut of meat its name.
Seven steak works well as the protein portion in gumbo since its flavor is best brought out by slow braising or stewing. Mary paired the seven-steak beef with okra and tasso (smoked pork sausage), giving the dish a well-deserved spice boost.
Mary suggests creating a flour dredge before braising the meat in oil which will help with thickening the dish as it cooks. In about 2 hours, you will have 6 servings to add to steamed rice.
17. Tasty’s Seafood and Filé Gumbo Recipe
It is time to create a seafood gumbo with filé powder. For the seafood part, the recipe ingredients suggest using shrimp and 3 blue crabs, don’t use dungenous or stone crabs.
A great tip is to make seafood stock from the crab, vegetable scraps, and shrimp discarded parts instead of buying seafood, chicken, or vegetable stock. That will be a valuable skill to have.
The recipe also shows you to mix some creole-cajun seasoning and brown a roux in 5 min instead of 20-30. These are game-changers.
Another tip is given to remove the slime from the okra, as some people don’t like slimy okra. After 2 hours, you will have a tasty gumbo to serve 4 people.
18. Krissy’s Shrimp and Crab Gumbo Recipe
Krissy brings us her version of seafood gumbo. The main variation on her gumbo is frozen lump crab meat, hot pepper sauce, Andouille sausage, sugar, and beef instead of vegetable or seafood stock.
Like all other gumbo, developing the flavors takes around 4 hours. The ingredients chosen in her recipe will yield 8 servings, and she suggests serving it on long-grain rice, grits, or jalapeno cornbread.
Storing some leftover gumbo in the fridge for 3-5 days is quite common and if you choose to freeze it, it would be best to reheat it in a saucepan over low heat. Many say gumbo is better the next day.
19. BBC’s Cajun Chicken Gumbo Recipe
BBC’s good food features Sarah’s cajun chicken gumbo recipe. This quick and easy variation of chicken gumbo takes around an hour to make. However, you will see a difference in the cajun spice mix Sarah adds.
She adds cumin, ground chili, and basil which is not traditionally a cajun mix. Still, as previously stated, everyone makes gumbo their way. She also uses ham instead of smoked sausage.
The process of making the roux might be a bit challenging with all the other ingredients in the pot. But give it a try for quick and easy chicken gumbo.
20. Keto Slow Cooker Gumbo Recipe
When going ketogenic on gumbo, there will be sacrifices. The base ingredient in gumbo is the roux; being a keto meal, you should remove carbs. There is, however, no reason you will not have great gumbo since you can add xanthan gum to thicken the sauce.
Gretchen’s keto gumbo is quick and easy to make since you place all the ingredients (except the shrimp) into a slow cooker. After a few hours, you have delicious gumbo, but not before you add the shrimp. Serving it on cauliflower rice.
21. Chicken and Shrimp Keto Gumbo Recipe
Although there is already a keto recipe in the lineup, one should have options. Joanie and Chris shares their version of keto gumbo.
It’s sometimes challenging to change your eating patterns to be healthier and not too long for a great-tasting meal like gumbo. Their recipe is closer to a classic gumbo but with some tweaks.
As a chef’s note, they mention substituting the Andouille sausage for Kielbasa and using less cayenne pepper if the heat would be a problem for some. They also add filé powder into the simmering process to thicken it earlier.
The longer you cook gumbo, the more flavor you create, but if you are in a hurry, follow their directions. They serve it in a bowl with Spanish-style cauliflower rice.
22. Jamie Oliver’s Classic Vegan Gumbo Recipe
Jamie Oliver shares the classic gumbo that he says is not too tricky. After you master the foundational recipe, Jamie encourages you to explore by adding other ingredients. For example, make it with barley sausage, smokey baked tofu, or shredded artichoke hearts.
The foundational vegan recipe here calls for the trinity, okra, and many spices. Later if you are comfortable, you can add other veggies like zucchini, carrots, and squash. Butternut will hold up better in a stew-like dish.
23. Martha Stewart’s Gumbo Recipe
Here we see the classic gumbo recipe featured on episode 1177c on the Martha Stewart Show. This is an older recipe from September 2006, creating a classic gumbo with Andouille sausage and the trinity.
The recipe guides you on how to toast the flour for the perfect golden brown roux every gumbo needs. A great tip is to use a thick bottom skillet like a dutch oven or a cast iron plan.
Using low-sodium chicken broth makes it slightly more healthy. The recipe will yield around 10 servings of gumbo on top of rice.
24. Gizzard Gumbo Recipe
The time has come to venture into some of those not-so-traditional gumbo recipes. This gizzard gumbo recipe brings tribute to the late cajun cook Justin Wilson. Gizzard meat’s taste resembles dark chicken meat.
However, it is much chewier since this is a powerful muscle the chicken uses to grind their food. Some prepare gizzards by frying them, but this meat is best cooked like stewing proteins.
Creating a gumbo with gizzards is not something you would give to your guests unless you know they also love it. In addition, people unfamiliar with the taste and texture may not like it.
The gumbo recipe follows the base ingredients like trinity and Andouille sausage. The addition of hot sauce and dry white wine is different, though.
25. Venison Gumbo Recipe
In keeping with the not-so-classic gumbo recipes, let’s look at some venison gumbo. First, you should select the correct cut of venison, like stew meat. Picking meat from the shank or neck is best.
Avoid backstraps or tenderloin unless they have been sitting in the freezer for a while. Then, by all means, put it to work in a gumbo.
You can use any venison. Try it with turkey, rabbit, duck, deer, gator, ham hock, or even nutria (marsh rat).
For all the hunters, here is a recipe to make homemade Andouille sausage. Andouille sausage and a dark roux are essential in almost every gumbo recipe.
However, having the means and experience to make your own will give you an edge over family and friends’ gumbo. So take your time and relax. Gumbo should take a while.