This Seafood Gumbo recipe is one of our family's favorites and will really get your taste buds going. If the boys have been out and caught some blue crabs (but not enough for a crab boil) this is my go-to recipe. Seafood Gumbo is so delicious, it's perfect comfort food on a cold day!
This Cajun Gumbo is a soup popular to Louisiana and is the official state cuisine! What makes this recipe more like the New Orleans Seafood Gumbo variation is my use of a Roux as the thickening agent. When this isn't used, Okra or Gumbo Filé powder is used. I like to use the roux method but have the Filé handy at the table, for if you want your good gumbo thicker.
- All Purpose Flour
- Canola Oil, or vegetable oil
- Yellow Onion, chopped
- Green Bell Pepper, chopped
- Celery, chopped
- Andouille Sausage, sliced
- Smoked Sausage, sliced
- Creole Seasoning (or Cajun seasoning)
- Dried Thyme
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Whole Bay Leaf
- Fresh Garlic
- Seafood Stock
- Chicken Stock
- Blue Crabs
- Crab Meat
- Parsley, Chopped
- Green Onion, Chopped
- Salt and Black Pepper (optional extra)
See recipe card for quantities.
- Step 1: In a large pot make a dark roux. This is done by cooking the oil and flour together over a medium heat (or if you have other things going on use a low heat), continuously stirring with your wooden spoon.
What is a Roux?
An important part of this recipe is making the Roux. You are aiming for a darkness of dark chocolate. This is a very important step and if at any point your Roux burns there is no saving it, you have to start again! Do not think it will be ok and just blend it, because it won't, everyone will taste it.
- Step 2: Add the holy trinity of onions, green pepper and celery and cook on a medium-high heat until totally soft. Then add the garlic and cook a little longer. Add the sausage slices and cook another few minutes.
- Step 3: Next, slowly add the stock, along with the garlic and the bay leaves.
- Step 4: Allow this beautiful Cajun Seafood Gumbo base to simmer on a low boil for about 90 minutes. After that, add the seafood, the green onions and parsley. Cook for a further 15 minutes and that's it!
Serve with white rice (and potato salad on the side - don't ask why, it just goes together!) This Seafood Gumbo Recipe is the best I've managed to get... and I've tried many different versions!
Hint: It's very important to use a good quality smoked sausage. One that you know is good - if you guess at this it may mess up the flavor. A lot of the quality of flavor comes from the smoked sausage, you could almost call it just a sausage gumbo - it's that important. See my favorites down in the recipe card.
🍽 What To Serve With Gumbo
Traditionally, rice is served with Gumbo along with a southern Potato Salad - which is a perfect combination - and perhaps some Gumbo File on the side. However, the following are some other popular sides to serve:
- Hush Puppies
- Cheese Bread
- Fresh Salad
- French Bread
- Garlic Bread
- Cauliflower Rice
- Sweet Potato Wedges
- Corn Bread
- Cajun fries
🔄 Substitutions and Variations
- Shrimp Stock - instead of seafood stock, try using shrimp stock.
- Gumbo Crabs - you might not be able to find Blue Crabs, but gumbo crabs I think are the same thing
- Chicken Broth - there's a slight difference between broth and stock. Either one will be ok in this recipe.
- Frozen seafood - If you don't have access to fresh seafood where you are, you can use frozen. You'll need to thaw first though.
- Spicy - add hot sauce or a little cayenne pepper while cooking to imbue heat into the dish. Cajun spice also adds more heat.
- Lobster Gumbo - Yes, it's a thing. Change out the lobster for the crabs, or just add it as an extra!
- Crawfish Gumbo - Even better! Again, change out the shrimp for the Crawfish to make a Crawfish Gumbo. Keep everything else the same. It's absolutely delicious!
- File Powder - Add Gumbo File powder to thicken it up and give it an extra something special.
- Deluxe - add even more fish/seafood - go wild! You could even add a little oyster liquid and oysters... I've seen that done.
- Kid friendly - slice the sausages differently so you know which is the andouille sausage (the spicier sausage)
Make This Recipe In The Instant Pot
This is also a good seafood gumbo instant pot recipe - Make the roux as suggested in saute function, then add as described above. Cancel saute mode and lock the lid into place.
Select high pressure and set time for 15 minutes. Allow 10-15 mins for pressure to build. Release pressure using the natural-release method. Switch to Saute function.
Add remaining ingredients and cook on saute for 15 minutes.
I use a heavy Gumbo Pot, or Stock Pot. It has a heavy, thick base and allow you to let that soup roll without burning! I have a link to the exact pot I use below in the recipe card.
Allow this seafood gumbo to cool completely, then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
💡 Top Tip
I like to peel about 70% of the shrimp before I put in, this way most won't need peeling while you're eating but you still get the flavor from the shrimp shells from the remaining 30%.
Gumbo is actually classed as a soup, it's a delicious Cajun/Creole dish full of meat and smoked sausage. There are different type of Gumbo - most common are Chicken and Sausage and Seafood Gumbo. The first time I tried it, it blew me away how absolutely delicious it is.
To be honest, Gumbo actually translated means Okra. It is used as a thickening ingredient. However it's quite a different taste that some don't like. It's quite a touchy subject, for some Cajuns they feel the dish is just not Gumbo without the Okra in it... but I believe it's a personal taste.
Originally, when Gumbo was first created Okra was used as the thickening ingredient. Gumbo Filé was created from Sassafras, to thicken a Gumbo. Only later did people start to make a Gumbo using a roux. I believe today the roux method is the preferred method.
The history of Gumbo starts in North Africa. The slaves that worked the plantations in Louisiana would cook for the families and workers and Gumbo was a dish that they brought with them.
If you’ve tried this Louisiana Seafood Gumbo Recipe or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section below, how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes!
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1 Cup Canola Oil
- 2 Cups Yellow Onion, chopped
- 1 Cup Green Bell Peppers, chopped
- 1 Cup Celery, chopped
- 2 Links Andouille Sausage, sliced
- 2 Links Smoked Sausage, sliced
- 1 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning
- 1 Teaspoon Thyme, Dried
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Garlic, Fresh Minced
- 8 Bay Leaves, Whole
- 5 Cups Seafood Stock
- 5 Cups Chicken Stock
- ½ Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
- ⅔ Cup Green Onions, Chopped
- 2lb Crabs, Whole
- 2lb Large Fresh Shrimp
- 8oz fresh lump crab meat
- Add Oil to pan and turn on medium heat. Heat oil.
- Add flour and continue to stir, watching close, until the mixture (Roux) has turned a dark chocolate color.F
- Add Onions, Green Peppers and Celery and stir until translucent.
- Add Sausage, mix together for 3 minutes.
- Add Spices and stir together.
- Slowly add stock, stirring all the time. Add Bayleaves and fresh Garlic.
- Turn the heat down to a low roll and cover.
- Allow to simmer like this for 90 Minutes.
- While simmering organize rice and any other side dishes.
- Add Crab, Shrimp, Crab Meat, Green Onion and Parsley and bring back to a boil. Cook on a slow roll for 15 minutes. Turn off heat.
If you like a spicier Gumbo replace smoked sausage with andouille sausage, making it 4 Links of Andouille and add another tablespoon of Creole Seasoning.
Try changing the shapes of the sausage - whole slices for the regular smoked sausage and smaller dices for the hotter Andouille, that way it's easier for the kids to eat.
I like to peel about 70% of the shrimp before I put in, this way most won't need peeling while you're eating but you still get the flavor from the shrimp shell from the remaining 30%.
The stock is flexible, you can use all Seafood, or all Chicken - I just like the blend of both. You could even try shrimp stock.
Use additional stock for a thinner gumbo, or less for a thicker gumbo. Depending on your preference.
If you've heard of Creole Gumbo, this is a gumbo that has tomatoes in it. You find that in some regions of Louisiana.
Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 579Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 25gCholesterol 303mgSodium 908mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 48g