This Authentic New Orleans Gumbo is made with a dark roux, vegetables, chicken, sausage, and shrimp, and served over rice. This is a beloved recipe shared with me by a native New Orleanian.

As you probably have gathered, I love making comfort food style recipes that use lots of fresh produce and real ingredients. This gumbo is no exception, and if you like this then I know you’ll love Jambalaya and Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice.

Gumbo with sausage and shrimp in a bowl with white rice.

We had a really fun neighbor growing up who was from New Orleans and made a fantastic homemade Gumbo! I’m so thankful my Mom took him up on his offer to teach her how to make a true, authentic Gumbo! Decades later it is a beloved recipe that has become a staple in our family and we have made it hundreds of times! It is definitely in my top favorite meals of all time! Nothing tastes better on a cold winter day.

Gumbo vs. jambalaya:

Jambalaya is primarily a rice dish (think paella) while gumbo is more of a stew that is thickened with a roux and made with chicken, sausage, and/or seafood. Both gumbo and jambalaya are often made with some similar meats and vegetables but the process of making them and flavors of the end result are completely different. Here is my favorite Jambalaya recipe!

The key to this recipe is the Roux!

A “roux” is made with two ingredients; flour and oil,  and it’s the key to any great gumbo recipe!  The flour and oil are cooked and stirred together for about 30-45 minutes until it becomes dark brown almost like mud, or chocolate and the consistency of dough.  The roux is what adds the deep, rich flavor to the gumbo, and it gives it it’s thick texture. Make a good roux is a labor of love, but but one that totally pays off, and you can make it ahead of time!

Step-by-step Authentic Gumbo:

1. Make the roux. in a large pot, combine flour and oil and cook, stirring constantly on medium low heat.  You have to be careful to stir it constantly, on medium low heat, so that you don’t burn it. It’s easy, but takes patience. The darker the roux, the richer the flavor!

Before and after of a roux uncooked in a saucepan, and then cooked to dark brown.

2. Chop the veggies.  When you’re ready to make your gumbo, start by chopping celery, onions, bell pepper, parsley.   I love the freshness from the green bell pepper, onion, celery and parsley. You can also add okra, if you want. Add it at the same time as the other vegetables.

3. Brown the sausage.   Spread the sausage in a single layer on a hot, large skillet.  Once  browned, flip each one over individually, to make sure they all get nice and brown on both sides.

Chopped bell pepper, onion and celery next to a pot of browned andouille sausages.

4. Add to large pot.  Add chicken broth veggies, parsley, and roux to the pot and stir well.  (Skim off any foam that may rise to the top of the pot.) Stir in cajun seasoning, to taste.

A pot with the broth for gumbo and spices added on top and then everything mixed together.

5. Add meat.  Add chicken, sausage, and shrimp and taste.  Add more seasonings to your liking–salt, pepper, chicken bullion paste, garlic, more Joe’s stuff or more chicken broth–until you reach the perfect flavor.

Cooked chicken, sausages and shrimp added to a pot of gumbo.

6. Serve warm over hot cooked rice. This recipe tastes even better the next day as the flavors have a chance to blend. If you’re really wanting to go all out, serve it with a side of homemade potato salad!

Make ahead, Storing and Freezing Instructions:

Store Gumbo covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  The roux can be made 3-5 days in advance, stored in a large resealable bag in the fridge.

This recipe makes quite a lot but it also freezes really well.  To freeze, allow it to cool completely and store it in a freezer safe container (separate from the rice) for 2-3 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

A stockpot full of gumbo with chicken, sausage and shrimp in it and a wooden spoon.

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Recipe

Gumbo with sausage and shrimp in a bowl with white rice.
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 1 hour 20 minutes
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Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

For the Roux:

For the Gumbo:

  • 1 bunch celery , diced, leaves and all
  • 1 green bell pepper , diced
  • 1 large yellow onion , diced
  • 1 bunch green onion , finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh chopped parsley , finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 Tablespoons cajun seasoning *
  • 6-8 cups Chicken broth *
  • 12 ounce package andouille sausages , sliced into 'coins' (substitute Polska Kielbasa if you can't find a good Andouille)
  • Meat from 1 Rotisserie Chicken*
  • 2 cups Shrimps , pre cooked
  • cooked white rice for serving

Instructions
 

  • Make the Roux*: In a large, heavy bottom stock pot combine flour and oil. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 30-45 minutes. This part takes patience--when it's finished it should be as dark as chocolate and have a soft, "cookie dough" like consistency. Be careful not to let it burn! Feel free to add a little more flour or oil as needed to reach this consistency.
  • Brown the sausage. In a separate skillet on medium-high heat place the sausage slices in one layer in the pan. Brown them well on one side (2-3 minutes) and then use a fork to flip each over onto the other side to brown. Remove to a plate.
  • Cook the vegetables in broth. Add ½ cup of the chicken broth to the hot skillet that had the sausage to deglaze the pan. Pour the broth and drippings into your large soup pot. 
  • Add remaining 5 ½ cups of chicken broth. Add veggies, parsley, garlic and roux to the pot and stir well. 
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly tender. (Skim off any foam that may rise to the top of the pot.) Stir in cajun seasoning, to taste.
  • Add meat. Add chicken, sausage, and shrimp.
  • Taste and serve. At this point taste it and add more seasonings to your liking--salt, pepper, chicken bullion paste, garlic, more Joe's stuff or more chicken broth--until you reach the perfect flavor. Serve warm over rice. (Tastes even better the next day!)

Notes

Roux: The roux can be made 3-5 days in advance, stored in a large resealable bag in the fridge.
Cajun seasoning: My preferred brand is Joe's Stuff Cajun Seasoning but I can usually only find it online. You could use any brand, but may need to adjust the amount added, to taste. You can also make your own cajun seasoning.
Chicken and broth:The best way to make this gumbo is by buying a rotisserie chicken--removing all the chicken, and using the carcass to make homemade chicken broth. Then make the gumbo using the chicken and homemade broth. You can use store-bought chicken broth, but homemade is way better! Here's a tutorial for making it from scratch.
Storing Instructions:  Store Gumbo covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  
Freezing Instructions: This recipe makes quite a lot, so save leftovers for another day!  To freeze gumbo, allow it to cool completely and store it in a freezer safe container (separate from the rice) for 2-3 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 464kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 12gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 1303mgPotassium: 371mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 230IUVitamin C: 38.4mgCalcium: 94mgIron: 1.7mg

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I originally shared this recipe in 2015 but updated it in November 2017 and again in December 2019 with process photos and step-by-step instructions.

*This post may contain affiliate links!

 

Authentic New Orleans Style Gumbo | Tastes Better from Scratch

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    This turned out delicious! My first time cooking (and tasting) gumbo so I have no basis for comparison but I sure enjoyed it! It took me about 40 minutes to get the roux that nice chocolate brown so I must have done something right. I could smell the difference in the roux when it started turning darker, definitely more flavor coming out of it. At the end I used a few of the suggestions and added pepper and some Better Than Bouillon roasted garlic paste (not a lot as I felt the gumbo was salty enough.) At any rate it’s very delicious and I’d definitely make it again.

  2. 5 stars
    I had real New Orleans gumbo at a friend’s family get-together. His aunts refused to give details which I understand. Instead, I made this recipe and it was reasonably close to what I had. My simmer burner on stove did great for roux. I cooked vegetables on simmer for 2 hrs and added meat toward the end. Thanks a lot!

  3. 1 star
    I was very diligent about making the roux, but it tasted burned. I fully understand that I probably caused the burned taste, but I followed the directions carefully. My verdict is that making the roux is very tricky.

    1. Making the perfect roux can definitely be one of the trickier parts of cooking, especially when aiming for that deep flavor without crossing into burned territory. It sounds like you were really attentive to the process, which is great! The line between a deeply flavored roux and one that’s burned can be quite thin. Sometimes even a few seconds can make a big difference, depending on your stove and cookware. Don’t be discouraged; it takes practice and a bit of trial and error to get it just right. Maybe try a slightly lower heat next time or a heavier pot if you have one, as it can offer more even heat distribution. Keep at it, and you’ll master that gumbo roux in no time!

      1. Making the Roux in the oven is the easiest way to go. It also prevents the thin line between good and burnt. Set oven to 350. Whisk equal parts oil/flour in a dutch oven and place in oven for 1-1.5 or so. Stir it every 20-30 min and when it hits the dark red color pull it out. Indirect heat keeps you from scorching it and makes it so you don’t have to stand over it stirring the whole time.

    2. You have to cook slow and continue stirring on low-med heat or gwtting it to emulsify and bubble. Not too hot just keep a close eye on it and as you cook doun’t allow it to burn. It should be the consistancy of a smooth paste. Heat your stock up and have it ready to add to the stock and stir vigorously as you add the roux.

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