You'll love this savory Louisiana Seafood Gumbo because it doesn't take long to make and it is delicious!
I've made this recipe a million times, with both slow-cooking, homemade and jarred roux. This recipe uses authentic Louisiana jarred roux BUT, before you "poo-poo" this idea, read on.
I'm very picky about which jarred rouxs I use. I recommend only two brands.
At the end of the day, this heaping bowl of Louisiana Gumbo is ready in about an hour!
Why you'll love this recipe!
Uses prepared roux - no standing and stirring for hours making a dark homemade roux - ready in about an hour
WAIT A MINUTE! If you've got negative thoughts about using a jarred roux, please bear with me.
I've been making gumbo for years the old fashioned way....these Louisiana brands of roux bring it to the table... trust me...I'm a Gumbo Snob.
- Delicious flavor-authentic Louisiana recipe
- Hearty and filling
- Tastes even better the next day
Here's what you'll need:
Kary's™ or Bootsie's™ Prepared jarred Roux, The Holy Trinity (onion, bell pepper, celery), seafood and chicken stock, shrimp, crab, cayenne pepper, prepared rice, green onions.
Note: I forgot to include the seafood stock in the picture. You need one can - about 15 ounces.
Gumbo made with jarred roux:
I discovered these high-quality Louisiana pre-made roux's and they work just as good as making roux from scratch.
Trust me...I would not lie to you.
I have no vested interest in promoting these products other than they work and they're a huge time saver.
There's no difference in the flavor or in the texture.
The only difference is time...and these jarred roux's are a timesaver! Now you can make Louisiana Shrimp or Seafood Gumbo much quicker than before.
I have tried making gumbo with dried roux mixes and I do not recommend them. The flavor didn't come through like a roux made from scratch.
Some gumbo recipes include tomatoes. The inclusion of tomatoes leans toward a more "Creole-style" gumbo versus a "Cajun-style" gumbo. This is definitely a Cajun gumbo recipe, handed down through my Grandaddy's Cajun mother.
The rich seasonings naturally develop from the slow cooking of the dark roux, The Holy Trinity, chicken and seafood broth, seafood and okra. A sprinkle of cayenne pepper with a little salt and pepper is really all you need.
If you like, I suppose you could add a little garlic to the mix, but I prefer to keep my gumbo recipe clean and simple.
How to make it:
Homemade gumbo may seem a bit intimidating, like making cornbread dressing, but it's actually pretty easy!
In a large stockpot, heat the prepared roux; add the Cajun holy trinity and cook for 5 minutes
Add seafood stock and broth; season and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or so.
Add cut okra and allow to cook for 5-8 minutes; Add shrimp, crabmeat, crabclaws--any seafood you want; cook for 5-8 minutes then serve over cooked white rice.
What is roux?
Roux, pronounced "roo", is a French term and refers to the combination of equal parts of fat and flour that are cooked to form a thickening agent.
It is the base of most sauces and gravies. The fat can be butter, oil, pan or bacon drippings and the flour is basic all-purpose white flour.
Recommendations for prepared roux
I've experimented with a variety of dry and jarred roux mixes and I can recommend, hands down, either Kary's™ or Bootsie's™ prepared roux. Both companies are out of Louisiana and they know roux.
I've used a dried roux mix before and while it was "okay", it didn't seem to have the depth of flavor the prepared ones offer.
Don't be alarmed at the thought of using a jarred roux...it's a huge time-saver and the flavor is spot-on!
What's the Holy Trinity?
The Holy Trinity is a French-American, or Louisianan term that refers to chopped onions, celery and green bell peppers. These vegetables serve as the base of many Louisianan recipes, thus, "The Holy Trinity."
Does gumbo have tomatoes in it?
Typically, Cajun gumbo does not contain tomatoes, as opposed to Creole gumbo, which often contains tomatoes.
It's one of the differences between Cajun and Creole in culinary circles.
When do I add the seafood?
Add shrimp or crabmeat about 5-8 minutes before you want to serve this delicious Louisiana gumbo! Overcooking the seafood will cause it to be rubbery.
Can I use frozen okra?
Frozen or fresh, either way. I use frozen because I usually make Gumbo in the winter when okra isn't in season.
Just rinse and thaw it out before adding it to the Gumbo. In fact, add it right before you add the shrimp, crab or crawfish to the Louisiana gumbo.
I Hate Okra. Can I Leave It Out?
Well.....you can... but it won't be a true Gumbo. The okra is included in the dish as a thickening agent.
Good Gumbo is supposed to be thick and savory, not thin.
If you hate okra, just pick it out of your bowl, but you probably should add it to the recipe for texture, not to mention flavor.
What is Filé and when do I add it?
Ground Gumbo filé, pronounced "fee-lay," is dried sassafrass leaves which offer a truly unique flavor to the gumbo and serves as an additional thickener, as well as flavorant.
NEVER add ground gumbo filé directly to the Gumbo while it's on the stove.
Gumbo filé is sprinkled on the finished, plated bowl of gumbo.
Gumbo is traditionally served over white rice and garnished with filé and a little green onion. Some folks in Louisiana add potato salad to theirs - I've never done that so...
Generally, this hearty stew is served as an appetizer or main dish with a slice of warm French bread. If serving as an appetizer, you might consider pairing this with fried catfish, Natchitoches meat pie or crab puffs.
Can I make it in advance?
You can make Louisiana Seafood Gumbo in advance, just don't add the seafood until you're ready to reheat and serve.
Keep in mind, it will thicken upon refrigeration and you might have to add a little more water or broth.
Storage and reheating
Store homemade Louisiana Seafood Gumbo in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
The gumbo thickens when refrigerated or frozen, so it's best to reheat it on the stove and add a little water or broth to loosen or thin it.
Serve homemade Louisiana Seafood Gumbo as an appetizer or main dish!
- Natchitoches Meat Pie
- Creole Shrimp Pasta
- Shrimp Etouffee
- Smothered Okra and Tomatoes
- Chicken Stew
- Blackened Shrimp and Gouda Grits
- New Orleans Remoulade Sauce
- Louisiana Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce
If you make this recipe, please scroll down and leave a comment and rating. I love to hear from you! Thank you!
Louisiana Seafood Gumbo
- 2 lbs shrimp , peeled and deveined
- 15 ounces fresh crab meat , do not drain
- ½ cup roux see Recipe Notes
- 1 medium yellow onion .chopped; (about 1 cup)
- 2 stalks celery .chopped; (about ½ cup)
- 1 medium green bell pepper .chopped; (about 1 cup)
- 1 pound okra , chopped; (fresh or frozen)
- 32 oz. chicken broth , low-sodium
- 15 ounces seafood stock , low-sodium
- cayenne pepper , to taste
- ground gumbo file , to taste and as garnish
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 1 bunch green onions chopped (for garnish)
- 6 cups prepared rice
First Things First
- Get your shrimp prepped: buy fresh, raw shrimp, peel, devein, and season with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper; set aside2 lbs shrimp
- Next, chop the vegetables and set aside (this is The Holy Trinity)1 medium yellow onion, 2 stalks celery, 1 medium green bell pepper
Now We're Cooking!
- In a large stockpot on medium heat, add roux; allow it to warm and soften a bit½ cup roux
- Add The Holy Trinity to roux and cook until vegetables have softened; the mixture will be clumpy at this point, but that's okay1 medium yellow onion, 2 stalks celery, 1 medium green bell pepper
- Add chicken broth and seafood stock to stockpot; allow to cook and combine until all lumps of roux are dissolved32 oz. chicken broth, 15 ounces seafood stock
- Season with salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne; allow mixture to cook a few minutes, then taste for salt/pepper; adjust if necessarysalt and pepper, cayenne pepper
- Reduce heat to low: Add shrimp and crab meat with any juice; place lid on stockpot ; allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until all the seasonings have married2 lbs shrimp, 15 ounces fresh crab meat
- Now it's time to make the rice. Place 4 cups white rice in large saucepan; add 6 cups of water; bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer and place lid on rice; let rice steam for about 9 minutes
- Once rice is done, turn the heat off the rice; leave the lid on
- Add okra to the gumbo; allow to cook on low for 10 minutes or until tender1 pound okra
- Place a heaping scoop of rice in a bowl, top with gumbo, garnish with green onions and add a pinch or two of ground gumbo filé to the gumbocayenne pepper, salt and pepper, 1 bunch green onions, 6 cups prepared rice, ground gumbo file
- Dark brown roux is the base of the gumbo. You can make your own or buy a jar pre-made. I use either Kary's or Bootsie's Roux--both from Louisiana. This cuts down on the preparation time immensely. However, if you choose to make your own roux, you'll need equal parts of oil and flour. Start with ½ cup each and increase if needed.
- Homemade dark roux takes about 40-minutes to make, so if time isn't on your side, get the jarred version.
- Fresh crab meat is usually in the seafood section in a plastic container. If there's any liquid in the container, don't drain it. Add it to the gumbo, too!
- Do not add gumbo filé powder until after you've poured the gumbo in a bowl
- Gumbo tastes best after it has rested awhile:) Have a glass of wine and let it simmer on the stove before serving; add more seasonings if you prefer