Gumbo Recipe

April 21

shrimp gumbo
When I first created this blog almost a year (eek!) ago, what I was the most excited about was to get super adventurous in the kitchen. Instead of cooking the same thing over and over again, I would be forced to make something new and blog-worthy every few days, discovering tons of new recipes and flavor combinations. While this has certainly been the case, sometimes I forget about the things that I used to cook <b>before</b> the blog came about. This gumbo is one of those meals we would put together now and again and it was always delicious. I haven’t made it in ages and somehow it came to mind the other day and it was as delicious as I remember it this time around.
This was actually supposed to be out Saturday night dinner, but by the time we got home from the grocery store, it was too dark to take any photos. My ever-so-kind boyfriend suggested that we make this another night so that I could share it with you guys here! So, Sunday morning rolled around and I got to making this gumbo.
browned okra
I don’t know how I could have forgotten about this for so long. What reminded me of the recipe, funnily enough, was the hardest ingredient to get a hold of. I saw some fresh okra at the store and this dish immediately popped into my head. If you have never had okra before, it’s a very interesting vegetable. As it cooks it actually releases goo (Wikipedia tells me that the scientific word for plants that produce goo is “mucilaginous”). This probably sounds disgusting, but don’t let it turn you off- the goo dissolves completely as the okra cooks in the gumbo and you’re left with a deliciously tender, mild tasting vegetable. Personally, I have only ever used okra in gumbo, but I think that my okra adventures have to expand. I’ve had fried okra before (which is amazing) but it’s also used in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian and Pakistani cuisine- there’s a lot of research to be done! If you can’t find fresh okra, frozen is just fine. If you can’t find it at your regular supermarket try an Asian or Middle Eastern specialty store.
shrimp gumbo
Generally, this recipe is killer. You’ll end up with a pretty loose ‘gumbo’. I know that means a lot of different things to different people, so please just think of this version as one of many. It’s pleasingly spicy, has a bunch of lovely textures from the vegetables and some heartiness from the shrimp (or other seafood that you may choose to include). I like serving it over a bit of rice (but not too much) and while it is definitely meant to be served hot, I can’t help but sneak a few bites straight from the fridge when I am feeling a little bit hungry.
shrimp gumbo


5.0 from 3 reviews
Gumbo Recipe
Serves: Serves 4-6
Adapted from William and Sonoma cookbook You can easily add other seafood or protein to the gumbo, just make sure to add them with just enough time for them to be cooked through, you don’t want to overcook anything! I like serving this with rice, but not too much, the gumbo is still the star. Feel free to use a pre-made Cajun seasoning blend if you prefer. If not, I have instructions for a blend below. Make sure to adjust salt and spiciness to taste. This version should yield a mildly spicy gumbo (although this will depend on how potent your cayenne is).
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil (divided)
  • 250g okra, sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (see below)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
Cajun seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-1 ½ teaspoon cayenne (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  1. In a large pot, heat up 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Fry okra until they start to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.
  2. Make your roux: Over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of canola oil, butter and flour to the pot. Stir with a wooden spoon constantly until the mixture smells nutty and turns a medium-shade of brown (about 3-4 minutes).
  3. Add red pepper, green pepper, yellow onion, garlic, and tomatoes. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pot and cook until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Make sure you keep stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot so the flour mixture doesn’t burn.
  4. If you are making your own Cajun seasoning blend, mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Add Cajun seasoning and cook for an additional 1 minute.
  5. Add bay leaves and stock. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  6. Add shrimp and cook until cooked through.


Gumbo Recipe was last modified: April 21, 2014 by My Second Breakfast

12 thoughts on “Gumbo Recipe

  1. I wasn’t sure if the okra should go in for the 30 min simmer or last with the shrimp. I put it in for the simmer and it was fine. I used 1 cup less of broth. Very good recipe! Don’t forget your salt ya’ll!

  2. I don’t care if this is authentic or not, it’s just plain delicious! I used smoked paprika instead of regular, and because I don’t eat wheat and seldom eat grains at all, I used tapioca flour and avocado oil for the roux and served it over cauliflower rice instead. Will be making this again! Thank you!

  3. As a chef from New Orleans, this is a version of Gumbo, based on what Gumbo means and is. However, the newly adapted term for this Creole dish (meaning tomato based), is GumboLaya (A mixture of “Authentic Gumbo and Jambalaya recipes.)

    This is a very simple and easy recipe for anyone to use. I would suggest, to get a little better gumbo taste, add Old Bay and a “splash” of liquid crab boil.

  4. I am very much a NOLA tourist, but I love their red gumbo, and loved this too. I added sausage and it was great! Thanks for posting!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Actually, the original recipe called for both sausage and chicken, but I left them out for myself for obvious reasons!

  5. Agree with Lawrence Babineaux 100%! Sorry, this isn’t even close to a gumbo…perhaps some sort of soup, but definitely not gumbo.

    1. Hi Mel, I am sure this is not ‘authentic’, but it was presented as gumbo to me. Do you have a tried and true authentic gumbo recipe that you enjoy? I would love to have a look.

      1. Although I’m from south Louisiana and I’m able to make gumbo from scratch, I do not have a written recipe – it’s something you learn to cook, I suppose. Gumbo roux is brown and consists of cooking oil, flour and water, so my advice would be to drop the tomatoes (never had a gumbo with tomatoes or red peppers).
        Also, people associated cajun with loads of seasoning, which is not always the case. I don’t use but a sprinkle of cayenne pepper in my gumbo, but I do use the cajun trinity – chopped onions, bell peppers and celery.
        Here’s a recipe that’s as close to down home cajun gumbo as I could find. 🙂

        1. I look forward to trying it (minus the sausage and chicken- I’m a pescatarian, hence dropping it from the original recipe!). I hope even though it’s not the traditional gumbo you expected you give this recipe a try as well- I really do think it’s delicious

    1. Hi Lawrence- as I said, this is just my version, I am sure it is not ‘authentic’ but it’s the only one I know. All I know is it tastes delicious. If you have another recipe to recommend, I would love to try it!

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