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Southern Shrimp Gumbo

This Southern Shrimp Gumbo is the perfect mix of Cajun spices, fresh vegetables, sausage and shrimp! It is a true Louisiana meal that can be served any time of year!

A DELICIOUS SOUTHERN RECIPE

If you have never tried gumbo, it is one of those recipes that I highly recommend that you sample at least once in your life. Being from the south, this Southern Shrimp Gumbo is a recipe you see served at most traditional southern restaurants. The combination of ingredients is like nothing else I’ve ever tasted and can be completely tailored to your tastebuds. This shrimp gumbo recipe is best served over rice and takes patience to really deepen the flavors!

Overhead of half a pan of Southern Shrimp Gumbo

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What is Gumbo Filé?

This is a seasoning used to further thicken gumbo and it has a distinct flavor.  Gumbo filé is made from the sassafras tree and it has a unique flavor that is a little hard to explain. The best way I can explain the taste is it has a flavor similar to root beer and smells a little like eucalyptus. It is an ingredient that was first discovered and used by the indigenous Choctaw Indians who first settled that area.
Generally, most folks will add filé to their own bowls of gumbo (rather than adding to the entire pot.) It’s a flavor that most people either love or hate but only use a tiny bit so as not to overwhelm other flavors.

What is another variation I can make?

There are a few different variations – Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is another common version. Seafood Gumbo is a version often served in coastal regions where fresh seafood is in abundance. However, If you don’t enjoy seafood, then just leave the shrimp out. For more authentic and delicious cajun and creole recipes, I highly recommend you visit one of my favorite Creole cooks, the Creole Contessa.

What is Andouille sausage?

Andouille sausage is a distinctly cajun sausage. It is a heavily smoked sausage that is made of pork and combined with peppers, onions and seasonings. You can usually see little chunks of pork within the andouille sausage, whereas in other sausages, it will be completely ground up. The seasoning is usually spicy. But these days, andouille sausage is made using different levels of spiciness – from super spicy to mild.

What is a roux?

Roux is a fancy French cooking term for thickening sauces, soups and stews. It’s a combination of flour and butter (sometimes oil) that are whisked together (over heat) until smooth. When a liquid is added to the roux, and the heat is brought up to a gentle boil, the mixture will begin to thicken.

Is there anyway to make a quick version of gumbo?

No. Absolutely not and never ask that question to a Cajun! Ha! Only make gumbo when you have the time. Gumbo needs time and patience to really build up the flavors. With each step, you are slowly deepening and creating a rich and unique taste. Gumbo cannot be rushed and I do not recommend making this in a slow cooker or Instant Pot. I love to use those appliances too but you just cannot get the same level of flavors. I’ve tried so you don’t have to!

How do I store?

Once the gumbo has cooled, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 days. Reheat as required. This recipe does freeze well. Freeze in a suitable freezer safe container for 3 months.

Overhead of finished Gumbo in dutch oven Pinterest image.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • butter
  • canola oil
  • all-purpose flour
  • sweet onion
  • green bell pepper
  • celery
  • bay leaves
  • fire roasted tomatoes
  • seafood stock
  • pepper
  • salt
  • creole seasoning
  • andouille sausage
  • smoked sausage
  • okra
  • shrimp and crab boil (liquid)
  • shrimp
  • green onions
  • gumbo filé, optional
Ingredients needed: butter, canola oil, all-purpose flour, sweet onion, green bell pepper, celery ribs, garlic, bay leaves, fire roasted tomatoes, seafood stock, pepper, salt, creole seasoning, andouille sausage, smoked sausage, okra, shrimp and crab boil, shrimp, green onions and gumbo file

HOW TO MAKE SOUTHERN SHRIMP GUMBO:

Melt butter with canola oil in a large pot then add the flour.

Butter and flour in dutch oven

Keep cooking and stirring until this mixture (the roux) has turned to a light chocolate color. We are basically browning the butter (but not burning it!) This will take some time so be patient.

A dark roux in bottom of dutch oven.

Add the chopped onion, bell pepper and celery. In cajun and creole cooking, this is called the “holy trinity.” Similar to the French version of “mirepoix.” Continue to cook, stirring for about 10 minutes.

Onion, bell pepper and celery added to dutch oven.

Add the chopped garlic, stir for two more minutes.

Chopped garlic added to vegetables.

Lastly, add the canned tomatoes, half of the seafood stock, the bay leaves and the seasoning. Stir well and cover. Allow to simmer.

Stock stirred in and bay leave added

In a large skillet (12”) add the 2 Tablespoons of canola oil and the chopped okra (add okra while oil is still cool).

Okra added to pan with oil

Turn heat to medium, then add the sliced sausage. Sauté in the skillet, stirring often for about 15 minutes.

Sausage added to pain with okra

Once the sausage looks like it’s caramelized somewhat and is sticking to the pan some – and the okra is nice and soft, use the remaining stock to pour a little into the skillet and scrape up the stuck bits (this adds great flavor to the gumbo).A dd these contents to the pot with everything else and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 45-60 minutes.

Browned sausage and okra in pan

Meanwhile, in a bowl add the shrimp and crab boil to the shrimp and stir so that all the shrimp has been coated. Cover the bowl and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.

Shrimp and crab boil added to bowl

10 minutes before you’re ready to eat, add the shrimp to the gumbo and stir well. Cover again and cook on low for 10 minutes.

Sausage, okra and shrimp added to gumbo mixture.

Remove bay leaves. Add chopped green onions. Offer Gumbo Filé if anyone likes it.

Finished Southern Shrimp Gumbo Recipe in white dutch oven.

Serve over rice and with some hush puppies.

Overhead of bowl of Southern Shrimp Gumbo with rice.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Square image of overhead photo of Southern Shrimp Gumbo in dutch oven

Southern Shrimp Gumbo

This Southern Shrimp Gumbo is the perfect mix of Cajun spices, fresh vegetables, sausage and shrimp! It is a true Louisiana meal that can be served any time of year.
5 from 34 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup canola oil + 2 Tablespoons
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 6 cups seafood stock, divided
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp low salt creole seasoning
  • 1 link andouille sausage
  • 1 link smoked sausage
  • 1 cup fresh okra, chopped
  • 1 tsp liquid shrimp and crab boil
  • 2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • gumbo filé optional

Instructions

  • Melt butter and canola oil (1/4 cup) in a large pot, add flour and whisk continuously, over low to medium heat, until this mixture (the roux) has turned to a light chocolate color. This will take time. Don't rush it and do not turn the heat to high.
  • Add the chopped onion, bell pepper and celery and continue to cook, stirring for about 10 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, stir for two more minutes.
  • Add the canned tomatoes, half of the seafood stock, the bay leaves and the seasoning. Stir well and cover. Allow to gently simmer.
  • In a large skillet (12”) add the 2 Tablespoons of canola oil and the chopped okra (add okra while oil is still cool).
  • Turn heat to medium, then add the sliced sausage. Sauté in the skillet, stirring often for about 15 minutes. Once the sausage looks like it’s caramelized somewhat and is sticking to the pan some – and the okra is nice and soft. Use the remaining stock to pour a little into the skillet and scrape up the stuck bits (this adds great flavor to the gumbo).
  • Add these contents to the pot with everything else and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 45-60 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, add the liquid shrimp and crab boil to the fresh shrimp and stir so that all the shrimp has been coated. Cover the bowl and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
  • 10 minutes before you’re ready to eat, add the shrimp to the gumbo and stir well. Cover again and cook on low for 10 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaves. Add chopped green onions.
  • Serve over cooked rice. Offer Gumbo Filé if anyone likes it.

Notes

  • If you are not a seafood fan you can leave the shrimp out.
  • This recipe can be frozen, see my tips above.
  • This makes a large batch, but you can double it when serving larger crowds.
  • Make sure you add the fresh shrimp at the end, this cooks the fastest and will not take long to cook.
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 27g | Sodium: 1896mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe has been my gumbo base for years now. And I only make it during holidays or special occasions. It’s amazing and magic happens every time I make this. People are always looking forward to my next gumbo. Thank you deeply! Love from New Orleans.

  2. 5 stars
    Brandie

    Love Gumbo and want to make this for upcoming holiday season. Here’s the catch I live in Wisconsin and during the winter fresh okra is hard to find. Can frozen be used? If not what else might be able to use?

    Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made gumbo from time to time over the years, this recipe is a winner! I “vegetized” it, using vegan butter, vegan sausages, and cooked the shrimp on the side for the husband. You could easily add chunks of fish or other seafood if you don’t care for shrimp. Versatile, and there’s real depth of flavor!

    1. I always love hearing when a recipe can be made vegan or vegetarian! It really helps others who are looking at a recipe and wondering if it is possible and will taste good. I am by no means an expert so I appreciate you taking the time to come by and leave a comment!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this and it turned out AMAZING. it was my first time making it so i was nervous but the recipe was easy to follow. i will be making this again soon!!!

  5. 5 stars
    My family is from the south Louisiana all up and down the south I was raised up eating gumbo the best my Creole family would make I love it and my husband and children love it I a least make it twice a year its or favorite meal in my home

    1. I was so fortunate to have a wonderful teacher. Gumbo isn’t easy to figure out the exact ingredients. Cajuns and creoles don’t measure anything. Most of those cooks were taught by Mommas and Grandmommas that taught them to cook by taste and texture. So it was a process of figuring out exactly how much he used to get the right flavor but I think we got it! I hope you love this one if you try it!