Gumbo is a flavorful thick stew made with andouille sausage, shrimp, tomatoes, and vegetables served over a bed of rice. Letting all of the flavors meld takes some time, but it is worth it! Serve it with a side of homemade cornbread.

Bowls of Gumbo with Rice.


There are so many gumbo recipes out there, with lots of variations. But, I think this recipe holds its own. Yes, it would help if you had patience when making this recipe, but it will be worth it! I used both sausage and shrimp, but you could definitely add your favorite proteins.

Raw Ingredients for Gumbo on a Cutting Board.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Roux: The roux is very important when it comes to making gumbo; it will be the main thickening agent. I would advise you to hold off on your upper body workout when making this recipe; the roux needs to be stirred constantly for about 40 minutes!

Vegetables: Celery, onion, and green bell peppers are common in gumbo, and sometimes referred to as ‘The Holy Trinity’. I also added some minced garlic to the mix.

Meats: I used both andouille sausage (smoked sausage) and shrimp in this recipe. However, the meat added to gumbo is easily adaptable. You could also add crab, chicken, or crawfish if preferred.

Tomatoes: Adding tomatoes to gumbo can cause heated debates, depending on the protein added. But, I love the flavor it adds to the stew, and it also complements the shrimp in this recipe.

Filé Powder: Filé powder, also known as gumbo filé, is an herbal powder made from the ground leaves of the sassafras tree. It is added to the stew to add flavor and serve as a thickening agent. If you don’t have filé powder, you could get by in a pinch using cornstarch or tapioca powder.

Ingredients in Food Processor Before Being Processed for Gumbo.

What is Gumbo?

Gumbo is a thick soup or stew that is usually served over rice. It is also the official cuisine of the state of Louisiana and recipes can vary when it comes to protein added, from meat to shellfish. However, it generally starts with a roux for thickening and has added celery, onion, and green bell peppers.

What is the Difference Between Gumbo and Jambalaya?

Gumbo and Jambalaya are very similar southern dishes, but also different. Gumbo, like this recipe, is served over cooked rice. On the other hand, jambalaya is made with rice cooked in the dish. Both have similar ingredients when it comes to vegetables and meats. Another difference is the use of a roux in gumbo, which most gumbo recipes have, whereas jambalaya does not include a roux.

Pot of Gumbo with a Few Ingredients Sitting on Top.

Can I Make Gumbo Ahead of Time?

Sure! In fact, storing the stew overnight lets the flavors all come together even more! Once you have it made, let it cool. Then, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a day or two. When ready to serve, warm it up on the stovetop and make the rice.

How to Store

If you have any leftover gumbo, it can be stored in the refrigerator. Store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Bowls of Gumbo with Rice.

Can I Freeze Gumbo?

Yes! Gumbo can be frozen for up to 3 months. (However, do not freeze it with rice.) I like to store it in smaller portions for an easy lunch or dinner. When freezing, make sure to leave a bit of room at the top for expansion. When reheated, it will not be quite as tasty as when enjoyed fresh, but it is still delicious to have on hand. Remember to label and date the containers.

More Soups

Pot of Gumbo with a Few Ingredients Sitting on Top.
5 from 6 votes


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Gumbo is a flavorful thick stew made with andouille sausage, shrimp, tomatoes, and vegetables served over a bed of rice.



  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks / 170 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour

Veggie Mixture

  • 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large green bell pepper, roughly chopped, seeds removed (about 1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced


  • 10 cups (2.41 kg) beef broth
  • 1 ring (14 ounces) andouille sausage, or kielbasa, sliced into rounds
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 4 teaspoons gumbo file powder, divided
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • cooked white rice, for serving


  • In a large 6-quart pot over medium-low heat, melt butter. Once melted, add flour and whisk together until smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly until the roux is a deep brown color (about 30-40 minutes). Be careful not to let it burn.
  • Remove from heat. Continue whisking until the mixture is cooled slightly. Set aside.
  • While the roux is cooling, add the chopped celery, onion, pepper, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely chopped.
  • Add the vegetable mixture to the roux and stir to combine. Place the pot over medium-low heat and continue to heat until vegetables are tender (8-12 minutes). Slowly whisk in broth and heat to boiling (15-20 minutes).
  • Reduce heat to low. Add sausage, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, hot sauce, sugar, Cajun seasoning, and thyme. Stir to combine. Add bay leaves and simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes.
  • After simmering for 45 minutes, add 2 teaspoons of gumbo filé powder, stirring to combine. Continue to simmer for 15 more minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaves. Then, add shrimp and Worcestershire sauce. Continue to cook over low heat for 45-60 minutes to give the flavors ample time to meld.
  • Stir in the remaining gumbo filé powder.
  • Serve over cooked white rice.

Did you make this recipe?

You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

This recipe was adapted from All Recipe’s New Orleans Creole Gumbo.

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Reader Comments

  1. I had never made gumbo before and though it did take me all afternoon to make, it was really good. I made it with shrimp, sausage, and added chicken.

  2. Thank you for posting a recipe that shakes hands with the gumbo that I ate when on vacation in Mississippi. It was delicious and I’ve wanted to try making it because you can’t find it any place near me. I would never even try to make an authentic gumbo because the best recipes are family secrets and I would never be able to get the correct ingredients here in west Mi if I did get a real authentic recipe. I appreciate the suggestions for substitutions on the File’ as I have no idea where I would get that. As for the tomato debate … who cares? Last I knew both Cajun and Creole are embedded in the soul of Louisiana, therefor both with and without tomato are correct. By the way I plan on taking liberties also and add okra and chicken to my salute to gumbo and serve it with some good ole Johny cake (I can’t stand that stuff called corn bread).

  3. I made this today just as the Trevor reads and it is yummo. I don’t care at all for okra so even if it caked for it I wouldn’t have added it. The only suggestion I would have is to add more Cajun seasoning.

    I will be making this again.

  4. Unfortunately, this so far from gumbo I could write my own column. Y’all go to for free authentic Louisiana recipes. (NO gumbo can be made in 15 minutes.)


    Scott Ball
    New Orleans

    1. Hi Scott!
      This is, in fact, Gumbo. Why? Because it meets the criteria to be a variation of Gumbo. Is it different than yours? Yes. Is it still Gumbo? Yes.
      You seem to think that if you attempt to shame me that I will acquiesce.
      Take a hint from Midwesterners. Do we knock on the doors of everyone who makes a hot dish different than our moms and demand they stop their knock-off recipe charade and comply with moms recipe?
      No, we pull up a chair and break bread.
      Relax, Scott. It’s food. Delicious food.

  5. Interesting recipe, but I have never made it or ate it without okra. That is one of the base ingredients if you are a true southerner and that is where the name is derived from. Gumbo or Gombo is okra and came out of West Africa to Louisiana and the southern states. This recipe is probably very tasty, but it is not an original recipe for Gumbo. File powder which came from the Choctaw Indians was added when okra was not available. Not meaning to be offensive, but I guess if you are from Minnesota you wouldn’t know.

    1. I am not a true Southerner but understand that there are some traditions and customs that are important to you. If you read the post I explained quite a bit about gumbo and its variations. And yes, even within the southern states.
      Being from Minnesota doesn’t make me ignorant, it allows me able to look at a recipe and decipher what I like/dislike about it without the attached stigma of “this is how its always done”. A lot of southern recipes seem to be “that’s how my grandma made it and how it should be done” yet folks aren’t even trying it new ways. What if the different ways are more to your liking? Seems like you’ll never know.

      1. Amanda….I lived in Deephaven and Bloomington, MN for 30 yrs. Where are you? I retired to Florida now. Loving the warm. LOL Am definitely going to try this gumbo.

      2. Hope you are enjoying that FL warmth! We are about an hour away from Bloomington! 🙂

      3. Sorry you missed the point, Ron, and then chose to try and insult me with a slur. No where did I say this is authentic gumbo. But to reiterate, variations to recipes aren’t “wrong”. It is the way of the world. Really not worth fighting about. I hope you can release some of your obsession with a recipe that really doesn’t affect you in any way. Peace.

  6. I love Gumbo however for medical reasons I’ve had to move in with family and for some reason they do not like rice. Has anyone tried using macaroni instead? Jut wondering.

  7. Gumbo shouldn’t have tomatoes in it at all. That’s a major faux paux. Worcheshire is also an interesting choice that isnt traditional.

    1. It is not a “faux paux” – it is your opinion. You are entitled to your opinions, but that doesn’t make this wrong. Gumbo with tomatoes is a pretty common thing, even if you don’t agree with it.

    1. This is what it says in the post: Filé Powder: Filé powder, also known as gumbo filé, is an herbal powder made from the ground leaves of the sassafras tree. It is added to the stew to add flavor and serve as a thickening agent. If you don’t have filé powder, you could get by in a pinch using cornstarch or tapioca powder.

      1. It is a powder made from sasafrass leaves. Be careful because it can over power the flavor of the gumbo and ruin it. I never put it in my gumbo. I only use it as a condiment as preferred. My gumbo is made the same as the Louisiana School of Cooking. Roux, I use vegetable oil and not butter. I can control the heat better and not burn it.
        I use the trinity, fresh garlic, andouille sausage, chicken thighs, cajun seasoning, a little paprika, salt, pepper, chicken broth, cayenne pepper to taste. I don’t use any other spices. I don’t use any tomato product. Tomatoes are used more in Creole style gumbo and not in Cajun style gumbo. A little hint, when the roux is done add a cup of your trinity to it. It helps cool it down a little plus it adds a little flavor to the it as well. Also keep another cup ish of the trinity and add it about 15 before the gumbo is done.
        I’ll try making seafood gumbo someday.
        I l ive in Texas and cook Cajun food and play Cajun music.

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