DinnerLunchNew Orleans

Damn, That’s Good Louisiana Gumbo

There's no stew like Gumbo, rich with sausage, shrimp and chicken.

Easy Louisiana Gumbo Recipe

Louisiana Gumbo

The day after my first Mardi Gras, the streets were still wet from the midnight clean-up and most of the revelers were headed straight to the airport, heads heavy and hung-over. So I had the luxury of feeling like I had the city to myself. I wandered delightfully without reason and came across one of the few food stalls open. The simple sign read “Good Louisiana Gumbo”.

I didn’t hesitate and received a thin styrofoam bowl steaming with fresh rice and a thick, meaty stew overflowing with plump shrimp, spicy andouille sausage and chunks of tender chicken.

Louisiana Gumbo with Rice

After one bite, still standing in front of the stall, I must have made some sound of approval, because the kind, elderly lady behind the booth nodded at me and said, “yes, that’s damn good Gumbo.”  Yes, ma’am, it certainly was.

There’s a handful of different ways to make Gumbo, depending on whether you’re making a Creole or Cajun dish. Because most of our visits to New Orleans centered around the city and not in the rural areas, we’ve been mostly exposed to the tomato-based Creole dishes.

So in our recipe, you’ll want to start with the classic French base of celery and onion and add a good amount of crushed red tomatoes.

Add file powder, which is dried and ground sassafras leaves, and a collection of timeless spices and herbs.

Time is the major ingredient, however. Gumbo is not a dish to be rushed and not a dish to be left unattended. You gotta stir some love into it and a little bit of soul.

Next, your proteins need to be top notch as they’re also going to add another layer of flavor. Be especially particular about your shrimp.

How to Buy Shrimp

  • I have some more grim news for you. Don’t buy shrimp that’s already deveined and shelled, at least not for this dish. That process tends to strip the flavor a bit to create a bland shrimp. We want the shrimp to retain as much flavor from the shell to essence the broth.
  • But do get them with the heads removed, because who wants to deal with that? And they make the shrimp spoil faster.
  • Get your shrimp frozen. It’s a no-brainer. They’ll be fresher, and you can keep them frozen for several weeks if needed.
  • Look at the color, too. Brown, black spots, yellow or anything off from the standard pink is a no go.
  • Aim for medium-sized shrimp, about 20 to a pound.
  • If you want to get specific about the species, we usually get a Gulf White or Gulf Pink. But most any will do.

Louisiana Gumbo

I’m not a fan of okra, so Eddie undercooked ours a bit for a firmer texture. You can omit altogether, too.

Serve with a heaping portion of white rice and side of french bread or cornbread.

Other delectable Wanderspice Shrimp Dishes:

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Easy and Authentic Gumbo Recipe with Sausage Shrimp and Chicken

Easy Louisiana Gumbo Recipe

Louisiana Gumbo

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: New Orleans
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Easy-to-make, authentic Louisiana Gumbo with shrimp and sausage.

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Ingredients

Ingredients for Louisiana Gumbo

  • 4 tbs. butter
  • 3 tbs. canola oil
  • 2 tbs. AP Flour
  • 1 lb. chicken
  • 1/2 lb. andouille sausage
  • 1/2 lb. raw white shrimp
  • 1 cup yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tbs. gumbo file powder
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup scallions

Instructions

Instructions for Louisiana Gumbo

  1. In a large bowl add diced chicken and garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

  2. Using a large skillet or saute pan over high heat, add canola oil and brown chicken on all sides, about six minutes.

  3. Add andouille sausage and cook for another three minutes.

  4. Add onions, celery, garlic, okra, crushed tomatoes and hot sauce cook for four minutes then reduce heat to low.

  5. Add butter and allow to brown about two minutes then add AP flour and gumbo file.

  6. After two minutes add chicken broth and bay leaves, bring to a boil. Stir every two minutes.

  7. After seven minutes add the shrimp. Shut off heat, set aside.

  8. In a separate pot cook two cups white long grain rice. Use the remaining chicken stock and water to cook rice. If you own a rice cooker you can use this also.

  9. Allow your Gumbo to sit for at least 4 minutes before serving.

  10. Fluff up your rice using a fork. In a bowl add rice and top with Gumbo.

  11. Garnish with thin julienne scallions. 

18 Comments

  1. These pictures and post have my mouth watering!! I used to be adversed to anything spicy (or spiced at all really, even if it wasn’t hot). In the last year or so though my taste buds have been expanding and I tried gumbo for the first time and a New Orleans style restaurant. Will have to give this recipe a try, because it looks soooo good!

  2. I love your story about wandering into a food stall serving “damn good gumbo!” A friend of mine from Louisiana also makes damn good gumbo, and I’ve been wanting to bother her for the recipe – it sounds a lot like this one! A winner for sure!

  3. I just came upon your website and just love the concept! When my husband retires we always wanted to do something similar … he would write about the traveling and I would write about the food. That’s aways off though. This looks fabulous! I just need some gumbo file and I’ll going to make this on the weekend.

    1. Appreciate you stopping by and thanks for the compliment. Just a thought – if you travel a few times a year you can start writing about those experiences now. The world is such a grand place so the more of us there are to tell beautiful stories the better.

  4. Damn, that does look like good gumbo! I have always wanted to take a food tour of New Orleans, especially for gumbo. This looks like a great recipe to get those authentic flavors at home!

  5. It does look delicious. We certainly love our spicy food – and gumbo is one of them. We’ve made several types of gumbo and we can’t decide which ones we like the best. We get our shrimp flown in fresh from the Gulf — oh it is sooooo good!! And like you, we prefer the medium size for gumbos. We do like the okra but sometimes we have a hard time finding the fresh. I bet your pot of gumbo doesn’t last long.

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