Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 100 mins
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
842 Calories
41g Fat
78g Carbs
41g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 842
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 52%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 228mg 76%
Sodium 1965mg 85%
Total Carbohydrate 78g 28%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Protein 41g
Calcium 195mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Gumbo is a New Orleans classic and a favorite of anyone who enjoys Creole and Cajun cuisine. The thick, flavorful stew is made using a base of the "holy trinity," onion, celery, and bell pepper, and roux, a cooked flour and fat mixture. Roux is made by cooking flour and butter or oil until the paste turns your desired shade of brown. Gumbo is often made using a relatively dark roux for deeper flavor.

There are a number of regional variations, all hotly debated among Cajun and Creole loyalists. Some gumbo recipes calling for chicken, sausage, and/or shellfish, some calling for tomatoes (and others strictly prohibit them), and some including okra and/or file powder.

This fabulous Creole-style shrimp gumbo is flavored with spicy andouille sausage, tomatoes, and topped with plump shrimp. Serve the classic gumbo with hot boiled rice and a garnish of green onions or parsley.

"I love this gumbo. It's warm and comforting with all the right kinds of spice." —Renae Wilson

Classic Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 pound andouille sausage (or another smoked sausage), sliced
  • 1/2 cup plus 5 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (or green bell pepper), chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced okra, fresh or frozen and thawed
  • 1 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon file powder, optional
  • 2 cups cooked hot rice, for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley or green onion tops, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo ingredients

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  2. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the sliced sausage in 2 to 3 teaspoons of vegetable oil; remove the sausage to a plate and set aside.

    Brown sliced sausage in skillet

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  3. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, combine the chicken broth and tomatoes. Place the pot over medium heat to bring to a simmer. 

    Combine chicken broth and tomatoes in Dutch oven

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, combine the 1/2 cup of oil and the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, until the roux is medium to deep brown. This will take about 10 to 20 minutes. Keep stirring to keep the mixture from burning.

    Cook roux until brown

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  5. To the skillet with the roux, add the chopped onion, celery, and bell peppers. Cook, stirring constantly with a spoon, until the vegetables are softened.

    vegetables cooking with the roux in a pan

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  6. Stir the vegetable and roux mixture into the simmering tomato and broth mixture.

    Add roux and vegetable mixture to tomato mixture

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  7. Put the skillet back over medium heat and add 2 more teaspoons of oil. Add the okra and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and not stringy or sticky.

    Cook okra in skillet

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  8. Transfer the cooked okra to the simmering pot along with the Creole or Cajun seasoning, bay leaf, and cooked sausage. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

    Add okra to the simmering pot with spices

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  9. Add the prepared shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes longer, until the shrimp is cooked through.

    Add shrimp to gumbo mixture

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  10. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. If desired, add file powder or serve on the side.

    Finished gumbo with sausage and shrimp

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  11. Serve the gumbo over a mound of hot boiled long-grain white rice. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley or green onions.

    Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo served over rice

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

Tips

  • Filé powder is the ground leaves of the sassafras tree and is a common ingredient in gumbo. It's used to thicken the stew as well as add flavor. You can find filé powder at specialty grocers or order it online.
  • Keep a close eye on the roux since it is the key to a great gumbo. You're looking for a dark brown color, but don't let the mixture burn.

Recipe Variations

  • Chicken or crabmeat can be added in place of the shrimp. Simmer just until cooked through.
  • If you don't include the okra in this recipe then you'll want to include the filé to make sure the gumbo thickens up enough. Otherwise, the stew may be a bit soupy.
  • If you like your gumbo without tomatoes, omit them and add a little more chicken broth.

How to Store

  • Gumbo makes delicious leftovers. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat any leftovers over medium-low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring often.
  • If you're concerned about fat content, prepare the gumbo a little in advance, refrigerate, and then skim excess fat off the top of the cooled soup.

What's the Difference Between Gumbo and Jambalaya?

While gumbo and jambalaya are both classic Cajun and Creole dishes with similar flavors and ingredients, there is a major difference. Gumbo is a thick stew that is served over rice, while jambalaya is a rice-based dish that cooks the ingredients along with the rice.

Do Tomatoes Belong in Gumbo?

It depends on who you ask. Creole cuisine more commonly uses tomatoes while Cajun food does not. If you're making a Cajun-style gumbo then leave out the tomatoes. Ultimately, whether you decide to include tomatoes or not is a matter of personal taste.