Making gumbo at home is a wonderful way to enjoy this flavorful and hearty Louisiana dish. Gumbo is a rich stew that typically includes a combination of meat or seafood, vegetables, and a thickening agent like roux or okra. Here’s a basic guide to making gumbo:


For the Roux:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

For the Gumbo:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 pound chicken (boneless, skinless thighs or breast), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 cups chicken or seafood broth
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup okra, sliced (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Cooked white rice, for serving
  • Chopped green onions, for garnish


  1. Prepare the Roux:
    • In a heavy-bottomed pot or skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
    • Gradually add the flour to the oil, stirring constantly to form a smooth roux.
    • Continue cooking and stirring the roux until it reaches a rich, dark brown color. This can take about 20-30 minutes. Be careful not to burn it.
  2. Sauté Vegetables and Sausage:
    • Add the diced onion, bell pepper, celery, and minced garlic to the roux. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
    • Add the sliced andouille sausage and cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  3. Add Chicken and Spices:
    • Add the bite-sized chicken pieces to the pot and cook until they are no longer pink on the outside.
    • Stir in dried thyme, dried oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, bay leaf, salt, and black pepper.
  4. Pour in Broth and Tomatoes:
    • Gradually pour in the chicken or seafood broth while stirring to incorporate all the ingredients.
    • Add the diced tomatoes, including their juice.
  5. Simmer the Gumbo:
    • Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about 30-40 minutes, allowing the flavors to develop.
  6. Add Okra and Shrimp:
    • Stir in the sliced okra and let the gumbo simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
    • Add the peeled and deveined shrimp and cook for another 5-7 minutes until the shrimp turn pink and opaque.
  7. Adjust Seasoning:
    • Taste the gumbo and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt, pepper, or cayenne to achieve your desired level of spiciness.
  8. Serve:
    • Remove the bay leaf from the gumbo before serving.
    • Serve the gumbo over cooked white rice.
    • Garnish with chopped green onions.

Gumbo is a versatile dish, and variations can include different meats, seafood, and vegetables based on your preferences. It’s traditionally served with rice and offers a complex blend of flavors and textures. Enjoy your homemade gumbo, and don’t hesitate to customize the recipe to make it your own!