Look no further than this Authentic Cajun Gumbo recipe to satisfy your stomach, but also your soul. This 1-pot gumbo sings with an abundance of flavor, y’all. It starts with a deeply-rich roux base, sautéed aromatics, and tons of meaty goodness with chicken, andouille sausage, crab, and shrimp. This heartwarming staple is the epitome of comfort food! A perfect, cozy weeknight or special occasion meal!
- 1 ¼ cup vegetable oil, divided
- 1 lb boneless/skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces
- 3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, divided, plus more to taste
- 12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large green bell peppers, chopped
- 3 stalks of celery, green part only, chopped
- 8 cloves of garlic, finely minced or pressed
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 4 bay leaves
- 64 ounces (2 cartons) low-sodium chicken broth or stock
- 16 ounces lump crab meat
- 2 cups chopped okra, fresh or frozen
- 1 lb raw large shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 3 teaspoons pure ground gumbo filé
- Hot sauce (preferably Louisiana-style!)
For serving gumbo:
- cooked white rice, sliced scallions or chopped parsley
- Brown chicken & sausage. In a large heavy-bottomed dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, pour in ¼ cup of oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, gently swirl the pot around to evenly coat the bottom. Place the chicken thigh pieces into the pot. Brown the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of cajun seasoning, stirring well to combine. Then use a slotted utensil to transfer the browned chicken pieces onto a clean plate/platter. Place the andouille sausage rounds into the pot. Sauté the sausage, stirring often, until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Then remove the sausage rounds and place onto the same vessel with browned chicken and tent chicken/sausage with foil, set aside.
- Sauté the trinity. In the same pot over medium heat, add the onion, bell peppers, and celery. Sauté the mixture, stirring often, until translucent and golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Use a wooden utensil to scrape up any bits along the bottom of the pot. Then add in the garlic and continue cooking along with the onion/bell pepper mixture until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Then use a slotted utensil to transfer the veggies to a clean plate and set aside. Grab a few paper towels and carefully wipe the pot as clean as you can.
- Make the roux. Pour in the remaining 1 cup of oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is nice and hot, with one hand, sprinkle in the flour just a little at a time, stirring continuously with a wooden utensil in the other hand to prevent any lumps. *This is where the bulk of the tedious work resides, the roux. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continuously stir the roux until it takes on a deeply rich, chocolate color, about 30 minutes. You’ve gotta babysit the pot, stirring constantly, so that the heat slowly builds in that nutty flavor without the bottom scorching and the roux burning. If that happens, your roux is no good and you’ll have to toss out and start again.
- Build the gumbo. Once the roux is nice and chocolatey-brown, Add the browned chicken/sausage, sautéed trinity mixture, remaining 2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning, ground white pepper, and bay leaves. Then slowly pour in the chicken broth. Give the pot a good stir until everything is well combined. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium and cover the pot with a lid. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add crab, okra, shrimp & finish gumbo. Now add the crab meat into the pot, stirring well to make sure that the crab and other ingredients are combined. Cover and let crab simmer in pot for another 15-20 minutes. Then add the okra and raw shrimp into the pot, stirring well to combine. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for another 7-10 minutes, until the shrimp is pink. Sprinkle in the gumbo filé and a few dashes of hot sauce, stir, and cook for 5 more minutes. Then remove the pot from heat and let gumbo sit for a few minutes. Give the gumbo a taste test and adjust with more cajun seasoning, if desired.
- Serve. Ladle cajun gumbo into individual serving bowls. Carefully add a little helping of cooked rice right on top of the gumbo, and garnish with sliced scallions or chopped parsley. Enjoy!
- Oil/fat alternatives for gumbo roux: I use vegetable oil here, but any neutral oil is recommended that won’t affect the gumbo flavor. Fats like duck fat, bacon grease, or lard are also excellent go-to’s for developing your gumbo roux.
- Gluten-free needs? Swap the all-purpose flour for any gluten-free flour as a 1:1 ratio (we love Bob’s Red Mill gf flour!).
- Storing leftover gumbo & reheating: First, let the gumbo cool down to room temperature. Then place leftover gumbo into airtight containers. It will keep stored safely in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. >> Reheating gumbo from fridge: For best results, gently reheat gumbo on the stovetop over low heat, stirring often, until warmed through.
- Freezing leftover gumbo & reheating: First, let the gumbo cool down to room temperature. Then place leftover gumbo into airtight, freezer-safe containers. It will keep stored in the freezer for 3-4 months. >> Reheating gumbo from freezer: Let the gumbo thaw out overnight in the fridge. Then gently reheat gumbo on the stovetop over low heat, stirring often, until warmed through.
- Please read blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.
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