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Homemade Seafood Gumbo with shrimp, crab, Andouille sausage, and okra is a spicy Cajun-inspired meal served over rice or grits. This recipe is worth the cooking time required to properly develop all of the flavors. Authentic gumbo starts with a dark rich roux made from bacon drippings.

homemade Seafood Gumbo over rice

Why you’ll love this recipe:

Gumbo is one of those seafood dinner recipes that is worth the time and effort.

  • Real authentic flavor: Cooking this scratch is not for the faint of heart. Not only will it take a lot of your time and patience, but shrimp and crab can be costly. But, if you want to make a flavorful gumbo that will make you feel like you’re in Louisiana for Mardi Gras, well then, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.
  • Easy to make: Although seafood gumbo is time consuming, the recipe is easy to follow. Scroll down to find tons of step-by-step photos that walk you through every step of the recipe.
  • Fantastic leftovers: Leftover gumbo tastes fantastic because it gives the flavors even more time to develop. Plus, it freezes exceptionally well, so don’t hesitate to double the recipe.

Ingredients needed:

Exact quantities are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

  • Roux: made from bacon drippings and all-purpose flour
  • Vegetables: The Holy Trinity of vegetables: onion, celery, and green bell pepper. Garlic, okra, and diced tomatoes are also added.
  • Beef broth: tastes even better when you make your own beef stock.
  • Meat and seafood: Andouille sausage (chicken or pork) along with shrimp and crab
  • Seasonings: gumbo file powder (more details below), Cajun seasoning, hot pepper sauce, bay leaves, thyme, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and salt
ingredients needed to make Seafood Gumbo

How to make Seafood Gumbo:

Detailed step by step instructions are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

Step 1: Make the roux

Whisk together flour and bacon drippings in a Dutch oven and cook in 300°F oven for 90 minutes, whisking every 15 minutes or so. This amount of time is necessary to develop the deep flavors and rich color.

Chop the vegetables:

While the roux is cooking, dice onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic by hand or by pulsing in a food processor.

Cook the gumbo:

  • Cook sausage and veggies: Once the roux is done, place the Dutch oven on the stove. Add the onion mixture along with the sausage and cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Simmer: Slowly add beef broth to the mixture in the Dutch oven. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen anything that may have stuck during the cooking process. At this point, you will add the sugar, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, tomatoes, tomato paste, and okra.  Let that mixture simmer for an hour.
  • Add seafood and seasonings: Add shrimp, crab meat, gumbo file powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for an additional hour over extremely low heat.
  • Add salt to taste. I never specify the amount because I feel it’s based on personal preference, but start out with a small amount, taste, and continue adding until the flavor is right.

Gumbo filé:

Filé powder, also called gumbo filé, is a spicy herb made from the dried and ground leaves of the North American sassafras tree. It is used in Louisiana Creole cuisine and is a necessary ingredient when making seafood gumbo.

Filé is one of the ingredients used to both thicken and flavor this recipe.

You can find filé powder at some specialty stores. You can also easily order it online.

gumbo with shrimp

Cooking tips for best results:

  • The roux is important. Some would say it is what defines an authentic gumbo. To make roux, you typically combine equal parts of flour and fat and this mixture is cooked to a golden brown color. The roux in a gumbo is different, however, in that you cook it much longer to really develop the flavor and a darker color. I cook my gumbo roux in the oven, however it can be done on the stovetop as well.
  • Storage: Leftover gumbo can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. It can also be frozen and thawed in the refrigerator before reheating. To reheat, transfer gumbo to a saucepan and heat over very low heat on the stove.

What readers are saying:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Wow! This recipe is beyond fabulous and very authentic! It took me a little longer to make the roux but the results were perfection! Thank you for such an incredible recipe!!! If you are hesitant to make gumbo (like I was), thrust the recipe and try it! You’ll be so glad you did!

Marisa February 18, 2021

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I have made this twice and it is REAL GUMBO. Absolutely fantastic. Even better the next day. This is now in my recipe book as the only gumbo I’ll make from now on. Thank you!!!

Cherie Randall May 02, 2020

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I was stationed in Germany when l became best friends with someone who was from Louisiana. Your Seafood Gumbo recipe is the one she taught me over 30 years ago! It’s 5 Stars!! Thank You So Very Much for sharing such a Amazing Comfort Food.

Winifred Garcia December 11, 2018
gumbo with seafood and sausage

What to serve with gumbo:

This meal is typically served over rice.

I recommend cooking a medium or long grain white rice. Cook the rice with the least amount of water so that it’s not very soft and can hold up well against the sauce. If you’ve never used your Instant Pot to cook rice, it works perfectly!

Though not as common as rice, you can also serve it with grits.

You can’t go wrong with a batch of sweet and spicy jalapeno cornbread either.

dutch oven with Seafood Gumbo

If you’ve made this or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out. I love hearing from my readers!

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Seafood Gumbo

Prep30 minutes
Cook4 hours
Total4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Seafood Gumbo, with shrimp, crab, chicken Andouille sausage, and okra is a spicy CCajun-inspiredmeal served over rice or grits. This recipe is not super easy as it takes time to cook to properly develop all of the flavors. This recipe all starts with a dark and rich roux made from bacon drippings.

Ingredients 

Roux:

Gumbo:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 small green bell pepper or half of a large bell pepper, stem and seeds removed
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 pound Andouille sausage chicken or pork, sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces  
  • 1 1/2 quarts beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce Tobasco
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 10 ounces frozen okra
  • 1 1/2 pounds uncooked shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat I used frozen and thawed
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons gumbo file powder
  • salt amount varies by preference

Instructions 

  • Make the roux: Whisk together flour and bacon drippings in a Dutch oven and cook in 300°F oven for 90 minutes, whisking every 15 minutes or so. This temperature should be hot enough to develop a rich dark roux without burning it, but if it smells like it's burning, reduce the temperature. Alternatively, if after one hour the roux has not darkened, increase the temperature to 325°F.
    cooked roux for Seafood Gumbo recipe
  • Chop vegetables: While roux is cooking, pulse onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in a food processor. You want the cut pieces to be small as if you were dicing them with a knife. Alternatively, you may dice with a knife and cutting board.
    chopped peppers and onion in food processor
  • Cook sausage and veggies: Once roux is done, place the Dutch oven on the stove. Add onion mixture along with the sausage. Cook over medium-low heat. You want to cook the vegetables and sausage while not burning the roux. Stir occasionally. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
    cooking sausage with peppers and onions in roux
  • Simmer: Slowly add beef broth to the mixture in the Dutch oven. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen anything that may have stuck during the cooking process. Stir well to combine ingredients and bring to a simmer. Add sugar, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, tomatoes, tomato paste, and okra.  Reduce heat to the lowest setting to maintain a simmer and cook for one hour.
    adding okra to Seafood Gumbo recipe
  • Add seafood and seasonings: Add shrimp, crab meat, gumbo file powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over extremely low heat until seafood is cooked through.
    adding seafood and gumbo file powder to gumbo
  • Add salt to taste. I never specify the amount because I feel it's based on personal preference, but start out with a small amount, taste, and continue adding until the flavor is right. Serve gumbo over a medium or long grain rice or grits. 
    dutch oven with Seafood Gumbo

Notes

Makes 3 quarts. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days or freeze in airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 410kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 272mg, Sodium: 1708mg, Potassium: 601mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 980IU, Vitamin C: 40mg, Calcium: 203mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This recipe was originally published in May 2018 and has been updated with helpful information, ingredient and process photos, as well as recipe tips. Don’t worry – the recipe hasn’t changed!

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you’re in the right place! Stick around… I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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37 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is a GREAT recipe. I followed step by step exactly and it was good I will crank the oven temp to 325, and add more seafood and other meat, but overall this is an easy recipe! And the seafood does not overcook because the directions CLEARLY state to cook over extremely low heat. In step 4 I did med heat for 30 minutes and in step 5 when I added the seafood I turned it down to extremely low heat for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. LOVE IT!! This is “my” gumbo recipe from now on.

  2. I would never cook the seafood for an our. Shrimp, lobster, and clams all become tough and are like eating elastic bands if you over cook them! I would add the fish at the end and cook until done.

    1. I hear you. When I cook at extremely low heat, I find that it is never over cooked, but I will update the recipe to indicate to remove from heat as soon as the seafood is cooked through.

  3. This is the closest I’ve ever seen go my recipe. I love the hint to use the oven for the roux. I’ve spent many hours stirring roux over the years! And a really good suggestion about the rice. I usually triple the recipe, freeze a bunch before adding seafood.

  4. 5 stars
    Love Nawlins and miss he foods thete. I make gumbo often and plan to try this one. Thanks💕