Easy Seafood Gumbo
A party for your mouth! This Easy Seafood Gumbo recipe is on the table quickly and easily. Loaded with authentic creole flavors and tons of seafood, this classic Louisiana Seafood Gumbo is a favorite dinner for every occasion.
One of my favorite recipes to date, this southern Seafood Gumbo recipe takes me straight back to New Orleans. I visited while on a business trip sooooo many years ago and packed in as much as I could to get a taste of the city. My heart, and belly, were so full when I left but I never stopped dreaming about the best seafood gumbo I ever put into my mouth.
This Easy Seafood Gumbo recipe is one of the things that I’ve been able to nail down perfectly as far as spice, vibrant flavor and heartiness. This is seriously a stick to your ribs kinda dinner that you’re going to want to serve up every single week. It’s easy, freezer friendly and so totally loaded with mouthwatering deliciousness.
How to Make Gumbo
Making a Louisiana Gumbo Recipe from scratch is super simple to do. You can add whatever seafood you like but for this easy gumbo I like to add shrimp, crabmeat and oysters. They’re all easy to find and you can easily double or triple the recipe to feed a crowd.
- Make the roux using butter and flour by whisking together over medium high heat until golden brown.
- Add the onions, peppers and celery to the roux and stir to combine. Cook until softened.
- Stir in the sausage and cook 1 minute.
- Add the garlic, mustard, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, creole seasoning and file powder. Stir to combine.
- Stir in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the seafood, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
- Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the seafood is cooked through.
- Serve with rice.
Try to find oysters at your seafood counter that are in a can and be sure to check the date to be used. Nothing is worse than opening a can of “overripe” oysters that have been sitting in a can for a little longer than they should be.
Also, if you find that jumbo lump crabmeat is too pricey, feel free to use backfin or claw meat for this recipe. Since it’s a stew, you can use less pretty crabmeat than you would for these crab cakes.
Ingredients in Gumbo
Other than the seafood in this recipe, the main ingredient in a classic New Orleans Gumbo, both used to thicken and flavor the gumbo, are roux and either okra or file powder (or both!).
For no other reason than just plain preference, I like to make my Chicken Gumbo with okra and my Seafood Gumbo with File powder. But both of my recipes call for a roux, made of butter and flour, which is the main thickening agent in all Gumbo recipes.
How To Make a Roux
Making a roux for the base of your Gumbo recipe is really simple to do, all you need are two ingredients: Fat and flour. You can use any type of fat like butter, oil, lard, bacon grease…whatever floats your boat. For this roux, I start it all with a healthy helping of butter.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk in the flour and continue whisking until the mixture forms a paste.
- Cook the roux, whisking constantly, until it turns a deep golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes.
- Use in your recipe, as directed.
What is File Powder?
File powder, also known as Gumbo file, is a slightly spicy herb made from the dried, ground leaves of the sassafras tree. It’s a common ingredient found in most gumbo recipes and you can find it in the spice section of most well stocked grocery stores.
If you prefer not to use file powder in your recipe you can substitute it with 1 cup frozen okra added with the seafood.
What is the difference between Gumbo and Jambalaya?
While similar in flavor and add-ins, like chicken, sausage or seafood, Jambalaya is more of a paella dish or, primarily, a rice based dish. Gumbo, on the other hand, is a soup or stew based recipe that is thickened with a roux.
I love both a gumbo and jambalaya but this easy Seafood Gumbo recipe has stolen a special place in my heart forever.
What is traditionally served with Gumbo?
I love to serve my Seafood Gumbo with plain white rice but I’ve been to restaurants in Louisiana that serve their gumbo recipe with potato salad. Sounds strange but it’s certainly delicious and adds a ton of body to the soup. Definitely a must try if you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen!
Here are a few more sides I like to serve with my easy Seafood Gumbo recipe:
- Surprisingly, this Smashed Potato Salad is amazing with Seafood Gumbo!
- Spice it up with some Fried Green Tomatoes
- Top a pile of these Pimento Cheese Mashed Potatoes.
Looking for even more Louisiana classics….maybe for your Mardi Gras party? Check out these easy favorites:
- Classic Muffuletta Sandwich
- Easy Cornmeal Crusted Shrimp Po’Boy
- Super simple Pimento Cheese Spread
- Easy Chicken Fried Steak with Country Gravy
Get the Recipe: Easy Seafood Gumbo
- 5 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 1/2 cups sliced smoked andouille sausage approximately 3 links
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder or granulated garlic
- 1 tsp creole seasoning
- 1 tsp file powder
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1 cup jumbo lump crabmeat
- 6 ounces oysters and juices
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 1 dutch oven
- Melt the butter in a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium/high heat.
- Whisk in the flour and continue whisking until the mixture starts to turn golden brown and smell nutty, approximately 3-4 minutes. (Do not stop whisking or the roux will burn.)
- Stir in the onion, bell pepper and celery. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the sausage to the pot and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute longer.
- Stir in the garlic, mustard, cayenne, garlic powder, creole seasoning and file powder. Cook for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly and scraping up any brown bit on the bottom of the pan.
- Slowly add the chicken stock to the pot stirring to combine. Bring the soup to a boil.
- Turn the heat to low. Stir in the shrimp and oysters with oyster liquor (juices). Add the bay leaf, salt and pepper to the soup and stir to combine.
- Simmer for 10 minutes or until the soup begins to thicken. Stir in the crabmeat.
- Serve the seafood gumbo over rice, if desired. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and parsley for an extra pop of color.