Easy Seafood Gumbo Recipe

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.

Seafood Gumbo in a blue and white bowl with rice and a gold spoon with a blue pot with gumbo in the background.

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 recipe I ever put into my mouth.

Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina hit just two weeks later and I haven’t been back to the city since then.  Now you know how long ago that was….seriously dating myself here.  But the colorful food and scenery has stuck with me making me crave so many New Orleans classics every single day. 

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.

Overhead shot of seafood gumbo with a pile of rice in a blue and white bowl on a white background.

How to Make Seafood Gumbo from Scratch

Making a Louisiana Seafood Gumbo Recipe from scratch is super simple to do.  You can add whatever seafood you like but for this seafood 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.

Here’s how to make Seafood Gumbo from scratch:

  1. Make the roux using butter and flour by whisking together over medium high heat until golden brown.
  2. Add the onions, peppers and celery to the roux and stir to combine. Cook until softened.
  3. Stir in the sausage and cook 1 minute.
  4. Add the garlic, mustard, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, creole seasoning and file powder. Stir to combine.
  5. Stir in the broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Add the seafood, bay leaf, salt and pepper. 
  7. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the seafood is cooked through.
  8. Serve with rice.

Overhead shot of a blue pot with seafood gumbo and a silver ladle on a white background.

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.

What is the main ingredient in Gumbo?

Other than the seafood in this seafood gumbo, the main ingredient in a classic Louisiana Gumbo recipe, 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 Gumbo recipes call for a roux, made of butter and flour, which is the main thickening agent in all Gumbo recipes.

Close up overhead shot or seafood gumbo with a pile of rice and green onions in a blue and white bowl on a white background.

How do you make a roux?

Making a roux for the base of your Easy Seafood 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.

To make a roux:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking until the mixture forms a paste.
  3. Cook the roux, whisking constantly, until it turns a deep golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes. 
  4. Use in your recipe, as directed.

Blue and white bowl with seafood gumbo with a gold spoon with a bite on it.

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 gumbo 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.

Overhead shot of seafood gumbo in a dark blue pot with a blue bowl filled with rice on a white background.

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: 

Stack of fried green tomatoes with a wooden fork from TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

Looking for even more Louisiana classics….maybe for your Mardi Gras party? Check out these easy favorites:

Simple to make Cornmeal Crusted Shrimp Po'Boy Sandwiches are packed with flavor and ready in minutes. | TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

Want even more easy recipe inspiration? Follow us over on Instagram!

Overhead shot of seafood gumbo with rice in a blue and white bowl.

Easy Seafood Gumbo Recipe

Course: Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American, creole
Keyword: seafood gumbo
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 249 kcal
Author: Kellie

Ready in under an hour, this Easy Seafood Gumbo recipe is a classic New Orleans recipe thats authentic and hearty.

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Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium/high heat.
  2. 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.)
  3. Stir in the onion, bell pepper and celery. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the vegetables begin to soften.
  4. Add the sausage to the pot and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute longer.
  5. 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.
  6. Slowly add the chicken stock to the pot stirring to combine. Bring the soup to a boil.
  7. 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.
  8. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the soup begins to thicken. Stir in the crabmeat.
  9. Serve the seafood gumbo over rice, if desired. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and parsley for an extra pop of color.

Recipe Notes

Seafood Gumbo can be made up to three days in advance and stored, refrigerated, in an airtight container.

You can also freeze your Seafood Gumbo in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Seafood Gumbo Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 249 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 148mg 49%
Sodium 999mg 42%
Potassium 307mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 3g
Protein 18g 36%
Vitamin A 20%
Vitamin C 61.6%
Calcium 8.9%
Iron 10.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

10 comments on “Easy Seafood Gumbo Recipe”

  1. It’s been years since I’ve made gumbo. This looks like the perfect recipe for Mardi Gras!

  2. This is so delish! Especially perfect to make with Mardi Gras right around the corner!

  3. This is so easy and so good! Love a good gumbo!

  4. This gumbo was a huge hit! Everyone asked for seconds!

  5. This was my first attempt at Gumbo and it was delicious! Can’t wait to try other recipes of yours! Thanks!

  6. Big hit at my house!  My youngest and I made this for dinner tonight. It was very good. It did take me well over the 35 minutes listed to make it. 

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