This Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo is an aromatic and meaty one-pot stew with a rich roux-based sauce. Serve it over rice and enjoy the deep, rustic flavors of Cajun cuisine without having to travel to Louisiana!
Some recipes are worth the extra time and effort, and this Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo is one of them. It’s the perfect cozy and comforting dish with heavenly, deeply flavored bites.
The roux is the key to making shrimp sausage gumbo. It’s the base of all authentic gumbo recipes as it offers the distinct thick, luscious stock. This recipe begins with a dark brown roux before moving on to the irresistible layers of shrimp, sausage, and Cajun flavors.
- Gumbo is one of Louisiana’s oldest and most treasured dishes. This chicken sausage shrimp gumbo is my take on the classic.
- It’s a delectably spiced and deeply savory one-pot recipe the whole family will love.
- You’ll learn how to make a gorgeous homemade roux, which is a critical element of traditional gumbo!
- Flour and butter - You need both to make a roux. All purpose flour and a quality high-heat cooking fat like butter, avocado oil, or olive oil are best.
- Onions, bell peppers, and celery - AKA the Creole “holy trinity”. You’ll find these aromatics in many Cajun and Creole dishes and it just isn’t a gumbo recipe without them!
- Andouille sausage - You can use andouille chicken sausage or pork sausage. For the most authentic gumbo, use smoked andouille sausage.
- Spices and seasonings - A Cajun spice blend is easy to make at home using simple spices. In addition, salt, bay leaves, and cayenne provide the gumbo with balance and some heat.
- Broth - I used chicken broth but vegetable broth or seafood stock also works. Homemade broth or stock will always improve the flavor!
- Coconut aminos - Or use soy sauce or tamari instead.
- Shrimp - Raw, large shrimp; adjust the cook times accordingly for different sizes.
- Frozen okra - Okra is on double-duty in this Cajun shrimp gumbo recipe. It’s a tasty and nutritious veggie, as well as a natural thickener. The slimy substance (called mucilage) inside okra helps make a smooth, silky gumbo gravy.
Step 1: Make the roux. In a large pot over medium heat, whisk the oil and flour together for 20 minutes or until the roux is a deep caramel color. Yes, it’s a little time-intensive, but if you want a proper roux, this is what needs to be done!
Step 2: Cook the veggies. Now that the roux is ready, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery to the pot. Saute until the veggies soften. Add the garlic cloves and cook until fragrant.
Step 3: Assemble the gumbo and simmer. Next, add the sausage, Cajun seasoning, salt, and cayenne. Pour the chicken stock, water, diced tomatoes, coconut aminos, and bay leaves into the pot and stir. Bring it up to a low boil and let it simmer for just under 1 hour.
Step 4: Add the shrimp and okra. Add the peeled and thawed shrimp and okra once the time is up. Continue simmering until the shrimp is pink and opaque.
Step 5: Garnish and serve. Remove the bay leaves from the pot. Ladle some sausage gumbo into serving bowls over rice, garnish with green onions, then enjoy!
Expert tips and FAQs
- You’ll know the roux is ready when it’s a deep amber or caramel-like color. This takes a little effort, but it’s worth it.
- If the roux seems like it’s burning, lower the heat and continue to gently simmer until it’s finished. Low and slow is key.
- The color of your roux will determine the style of your gumbo. For Creole-style gumbo, you want a roux with the color of peanut butter. For Cajun-style gumbo, the roux should be a deep amber hue.
- Filé powder can be added to gumbo after it’s cooked to help thicken and flavor the dish.
What’s the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?
While many of the ingredients are similar, the big difference is in the rice. In jambalaya, rice is cooked in with the dish while gumbo is spooned over top of cooked rice before serving.
What type of rice is best served with Cajun shrimp gumbo?
Serve the sausage gumbo recipe with long-grain white or brown rice. Basmati and jasmine are both great options.
Can I make this recipe with fresh sausage?
Smoked andouille sausage is best. If your sausage is raw, slice the links and brown them in a pan before adding them to the gumbo pot. Alternately, you can use smoked ham instead of smoked andouille sausage.
Can it be made gluten free?
I’ve only tried making the roux with regular flour, but quality all purpose gluten free flour generally acts the same as regular flour when thickening sauces and gravies. You could also possibly get away with using cassava flour, but I haven't tested it myself.
Refrigerator: Let the gumbo cool to room temperature and pour it into an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy within 3 to 4 days.
Freezer: After cooling, pour the gumbo into freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 6 months/ Thaw in the fridge before reheating on the stove.
More hearty soups and stews
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Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
- ¼ cup avocado oil or butter
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour see notes for gluten free/paleo option
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 2 celery chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 12 oz. andouille chicken sausage or pork sausage
- 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne optional
- 32 oz. chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 14 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb. large shrimp raw; peeled and deveined
- 1 ½ cups frozen okra
- ¼ cup green onions for garnish
- Start by prepping your vegetables: dice the onion, bell pepper and celery and place them in a bowl; set aside. Mince the garlic and set it aside separately.
- Add the oil and flour to a large pot or dutch oven. Turn the heat to medium and whisk constantly for 20 minutes (yes really!). I know, I know -- it's a little time intensive, but if you want the roux to be correct, this is what you have to do. My suggestion? Put on a good podcast and the time will fly by! Tip: you want the roux to be golden brown like the color of caramel or a little bit darker, but if it seems to be burning at all, turn the heat down to low.
- Once the 20 minutes is up, add the onion, bell pepper and celery to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes. Then, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Next, add the sausage, cajun seasoning, salt, and cayenne if using and stir to combine. Then, pour in the chicken broth, water, diced tomatoes with their juices, coconut aminos, and bay leaves and bring the gumbo to a low boil. Simmer it uncovered for 50 minutes. Meanwhile, if you haven't already, thaw and peel the shrimp.
- Once the time is up, add the shrimp and okra to the pot and continue simmering for 10 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and cooked through.
- Remove the bay leaves, then divide the gumbo into bowl and garnish with green onions. Enjoy!