Delicious Shrimp Gumbo Recipe That Will Warm Your Soul

Welcome, foodies and gumbo enthusiasts! Today, I’m sharing one of my all-time favorite recipes – shrimp gumbo from scratch. This iconic Creole dish has been a staple in New Orleans for centuries and is recognized around the world for its bold flavors and unique textures. Making gumbo from scratch is a culinary adventure that’s both rewarding and fun.

Some may find the idea of making gumbo from scratch intimidating, but rest assured that it’s much easier than you think. I’ll guide you through the process step-by-step to make sure your gumbo turns out perfectly every time. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting your journey into Cajun and Creole cuisine, this recipe is sure to become a new favorite.

One of the things I love about this shrimp gumbo recipe is that it’s completely customizable. You can easily adapt it to your taste preferences by adjusting the spice level, adding more or less veggies, or swapping out the meats. So let’s get started on this gumbo journey together – I promise you won’t regret it!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Shrimp Gumbo from Scratch
Shrimp Gumbo from Scratch

If you’re looking for a dish that’s hearty, flavorful, and oh-so-satisfying, then look no further than this Shrimp Gumbo from Scratch recipe. This classic Creole dish hails from the heart of New Orleans and is perfect for warming you up on a chilly day or impressing your dinner guests.

One of the things I love most about this recipe is that it’s a one-pot wonder – meaning minimal clean up for you! Plus, it’s packed with all sorts of delicious ingredients like succulent shrimp, savory sausage, tender okra, and flavorful bell peppers. And with the addition of aromatic herbs like parsley, oregano, and thyme, your kitchen will smell like the streets of Louisiana in no time.

Don’t let the long ingredient list intimidate you – making gumbo is all about layering flavors and building depth. And once all those flavors have had a chance to meld together on your stove top, you’ll be rewarded with a rich and complex soup that will knock your socks off.

With this homemade Shrimp Gumbo recipe in your arsenal, not only will you impress friends and family with your culinary skills, but you’ll also have a healthy and nourishing meal that everyone will be begging for seconds of. So grab your apron and get ready to channel your inner Cajun – trust me, once you take that first bite of this incredible dish, you won’t be able to resist going back for more.

Ingredient List

 A splash of color for a rainy day: our shrimp gumbo recipe!
A splash of color for a rainy day: our shrimp gumbo recipe!

Get Your Shopping List Ready

Here is a breakdown of what you’ll need to make this Shrimp Gumbo from Scratch recipe:

  • Shrimp: At least 1 pound of boiled shrimp. Ideally, fresh, local, and purchased medium-sized (30/40 count).

  • Vegetables: You will need 1 chopped green bell pepper, 1 chopped onion, and 3 chopped celery stalks.

  • Garlic cloves: Smash some garlic with a knife and finely chop them up for this gumbo recipe. Two cloves should do the trick.

  • Thyme and Oregano: For the best taste, it’s recommended that you use fresh herbs that are finely chopped. About a teaspoon each should be enough.

  • Parsley: Chop up about half a bunch of fresh parsley leaves to add color and freshness to your gumbo.

  • Bell Peppers: Use two bell peppers (preferably one green and one red) that have been seeded and diced.

  • Okra: Wash and cut off both ends of about 8 oz of okra pods. After chopping the okra pods into slices, place them on paper towels to remove excess moisture.

  • Chicken Broth and Water: In total, prepare at least 7 cups (56 oz) of liquids for this gumbo recipe. Feel free to adjust the ratios based on your preference for thicker or soupier textures.

  • Tomato paste and Diced tomatoes: Purchase a small can of tomato paste as well as a large can (28 oz) of diced tomatoes.

  • Sausage: This recipe recommends using 12 oz of Andouille sausage cut into slices but you could substitute it with chicken sausage or any other kind of smoked sausage if you prefer.

  • Flour: Use 1 cup flour to create a roux and another half-cup to coat the okra pieces before frying them.

  • Butter: A stick (8 tablespoons) of unsalted butter is needed for creating the dark roux.

  • Oil: Half a cup canola oil is used in addition to the butter for creating the dark roux.

  • Salt: Add salt to taste as you cook this Shrimp Gumbo from Scratch recipe!

Gathering these ingredients may seem like an intimidating task but I promise the end result will be well worth it!

The Recipe How-To

 Kick off your heels and grab a spoon, this gumbo is meant to be savored.
Kick off your heels and grab a spoon, this gumbo is meant to be savored.

Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: how to make this delicious shrimp gumbo recipe! This recipe is a labor of love but the end result is totally worth it.


Before you start making the gumbo, chop all of your vegetables and measure out your ingredients. This will help streamline the cooking process.

Making the Roux

To make a good gumbo from scratch, you need to start with a dark roux. This is a cooked mixture of flour and oil that gives the dish its characteristic flavor and color.

  1. Start by heating ½ cup of butter and ½ cup of canola oil in a large cast-iron or Dutch oven over medium-low heat.

  2. Slowly add 1 cup of all-purpose flour, stirring constantly until well combined.

  3. Continue stirring frequently for about 20-25 minutes, or until the roux turns a deep chocolate brown color. Be careful not to burn the roux as it can make the gumbo taste bitter.

Cooking the Vegetables

Once you have achieved the desired color for your roux, add in the chopped onion, celery, and bell pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until they become soft and translucent.

Adding the Liquid

Next, slowly add in 8 cups of liquid – a mixture of water and chicken broth (or substitute with vegetable broth if desired) – while constantly whisking to prevent lumps from forming.

Adding the Tomatoes

Once the liquid has been added, stir in one 12 oz can of diced tomatoes (undrained) and two tablespoons of tomato paste.

Spices & Seasoning

Add three cloves of minced garlic along with one teaspoon each of dried parsley, oregano, and thyme into the pot.

Season with salt (to taste) and mix everything together thoroughly.

Let It Simmer

Bring everything to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender then add fresh okra pods (fresh or frozen)

Adding Shrimp And Sausage

When ready to serve, add chopped sausage (chicken sausage, andouille sausage or shrimp sausage if preferred) along with deveined and peeled shrimp then simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes or until shrimp turns pinkish-orange in color.

Serve hot on steamed rice garnished with chopped green onion tops!

Enjoy your homemade shrimp gumbo scratch!

Substitutions and Variations

 Let the mesmerizing aroma of spicy andouille sausage fill your senses.
Let the mesmerizing aroma of spicy andouille sausage fill your senses.

Listen up, folks! While the shrimp gumbo recipe I’m about to share is pretty darn amazing and hard to resist, it’s always great to experiment with different ingredients to make it your own. So, don’t be afraid to deviate from the recipe a little bit and get creative. Here are a few suggestions for substitutions and variations:

– Sausage Gumbo: If you prefer meat over seafood, try using chicken sausage or andouille sausage in place of the shrimp. The spiciness of the sausage will add a kick of flavor to your gumbo.

– Vegetable Gumbo: Vegetarians out there, this one’s for you! Skip the shrimp altogether and load up on okra, bell peppers, celery, and other veggies instead. You can even add some diced tofu or seitan for extra protein.

– Seafood Gumbo: If you want to mix things up and make your gumbo extra fishy, add some crab meat, crawfish tails or fish fillets. This will impart a rich flavor to your dish and will definitely be a crowd pleaser.

– Creole Gumbo: For those who are down with Creole flavors, try adding some Creole seasoning to give your gumbo that distinctly Louisiana taste. This blend typically includes herbs like parsley, oregano, thyme, and bay leaves.

– Chicken Gumbo: Chicken lovers unite! Use cooked chicken breast in place of shrimp or you could use both to make it a chicken and sausage gumbo. A little tip here is to use dark roux since it can add an incredible thickness and depth of flavor.

Remember my friends; there is no right or wrong way to making gumbo as long as you follow the Thou Shalt of making this authentic New Orleans gumbo recipe. The possibilities are endless when it comes to variations! Just make sure that you have all the necessary ingredients in your pantry before getting started. Happy cooking!

Serving and Pairing

 If seafood is your calling, don't miss out on this traditional Louisiana dish.
If seafood is your calling, don’t miss out on this traditional Louisiana dish.

When it comes to serving shrimp gumbo from scratch, I love to ladle a generous serving into a deep bowl, and top it off with some chopped green onion tops and parsley. The vibrant colours of the okra, bell peppers, and tomatoes make for an appealing presentation.

If you’re feeling extra indulgent, serve your gumbo with a side of crusty garlic bread or fluffy steamed rice – this will let you soak up every last drop of the thick and flavourful broth.

To round out your meal and make it a true showcase of Louisiana’s culinary heritage, consider serving up some classic Cajun or Creole sides like cornbread, jambalaya, red beans and rice, or even some fried catfish.

If you’re looking to pair your shrimp gumbo with a drink, I always recommend a cold beer such as an American-style lager or a Belgian pale ale. For wine lovers, try pairing your gumbo with a bold red like Malbec or Zinfandel that can match the richness of the dish.

Remember, gumbo and friends go together like peas in a pod. So don’t be afraid to invite everyone over for a hot bowl of authentic New Orleans gumbo!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect party food to feed a crowd - gumbo for everyone!
The perfect party food to feed a crowd – gumbo for everyone!

When it comes to gumbo, making it ahead of time is a smart move. The flavors only get better with time as the ingredients meld together. I recommend letting your gumbo cool down completely before storing it.

For make-ahead options, you can store your gumbo in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply thaw the frozen gumbo in the fridge overnight and then warm it up over low heat on the stove until it reaches a simmer. Alternatively, if reheating from refrigerated, you can microwave it on high until heated through.

One tip to keep in mind when reheating is that gumbo tends to thicken up as it cools down, so you may need to add some extra chicken broth or water to thin it out when reheating.

Overall, being able to make this authentic New Orleans shrimp gumbo recipe ahead of time not only saves you effort but also ensures that you can enjoy the rich and complex flavors of a classic Creole dish without all of the fuss on party day. So go ahead and make a big batch of this delicious soup – your taste buds will thank you!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Mardi Gras or not, this shrimp gumbo is always a good idea.
Mardi Gras or not, this shrimp gumbo is always a good idea.

Now that you know how to make shrimp gumbo from scratch, I will give you my expert tips on how to obtain perfect results every time you make it.

First and foremost, gumbo is all about the roux. A good roux will affect the color and flavor of your gumbo. The key here is to cook it low and slow. To get a smooth and dark roux, stir your flour consistently in hot oil or butter over low heat for 30-45 minutes depending on the quantity needed. Using a cast iron or a heavy-bottomed pot can also help achieve the right texture.

Another critical thing to note when making gumbo is to start with a trinity base (onion, celery, bell pepper) of ingredients. These are essential vegetables that add flavor depth to any Cajun/Creole dish. Ensure you chop them uniformly, so they shall cook evenly.

Next, we dive into protein. You can use chicken sausage, andouille sausage, or simply opt for chicken and/or shrimp in your gumbo. Preparing the meat separately from veggies will allow more space in the pot for proper cooking and eliminate overcrowding, which would result in under-cooking certain ingredients.

Using seafood instead of sausage requires caution when adding it to the boiling pot as seafood cooks much faster than other ingredients. Overcooking shrimps can turn them rubbery and ruin your shrimp gumbo recipe.

Finally, don’t forget about seasoning; Creole/Cajun seasoning is a must-have in your spice rack when making gumbo. Alternatively, parsley, oregano, thyme are flavorful herbs used in Creole/Cajun cuisine—season moderately but enough to taste on each spoonful of soup.

By adhering to these tips and variations of choice along with patience during preparation can okay King’s feast-worthy meal that’ll have taste buds tuned for a long time afterward!


As we wrap up this recipe article, you may have some lingering questions regarding the preparation and execution of the Shrimp Gumbo from Scratch Recipe. To help you further understand the process and enable you to make the best gumbo possible, I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions along with their respective answers. So, let’s dive in!

What is the secret ingredient in gumbo?

According to some trusted companions, incorporating chicken stock into your chicken and sausage gumbo recipe is a game-changer in achieving a truly exquisite taste.

What are the 2 rules of gumbo?

Section I: The Importance of Choosing Ingredients Carefully
As any skilled home chef will tell you, the secret to a great dish lies in the ingredients. One crucial thing to keep in mind is that certain ingredients simply do not belong in certain dishes. Take, for example, the humble tomato. While it may be a staple of many cuisines, true foodies know that when it comes to certain dishes, it’s simply a no-go. A wise chef knows when to omit or swap ingredients, and always chooses the right ones for the job.

Section II: The Significance of Choosing Quality Products
Choosing the right ingredients is one thing, but ensuring they’re of the highest quality is another. For instance, when it comes to gumbo, I have one unwavering rule: thou shalt not use un-Cajun sausage. Only the best, authentic Cajun sausage will do. Trust me, I’ve tried to cut corners before and it never ends well. The right kind of sausage will not only enhance the flavor of the gumbo, but bring out its essence in a way no subpar ingredient ever could. So always choose quality, even if it requires a little extra effort!

Does shrimp need to be cooked before adding to gumbo?

Get ready for a mouth-watering, authentic Creole experience with this gumbo with okra recipe that is surprisingly easy to make! If you’re in a hurry, using pre-cooked, Cajun-seasoned shrimp will save you some time, but feel free to use raw shrimp if you prefer. Don’t forget to adjust the spices to your liking. Whether you like it hot or mild, this gumbo recipe will not disappoint. Get ready to savor some delicious Creole flavors!

What is traditionally in gumbo?

When it comes to preparing a delicious gumbo dish, there are several key components that you’ll need to keep in mind. First and foremost, a richly flavored stock is essential, as is the addition of meat, shellfish or perhaps both. Thickening agents are also important, with okra and filé powder being two popular options. Finally, no gumbo would be complete without the inclusion of the “holy trinity” of Creole cooking – bell peppers, celery, and onions.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re looking to impress your friends and family with a delicious and authentic taste of New Orleans, this shrimp gumbo recipe from scratch is just what you need. With its rich, deep flavors, tender shrimp, and perfectly cooked vegetables, this dish is guaranteed to have everyone coming back for more.

Whether you want to stick to the classic recipe or experiment with different substitutions and variations, the key to making gumbo is to take your time and be patient. From simmering your roux to cooking your sausage and shrimp just right, every step counts when it comes to creating the perfect dish.

So go ahead, whip up a pot of this mouthwatering gumbo in your trusty Dutch oven or cast iron skillet, and enjoy a taste of Louisiana that’s sure to transport you straight to the bustling streets of the Big Easy. Remember, when it comes to gumbo, Thou Shalt not rush – take it slow and savor every bite!

Shrimp Gumbo from Scratch

Shrimp Gumbo from Scratch Recipe

This recipe comes from my good friend Robert's mother. It was written on a scrap of paper in no particular order. As with all my recipes, it is a starting point so please, feel free to adapt it to your personal tastes...if you don't like okra, leave it out. If you like smoked sausage in your gumbo, add it. We like crab claws in ours but they weren't in the original recipe. There is also a Louisiana spice in it called Slap Ya Mama that you can find on line, which is Robert's addition to his Mama's recipe. Tony's seasoning would do in a pinch. Also don't rush making the takes time and patience.
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Prep Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 405.8 kcal


  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 1 cup self rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups green onion tops
  • 1 -2 tablespoon cajun spices (Slap Ya Mama)
  • 3 lbs shrimp, peeled
  • 3 cups okra, sliced


  • Stir together oil and flour in a cast iron skillet.
  • Cook over medium low heat 30 to 40 minutes stirring constantly, until chocolate brown, adding thyme, oregano, parsley and salt halfway through.
  • In a seperate skillet, melt butter and saute white onion,celery, bell pepper and garlic until tender.
  • In a stockpot combine chicken broth, water, tomatoes, tomato paste, green onions, sauted vegetables and 1 Tbl Slap Ya Mama and heat to warm.
  • Add cooked roux to stockpot and slow simmer 2 hours adding the shrimp and okra the last half hour.
  • The last half hour is also the time to add more Slap Ya Mama and salt to taste.
  • Serve over rice.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 555gCalories: 405.8kcalCarbohydrates: 19.9gProtein: 20.6gFat: 27.7gSaturated Fat: 8.2gCholesterol: 163.2mgSodium: 1614.7mgFiber: 3.6gSugar: 5.6g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Gumbo, Stew
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