Good New Orleans Creole Gumbo


I am going to give you my Creole gumbo recipe. I learned to cook from my mother and grandmother who were born and raised in New Orleans and really knew how to cook. Most of the time, you could not get them to write down their recipes because they used a 'pinch' of this and 'just enough of that' and 'two fingers of water,' and so on. This recipe is a combination of both of their recipes which I have added to over the years. Serve over hot cooked rice. The gumbo can be frozen or refrigerated and many people like it better the next day. Bon appetit!

Prep Time:
1 hrs
Cook Time:
2 hrs 40 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 40 mins
20 servings

New Orleans-style gumbo is a true taste of Southern tradition. This boldly flavored stew is bursting with fresh, filling ingredients like bell pepper, sausage, stewed tomatoes, and crabmeat. Hot sauce ad Cajun seasonings add a kick that makes this Lousiana dish a favorite amongst our community of home cooks. Learn how to make the best homestyle gumbo right here.

What Is Gumbo?

Gumbo is one of the most famous dishes to result from Louisiana's shared Creole-Cajun heritage. Gumbo falls somewhere between a thick stew and a hearty soup and can contain ingredients such as chicken, sausage, ham, seafood, okra, tomatoes, and greens.

As varied as the recipes can be, there are a few ingredients that all gumbos have in common: homemade stock; the "holy trinity" of celery, onions, and green peppers; and roux.

How to Make Gumbo

Boldly delicious New Orleans-style gumbo is surprisingly easy to make at home. You'll find the full recipe below with step-by-step instructions, but here's what you can expect when you make this top-rated recipe:

Great gumbo starts with roux, a flavorful thickening agent made from equal parts fat and flour. Once the roux is a deep golden color, add diced veggies and sausage to the mix. Then, incorporate beef bouillon, hot sauce, tomatoes, and seasonings to intensify the flavor.

Let the gumbo simmer for 45 minutes before adding file powder, okra, and seafood. The result will be a lusciously hearty stew packed with Creole spice.

What Is Gumbo File?

Gumbo file, or file powder, is made from dried sassafras leaves. This ingredient was first used by Choctaw Indians and was later adopted by Acadians (Cajuns) when they arrived in the American South.

Gumbo file has a deep, earthy flavor similar to thyme and should be added to gumbo in the last minutes of cooking — it helps to thicken and enrich the stew for an authentic taste of New Orleans.

How to Store Leftover Gumbo

Leftover gumbo can be stored safely in the refrigerator for three to four days. Let the dish come to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container to enjoy later. Gently reheat on the stovetop for best results.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This is one of the best gumbos I've ever had and my family is from the South so that is saying a lot — just don't tell my mother or grandmother," shares reviewer mellie18_99. "I added shrimp, sausage, chicken, and crab meat."

"This recipe is the real deal," raves home cook Pat. "Don't forget the file gumbo at the very end, it makes a big difference. You will know when the roux is done when it has the color of a Hershey's milk chocolate bar."

"This was my very first time making gumbo and my guests who had come over for a King Party loved it!" says Shaw Kitty. "Some of these guests were born and raised Louisianans and they gave their approval as well!"

Editorial contributions by Rai Mincey and Vanessa Greaves


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup bacon drippings

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 large green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced

  • 3 quarts water

  • 6 cubes beef bouillon

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • salt to taste

  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco®), or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend (such as Tony Chachere's®), or to taste

  • 4 bay leaves

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 4 teaspoons file powder, divided

  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings

  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen cut okra, thawed

  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

  • 1 pound lump crabmeat

  • 3 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


  1. Gather all ingredients.

    All ingredients gathered to make New Orleans Creole gumbo.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Make the roux: Whisk together flour and 3/4 cup bacon drippings in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth. Cook roux, whisking constantly, until it turns a rich mahogany brown color. This can take 20 to 30 minutes; watch heat carefully and whisk constantly or roux will burn. Remove from heat; continue whisking until mixture stops cooking.

    Roux being mixed until it turns a rich mahogany color.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Make the gumbo: Place celery, onion, green bell pepper, and garlic into the work bowl of a food processor, and pulse until all vegetables are very finely chopped.

  4. Stir vegetables into the roux, and mix in sausage. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, and cook until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

    Vegetables stirred into the roux and sausage mixed in, cooking until tender.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  5. Combine water and beef bouillon cubes in a large Dutch oven or soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until bouillon cubes dissolve, then whisk roux mixture into the boiling water.

  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and mix in sugar, salt, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, stewed tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Simmer soup over low heat for 1 hour; mix in 2 teaspoons of file gumbo powder at the 45-minute mark.

  7. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons bacon drippings in a skillet over medium heat. Add okra and vinegar and cook for 15 minutes; remove okra with a slotted spoon, and stir into the simmering gumbo.

  8. Mix in reserved vegetables, crabmeat, shrimp, and Worcestershire sauce, and simmer until flavors have blended, 45 more minutes. Stir in 2 more teaspoons of file gumbo powder just before serving.

    All ingredients mixed together and simmering until all flavors have blended.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  9. Serve hot and enjoy!

    a close up view of a single bowl of creole gumbo served with steamed white rice and fresh herbs


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

283 Calories
17g Fat
12g Carbs
21g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 20
Calories 283
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 143mg 48%
Sodium 853mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 19mg 96%
Calcium 81mg 6%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 428mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love