Gumbo Z'Herbes


This simple, vegetarian take on gumbo focuses on hearty greens made extra flavorful by simmering with the holy trinity onion, celery, and bell pepper. This would be great with hot sauce and toasted benne (sesame) seeds. Or, top each bowl with seared or grilled andouille or Conecuh® sausage.

Bowl of Gumbo Z'Herbs served with white rice
Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
12 cups


  • 2 medium leeks

  • 2 bunches collard greens

  • 2 bunches turnip greens

  • 2 bunches Lacinato kale

  • 2 bunches rainbow chard

  • 2 large stalks celery with leaves

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme, divided

  • 1 medium head green cabbage, cored and chopped

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon file powder

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 3 cups cooked white rice


  1. Cut leeks in half lengthwise, then slice both white and green parts crosswise into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Remove and discard stems from collard greens, turnip greens, kale, and chard; chop all greens, keeping them separate. Dice celery stalks and reserve leaves for garnish.

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and 1 tablespoon thyme; cook, stirring frequently, until leeks are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add collard greens, turnip greens, and cabbage; cook, stirring frequently, until greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Add kale, chard, and 1 tablespoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until all greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking greens, stirring frequently, until tender and no longer bitter, about 10 minutes. Remove greens from the pot and transfer to a large bowl; set aside until ready to use.

  3. Wipe out the pot and melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until flour mixture is dark brown in color and very aromatic (try to get this mixture as dark as possible without burning it), about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, onion, and diced celery; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and remaining 1 tablespoon thyme; cook, stirring constantly, until tender and fragrant, about 1 minute.

  4. Whisk in vegetable broth. Add reserved braised greens, add bay leaves, black pepper, file powder, and crushed red pepper. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with remaining 1 tablespoon salt.

  5. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with reserved celery leaves, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

232 Calories
7g Fat
39g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 232
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 1283mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 202mg 1,010%
Calcium 386mg 30%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 955mg 20%

* 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.

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