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Gumbo is a hearty Cajun stew made with shrimp, smoked sausage and the Holy Trinity of vegetables, onions, bell peppers and celery. Served over rice for a comforting and delicious meal. 

Shrimp & Smoked Sausage Gumbo served over rice

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Gumbo is the official state cuisine of Louisiana and it would be pretty tough to find a more comforting and delicious dinner. You can’t go wrong with delicious comfort food like JambalayaRed Beans and Rice

Our kids love these Blackened Shrimp Po Boys and this crawfish pie is a surefire winner evertime!

Just take me to the recipe! You can find the printable recipe card at the very bottom of the post. Just scroll on down to print. Read on for the step by step photos and tips for making Gumbo.



I have put off making gumbo because I thought was an elaborate and difficult recipe. It is actually really simple and perfect to make on the weekend for a Sunday dinner.

An easy meal to stretch to feed a crowd. If you have yet to try this, now is the time! Gumbo is one of the most delicious dinners that I’ve ever made.

How to Make Gumbo:

Holy Trinity of onions, bell peppers and celery plus minced garlic

  • Dice onions, bell peppers, celery, this is what’s called the Holy Trinity. I also added a whole head of minced garlic.

Sauted vegetables in a skillet

  • Sauté vegetables in butter until onions start to brown. 

Smoked Sausage and vegetables in a skillet

Adding broth to vegetables for shrimp gumbo

  • Stir in broth and keep warm.

Blonde roux for gumbo

  • Prepare the Roux: In a dutch oven or large pan melt two sticks of butter. Slowly whisk in one cup of flour, a bit at a time. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly about 20 minutes. 

Gumbo base in a pan

  • Whisk broth and vegetables into roux until smooth and starts to thicken. Lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add in additional broth if needed.

shrimp added into pan of gumbo

  • Quickly sauté shrimp in butter and stir into gumbo.  

Pan of shrimp and smoked sausage gumbo

  • Cook for 5- 10 minutes and remove from heat. Garnish with parsley if desired. 

Small cast iron pans of rice and gumbo

  • Serve over cooked rice. 

Tips for Making Gumbo:

  • Gumbo can be made with chicken, smoked sausage and shrimp. Any combination or using all three. It’s often described as thickener than soup but thinner than stew. You can easily make it to your own taste by adjusting the amount of broth that you add. 
  • For the roux we used butter, you can also use vegetable oil or bacon drippings but I highly recommend using real butter, it gives the gumbo a creamy taste. We made a light roux, you can also cook the roux until it’s darker in color.
  • Be careful not to burn the flour. The darker the roux, the less thickening power it will have. 
  • If you have okra on hand, it’s a great addition to gumbo and will also help thicken the stew. 
  • Cajun food is typically on the spicy side but you can easily adjust the level of heat to your own tastes. 

Shrimp Gumbo

Gumbo is a great dish to serve for entertaining, the levels of flavors are just incredible and it’s the kind of comfort food that has everyone coming back for seconds. 

More Cajun Recipes to Try:

Homemade Blackened Seasoning is perfect for Blackened Chicken Tacos, Blackened Pork Chops and our Cajun Smoked Turkey. We are also loving homemade Boudin Cajun sausage!

Gumbo served in small cast iron pans

Even if you have never visited Louisiana and tried their amazing cuisine, I am telling you this easy gumbo recipe is going to be one of your all time favorites. Add the ingredients to your shopping list and give it a try!



If you love this Recipe as much as I do, please leave a comment and a five star review, and be sure to help me share on Pinterest!

Gumbo with shrimp and smoked sausage
Print Recipe
4.38 from 8 votes


Gumbo is a hearty Cajun stew made with shrimp, smoked sausage and the Holy Trinity of vegetables, onions, bell peppers and celery. Served over rice for a comforting and delicious meal. 
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Cajun
Keyword: shrimp and smoked sausage gumbo, shrimp gumbo
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 586kcal
Author: Milisa


  • 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons butter divided use
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1 head garlic minced
  • 1 pound smoked sausage diced
  • 1 pound shrimp 71-90 Count
  • 4- 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 4 cups cooked rice


  • Add 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup of olive oil to a large skillet. Stir in vegetables and garlic. Sauté over medium heat until onions start to brown, stirring often about 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, smoked paprika, onion flakes, black pepper, salt, cumin and red pepper flakes. Stir into vegetables.
  • Add smoked sausage and combine. 
  • Stir in 4 cups of broth and keep warm.
  • Prepare the Roux: In a dutch oven or large pan melt two sticks of butter over low heat. Add flour about 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly. Continue to cook about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Whisk broth mixture into roux until smooth. Raise heat to medium high and whisk until thickened. Lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add additional broth to desired consistency. Mixture should be thicker than soup.
  • Quickly sauté shrimp in 2 tablespoons of butter and stir into gumbo.  
  • Serve over cooked rice. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 586kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 192mg | Sodium: 4414mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 11g


    1. Hi Ed,
      I just updated the recipe card. We used 71-90 count shrimp. You can always add more but I thought one pound was just right for this batch. I hope you try it and let us know what you think.


      1. This is NOT a gumbo…what you are describing above is more like an cajun etoufee. Please do not confuse people who really want to experience the taste of gumbo. Not to mention, it’s a HARD NO to brown sugar…gumbo or etouffee does NOT have brown sugar anywhere in it!

        I am of true Cajun/creole descent and have been cooking gumbo for 40+ yrs. PLEASE do not label this recipe as gumbo.

  1. Yep. I’m gonna make some of this. I have to get one of those little bags of frozen Okra first,the chicken broth, and use Red and Green Bell Peppers. Just for color!! Merry Christmas to you and your Family.
    USMC 66′-

  2. That looks really good on this cold day. Need to buy some of the ingredients I don’t have. Like cooking something like this to share with the family. Hope you all have a

  3. This is not gumbo. Not even close. Gumbo starts with the cooking of the Roux. The veggies are then added after the Roux is browned. They are cooked until softened. You then add some stock, chicken for chicken and sausage gumbo, seafood for shrimp gumbo. You let that simmer for awhile so the flavors can meld. After that then you add your meat. With shrimp, you only have to let them cook for a few minutes. No one I know adds sausage to shrimp gumbo as it will take over and hide the shrimp flavor. Also, your pictures and explanation tell me you don’t know what gumbo really is. You are describing an etouffee or just a Cajun style stew. Gumbo is a soup type fish And no, it’s not up for interpretation. And yes, I’m of Cajun decent.

    1. Creole descent, here. Family from St. Mary Parish, La, since the 1700’s. I agree with you. This is just so inherently WRONG, my heart wants to cry. It definitely looks like more of an étouffée. And, this blonde, barely-done roux is making my head hurt. This is the last thing I needed to come across at 3:45 in the morning. This is going to bug me all day.

      1. St. Martin Parish since my mom’s side (half French, half Acadian) move here while the territory was still under French control. Yes that roux hurts my soul. To elaborate for those that don’t understand a roux in Cajun cooking is placed over heat and stirred till it changes color. How dark you let it get depends on the dish and how your momma showed you.In my family, a crawfish or shrimp étouffée required the roux to be cooked till peanut butter color, or just slightly darker. For seafood gumbo, shrimp and crab gumbo or just shrimp gumbo it’s cooked till milk chocolate color. For Chicken and sausage (Sausage is never used with seafood in gumbo in our area), Duck and Andouille sausage, or other bird based gumbos, you cook the roux till it’s of a dark chocolate color. The reason for this is the darker the roux, the richer the flavor of the roux that transfers to to gumbo. You cook a lighter roux for étouffée and seafood gumbo because you want to taste the shrimp, crawfish, crab and oyster flavors in your dish. I will say thank you for taking in interest in our culture and our cuisine, but please do some more research before you post something as gumbo that is clearly not.

          1. Mr. Matthews, Greg said that sausage is not used in a seafood gumbo in HIS area. That doesn’t mean it is NOT used at all.

  4. As a resident in Louisiana I can confirm that this is definitely not a gumbo… This is more of a stew, if that.. gumbo is liquid.. you forgot to add 6-8 cups of water to the roux.. stew and gumbo are two TOTALLY different things… so that means cooking the roux for about 50 minuets to get a perfect chocolate color and then add water and simmer for about 3 hours for all the flavors to combine

  5. What in the name?!?!? This is NOT gumbo. It looks closer to an étouffée. Gumbo is liquid, not gravy-like. And you start with the roux, adding everything else to it, not the other way around. Lastly, if anyone ever served me a gumbo this light in color, I’d send it back. Just more evidence you did not develop the roux well. I sincerely wish people who have only had gumbo in restaurants or from pre-packaged grocery store products would stop insulting our intelligence.

  6. New Orleans Creole Gumbo I’m proud to say has chicken,crab meat,med.shrimp,and pork sausage in it. There are many ways to fix gumbo, many ingredients i.e. vegetables,spices,different types of broth, and a few different ways to fix the roux.
    Some folks eliminate certain veggies.It’s up to you want you want it
    I ask you.
    Please quit the recipe bashing. To each his own.
    Merry Christmas from 77563

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