Easy Gumbo Recipe

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Easy gumbo recipe – Did you know that Instant Pot + soul food = magic?!

Then it’s probably easy for you to imagine an easy gumbo Instant Pot recipe that’ll fill your mouth with delicious flavors. And at the same time, it warms your body and soul.

Because food for the body is not enough – there must be food for the soul!

Like gumbo – a Cajun soul food filled with delicious ingredients like crab meat, fish stock, and spicy red curry paste, these ingredients combine to embody everything you’d expect. And nothing like anything you’ve ever tasted – for one heaping bowl of outstanding Southern Creole cuisine!

 

Easy Gumbo Recipe

 

Is gumbo a Southern dish?

Nothing’s more Louisiana than gumbo! Because gumbo is a classic southern dish that originates from Louisiana. 

I can’t even imagine anyone visiting this Southern state or the famous city of New Orleans without enjoying it! 

Luscious and spicy, gumbo always satisfies with the perfect balance of meat and heat.

 

 

This easy gumbo is a hearty Louisiana Cajun recipe that combines Creole seasoning and Thai flavors, like two peas in a pod! 

The insides are rich with the sweet tastes of peanut oil, coconut milk, and tender crab meat. Perfect for stormy weather and cozy winter nights. Or days when you wish you were back in The Big Easy!

This easy Louisiana gumbo recipe will warm you right up like a thick blanket with a whole lot of delicious ingredients inside!

 

What is gumbo?

Gumbo is a soup or stew made from fish stock (or chicken stock), roux, okra, meat (usually chicken or seafood – yes, there’s also chicken gumbo!), and vegetables. 

“Gumbo” derives its name from an African language that means okra. Gumbo is often served over rice with oyster crackers on top.

Winter nights are the perfect time to serve this dish. Besides being healthy and delicious, it’s also easy to prepare. 

Recipes like these are so great because they can be made with ingredients found in most grocery stores. So you won’t have trouble finding what you need for this seemingly exotic meal! 

If you’ve never heard of gumbo before, then it’s time to read up on this dish and start cooking and eating!

 

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Fesenjan Recipe

 

Need an easy gumbo recipe?

This recipe for easy gumbo with fresh crab meat, crab claws, or crab legs is a perfect way to enjoy one of my favorite Southern soul food Creole dishes without having to spend hours and hours prepping or cooking! 

With the magic of Instant Pot, you can cook soul food in a matter of minutes instead of a home-cooked recipe like this stewing in a hot pot all day for hours – and then you need a 4-hour nap afterward!

Are you ready for this tantalizing treat? Here we go!

 

Why are there so many variations of gumbo recipes?

One reason is family traditions, handed down and then modified over generations. 

Then consider technology and how cooking methods change, including Crockpots and the revolutionary Instant Pot cooking method.

 

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How to make easy gumbo

How do you make gumbo from scratch?

Use this easy gumbo recipe. It’s quick and as simple as sauteing red peppers and red curry paste for one minute before adding the remaining ingredients for a 15-minute “slow cook!”

This dish is easy to prepare and doesn’t require many ingredients, so you’ll enjoy it in no time! 

Here’s what you need to make this Big Easy Cajun seasoning specialty:

 

Simple Gumbo Recipe

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 2 ½ cups of coconut milk
  • 2 ½ cup of fish stock (seafood stock will also work)
  • 2 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce
  • 8 oz canned or fresh white crab meat
  • 8 oz fresh or frozen crab claws or crab legs
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning or Creole gumbo file powder
  • 3 scallions (green onion), chopped
  • Optional: ½ a cup of sliced okra

 

Seafood Gumbo

 

Easy gumbo recipe with or without okra

Instant Pot instructions

  1. Turn the Instant Pot sauté setting on for 5 minutes.
  2. In the stainless-steel inner pot, allow the Instant Pot to heat the peanut oil. Remove the inner pot to swirl the oil around to coat the bottom of the pot.
  3. Add the curry paste and bell pepper and sauté for 1 minute. 
  4. Add the coconut milk, fish stock, and fish sauce and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the Cajun/Creole seasoning, cayenne pepper, crabmeat, crab claws or legs, cilantro, bay leaf, scallions, and okra (if using okra).
  6. Stir the mixture well and change the Instant Pot setting to ‘soup/broth.’
  7. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is in the sealing position – up) and cook on the soup/broth setting for 15 minutes.
  8. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural release of pressure for at least 8 minutes.
  9. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  10. Serve gumbo hot over rice and enjoy!

 

Easy seafood gumbo recipe

Stovetop instructions

  1. Over medium heat, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottom pan, swirling it around to coat.
  2. Add the red bell pepper and red curry paste and sauté/stir-fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add the coconut milk, fish stock, and fish sauce and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the Cajun/Creole seasoning, cayenne pepper, crabmeat, crab claws or legs, cilantro, bay leaf, scallions, and okra (if using okra).
  5. Stir the mixture well and heat thoroughly for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
  6. Serve gumbo hot over rice and enjoy!

 

What is the secret ingredient in this easy gumbo?

It’s the roux! The coconut milk adds flavor and creaminess and combines well with the red curry paste for a delicious roux. While the crabmeat provides an excellent contrast with its salty taste.

 

What is the secret ingredient in this easy gumbo?

 

How much roux do you use for the gumbo?

Follow the recipe instructions for the right amount of roux.

But to answer the question, what’s the ratio for a roux? 

Follow this rule of thumb:

The darker the roux, the less thickening ability it will have. Therefore, maintaining a roux ratio of 1 part fat to 1 part flour by weight will make for a successful gumbo, soup, or stew.

 

What kind of rice do you use for gumbo?

Gumbo is almost always served over white rice. 

This coconut rice recipe compliments the Caribbean coconut milk ingredient in this easy gumbo recipe.

 

Coconut Rice Recipe
Coconut rice is a Caribbean rice dish made by soaking white rice in coconut milk for a naturally sweet and tasty coconut flavor. The easiest way to prepare coconut rice, hands down, is in a mere 4 minutes in the Instant Pot!
Check out this recipe!
Coconut Rice

 

Why Is Gumbo So Good?

 

What is traditionally served with gumbo?

What side dishes go with gumbo? Gumbo is a Creole soul food enjoyed around the world! So it depends where you live to determine what sides are traditionally served with this dish.

For example, if you are in Louisiana, it would be rice and okra. In the Philippines, they might serve spaghetti or macaroni soup for lunch with their gumbo.

 

What do you serve with gumbo?

Other sides to serve with gumbo include seafoodSouthern-style green beanscoco bread, potato salad, and cabbage

You can garnish gumbo with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley. Or add crunchy oyster crackers or Louisiana hot sauce on top!

 

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Side dish ideas for seafood gumbo

If you’re serving a seafood gumbo, where you’ve added shrimp and crawfish to the mix, you may enjoy it with these sides: 

  • Jambalaya (rice dish)
  • cornbread muffins
  • hush puppies (fried balls of cornmeal batter)
  • heirloom tomato salad

 

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You’ll never want another dry slice of bread again!
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Can you freeze easy gumbo?

The answer is Yes! Frozen gumbo can be thawed and reheated for later use.  

You only need to make sure not to add the rice and okra when freezing it because these two ingredients will turn into mush when thawed out.

 

How do you unfreeze gumbo?

You can unfreeze gumbo by allowing it to sit out at room temperature and thaw or with the microwave defrost setting.

Pro tip: You can transfer the frozen gumbo to thaw and reheat on the slow cook or soup/broth Instant Pot settings. This is a much better way to defrost while also preserving and intensifying the flavors.

 

Why is gumbo so good?

This question is also answered by the question – What is the main ingredient in gumbo?

Gumbo is a hearty soup that has roots in Louisiana. It usually contains okra, onions, celery, and roux as the main ingredients for a savory flavor with just the right amount of spice. You should try gumbo for these reasons:

  • Gumbo tastes great! The mix of hearty seasonings, seafood, and spices makes this dish a Southern soul food delicacy!
  • A large pot of gumbo can go a long way for a hungry group! People love gumbo because it’s hard to stop at one bowl. It’s so delicious and filling!
  • The ingredients in gumbo aid heart health (coconut milk) and weight loss (lean seafood meat) – what more could you want?!

 

Gumbo Recipe

 

What gives gumbo its flavor?

What makes gumbo unique compared to other soups? 

It’s the secret ingredient. The secret to a flavorful gumbo can be attributed to the roux. 

 

What is a roux in cooking?

A roux is a thickening agent used in stews and sauces.

 

How do you make a roux?

It’s usually made by cooking flour and oil or butter together until they’re browned. Then adding in stock or water and stir until the mixture becomes creamy and thick. 

This recipe uses creamy coconut milk and spicy red curry paste as the thickeners to create the roux. 

 

How do you know when the roux is done?

It’s essential to cook the roux just long enough so that all of the raw taste has been cooked out of it because this is the base of your gumbo dish. Then, when the raw taste is gone, you’ll know the roux is done.

 

What oil is best for gumbo roux?

You can use many oils to make a roux; however, none compare to peanut oil (not to be confused with peanut butter). 

This is because peanuts have a high burning point and contain an optimal balance of omega-6 fatty acids responsible for the flavor in gumbo. If you’re looking for something with fewer calories, then rice bran oil or grapeseed oil are the next best go-to’s – even before olive oil.

 

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Why call this a gumbo?

Gumbo derives its name from the West African word “ngombo,” which means okra soup or sauce. 

 

What is the first ingredient in gumbo?

Knowing that the word gumbo is an African word that means okra, it should be no surprise that okra is considered the first gumbo ingredient. 

Check out Netflix’s original soul food documentary High On The Hog to learn more interesting facts about okra and how this native African vegetable made its way to America.

 

What is gumbo file powder?

Gumbo file powder is a spice that has been used in Cajun and Creole cooking for centuries. It was initially made from ground sassafras leaves, but now you can find it in the form of gumbo file powder or whole leaves. The powder is typically mixed with water to create a thick sauce that adds flavor to dishes like jambalaya or roux-based gumbos.

 

What are the two types of gumbo?

Gumbos are classified into two types: gumbo thickened with okra. Or gumbo thickened with a roux or powder. (So the question should technically be, what are the 3 types of roux?)

This easy gumbo recipe falls into the roux/file powder category unless you add the optional okra – in which case it becomes classified as both!

 

How do you thicken up your gumbo?

People often ask, how do you thicken gumbo with a roux?

To thicken up gumbo, you can add an extra tablespoon or two of flour to the roux. 

Some use okra as a thickening agent instead of flour. It requires more time to cook, but it thickens naturally.

You can purchase fresh okra at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. 

 

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Black Southern Banana Pudding

 

Can you use canned okra? 

If you don’t have access to fresh okra, use canned instead. Just make sure the okra is drained well before adding to the pot to avoid a mushy texture.

 

Types of flour to thicken gumbo?

Combining two types of flour can also enhance flavor and thickness. For example, try using equal parts cornstarch with all-purpose flour or white rice flour with sorghum (gluten-free options).

 

Other ways to thicken gumbo

A great way to thicken up gumbo without using too much cornstarch or extra fat is by substituting with a liquid, like vegetable or chicken broth. Onions are another excellent option. Or use file powder to thicken gumbo.

 

Is file powder necessary for gumbo?

Gumbo can be thickened with file powder, but is it necessary? 

Various variations of how to make gumbo exist. File powder is not used in the most popular version, gumbo étouffée. 

Some argue that adding file powder makes a better soup; however, the best way to find out is by experimenting with your own recipe!

 

What can you use if you don't have gumbo file powder?

 

What can you use if you don’t have gumbo file powder?

Acceptable substitutes for file powder include corn starch, okra, nopal leaves, peppers, tomato, celery, or a flour-based roux. You can also use a Cajun spice or seasoning.

 

Why are there so many variations of how to make gumbo?

There are many variations of how to make gumbo because the ingredients are interchangeable. Recipes may also vary by household, heritage, and generation.

 

Are there tomatoes in Cajun gumbo?

Some Creole cooking versions include diced tomatoes. While some Cajun varieties include chicken or other meats like andouille sausage.

 

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Tomato Watermelon Salad

 

What ingredients are in easy chicken gumbo?

Chicken gumbo includes the same ingredients as any other gumbo recipe, except the seafood is replaced with shredded chicken or meat from chicken thighs.

 

Can you cook gumbo all day?

How long does it normally take to make gumbo?

You will likely cook gumbo all day – or for at least 3 hours – if you’re using a traditional recipe – not the quicker Instant Pot pressure cooking method.

 

Do you cook gumbo covered or uncovered?

Traditional recipes suggest that you bring the gumbo to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered for at least 3 hours or up to all day.

This Instant Pot easy gumbo recipe also requires 15 minutes of slow cooking with the pot covered.

 

Why is your gumbo so oily?

Do you know why your gumbo is so oily? It could be one of a couple of reasons. 

  • First, you may be using too much oil. 
  • Or not enough roux to thicken the mixture. 

 

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Why does gumbo spoil so quickly?

It’s important to know that gumbo spoils very quickly because of the high levels of oil content, milky base, and seafood in this stew.

 

How do you know if gumbo has gone bad?

An unforgiving smell is a good indicator that the gumbo is no longer suitable to eat.

 

Seafood Gumbo Recipe

 

What is the difference between jambalaya and gumbo?

Gumbo and jambalaya are both regional Cajun dishes of Louisiana. Jambalaya is a rice dish with tomatoes, onions, celery, green peppers, and ham. 

Gumbo is a stew that can contain any combination of the following ingredients: okra, onion, garlic, red or green bell pepper, black pepper, or chili pepper; seafood (shrimp or crab), smoked sausage (such as andouille), tomato sauce; thyme leaves; bay leaves; cayenne pepper and black peppercorns. 

 

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Is gumbo a soup or stew?

People often ask, is gumbo thick or thin? Is it a soup or stew?

Gumbo is thicker in consistency than a soup. Yet not quite as explicit and brothy as a stew. So it often ends up being defined by region.

In the South, it’s a soup. In the North, it’s a stew. 

Many people argue whether gumbo is a soup or stew because there are many different recipes for this dish. 

Because they all have different ingredients that define them as one or the other, I’d say that gumbo can be both!

 

This recipe appeared first on ShaundaNecole.com on January 5, 2017.

Easy Gumbo Recipe

Easy Gumbo Recipe

Nothing's more Louisiana than gumbo! A classic Southern dish and culinary staple in The Big Easy.
This easy gumbo recipe is Cajun cooking combined with Creole seasoning & spicy flavors - served over rice and pressure cooker ready in only 15 minutes!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Natural Pressure Release Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cajun food, Creole food, Soul Food, Southern Food
Keyword: authentic gumbo recipe, easy gumbo, easy gumbo recipe, easy Louisiana gumbo, Instant Pot Duo, Instant Pot recipe, seafood gumbo recipe, simple gumbo recipe
Servings: 6
Calories: 270kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot pressure cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and sliced
  • 2 ½ cups coconut milk
  • 2 ½ cups fish stock seafood stock will also work
  • 2 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • 8 oz crab meat canned or fresh
  • 8 oz crab fresh or frozen crab claws or legs
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning or Creole gumbo file powder
  • 3 scallions chopped
  • ½ cup okra optional: sliced

Instructions

  • Instant Pot instructions
  • Turn the Instant Pot sauté setting on for 5 minutes.
  • In the stainless-steel inner pot, allow the Instant Pot to heat the peanut oil. Remove the inner pot to swirl the oil around to coat the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the curry paste and bell pepper and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Add the coconut milk, fish stock, and fish sauce and bring to a boil.
  • Add the Cajun/Creole seasoning, cayenne pepper, crabmeat, crab claws or legs, cilantro, bay leaf, scallions, and okra (if using okra).
  • Stir the mixture well and change the Instant Pot setting to ‘soup/broth.’
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is in the sealing position – up) and cook on the soup/broth setting for 15 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural release of pressure for at least 8 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Serve gumbo hot over rice and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Stovetop instructions

  1. Over medium heat, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottom pan, swirling it around to coat.
  2. Add the red bell pepper and red curry paste and sauté/stir-fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add the coconut milk, fish stock, and fish sauce and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the Cajun/Creole seasoning, cayenne pepper, crabmeat, crab claws or legs, cilantro, bay leaf, scallions, and okra (if using okra).
  5. Stir the mixture well and heat thoroughly for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
  6. Serve gumbo hot over rice and enjoy!
Easy Gumbo Recipe Card

Nutrition

Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 1205mg | Potassium: 522mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2198IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 4mg
Nutrition Facts
Easy Gumbo Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
270
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
22
g
34
%
Saturated Fat
 
18
g
113
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
20
mg
7
%
Sodium
 
1205
mg
52
%
Potassium
 
522
mg
15
%
Carbohydrates
 
7
g
2
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
14
g
28
%
Vitamin A
 
2198
IU
44
%
Vitamin C
 
33
mg
40
%
Calcium
 
94
mg
9
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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2 Comments

  1. Cyrene
    October 5, 2021 / 3:20 pm

    5 stars
    Everytime I heard the word “Gumbo” I remember Tiana from the The Princess and the Frog movie of Walt Disney. I doubted if it was a real food (LOL), but now I know it’s real and looks appetizing!

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