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Seafood and Okra Gumbo

Seafood and Okra Gumbo is full of fresh shrimp, crabmeat, and oysters in a rich and flavorful roux with plenty of spice.

Bowl full of Seafood and Okra Gumbo with mound of rice.

A homemade pot of gumbo is definitely worth the work and the wait. And luckily gumbo only gets better with time so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor for more than one day.

This particular okra gumbo is totally seafood based. There’s no chicken or sausage, but you could add some andouille sausage if you are a stickler for having sausage in your gumbo.

Pot full of seafood gumbo.

Why Add Okra To Gumbo?

A lot of people don’t like okra or think they don’t like okra. But it’s a very important part of this gumbo, adding both flavor and acting as a thickener. Okra is one of the 3 ways a gumbo can be thickened. The other two are using a roux and file powder. Okra has a high amount of mucilage which gives it its slimy quality. It is this mucilage that helps thicken the gumbo.

Note: If you want to try a Seafood Gumbo without okra, try this Seafood Gumbo. It is amazing and it is full of shrimp, crab and andouille.

The okra for this recipe is cooked for 30 minutes. Cooking it this long gets rid of the slimy texture and really enhances its flavor.

The hardest part of making gumbo is making the roux and it really takes patience. A combination of butter and vegetable oil is cooked with the flour to make this roux. Be ready to stir for a full 30 minutes. You can stop stirring for a few seconds here and there but if you’re like me, you run the risk of getting distracted and burning your roux. The darker you get your roux, the more flavor your gumbo will have.

If you’re short on time, try this 30-Minute Gumbo!

Bowl full of Seafood and Okra Gumbo

More New Orleans Favorites:

SEasfood and Okra Gumbo with Rice

Seafood and Okra Gumbo

Seafood and Okra Gumbo is full of fresh shrimp, crabmeat, and oysters in a rich and flavorful roux with plenty of spice.

PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound fresh okra, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups shrimp or chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pint freshly shucked oysters with liquor


  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of Vegetable oil over medium heat. Add okra and cook, stirring frequently for 25 to 30 minutes or until okra is lightly browned and no longer slimy.
    Remove from heat and set aside.
  • While okra is cooking, make the roux.
    Heat butter and remaining vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot until butter is melted. 
  • Add flour and and cook and stir for 30 minutes, or until a dark brown color. Heat should be medium to medium-low. If the heat is too hot, the roux will burn and you will have to start over.
  • Add onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook, stirring often for 8 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, stock, bay leaves, salt, Creole seasoning, hot sauce, thyme, white pepper and okra. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes uncovered.
  • Add crab meat and parsley and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes or until they are mostly pink.
  • Add oysters and cook just until their edges start to curl, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Serve with rice.


Instead of using fresh okra, you can use frozen okra that has been thawed.


Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 188mg | Sodium: 1457mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: cajun recipes

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Nutritional info is provided as a guide only and can vary based on brands of products used, measuring techniques, and cooking methods.

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35 thoughts on “Seafood and Okra Gumbo”

  1. If you have the time, it’s so much easier to cook your roux in the oven. Use a pan that can go in the oven as well as on the stovetop. Mix vegetable oil and flour and bake for 1 1/2 hours, stirring 2 or 3 times. Thus gives you a pretty deep brick red colored roux.

  2. Ps. I t will be my first time cooking fresh okra. Other cooks often say it can cause the dish to become slimy if it isn’t cooked properly. Does sautéing it until the okra is no longer slimy but dry the sort of “trick” to preparing the okra so that this will not happen?

    I’d really love to use fresh okra instead of frozen. The directions are very clear although any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks again!

  3. What a fantastic recìpe list of ingredients! I can’t wait to make your Gumbo with Okra. I can already see by the ingredient list that it will be amazing. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  4. Picked up fresh okra at a Farmer’s market and decided to try this recipe. The only changes I made were leaving out the oysters, using veggie stock and had to use a bit less lump crab because of the cost. Prepping and measuring everything ahead made it easy and I will definitely make again, although I will leave out the 1 tsp. salt until the end and add to taste since the Creole seasoning had salt as did the veggie stock, which made it just a bit too salty for my taste. Other than that, this recipe is definitely a keeper!

  5. I can’t wait to try this. Looks soooo good. And, I always have liquor with my oysters and when I cook period. lol

  6. Katrina Triplett

    I made this for my husband and he absolutely enjoyed it so much, that he went out and brought me a new Brahmin and a matching wallet…

  7. Elisabeth P Berman

    Excellent recipe.! I added a chopped jalapeno, and also followed a separate shrimp stock recipe (utilizing shrimp shells) that I believed enhanced the flavor. Also added some fresh chopped green onions along with the parsley at the end.

  8. What about using file powder. I thought it is pretty essential to true gumbo. How much file powder should I use? Thanks

    1. Gumbo purist

      When making Gumbo you either use filè or okra. But never both. Where I disagree with this recipe is putting tomatoes in it. But thats me.

      1. Bettie Maggret ( Nix)

        I miss Cace’s in Longview Texas. Their gumbo did not use tomato and it was sooo good.

    2. When making gumbo you can either use a flour roux with the okra, or filé its depends on your preference.

  9. Just made this last night, closest recipe to tasting as good as my Mother’s. Thanks for bringing back 50 years of gumbo love.

  10. Janet Bradley

    Could I use crushed tomatoes in this recipe. It sounds AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!!!!

    Thanks, Janet

  11. Recipe calls for two sets of shrimp! Why? Also, if there are to be leftovers, shrimp should not be cooked unless you use just the amount you are serving for that day. The rest can be frozen for the next time or used for another meal. And to Marie, I have also used fish heads from the freezer, fried down and strained for the stock and used in the making of the roux. And to Ron, I have tried the powdered kind and used sardines in the stock and it came out fantastic as well. Amazing what can be substituted.

    1. Bobbie Osterman

      Marie, I also use fish stock and strain it. And now I see it isn’t two shrimps its shrimp or chicken stock. But like you I prefer seafood stock. And I would never use hot sauce in my gumbo, I always use andouille sausage in mine. I do not use oysters because I like to freeze my leftovers. I eat gumbo year round and they don’t freeze well. I make french bread with garlic butter with it and I do not like rice with mine. I prefer my gumbo thick and I usually do not make my okra outside the gumbo mix, I keep it inside and let it thicken itself and the slime will dissapate in the mix. As for canned tomatoes, I use frozen tomatoes and put them in whole, after they have thawed, same with frozen okra. I usually have fresh and frozen okra by the time I am ready to make mine. I have gobs of stuff ready to cook for the gumbo because its freezer making time, making enough for one for about 6 months.

    2. Two sets of shrimp?? I didn’t see that; I only see adding shrimp stock & later adding the shrimp in the last few minutes of cooking in this recipe.
      Having grown up close to Cajun Country, everyone knows whenever you have a shrimp/lobster boil you save all the shells in the freezer then use later to make your stock for gumbo or anything with Roux as a base!
      Shrimp can definitely be frozen if done properly to prevent freezer burn, hence all the cooked flash frozen shrimp sold everywhere. To my knowledge, the only seafood in gumbo that definitely can’t be frozen are the oysters. I scoop out any remaining oysters before freezing my leftover gumbo. If done properly, this gumbo is still delicious several months later!!!

    3. Can you expound on using sardines for the fish stock? I’m intrigued by this idea. Thx, John

  12. This recipe was soooo good! I made a couple of swaps though…charred some tomatoes a few minutes on the grill, threw them in the blender and used that instead of canned tomatoes. Also, made my own seafood stock with leftover shrimp & lobster shells, some Old Bay seasoning, 1/2 an onion, and 2 cloves of garlic. Sooo much more flavor than chicken stock. Also, the fried okra trick was great! My husband doesn’t like okra and he didn’t mind it with this preparation. Was a delicious meal. Paired with some cauliflower rice.

  13. Try making a dry roux. It’s so much easier and you never have to worry about it burning.


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