Seafood Gumbo

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This delightful Seafood Gumbo is full of shrimp and crab and it has a nice spicy kick. There’s nothing like a warm bowl of gumbo, and I especially like a seafood gumbo.

Seafood Gumbo


Making a big pot of gumbo is a little labor intensive, but it lasts for days and only gets better with time. It’s perfect for a lazy afternoon spent at home. Build a nice fire in the fireplace and put your biggest pot on the stove.

Seafood Gumbo with shrimp and crab


The most time-consuming part and the most important part is making the roux. It is a process that should not be rushed. It forms the base of the flavor and you really want to take the time and develop a deep, robust flavor. Making roux can take some practice. Turn the heat up too high and it will burn and you will have to start again.

In addition to shrimp and crab, this Seafood Gumbo is also flavored with the Holy Trinity- (onions, bell pepper, and celery), lots of garlic, a bottle of beer, thyme, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, and lots of Cajun seasoning. Plus there’s a pound of andouille sausage for some meatiness.

Seafood Gumbo with shrimp and crab

Seafood Gumbo

Seafood Gumbo

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 10
This delightful Seafood Gumbo is full of shrimp and crab and it has a nice spicy kick. 
Print Recipe


  • 2 pounds unpeeled fresh large shrimp
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • 2 (32-ounce) cartons chicken broth
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle amber beer
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup green onion tops
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • Cooked rice for serving


  • Peel and devein shrimp, placing shrimp shells in a large pot. Refrigerate shrimp until needed.
  • In a large pot, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Add shrimp shells and cook until pink. Then add broth.
  • Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm until needed.
  • In a large Dutch oven, cook sausage until browned. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add oil and remaining 1/4 cup butter to Dutch oven. Heat over medium heat until butter is completely melted.
  • Add flour and stir with wooden spoon until smooth.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring frequently until roux is a dark caramel color. This will take 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add green pepper and celery and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring often.
  • Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  • Add beer and stir in well.
  • Pour shrimp stock through a fine-meshed sieve into Dutch oven. (I like to add it in 3 separate additions, mixing well between additions.
  • Add Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and bay leaves, plus the reserved andouille sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add green onions, parsley, and shrimp. When shrimp are pink, remove from heat and stir in crabmeat.
  • Serve with white rice.


Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Taste of the South Magazine

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103 thoughts on “Seafood Gumbo

  1. This is a great recipe That is very similar to what I start my seafood gumbo with. Instead of chicken broth I use clam juice, clams, calamari, smoked paprika and crushed red pepper.

  2. I have never made gumbo but plan to soon and I have a question. It says to add the crab meat after the shrimp turn pink but I don’t see anything about the crab being cooked anywhere in the recipe. Is it assumed that the crab is already cooked?

  3. I really like the components of this, but I add okra (a gluten-free thickener, folks), file…and I blacken the shrimp separately after marinating in blackening seasoning or cajun seasoning & oil. Makes for a gorg presentation. The roux has to be dark, imo.
    One other thing… if you don’t like the texture of okra (I don’t), use an immersion blender to pulverize it and the other veggies before adding meats. If it’s still not thick enough, make a quick slurry with equal parts corn starch and COLD water mix as with a fork as you add cold water to the corn starch. Start with 1 tbsp of each and adjust if needed after you add to the gumbo.

    I made gumbo with blackened shrimp for my dad, who was stationed in Biloxi ….and fell in love with New Orleans cuisine. He absolutely LOVED my gumbo, which is very similar to this, sans beer.

    And I’m so happy I spent that day with him making something he hasn’t eaten in decades, because two weeks later, he died from a septic infection and this was literally his last real meal.

  4. Ummm I really want to make this but I’m allergic to Bell peppers, parts of tomatoes (which are part of the nightshade any substitutes that won’t involve the nightshade family? so I can make this dish?

  5. Made this last night and it was terrific, very tasty with just the right amount of heat. Had it again tonight and it is even better!
    Followed the instructions and added some okra and Lima beans, just wanted some more veggies in it. Will make again, a total delight for the tastebuds

  6. This was the BEST gumbo recipe ever! It was easy to follow. I was not expecting the roux to change texture after adding the onion. I thought I did something wrong. But it all came together in the end. Thank you!

    1. The same thing happened to me as with Paula Boyd. The gravy thickened when I added the onions, but OMG how good this was. I will make this again soon.

    1. of course, the authentic gumbo from new orleans restaurant will absolutely have the craw fish, shrimp, crab meat, mussel, even some fresh oyster…..and the whole soup is a little bit spicy.

  7. This is an excellent recipe to start with but definitely want to add a few items that are left out that we Southerners always use and that is okra and I double the shrimp. You can add oysters to this as well so don’t be afraid to experiment. Pending on your seasoning you will need to add salt. You can always mix up your own with some paprika garlic salt cayenne pepper salt and pepper. If your sauce is too thin, add cornstarch

  8. When I make roux I make a triple batch I use what’s needed for my GUMBO and pour the rest into several ice cube trays and freeze it to be used when needed. Very simple process and saves a bunch of time to make another pot of GUMBO cause the roux is already to be used.

    1. When in college I worked at a restaurant in NOLA that made a dry roux in bulk, and kept it in a large one gallon jar. I always thought that was clever!

  9. Amazing! This was my first time ever making it on my own. I had 3 of the 8 people say it was the best gumbo they had ever had. I added okra and a little bit of oyster sauce as the shrimp I had didn’t have heads.

      1. I used roughly a cup, maybe a cup and a quarter. I added it after I’d added the stock to the roux and it came out great.

  10. This recipe is everything. Of course I added my own little twist into the recipe as I’ve been making gumbo for many year but this one brought me back to how I originally learned the craft of making gumbo. I truly wish I could rate it higher.

    1. My gumbo was watery. I did everything as the recipe . Didn’t have crabmeat . So just added more sausage . Also is there a way to make roux gluten free? Would GF flour thicken too ?

      1. I’ve been using white rice flour as a thickener in gumbo for years. I like Bob’s Redmill white rice flour. It works great! I do a 1 for 1 substitution for wheat flour.

  11. I love to make gumbo. I grew up with my Dad making seafood gumbo from whatever scraps of this and that he had on hand. When I got married it was one of the first dishes I learned to make. I would sit a jar of peanut butter beside the stove. I knew that when I got to peanut butter color I still had to go darker and to be patient. The home stretch goes the fastest. Even so, I can never remember the recipe for quantities of protein versus veggies. After 40 years of making gumbo I am still trying new recipes. This one is a keeper. I loved the dark roux and the balance of flavors. I made mine with shrimp, scallops, some leftover homemade sausage and pork stock I had in the freezer. I don’t usually use beer in my gumbo but it was amazing! I will definitely add beer in the future! I also added a touch more of tabasco. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!!

  12. My husband loved this and asked me to make it again. My roux was similar in color to milk chocolate. I think darker would have not been to our taste. The cooked roux is the feature flavor and the darker it is the stronger the flavor. Next time I might use an alternative for the crab meat due to finding a few shells. I used Stella Artois beer because that’s what I always have on hand. I use bouillon paste so I can adjust the flavor and saltiness. I made a homemade Cajun creole seasoning from an internet recipe without adding any salt. Good thing too because it was salty enough.

  13. My husband loved this! Said it was the best soup he had ever had! He shared some with his boss who said the same thing. It was my first time making a roux, it took me 1.25 hours to get the roux to the right color but it was so worth it. I will definitely be making this again! Thank you for this wonderful recipe

  14. I never made cajon rue before so this kind of blew my mind. This recipe took all day start to finish, including cleanup. The finished product, in my opinion should sit a day to bring in all the flavors fully. Delicious.

  15. I just made your Gumbo!! It was made/cooked exactly as you said to do!! It turned out Fabulous!! I made the mistake of adding Salt, which on the norm is okay “but I added to much and now I’m disappointed!! It’s salty!! I hate what I did when it was perfectly great!! Thank you so much for sharing your Recipe!! It’s definitely a Keeper!! Beverly Spinks

  16. Thank you for your recipe, it has been a while since I made Gumbo. I used bacon drippings instead of oil because we always used it in the past. I modified it a little with Jalapeños and Anaheim peppers instead of bell peppers. I also added 2 Talipia filets broiled with Cajun spice and a bay scallops that I added with the shrimp. Your sequence is perfect, so good you nailed it. Again thanks for the recipe,

  17. I am going to be one of those obnoxious reviewers bc I didn’t make this as is but what I did make turned out AWESOME. Also my first time making gumbo despite living in Louisiana for 14 years now. (Sad.) I don’t eat pork so I skipped the sausage and I used seafood stock instead of chicken broth. I also added gumbo file and okra bc that just seemed like a no brained and skipped the beer bc it didn’t seem authentic to me, I dunno. To make up for that I added more stock and water with a lot of bonus seasoning. I didn’t use just extra Cajun seasoning though to avoid it just being a salt bomb and instead added more of the individual things that make up Cajun seasoning eg garlic powder, cayenne, chili powder, paprika, onion powder. Basically I just adjusted all the flavors to taste for what seemed right to me. I think you can make this recipe as is and it would be just great! And if you are a confident or experienced cook then it also works as a great starting point. I have lived in Louisiana since I came to college here in 2005 but have no family history here so making gumbo wasn’t in my repertoire and picking a recipe was kind of a big deal bc I wanted it to be good. It was! Recommend!

          1. Made this as specified.except knocked down the cajun seasoning by half and added about 30 fresh oysters. No beer Familyloved it esp.wife who’s from Houma LA. Great recipe.

    1. I like how you stated that you used file’, all other recipes nevered stated using it and i was raised using it in our gumbo! can not wait to make my gumbo… im buying a little each month because buying all at once gets expensive thanks for sharing,have a nice one.

  18. Hands down, this is the best gumbo recipe I have ever made! I spent about two hours (give or take) getting the roux as dark as possible and it was worth it. Followed the recipe to the letter and it was perfection. I made it for Christmas Eve dinner and my boyfriend proposed the next day… Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not! 😁

  19. This is THE best gumbo! Everyone that has eaten this in my home never forgets it. My 93 year old Mother who is very particular and eats very little consumes 2 bowls every time and even complimented me which almost never happens!

    1. Gumbo file powder or sliced okra are what I use if the gumbo is too thin for your preference at the final boil. Otherwise, as mentioned, more flour when making the roux. I’ve also used corn starch whisked into cold seafood/chicken stock and then slowly poured/whisked into the boiling final gumbo stock. Good Luck!!!

  20. This gumbo was amazing! I did have to add salt, pepper and to me, Old bay seasoning is a must for all seafood, just a MD thing I guess. I also pan seared and added some scallops. I refrigerated it overnight and served it for Christmas dinner! W can’t wait to make it again. It was worth all of the labor!!!

  21. Absolutely delicious! This was my first time making gumbo and my family loved it. I added chicken breast to it making it even more thick and delicious. Thumbs up.

  22. Absolutely incredible! I have made this several times and it always comes out GREAT! However, don’t be afraid to add your own sea food to this dish. I like clams, mussels, scallops and white fish added with mine. This receipt is fabulous as written, but it is also a great base for adding your own…..”imagination” .

  23. Absolutely delicious!!! As said in a previous comment, it is labor intensive but it is well worth the wait. Followed the instructions to the T. Thank you for sharing. I will make this again soon 😁😁

  24. First attempt at making seafood gumbo and it came out perfect. The best ever! Takes a lot of time but it’s worth it.

  25. I premade dark roux. It’s in the frig. Will be there for a week or so till the guests come in. When making the gumbo,
    do I sautee the triliogy, then add it to the roux since it’s made already. Do I heat up the chicken stock then add the roux with trilogy into the warm stock till it’s the consistency I want? Then of course the shrimp and sausage…Is this the way to do it?

  26. My wife and I are excited to try this today but the directions are extremely vague. Do you add the onions, peppers, and garlic to the roux or to the shells that are still simmering? When do you remove the shells from the stock mixture? Kinda winging it

    1. You add the veggies and garlic to the roux once it gets dark carameled color. As the veggies cook, your roux will get darker so take that into consideration. Dark roux, mmmmm good! Then after veggies are cooked you start adding the strained broth into the roux.

  27. I have always loved Gumbo in a restaurant and tried this for the first time for the family. Big hit, very glad I tried it and will continue to use the recipe

  28. I added okra, too. This gumbo tastes very much like the seafood gumbo my mama used to make in New Orleans. I used shrimp & scallops (instead of the crab) and it was delicious! I’ll be making this recipe again <3

  29. Bay leaf can cause severe internal issues if ingested. Recipe needs instructing for removing bay leaves. For those unfamiliar with bay leaves, they are for seasoning while cooking and need removed prior to serving.

    1. Removing bay leaves is probably assumed. I know I personally didn’t think about them, because I’ve grown up knowing you don’t eat them. It’s kind of like giving directions and there is a round a bout on the route. You don’t leave instructions on what to do at the round a bout, you assume the driver knows what to do because they did their own research learning how to drive. Part of cooking is learning what to do with certain things. I mean you can search bay leaves just like you probably did this recipe.

      1. Who finds a recipe and double searches each ingredient to check the health risks? Her comment was helpful. Especially for someone who’s never cooked with bay leaves.

  30. My first gumbo attempt. Too much oil for my liking. Layer of oil sat on top. Flavor was bland. Looked nice as my roux was a dark chocolate color. Took me an hour! Next time halving the oil and adding more Cajun seasoning.

    1. You will not be able to make a roux if you don’t use equal parts flour and fat. I skim the fat off the top before adding shrimp. With this recipe I removed two-thirds cup fat. Homemade chicken stock will make a more flavorful gumbo.

  31. Overall it was a little too salty, but that’s probably because my cajun seasoning was primarily celery salt (Old Bay). Regardless, I haven’t had gumbo this good since visiting New Orleans! This will be my new go-to recipe. It took me over an hour to get the roux a dark caramel color (cooked on medium-low in a dutch oven), but it was worth the labor. Next time I’ll use low-sodium chicken broth and make my own cajun seasoning without salt.

  32. Very yummy. Added more Cajun seasoning, chicken broth, and some salt, but other than that it was great! Ran low on liquid, so the extra chicken broth helped.

  33. What is meant when you say “Add shrimp shells and cook until pink.” are you referring to the shell of there shrimp, if so, when do you discard the shells?

  34. Made this but added okra, file and lots of different seafood (scallops,, shelled clams & mussels, etc), double Cajun seasoning, and 2 tbsp hot paprika! Best gumbo recipe ever, making it again tomorrow, and sharing recipe with all the sisters and daughters in law!

  35. Made it tonight and it was really good . I did add okra since I love okra in my gumbo . I’ve never made gumbo before … apparently .. a hit ! I used “ slap ‘yo mama” Cajun seasoning And a bottle of the beer I had on hand .. which was a Michelob ultra .. definitely making this again . A recipe to keep !

  36. Gumbo literally means “okra” so it’s a must. Also, ditch the beer. Don’t “bro” the dish up unless your recreating a gumbo-Ish dish. Great otherwise..

  37. Sounds good minus beer plus file. Making Sunday with crab still in shell scallops and shrimp and sausage….and corn on cob..yum

  38. This was absolutely the best seafood gumbo I’ve ever had. Thank you for the recipe.
    Note: Just added a touch of lemon to the shrimp once served and used fresh scallops instead of the crab meat.

  39. Tried this gumbo and it was great. I didn’t have crab but I did have Halibut that I caught from Alaska, so I added that. I also used smoked turkey sausage. Plan on making this often as it was that good!!!

  40. Gumbo by definition means okra. That said, some of the finest gumbos out there do not use okra. The Commander’s Palace for instance. Hands down the best gumbo in New Orlean’s.

    I’m the only judge in my world and they win! Period! … and I have tried them all!

  41. My mother used to make a great gumbo but she used dungeous crabs, chicken, crab legs, dried shrimp , hot links, fresh shrimp. She tried to use stewing hen because it doesn’t break up as easy for flavor.

  42. I made this and it was absolutely delicious. I added lobster tails and chicken and my family and friends couldn’t believe it was my first time. Because I added more meet I ran low on sauce so next time I will double my liquid.

  43. My family and I absolutely love this recipe! I do add a little kitchen bouquet and chicken to this recipe and its a fam favorite now! Thank you!

  44. Looks good and sounds easy enuff, I was thinking about adding lobster shoud this be added at the end with crabmeat if a broil a lil first? Also lil fried okra?

      1. I believe you can add what you like and it’s still gumbo. I too love okra and often add it to my seafood based gumbo. However my family is creole and they say if okra is added it isn’t seafood gumbo. I personally think that only matters in a restaurant!

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