Recipe: Aunt Vicki’s Gumbo

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My husband’s family is from New Orleans so they get all the credit for introducing me to the unique and flavorful cuisine of The Big Easy. From jambalaya to crawfish etouffee to seafood gumbo…many new dishes have been added to my list of “favorites” since my first visit to New Orleans almost 15 years ago. And even though beignets are basically deep-fried white flour treats, they certainly make my list of favorites as well. :)

Today I want to share a family recipe that came from my husband’s Aunt Vicki. It was introduced to us as a “seafood gumbo,” but what I’ve learned over the years is that this dish can easily be an “anything gumbo” instead. What that means is don’t go out and buy a bunch of new ingredients to make gumbo…instead try to use some of what you already have on hand. If you don’t have shrimp and crab well then throw in some leftover Thanksgiving turkey (if you still have some in the freezer like us). And if you don’t like bell peppers then just add more celery instead. My favorite dishes are the ones that are flexible so use this recipe as a guide and don’t be afraid to get creative. As long as you start with the suggested roux (butter and whole-wheat flour) it’s pretty hard to mess up.

5.0 from 6 reviews
Aunt Vicki’s Gumbo
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup butter
  • ⅔ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 – 10 oz can stewed tomatoes, chopped with juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth/stock
  • 1 cup flat beer (optional – can sub more stock instead)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ lb raw shrimp, peeled
  • ½ lb cooked crabmeat, shredded
  • ½ pound sausage (andouille or other variety), browned and sliced or crumbled
  • Brown rice, cooked
  • Filé powder and hot sauce, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add butter to large soup pot over medium heat. Once melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk together thoroughly. Keep whisking steadily over medium heat until mixture browns (about 10 – 15 minutes). This technique is called “making a roux.”
  2. Dump diced veggies, onion, and garlic into pot. Stir and cook over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add stewed tomatoes with juice, stir once, and cover. Stir 3 – 4 times over next 15 minutes.
  4. Add chicken broth, 1 cup water, and 1 cup beer. Add all spices, stir once, and simmer uncovered for another 15 minutes.
  5. Add cooked sausage and seafood and cook on medium heat until shrimp is done all the way through.
  6. Serve over brown rice and sprinkle filé powder on top (optional). Provide hot sauce if desired.
    And don't forget to freeze the leftovers!

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35 comments to Recipe: Aunt Vicki’s Gumbo

  • Kelly

    Try grapeseed oil instead of the butter – works great!

  • Shanon

    So good – thank you!!

  • Holly

    This is my first time making a roux. It’s equal parts butter & flour – it doesn’t make a paste. Is that expected?

  • Amy

    One of my favorite meals to make for the fall or in the winter! I absolutely love this recipe and make it often! I do highly recommend putting the can of beer in for a more authentic flavor in the gumbo. A great authentic New Orleans recipe!

  • Rosie

    This is an amazing recipe!! I’ve made it several times for my family and they all enjoy it, including my very picky 6 and 8 year old. I ventured out and took it to a school fundraiser and it was a HUGE hit. We literally sold out of it in minutes!! Thank you for the consistency in all of your recipes. I am a big fan!

  • Melissa

    This gumbo is AWESOME. By far the best recipe I have ever found online. Thank you sooooo much for posting! My husband calls it “the best thing I make.” I modify it a bit by doing the following:

    1. I include 1 qt. of my mom’s home-grown, canned stewed tomatoes instead of the 10 oz called for; and then skip the water and the beer. I still include the chicken broth.
    2. I do 1 lb. of sausage (either Italian or andouille) and 1 to 1.25 lbs of fresh shrimp.

    I’ve never had any leftovers to freeze! Haha.

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