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 5 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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33 comments to Recipe: Aunt Vicki’s Gumbo

  • I love all your recipes, our entire menu last week was nothing but your recipes. I am SUPER excited to try this recipe. Your recipes are always so EASY and make me look like I have been cooking all my life (not the case at all). I am sure this one will be the same and I can’t wait to “wow” the family! Thanks so much!!

  • Grace

    Sounds so good! I’m going to try this for sure!!

  • It sounds really good, especially on a rainy cold day like today.

  • YUM! I want to try this! I always love your recipes!

  • Karen

    What kind of sausage do you recommend?

  • I didn’t know your husband was from New Orleans. Me too. I make lots of New Orleans fare but have never added flat beer to my gumbo. Sounds like a super great addition. Will have to try!

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Hey Nathalie! Jason is not technically from there since his parents are divorced and he was raised by his mom. His dad and step-mom are the ones who live in New Orleans, and that’s where his dad is originally from as well.

  • This soup would be perfect to ward the damp and chill of this Oregon winter. I am new to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I’m so glad I did that. I really love the food and recipes you share with your readers and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Grace

    Made this last night for the family and everybody LOVED it!! Seconds for everybody! I used turkey kielbasa to make it lighter, and used Cajun Seasoning instead of File Powder since I couldn’t find it at the store. Thanks!

    • Lauren

      Grace, glad you liked it with the Cajun Seasoning, but it’s not really a “substitute” for File. File is actually a leaf (sometimes easier to find in whole form, rather than powder), and has a very mild flavor. Cajun seasoning will probably have a couple of peppers and garlic (amoung other things) in it. I usually add both to my gumbos since they are so different.

  • Amy

    I found your blog about 4 weeks ago, and I just have to say I think you are amazing. My husband and I were already pretty healthy and didn’t eat a lot of processed foods anyway, but with your guidance we’ve been able to cut out even more and have become so much more educated on the subject of food. Your recipes are wonderful, and you are very inspiring. We are also a family of 4 with 2 small boys, one of which has reactive airway disease which is similar to athsma and I’m very interested in seeing if his condition improves. I think it’s really too soon to say anything, but I will say since he started showing symptoms in May we’ve had to give him treatments every 3 weeks or so when his coughing flares up. The last time we gave him a treatment was the middle of December, so this could be very good! I also just love that you did this on a budget, since we too are on a $125 budget/ week and I have had no problems making this work. That is definitely a first since I never could make it work before. I think you have really shown me how to truly plan my shopping and meals. Anyways, I’m starting to gush but just had to let you know how much I appreciate all you are doing. Thank you!

  • Robin

    I use a gumbo recipe that I adapted from Justin Wilson’s Rabbit Gumbo. The only reason I adapted it, is that I did not have a good local source of rabbit up until very recently. It takes quite a bit longer than yours, and has no tomatoes in it, but other than the 2tbsp steak sauce (which could easily be substituted for 1-2 tbsp. tomato paste) it is totally real food. You just don’t get that kind of depth of flavor from processed food which is meant to be cooked quickly and ready in a hurry. It is worth every second put into it of the almost 3 hours it takes to make (a good 45 minutes of which is just making the milk to dark chocolate roux), it is that good!!!

    • Lauren

      My favorite roux is the dark roux! I am from south Louisiana (about 2 hours west of NOLA) and have never enjoyed gumbo with a tomato based roux as much as I have gumbos with a darker roux! And yes, making your own dark roux will take you several hours! That’s one reason I make a huge batch and then freeze it in smaller containers!

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