Aunt Vicki’s Gumbo

7 Reviews / 4.9 Average
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.
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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 étouffée 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. :)

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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.

Featured Comment

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!
– Rosie

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Recipe Rating

  1. We had this Gumbo soup and I made it with Lisa chicken broth and we loved it. My husband is asking me to make this again.

  2. 4 stars
    I made this and really enjoyed it but I am very confused. I have made roux lots of times but never have I cooked it for so long. Also, cooking the veggies in the roux seemed odd and it was no surprise to me that the roux was starting to stick to the pan well before the end of the suggested cooking time.
    Next time, I am going to cook the veggies in the butter 1st, reduce both the butter and the flour by 1/2, and reduce the cooking time for the 1st two steps of cooking by 1/2. Fingers crossed.
    I double the recipe the 1st time so that I would be able to freeze leftovers as suggested elsewhere. But then I realized my shrimp had been previously frozen so it probably wasn’t wise to freeze the gumbo. What are your thoughts on this? (it’s just not possible to get truly fresh shellfish here.)

  3. Although my gumbo was much lighter in color than the one pictured above (not sure why), it was amazing! I’ve made dozens of your recipes, Lisa, and none have disappointed! Thank you for helping make the switch to whole foods easy…..and delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    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.

  5. 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!

  6. 5 stars
    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!

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

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Holly. We are rarely able to answer recipe questions in real time. How did it turn out? ~Amy

  8. 5 stars
    I got a little ahead of myself and made this on Tuesday, thinking it was Mardis Gras. I was a week early (should look at my calendar more closely when I menu plan!) but I am seriously tempted to make this again next week! My dad makes a great gumbo (no tomatoes in his, though) and this was very similar to his. So good!!! I had some leftover shredded chicken so I threw that in, too. I will definitely make this again!

  9. I’m making this now. It says to use I cup of water in the directions but it is not in the ingredients. Please advise! Of anyone can help that has made this that would be great. I spent a lot on crab and shrimp which I don’t usually do. I also have never made gumbo!

    1. Carol, I just saw a video clip where coconut oil may help reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. I don’t know if you can cook with it, but it may be worth a shot.

    2. I found a site where the guy tells how to make instant roué instead of flour and oil he used the microwave to
      Brown the flour and then you don’t need the oil. U might want to google microwave roué

      1. Don’t do roux in the microwave…just don’t…
        Using flour and oil as a roux is a different dish than using a tomato based roux. Both are considered gumbo, but have totally different flavors. Don’t use the tomatoes if you are using a flour/oil roux.

  10. 5 stars
    I’m surprised there aren’t more reviews on this dish. I had a bunch of leftover rice in the fridge I needed to use up, saw this recipe and thought I would make it. I have never had gumbo before, did not know what to expect. THIS IS DELICIOUS!!!! I did use less butter in the beginning than the recipe called for (Two thirds of a cup of butter is just an insane amount of butter… That’s almost two sticks! Woah!) In my version I added some leftover chicken and shrimp. Yum! I did notice a discrepancy in the directions, it says to add a cup of water, but there’s no cup of water in the ingredients. Hmmm. Anyway, it came out excellent! I’m a Yankee who can cook New Orleans food now! :D

  11. 5 stars
    I made this last night and it was SO GOOD! Thank you, thank you!! My husband and I loved it- he had two helpings! I didn’t have any crab, so just used shrimp and sausage. I’m not a big sausage eater, so I accidentally bought one that was really spicy so the kids were a little overwhelmed. My youngest one (3), still surprisingly ate it but the other two just picked out the shrimp. It was so rich and delicious, I can’t wait to make it again!!

  12. This was great! I was very intimidated at first, but decided to go for it! The roux was the scariest for me. I am amazed at how simple it was to make and how great it taste!
    I left out the beer, changed around the seafood, and used chicken sausage! Still tastse great!

    Thank you!

  13. I’ve looked at this recipe several times, but tonight was the first tome I tried it. I did it in the crock pot, for one, mostly because I had a plethora of garden okra that just had to be used. So that was the second change. Finaly, it was still pretty thin, so I thickened up the sausage drippings with flour before I added that at the end, and it made all the difference. Great recipe!

  14. My grandmother always added coffee and Chocolate(just a little) to hers so I gave it a shot. Only about 1/2cup of coffee and about two bars of the cooking no sweet chocolate. It came out really good. I didn’t use the beer so it gave me the extra liquid needed. I traded out the crab for Squid, my husband loved it.

  15. 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!!!

    1. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

    1. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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!

    1. 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.

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      Andouille adds a nice flavor to this dish, but I’ve also used both mild and spicy Italian sausage which worked great as well!

  20. 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!!