This easy New Orleans Gumbo recipe is filled with chicken, shrimp, and sausage, packed with vegetables, and can be cooked entirely in one pan! It is a GO-TO recipe for sure!
This post is part of our Basic Cooking Skills series. Each week we will be doing a deep-dive into one basic cooking skill and a brand new recipe to accompany it to practice that newfound skill. Check back throughout the series for updates and new posts.
What is New Orleans Gumbo?
New Orleans Gumbo is a thick stew, served over rice, that originated in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It is a staple in Louisiana cuisine that evolved through time from its Creole roots.
It has a rich history that I loved reading about in this article from the Southern Foodways Alliance.
Making new orleans gumbo “easy”
Gumbo may sound like a tricky meal to master but you shouldn’t be intimidated.
It is layered with flavor, meat, and vegetables, but if you take it one step at a time you’ll have a Cajun masterpiece in under an hour.
I don’t mean the Christian Holy Trinity here, but the holy trinity of Cajun and Creole cooking: onion, celery, and bell pepper.
Forming the basis of most of the cuisine’s dishes, it’s hard to find a Cajun recipe that doesn’t include these 3 vegetables.
Think of it as Louisiana’s version of French mirepoix (onions, celery, and carrots). Onion, celery, and bell pepper are essentially the foundation of Cajun cooking, including this easy New Orleans gumbo.
how to: prepare the veggies for new orleans gumbo
Dice celery, onion, and a variety of bell pepper. Small pieces are best to increase the flavor of the meal.
Prepare any other vegetables you have available to toss in and chop into small pieces or slices; mushrooms, jalapenos, garlic, corn, etc.
how to: cook rice
(I always cook Instant Pot rice cause it’s SO easy).
How to: cook meat for new orleans gumbo
This dish uses A LOT of meat! Chicken, shrimp, and andouille sausage pack this dish with protein and great flavor.
Following basic food safety guidelines, cut the chicken first into small pieces on a separate cutting board and with a separate knife.
Using a separate knife and cutting board, slice the andouille sausage into medallions and peel the shrimp if needed.
In a large cooking pot or sauce pan, cook the chicken over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes until brown and then flip to the other side and cook for another 5 minutes or until done. Remove from pan.
Cook the shrimp until bright pink all the way through, roughly 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan.
Add sliced sausage to the pan and cook until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total. The sausage comes pre-cooked so this step is just for browning. Remove from pan.
how to: saute the vegetables
Starting with celery and onions, saute in the sausage grease for 5 minutes. Season heavily with your favorite Cajun spice blend (cayenne pepper, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder.)
Next, add bell pepper and optional jalapenos if you want extra spice. Stir and cook 2-3 minutes.
Finally, add garlic and mushrooms. Cook for 1-2 minutes and add tomato paste.
how to: create the gumbo
Look at the delicious meat and veggies so far!
If using a large cooking pot, great! You can continue using this. If using a saucepan for the meat and vegetables you will need another deep pot to add all the liquid.
Stir in diced tomatoes and chicken broth over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve over your perfect rice or stir into the pot! Garnish with green onions if desired.
Easy New Orleans Gumbo – with chicken, shrimp, and sausage
- 2 tbsp olive as needed
- 1-2 chicken breasts cubed
- 1 lb shrimp
- 1 andouille sausage link sliced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1/2 onion diced
- 4 tbsp Cajun spice blend cayenne pepper, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 1 jalapeno sliced
- 4-5 mushrooms sliced
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
- Pour 1 tbsp olive oil to a large cooking pot if using the same pan throughout, or a sauce pan. Cook the chicken over medium heat for 10 minutes or until done, flipping halfway through. Set aside.
- Cook the shrimp until bright pink throughout, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
- Brown andouille sausage on both sides, about 2 minutes for each side. Set aside.
- Using the sausage grease, saute the celery and onion for 5 minutes. Season heavily with Cajun seasoning blend. Stir occasionally.
- Add all peppers and cook 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and continue cooking 1-2 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to coat.
- Using the large cooking pot, add diced tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer for 10 minutes.
- Mix in cooked rice or serve over rice.
- Protein: Choose the meat depending on your preferences. Use chicken, sausage, or shrimp individually, or use any combination of the three.
- Vegetables: Onion, celery, and bell pepper (and garlic in my opinon) are the foundation vegetables. Build up around it with vegetables like carrots, jalapenos, corn, mushrooms, okra, and more! As a soup, anything goes great in gumbo.
- Rice: Customarily, rice is cooked separately from gumbo. Rice cooked directly in the meal is referred to as a jambalaya. For a fun jambalaya twist, add rice to the tomatoes and chicken broth and cook until done.
Call to action: Anyone want to go to New Orleans now? 😉 Share your favorite flavorful Cajun dishes below!