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Easy Gumbo Recipe for Beginners

This simple and easy gumbo recipe came from me wanting to surprise my Louisiana-bred husband one day with one of his favorite dishes.

Here’s the thing, the idea to make said gumbo came at the spur of the moment while I was driving home from work. If you’ve ever watched or made true gumbo, you know it’s some WORK. We’ve previously shared my aversion to the kitchen, so I had to come up with a plan E for Easier.

I’m sharing a recipe that got 2 thumbs up from the Mister (who doesn’t know it’s simple and easy…SHHH!!!!).

Simple and Easy Gumbo | Quick and Easy Meals | Divas With A Purpose

Simple and Easy Gumbo Recipe

I cook this in a stockpot, as it’s easy to prepare everything in one dish, refrigerate and reheat as necessary. This is the style of the pot my husband says is a must for gumbo!

Start by creating your roux

To make an authentic New Orleans style gumbo, start with a roux. A roux is a mixture of flour and oil or butter cooked until it turns brown. It adds richness and depth to the final dish. You’ll need to use some type of fat when making a roux.

Begin adding your ingredients and boil for 30 minutes.

This recipe calls for canned and frozen ingredients, but you can easily substitute them with fresher ingredients when available. For the chicken, I recommed thighs. You’ll add all of your ingredients (with the exception of the seafood, sausage and file’) and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add your seafood and smoked sausage.

Now the yummy part! Stir in your seafood and smoked sausage and simmer for an addtional 30 minutes. Add a teaspoon of file’ and remove from heat. Let your pot sit, covered, for 30 minutes before serving. This allows everything to finish cooking and your soup to thickien.

Viola! The entire brood devoured this simple gumbo recipe.  Definitely a winner, and one we’ll be adding to the rotation – especially during the winter months. (And leftovers are even more scrumptious!) While this dish takes approximately 90 minutes to make, there’s very little prep work. I cooked while helping my son with his homework and making the cornbread we had to go along with our gumbo.

What are some of your favorite cold-weather dishes? During the colder months, when it gets dark earlier and earlier, it is important for me to have simple staple recipes that are filling.

Yield: 4 people

Simple and Easy Gumbo

Simple and Easy Gumbo

A simple gumbo recipe for beginners or if you're short on time.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes


  • Half a stick of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 can of cut okra
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 10-12 ounces of tomato juice
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 can of boned chicken
  • frozen onions and green pepper mixture
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cajun seasoning, can add more if you'd like a little more kick
  • 3 cans of crab meat
  • chopped smoked sausage
  • shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon file'


  1. Melt half a stick of butter in a stockpot with flour to create a roux. (The roux thickens sauces and soups)
  2. Once the mixture is the color of peanut butter, add all items except seafood, smoked sausage, and file'.
  3. Bring the mixture to boil and lower the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir and add seafood and smoked sausage. Simmer for 30 more minutes.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of file'.
  6. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes before serving.

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Michelle D Garrett

Michelle D. Garrett is the founder of Divas With A Purpose. She focuses on sharing resources for being purposely productive; setting personal and professional goals and achieving them through daily action; and successfully running a business while focusing on your mental health. Michelle is a full-time entrepreneur who specializes in teaching female entrepreneurs how to show up consistently in their business – online and off.

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Monday 14th of November 2022

I LOVE gumbo. It's actually one of my favorite dishes. We have it as part of our holiday dinners every year, and every once in a while just because.

But, my family being from Louisiana and all, I'd never even heard of possible shortcuts. We're always making everything from scratch. And, we've been passing the recipe down from generation to generation since at least my Great Grandmother's Grandmother.

Still this shortcut recipe looks delicious. I might have to try it. But, I don't think I'll be telling my son about it anytime soon! He's currently the newest gumbo maker in the family.

BTW, you can easily make gumbo gluten free by using rice flour for the rue.

Cherith Fluker

Sunday 3rd of April 2022

This looks delicious! I will be making this soon!

Krayl Funch

Thursday 12th of March 2015

You are making me hungry and its only 9:00am! Can't wait to dive in!

Michelle Meche

Sunday 8th of March 2015

Yes, gumbo isn't usually a spur of the moment thing--and that's too bad when you get a big craving for it! I like how you've taken what can be an all-day dish and made it into something manageable for a weeknight. Love the crab in it too! You've given me the idea to put my own teenager to work making cornbread while I get the rest of supper together.

Gumbo is one of our favorite cold weather dishes. Thank you for stopping in and linking with See Ya in the Gumbo this week! Now following you on Pinterest and G+

Miz Helen

Tuesday 3rd of March 2015

Your Gumbo and Cornbread look awesome! Hope you are having a fantastic week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Come Back Soon! Miz Helen

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