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New Orleans Gumbo

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. Cook: 20 min.

Makes

8 servings

Updated: Jan. 19, 2023
I’ve been making this New Orleans gumbo for at least 30 years. I’m originally from New Orleans, and I think it’s a nice taste of the Vieux Carre (French Quarter). Everyone who tastes this gumbo wants the recipe. It’s an old standby for my family, who requests it frequently. —Dolores M. Bridges, Danville, Kentucky

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked converted rice
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Stir in the rice, celery, onion and garlic. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, combine the tomatoes, chicken, kielbasa, thyme, pepper, bay leaves and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine flour and water until smooth; gradually stir into chicken mixture. Stir in shrimp and green pepper. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 4-6 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and gumbo is thickened. Discard bay leaves.
  4. Remove rice from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes; stir in parsley. Serve with gumbo.
New Orleans Gumbo Tips

What's the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?

While they’re both delicious dishes from The Big Easy, there is a difference between gumbo and jambalaya. Gumbo is typically a meat-based stew served alongside rice, while jambalaya features meat and rice cooked in the same pot, like other one-dish dinners.

Can you use other kinds of rice to make New Orleans gumbo?

This New Orleans gumbo recipe calls for converted rice, which is unhulled long grain rice that has been parboiled. It's more nutritious than white rice, takes a bit longer to cook and makes the grains of rice more fluffy and separated than regular long grain rice. Gumbo can be served with other types of cooked rice, too, if you don't have converted rice on hand. You'll need about 1/2 cup cooked rice per serving. If you have leftover rice, consider using it up in one of these rice recipes.

What else can you put in New Orleans gumbo?

Make this New Orleans gumbo recipe your own by swapping in other classic ingredients like okra, ham or greens. Authentic gumbo often calls for gumbo filé powder, which is a spicy herb made from the dried and ground leaves of the sassafras tree, and you could add that as well. This recipe for New Orleans gumbo is thickened with a slurry of flour and water toward the end of cooking, but you could also make a dark roux with butter (or oil) and flour toward the beginning of cooking for a richer flavor.

How should you store leftovers of New Orleans gumbo?

Store leftover gumbo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Or, freeze the gumbo and rice in separate containers—otherwise the rice will soak up all of the liquid and become soggy. For more guidance, check out our complete guide to freezing soup. If you liked this recipe for New Orleans gumbo, try more of our picks for the best Louisiana recipes.

Peggy Woodward, Taste of Home Senior Food Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 each: 339 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 124mg cholesterol, 841mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 29g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.