Slow Cooker Gumbo
Making authentic gumbo might be a lot of work and a labor of love, but you can make this super tasty, veggie packed shrimp and sausage gumbo right in your slow cooker with only a few minutes worth of effort for a delicious and unique dinner option!
I don’t get a lot of opportunities to eat authentic gumbo, so I can in no way offer a guarantee to how this tastes in relation to the “real thing”. This is my disclaimer, as any time I post a recipe that might be considered to be some sort of regional favorite, there are some people that get a little…. well, passionate about its authenticity.
My attempt to recreate recipes is simply for my love of food and trying new things! If my budget was unlimited, I would travel to all sorts of places just to try the food. But for now, I settle with making my own versions at home.
And this version, authentic or not, is a delicious way to get a flavor packed meal on the table, and a meal that’s anything but boring. If you are tired of the same old dinners every night, why not mix things up and try this veggie, shrimp and sausage packed soup that has a nice spicy flavor and is totally filling.
What is in a gumbo?
- It can depend on where you live an your access to seafood, but gumbo can include seafood, chicken, sausage and other things
- This version a great seafood recipe not only for the slow cooker, but also for those of you that are landlocked like me. Without having access to fresh seafood, sometime things can be iffy. But frozen shrimp is usually a pretty safe bet and just cooks a short time in this recipe.
- And I also added sausage to give it more of that spicy kick as well as to make it even more hearty and filling
- As with many soups, this one starts out with your basic carrot, celery, onion blend. But I also decided to add some bell pepper for good measure. And since I was feeling a little lazy I bought myself one of these handy little choppers and let it do most of the work.
- Also, I do realize that gumbo usually starts with a roux, but for slow cooker purposes, I have chosen to add cream instead to thicken
If re-making a recipe in my world of having a zillion recipes to test is any indication, then you know this is a keeper.
How to Make Slow Cooker Gumbo
- Finely chop your veggies and sautés them in a little butter
- While this is normally where you would make a roux, I’ve skipped this part for a better texture result from my gumbo cooking all day in the slow cooker
- Add sausage, broth and seasoning and cook for several hours for the veggies to soften and the flavors to meld
- Add cream as your thickener and add the shrimp and let cook through (around 10-15 minutes)
- Serve with rice or as desired
The difference between a gumbo and a jambalaya…
Gumbo is more of a soup and jambalaya is more of a rice dish. But they do have similar ingredients and flavors. And I do like to add a scoop of rice to my gumbo.
About Slow Cooker Seafood Recipes
Yes, you can absolutely make seafood in your slow cooker! Keep in mind that seafood typically cooks faster, so you’ll need to adjust cooking times or add the seafood at the end for a few minutes.
A few of my other slow cooker seafood recipes include my Slow Cooker Seafood Stew and Slow Cooker Corn and Shrimp Chowder.
Slow Cooker Spicy Gumbo
- 6-8 ounces carrots
- 6-8 ounces celery
- 6-8 ounces bell pepper
- 6-8 ounces onions
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 12 oz spicy andouille sausage
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning blend
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cream
- 12 oz frozen shrimp thawed
- Optional: cooked rice or farro for serving
- Finely dice carrots, celery, bell pepper, onion and garlic (or dice using a chopper)
- Melt butter is skillet or mult-cooker over medium high heat and then add veggies and sauté until softened, about 3-5 minutes
- Chop sausage and add to slow cooker along with broth and cooked veggies (amount of broth to add depends on how hearty you want the soup)
- Add seasoning and cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6
- Add shrimp and cream and return slow cooker to high heat until shrimp cooked through, around 10 minutes or so
- Serve over cooked rice or as desired
This is a great recipe. I used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. I included salt and fresh ground pepper. To thicken the liquid I mixed cornstarch and some of the chicken stock from the crockpot. This created a slurry. The heavy and slurry was a game changer. Well seasoned and rich in taste.
Thank you for this recipe!!! I added in chokos they really soak up all the flavor, I was looking for something different for the family and it was a big hit ,even my very picky youngest loved it
Thanks for sharing this they are already asking when I’ll do it again 🙂
The word GUMBO is derived from the word for Okra, so technically, if it does not have Okra, it can’t strictly speaking be a GUMBO. I know opinions and preferences vary, and there are a lot of great stews and soup recipes out there, but they aren’t GUMBO! If you can find a copy anywhere I heartily recommend THE LITTLE GUMBO BOOK, which has not only a lot of recipes, but a history chapter and one dedicated solely to Roux!
That’s something I didn’t know! Thanks! Super interesting and I’ll see if I can find that book anywhere.
This was a wonderful dinner! My husband asked when I’m making it again. When I do make it again, I’ll add more vegetables, or maybe some okra. I would have liked a thicker gumbo; this was more like a soup, even with the addition of rice. I’ll add a chicken breast or thigh to give it some interest. I added a bit more cream than was called for, just because I didn’t have a lot of use for the rest of the container. I needed a bit more butter to saute the veggies. Since I didn’t have a cajun spice in my rack, I looked up and made my own recipe. The flavor was wonderful!
The cream is an interesting touch. But there’s absolutely NO WAY you can call this “Gumbo” without okra.
Thanks for sharing your perspective Morely! I’m sure you make an authentic gumbo that is delicious!
How do you make a Roux?
With flour and butter and then adding a liquid to it… maybe I can put together a post on that soon!
I haven’t tried this yet but I had a question. My daughter is allergic to coconut, only when ingested
Is the a substitute I could use instead of the coconut milk?
This comment is in no shape or form derogatory towards Jennifer and her creative abilities. As Jennifer mentioned, when you live there you have a little more insight to it! Making roux (for gumbo) starts off with equal measures of flour and oil placing both into a heavy duty pan (preferably cast iron but not a must) over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Your wanting to scrape the pan bottom and not allow the flour to settle into any one place because this spot will start to brown quicker than the remainder of the pot. Realistically you will be there 30-45 minutes stirring. As the roux darkens, you may want to cut back on the heat to slow the process down some. For gumbo, your looking for a chocolate color. Once your roux reaches the desired color, we generally add the “trinity” of onions, bell peppers and celery to stop the darkening process and allow the veggies to become soft before moving onto the next stage.
Hi there– I can only find pre-cooked andouille. Is that what you had in mind, or did you mean raw (in which case I’d be curious to know what adjustments you’d make for using pre-cooked sausage). Thanks!
Roux. You will always say “there’s just…something missing…” until you make a little roux. Use clarified butter, be vigilant, and the world will suddenly become a better place. Bon chance!
Thanks!! I will try it for sure!
Hi Jennifer! Dauphin Island? It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been that far south. I always add bell pepper to my gumbo too! One thing that will improve your gumbo is to start with a good dark roux. It will also thicken it up and you won’t want the cream. I usually make it in a dutch oven so it’s still a one pot meal. I also really love the addition of a bag of frozen cut okra (not the breaded stuff) but I know it’s not for everyone. Gumbo is one of my favorite easy meals since it’s so versatile. I often add scallops, firm white fish, crab, crawfish if I can get them, and my ex always preferred andouille sausage and chicken.
Yes! We love it there. Thanks for the suggestions on the gumbo. Sounds delicious and I will give them a try for sure!