Paula Deen Gumbo is a classic made from a dark roux, chicken, sausage, shrimp and the Creole holy trinity- onions, bell pepper and celery. Paula Deen's recipe is the best and is our tried and true favorite. It's served over rice and is full of flavor, hearty and will warm you up on a cold winter day.
This delicious recipe pairs well with our homemade cornbread recipe, dinner roll recipe or flaky and fluffy biscuit recipe. Add the perfect side with our Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters.
For another great hearty soup for winter try our tortellini sausage soup!
Be sure to check our other fun Paula Deen recipes like, Paula Deen's Sweet Potato Casserole or Deviled Eggs.
- shrimp - shrimp is staple for gumbo and a must in any gumbo recipe. For this recipe I like to use small shrimp that are cooked and detailed and deveined.
- sausage - This is delicious with a good andouille or kielbasa sausage or I have even used some precooked chicken apple sausages in a pinch.
- chicken - boneless skinless chicken breasts are what I prefer to use in this recipe. Other cuts of chicken can be used if desired.
- Worcestershire sauce -the Worcestershire sauce adds a great umami flavor and is a little salty. It ties everything together and is an essential part to gumbo.
- olive/avocado/vegetable oil - I usually use avocado oil, but you can use any type of cooking oil. We don't recommend coconut oil due to it's low smoke point.
- minced garlic - We highly recommend minced or fresh garlic. They add so much more flavor than garlic powder and it's worth it.
- green onion - green onion has it's own unique flavor, which is essential for this recipe
- celery - part of the Creole holy trinity and a very important part of this recipe. The celery adds a nice texture and subtle flavor throughout.
- yellow onion - another component of the Creole holy trinity is onions. Onions add so much flavor to any dish and a classic yellow onion is perfect in this recipe.
- green bell pepper - the third and final part of the Creole holy trinity, the green bell pepper has a great flavor and texture that is essential for gumbo.
- parsley - fresh parsley tastes a lot different than dried parsley. We highly recommend the use of fresh parsley to really make the most of this dish.
- stewed tomatoes - canned stewed tomatoes are the perfect addition to make this well rounded and delicious.
- butter - I used salted, but you can certainly use unsalted-it won't make a big difference. This will be used to make the dark roux- another essential part of any classic gumbo.
- flour - regular, all purpose flour. This will also we used to make the dark roux. Dark roux adds such a deep delicious flavor!
- better than bouillon- you can use beef bouillon or even some beef bone broth in place of the better than bouillon.
See recipe card for quantities.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven pot over medium/ medium high heat. Season the chicken breasts with a little salt and pepper then cook in the oil until browned on both sides then remove.
Next cook the sausage until browned then remove.
How to make roux for gumbo:
Add the butter then sprinkle the flour over the oil/butter and whisk together. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. It should be a nice dark roux and thicken up. Giving it the time it needs is important for getting the best flavor. Keep making the roux: Turn the heat down to low then add the garlic, onion, bell pepper and celery and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. It's important to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
Add the worcestershire sauce, parsley and salt and pepper. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly and keeping it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Your roux is now done. It should be dark and thick and rich looking. A well developed roux is pertinent for the flavor of gumbo!
Add the beef Better than Bouillon and water. Whisk until well combined. Cut chicken into bite size pieces then add the chicken and sasauge. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Add tomatoes and okra and simmer for 1 hour more.
Add the shrimp, green onions and chopped fresh parsley and serve over rice!
Hint: Make sure to take your time with the dark roux. That's where the wonderful flavor comes from.
- Okra - instead of okra you can use file as a thickener. Add it at the very end, sprinkling it on top about 3 minutes before adding the shrimp, green onions and parsley.
- Sausage- this also tastes great with chicken sausage.
- Gluten Free- for gluten free use corn starch instead of flour. Use ¼ cup.
- Gumbo Soup - Leave out the okra. The okra acts as a thickener. Without the okra it will be a great soup-like texture.
- Vegetable- I added 1 zucchini, 1 summer squash and 1 red bell pepper to add some more vitamins and nutrients and it was delicious!
- Creole- Add some creole seasoning
- large heavy bottom dutch oven pot- a regular large pot will work in a pinch
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until hot.
Store in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Reheat on the stovetop until hot.
Make sure the gumbo is actually simmering for its 45 and 60 minute time slots. If it isn't hot enough, the meat could go bad and spoil during these long stretches of time.
Paula Deen Gumbo
- ¼ cup vegetable/ olive/ avocado oil
- 3 chicken breasts large
- 1 lb smoked sausage cut into ¼" rounds
- 5 Tablespoons butter
- ½ cup flour
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup worcestershire sauce
- ¼ of a large bunch of parsley stems and leaves, chopped plus more for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 teaspoons beef Better Than Bouillon
- 4 cups hot water
- 14 oz can stewed tomatoes with juice
- 2 cups frozen sliced okra
- 4 green onions sliced white and green parts
- ½ lb. shrimp small cooked deveined
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven pot over medium/ medium high heat. Season the chicken breasts with a little salt and pepper then cook in the oil until browned on both sides then remove. Cook the sausage until browned then remove.
- Add the butter then sprinkle the flour over the oil/butter and whisk together. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. It should be a nice dark roux and thicken up. Giving it the time it needs is important for getting the best flavor.
- Turn the heat down to low then add the garlic, onion, bell pepper and celery and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. It's important to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
- Add the worcestershire sauce, parsley and salt and pepper. Cook for another 10 minutes.
- Add the beef Better than Bouillon and water. Whisk until well combined. Cut chicken into bite size pieces then add the chicken and sasauge. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and okra and simmer for 1 more hour.
- Add the shrimp, green onions and chopped fresh parsley and serve over rice!
The smoked sausage and chicken give this so much flavor! We all loved it for dinner, thank you!
We love the added vegetable variation on this recipe. Made it the other night and loved it! Will be making this Gumbo again.
Yum we loved this gumbo. Paula Deen is a cooking genius. We made it with the extra veggies and it was very good. That dark roux made the flavor so amazing!
I made this gumbo earlier year and it was amazing!! I now have everything I need for this dish, can’t wait to make it again this weekend! My family loves this!
The flavors in this gumbo are outstanding. Paula Deen is truly a genius with some things. Thank you for your clear and easy to follow directions. And kudos to using Better Than Bouillon. I always know a recipe is going to slap when it calls for that stuff—it's so so good!!
I love the depth to this gumbo! This is layer after layer of flavor! Yum!
This was so so good. Thanks for adding the vegetable variation! Such a great idea to add extra veggies. My whole family gobbled this up, will make again!
They say that Paula Deen's gumbo is the very best. And I think they're right. We really liked the addition of extra vegetables too!
We really loved this gumbo. The dark roux made it incredible. It has all the classic flavors that we love, and it's so easy to make.
Its already getting a bit chilly where I live and this gumbo was so soothing and comforting. Thanks for sharing such an amazing recipe. The dark roux really escalates the delicious flavors.
Going to do this.
Yay! Let us know how it turns out!
I added some red chili pepper paste to give it some heat. I thought the amount of worchestershire sauce that the recipe had was too much and will leave it out next time.
What can you use instead of okra? That part makes no sense.
Hi Tina, so I like to just leave it out, I don't replace it with anything. Thanks!