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Joi's Easy Shrimp Gumbo For Beginners

Gumbo is one of my favorite comforting stews to make at home that lasts me and my family a few days. There are many variations of gumbo that can involve a lot of different kinds of seafood or a small amount of seafood. Either way, the key to good gumbo is the spices and the roux made of oil and flour instead of butter and flour. Gumbo may seem daunting for beginners at cooking but don't forget that cooking is about trial and error and learning from what works and what doesn't. There's always room for improvement and it took me three times before I got my gumbo recipe down to what it is now. If you're someone who wants to try cooking with seafood for the first time and who likes Cajun or Creole food, you'll love this easy shrimp gumbo recipe.

(Above: an essential ingredient for gumbo exclusively that thickens the soup as well as adds a unique earthy flavor due to it being made from sassafras leaves)


-half a pound of medium or large sized shrimp

-1 cup chopped andouille sausage or kielbasa

-1 cup frozen okra

-1 cup chopped celery

-1 cup chopped green bell peppers

-1/2 cup chopped red onions

-1 15. oz. can diced tomatoes

-1/2 cup olive oil

-1/2 cup flour

-4 cups chicken broth

-2 bay leaves

-1 tsp. salt

-1/2 tsp. black pepper

-2 tbs. hot sauce

-1 tsp. cayenne pepper

-3 tbs. minced garlic

-1 tsp. dried thyme

-1 1/2 tsp. Spice Jungle file gumbo powder (see here for more info) or Zatarain's if you can find it

-1 tsp. Spice Jungle Seafood Seasoning (see here) or your favorite seafood seasoning and/or creole seasoning

-1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

-chopped green onions for serving

-rice for serving

Note: File powder is essential for gumbo and it won't have an authentic gumbo flavor without it so don't omit it!


  1. Heat oil in a pot and slowly mix in flour. Cook on med-low heat and stir often until the roux turns a light brown, about 10 minutes. Be careful to not let it burn!

  2. Mix in chicken broth and stir until everything is thoroughly blended together and there are no more clumps. Add all ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Serve with green onions and rice. Enjoy!

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