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New Orleans Gumbo

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 20 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove rice from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes; stir in parsley. Serve with gumbo.

What is the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?

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

Can I freeze gumbo?

Yes! And for this recipe, we recommend freezing the New Orleans 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.
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.

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  • GeauxBreaux
    Feb 16, 2014

    Oh my goodness. I'm sure this tastes good and is easy to make, but its proper name is "Shrimp and Sausage Soup". This is not Gumbo, and other than the author's origins, has little to do with New Orleans. The foundation of a real New Orleans gumbo is a rich, dark roux. It's not gumbo without it. South Louisiana gumbos also always have the "trinity" of onions, bell pepper and celery. Take the time to make the roux to taste true gumbo. Calling this gumbo is like calling roast beef a steak. They both taste good, but they're really different dishes.

  • VictoriaElaine
    Oct 12, 2012

    This was pretty good, but I missed the okra, which is common in gumbo recipes. It could always be added, or course. It seemed like it would be a pain to prepare the rice separately, but it really wasn't. Very tasty, but not my all-time favorite gumbo recipe.

  • 2honeybabies
    Jul 20, 2012

    I cooked this for 3 pre-teens and 2 of them are VERY picky eaters....they all went back for more!

  • dstampp
    Jun 5, 2011

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was awesome! It was very easy to prepare and the flavor was great! This is a keeper.

  • keverwann
    Apr 30, 2011

    We sauted the veggies and then added the rice and sauted; then we added the water and cooked the rice until done. Left out the sausage and shrimp due to cost and thyme and parsley due to dislike. Used a pasilla pepper instead of a green pepper because that was what was on sale.

  • Punkyjoe81
    Mar 9, 2011

    We loved this gumbo recipe! I cooked the vegetables with the rest of the gumbo and served it over plain white rice. I also didn't thicken it - it was delicious!!

  • Tommyw
    Mar 2, 2011

    This recipe is great and so easy to make. My husband and I like spicy food, so I added 1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos for a little extra zip, and one 14-oz can of regular diced tomatoes . I also made it a little quicker by using frozen cooked chicken strips (regular or fajita seasoned) and put them in frozen or simi-frozen. We fight over the left-overs it is so good. I have already made it again and will make it again many time.Joan

  • brkornhaus
    Feb 26, 2011

    Yummy. Warms from the inside out on a cold winter day.

  • Sherrieboudinot
    Feb 24, 2011


  • bfify80
    Feb 15, 2011

    This was very good and warming! Even better the next day!