Authentic Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo will have you thinking you’re in New Orleans for Mardi Gras! This recipe starts with how to make an easy homemade roux before combining spicy andouille sausage, veggies, shrimp, and seasonings to create the most amazing rich flavor. Treat yourself to this classic Louisiana recipe made from scratch, and don’t forget to freeze some for later!

Gumbo made from scratch is placed with rice in a white bowl.

My Papa encompasses the characteristics of a man who has lived in Louisiana a large majority of his life.

He played football for Tulane, sent a few of his kids (and then grandkids!) to LSU, roots for the New Orleans Saints, has been in more Mardi Gras parades than I can count, and has quite the affinity for a big bowl of authentic shrimp gumbo.

Not to mention, he has never been able to resist tapping his foot when a jazzy tune comes on.

Every year we visit my Nanny and Papa in a town just outside of New Orleans and have the pleasure of enjoying true, authentic, Cajun cuisine like Red Beans and Rice, Instant Pot Jambalaya, and of course, some shrimp and sausage gumbo.

Gumbo typically starts off with a dark roux, has the “holy trinity” of bell pepper, onion, and celery, and then a protein or two such as chicken, shrimp, or sausage.

It is then served over a bed of white rice and sprinkled with additional file powder or hot sauce.

Albeit to say, my taste buds have become accustomed to the flavors of real Cajun food.

So you have my word, this Shrimp & Sausage Gumbo will be just that… authentically Cajun.

Shrimp, sausage, tomatoes, cajun spices, celery, onion, peppers, roux, and Worcestershire Sauce are the ingredients needed.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo recipe include:

  • Sausage. Andouille sausage is the best to use since it inherently has a ton of flavor and a spicy Cajun kick. If you can’t find andouille sausage, you can also opt for regular link sausage but you may need to adjust the spice level of the gumbo to make up for the lack of heat.
  • Shrimp. Large, 20-24 count shrimp that have already been peeled and deveined are the best.  If you have the time, you can go through the process of peeling and deveining them yourself – but let’s be real – this gumbo recipe already takes while to make so why not skip a step!
  • Roux. This is a mixture of equal parts flour and fat cooked over a low heat until it darkens in color. A lighter roux is used to thicken soups and stews while a darker, chocolate brown roux is what gives gumbo its unique rich flavor. You’ll find the basics below, but if you want a few more details you can learn more about how to make a roux. You can also purchase a pre-made roux here.
  • Holy Trinity. You’ll need a green bell pepper, celery, and a sweet or white onion.
  • Dried herbs. Dried oregano, thyme, and a bay leaf round out the flavor.
  • Ground spices. Cayenne pepper and paprika give the gumbo a spicy kick.
  • Tomatoes. Canned diced tomatoes are preferred, but tomato sauce or stewed tomatoes may be used if that’s all you have available.
  • Worcestershire Sauce. Don’t leave this out! This gives the gumbo a really deep and rich flavor.

How to Make Gumbo

The basic steps for making Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo are simple to follow. Please see the recipe card below for more detailed ingredient amounts.

Make the Roux

When making a roux from scratch you will need equal parts flour and fat. Regular all purpose flour will definitely work and some brands of gluten-free flour may work.  But just know, certain brands of gluten-free flour will not thicken up as easily as the gluten-filled kind.

For the fat you can either use butter, oil, or any other type of animal fat such as bacon drippings or sausage grease.

Add butter or oil to a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. If you are using butter, let it melt completely and wait for it to start sizzling slightly.

Stir in the flour with a whisk or wooden spoon. The mixture should begin to thicken immediately.

To avoid burning, make sure you keep stirring. Once the roux starts to thin out slightly, you can slow down how often you’re stirring it.

Continue to cook and stir over medium-low heat until your desired color is reached. This should take about 20-30 minutes.

The darker the roux the more flavor it will have.

Cook the sausage.

In a separate skillet, add the sausage and sauté until it is cooked through.

Transfer the cooked sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and allow it to drain.

Sauté the Veggies

Add the holy trinity of celery, green bell pepper, and onion to the Dutch oven with the homemade roux. Cook until the vegetables become tender.

Onions, bell pepper, and celery are sautéed on the stove.

Add the Base

Pour in the broth, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, herbs and spices. Stir to combine.

Simmer

Bring the ingredients to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the gumbo to cook for 30-40 minutes.

Mix in the Protein

Add the raw shrimp and cooked sausage. Continue simmering until the shrimp are done and their tails begin to curl.

Serving

Find and remove the bay leaf. This adds flavor but is too tough to eat.

Shrimp and sausage gumbo is most traditionally served over a bed of white rice. (You can cook white rice in your Instant Pot, too!)

You can also serve it over cauliflower rice if you’d prefer a lower-carb option.

Many recipes also call for including a dash or two of file powder just before serving, but this is totally optional. File powder is simply ground sassafras leaves that gives the finished dish a really earthy flavor.

Additionally, you can add extra hot sauce, such as Tabasco, if you want your gumbo spicier.

Louisiana gumbo is stirred in a large pot with a wooden spoon.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Cook the sausage, make the roux, chop the veggies, and place each in individual containers in the refrigerator.
  • To Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: Seal in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: Return to a pot on the stove or quickly microwave.

FAQs

What is the secret ingredient in gumbo?

A dark brown roux adds a special depth of flavor to gumbo and should never be left out!

What kind of sausage is best in gumbo?

Andouille sausage is the classic choice for the perfect spicy flavor.

Does shrimp need to be cooked before adding to gumbo?

No, the shrimp can be raw and will cook quickly in the broth.

Are gumbo and jambalaya the same thing?

Gumbo differs from jambalaya in that it is more of a roux-thickened stew or soup. Jambalaya is rice-based and more similar to a Spanish paella.

Loaded shrimp and sausage gumbo is eaten from a bowl with a spoon.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • The darker the better. Make sure your roux is a chocolate brown color for the best rich flavor.
  • Save time. Purchase shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined to keep things easy.
  • Think ahead. Shorten the day-of cook time by preparing the rice, sausage, roux, and veggies in advance.
  • Make extra. The flavors get better with time so freeze some for an easy meal in the future.
  • Pick it out. Don’t forget to remove the tough bay leaf before serving.

Want more Cajun recipes?

Enjoy the best Southern flavors in these tasty recipes:

Sausage & Chicken Cajun Jambalaya

Cajun Chicken Zucchini Noodles

Instant Pot Beans and Rice

Shrimp Creole

Remoulade Sauce

Instant Pot Jambalaya

Shrimp and Grits

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 9 votes

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo Recipe

Authentic Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo will have you thinking you're in New Orleans for Mardi Gras! Treat yourself to this classic Louisiana recipe made from scratch, and don't forget to freeze some for later!
Yield 8 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 12 oz. andouille sausage cut into ½-inch pieces
  • cup butter or oil
  • cup flour all purpose
  • 1 small sweet onion finely diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 4 cups chicken broth regular sodium
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes canned drained
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. thyme dried
  • ½ tsp. oregano dried
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 ¼ tsp. salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound shrimp peeled, deveined, tails removed
  • Fresh parsley optional

Instructions 

How to Make Roux for Gumbo:

  • Place a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat.  Add butter or oil. If using butter, let it melt completely and wait for it to start sizzling slightly.
  • Sprinkle in flour and begin stirring immediately with a wooden spoon.  You’ll notice the roux beginning to thicken up rather quickly.
  • Stir constantly at this point to prevent it from burning.  The roux will start to thin out slightly after a few minutes and you can slow down how often you’re stirring it.
  • Cook roux over medium-low heat for at least 20 minutes or up to 30 minutes.

How to Make Gumbo:

  • Sauté sausage in a separate skillet.  Remove sausage from pan once cooked through and let drain on a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add diced celery, green bell pepper, and onion to the Dutch oven with the homemade roux.  Saute for 6-7 minutes or until vegetables become tender.
  • Add crushed garlic and continue sautéing for an additional minute.
  • Pour in broth, tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine.
  • Add thyme, oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Mix until well combined.
  • Bring gumbo to a boil. Once ingredients are boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Allow gumbo to simmer for 35-40 minutes, uncovered, or until it is reduced by almost half.
  • Add shrimp and sausage.  Stir to combine. Continue simmering for 6-7 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through, opaque, and their tails begin to curl.
  • Remove bay leaf and serve shrimp gumbo over rice with fresh parsley.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 9 votes

Video

Notes

  • Regular all purpose flour works the best and it can be bleached or unbleached. Some gluten-free all purpose blends will work but not all of them.
  • If you’re pressed for time you can also use a store-bought roux instead. Just make sure you grab a dark roux and not a light for the most flavor.
  • To Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: Seal in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 311kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 199mg, Sodium: 1670mg, Potassium: 420mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 651IU, Vitamin C: 27mg, Calcium: 129mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Comments

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Stephanie! Okra sounds good! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

  1. 5 stars
    I guess the reason I never tried to make this before is because the few times I’ve tried it in restaurants, it was nothing to write home about, yet I kept wondering how could so many people be wrong about how wonderful gumbo is, so I spent the whole afternoon making this. I only used half portions, but if I had known it would so good, I would have made the full recipe.
    I made the roux using ghee and softened the “holy trinity” per instructions but altered a few other things. I peeled the shrimp and made a stock from the shells. I added a can of canned clams because that is what I had and also a small bottle of clam juice. I omitted the chicken stock. I also added raw okra.
    After making this it is clear to me that cooking the roux till it’s dark brown is what makes gumbo, gumbo, and no matter what else you put in it, without the dark brown roux, it is not gumbo.

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Dean! I’m glad you made it work for you. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for this information my family hails from Louisiana both sides and it is always wonderful to enjoy gumbo made down there by the family in Louisiana. I write you from Chicago. Thank you again for this marvelous compilation of information culture through etiquette dining is wonderful to behold.

    1. So happy you enjoyed the post, Ken! Hope you enjoy the recipe when you make it! And thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and rating 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for this beautiful recipe. I made it gluten-free & dairy-free for my church school, times 8 (fed 50 parents/kiddos). It fit the bill for my search for something healthy and flavorful. I used frozen okra (hard to find fresh in PNW in early spring). Many parents were amazed to see how much veggies I put in and that the kiddos ate and asked for 2nds and 3rds. Keep up the great work!

    1. That’s wonderful to hear, Sylvia. And wow!! That’s a TON of people to feed – way to go! And thanks so much for your kind words and encouraging comment. 🙂

    1. Hi Marissa! Yes, regular all purpose flour will work great! Can’t wait to hear what you think about the recipe 🙂

  4. I am going to try your recipe but I make my own fish stock from the shrimp heads. I get them fresh from the boats and would like to sub it for the chicken stock ,any thoughts ?

    1. Hi Duane! I think it will turn out just great. It will definitely have a stronger shrimp flavor than this recipe normally would, but I bet it will taste delicious 🙂

    1. Hi Greg! Yes, you should be easily able to double it for a crowd. Just make sure you have a large enough pot and you should be good! Thanks for the question.

  5. I plan on making this for my gluten free brother for tailgating this weekend…but i HATE and I stress, HATE, thyme…can I just leave it out?

    1. Hi Linda!! Yes! You can definitely leave out the thyme completely or substitute it for more oregano or basil! Hope you enjoy the gumbo and the tailgating 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Gave your Andouille and Shrimp Gumbo a try. An excellent recipe and just the right amount of heat! Thank you for posting it.

    1. Hi Brenda! So pumped you enjoyed it! You’re very welcome. Thanks for commenting and leaving a rating!