Photo: Cedric Angeles; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller
Hands-on Time
1 Hour 35 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 25 Mins
Makes about 5 qt.

The genius of this menu is that most of the work can be done ahead of time

How to Make It

Step 1

Pick crabmeat, removing any bits of shell.

Step 2

Remove shrimp shells and heads. Cover and refrigerate shrimp, and place shells and heads in a large stockpot. Add 8 cups water and a generous pinch of salt, and bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 1 hour. Cool 30 minutes; pour stock through a fine wire-mesh strainer, and reserve for use in Step Discard shells and heads.

Step 3

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, and add okra. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt, and sauté 10 minutes. Set aside okra, and wipe out skillet. Heat another tablespoon of oil in skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté andouille about 8 minutes or until brown. Set aside.

Step 4

Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add flour, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes or until roux is a medium-to-dark brown. Add yellow onions, celery, and bell pepper, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and 1/2 cup green onions, and cook 3 more minutes. Stir in tomato paste and next 7 ingredients. Stir in tomatoes and 1/3 cup of their liquid; gradually stir in shrimp stock. Add reserved sausage and okra. Bring to a boil over high heat, and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes.

Step 5

Stir in shrimp and remaining green onions, and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in crabmeat, oysters, and parsley, and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Taste and add salt, if desired. Serve over rice.

Step 6

* Fresh okra may be substituted for frozen.

Ratings & Reviews

Not too Southern

November 11, 2015
I've made better. Worcestershire sauce?

pretty good

November 04, 2015
I'd omit the tomato paste and the worcestershire sauce and add whole blue crabs and a good smokey sausage with that andouille!

Best Ever Gumbo

January 29, 2017
This was delicious!! Took some time but worth the effort! For me it rates 5 stars. I did use extra shrimp instead of oysters since I do not care for them. People should not rate a recipe because of ingredients if they have not tried it. When I saw the 3 stars I almost did not make. However after reading what that was based on did make it and my husband so happy I did. My experience with gumbo is that there are many ways of making it and there is no right or wrong just personal and family preference.


December 23, 2016
My husband grew up in Gulfport, MS and his family has been making gumbo for over 45 yrs.  It's always a treat when his sister makes gumbo, which is her specialty.  Her daughter also makes her own and they're slightly different, but amazingly good.  Better than any restaurant gumbo I've ever had.  They both use bacon fat/grease for their roux which adds a smoky undertone and imparts lots of flavor.  They also don't peel the shells and add the entire shrimp, sans heads/tails, into the gumbo w/fresh crabmeat.  They don't usually add andouille sausage, but it's a nice touch.  They use fresh okra and add a few tomatoes, chopped up fine, along w/file'which is a must in gumbo.  Add it at the end as it can get stringy if cooked too long.They are as southern as they come having been born and raised in the gulf area of MS.  Not sure if they use worcestershire sauce, but I did in this recipe, no biggie if you do.  Also, when sauteeing the okra, I would not wipe out the pan before sauteeing the andouille sausage. I didn't add oysters which I've never had in gumbo before.I made this the easy way as I didn't have a lot of time and sauteed onion, celery, gr pepper, and okra in the bacon fat along w/spices.  After 2/3 cooked, I added the garlic, crab, andoulle sausage, and boiled shrimp in the shell.  Cooked it for another 5-7 mins and then added shrimp water.  Simmered for 30 mins.  It's better the next day.  Served it w/some skillet cornbread.  Yum!

No tomatoes in gumbo!!!! And no Worcestershire sauce!! Please, don't do that to our Louisiana food!!!

October 13, 2016
NOOOOOO!!!! No tomato ANYTHING in gumbo!!!! And no Worcestershire sauce!!!! 

Great Gumbo

May 18, 2016
This is a great seafood stew "gumbo".   This would be great with mussels and some pieces of cod too.  Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste are often used in gumbo and jambalaya. I use V8 instead of tomato sauce sometimes and love the results.  Yes, I do live in the South. :  )