Classic Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

There is truly something magical about New Orleans Cuisine. The beautiful melding of so many influences and cultures makes for incredible dishes.

Every time we travel to the Big Easy down near the bayou, we fall in love all over again with the city, the people, the culture, the history, and of course, the food! Gumbo is about as classic it comes, and this dish is quintessential NOLA. And it’s not difficult to prepare!

A white boClassic Shrimp and Okra Gumbo in a white bowl
Classic Shrimp and Okra Gumbo


There are a few really important factors to keep in mind when making Classic Shrimp and Okra Gumbo.

It really comes down to two important items:  your roux and a shrimp (or shrimp and crab) stock.

Also, the addition of two New Orleans classic ingredients is key, too, those being Crystals brand hot sauce and gumbo filé.  If you can’t find Crystal’s at your local market, you can easily order it online. We do all the time!

Kris holding bottles of Krystal's hot sauce from a package opened in his kitchen.

Gumbo filé is not 100% required, but it’s another ingredient that makes the dish taste very authentic.

NOLA is one of our favorite places in the world, and we try to visit there every couple of years, and every time we go, we pick up some Crystals and Gumbo Filé.  But we go through Krystals like crazy, so I often order more bottles online.   You can also order the file online, too.

A bottle of filé which is ground sassafras and is a classic gumbo seasoning


Classic Shrimp and Okra Gumbo start with a brown roux.

This takes a little longer to get the right color (and nutty flavor), but be patient.

It should turn a milk-chocolate color, and be sure to whisk constantly.

The roux should be the color of milk chocolate

For the stock, a full-bodied shrimp stock is essential.

Follow this recipe for shrimp / crab stock, and you can’t go wrong.

In a pinch, you can use purchase seafood stock combined with clam juice, but we do recommend making the stock from scratch!.

A jar filled Shrimp / Crab Stock sitting on a wooden cutting board next to a white background.


The gumbo should be simmered to bring all the flavors together.

The smell is incredible.

We toss the shrimp in at the very end and they cook until pink and curled.

Add the okra and other veggies to the brown roux

The shrimp goes in the final 10 minutes of cooking


Authentic Jambalaya
Perfect Cajun Rice
Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo
Classic Dirty Rice
Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Cajun Rice
Cajun Baked Shrimp
Shrimp with Summer Corn and Tomato Stew

But in the meantime, let’s make an amazing batch of the Classic Shrimp and Okra Gumbo!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo, post it on Instagram, and tag @howtofeedaloon and hashtag #howtofeedaloon!

A white boClassic Shrimp and Okra Gumbo in a white bowl

Classic Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

This Classic Shrimp and Okra Gumbo relies on several key features: a dark roux, a really good shrimp stock, file, and Crystals Louisiana hot sauce. I've been making this gumbo for a long time, and it is a household favorite without a doubt. A NOLA classic in your own kitchen!! So good!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cajun
Cuisine: Cajun
Keyword: Creole, Gumbo, Shrimp
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 329kcal


  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • lbs okra sliced 1/4" thick
  • 2 large yellow onions chopped
  • large green bell peppers seeded and chopped
  • 4 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 4 quarts Shrimp / Crab Stock click for full recipe
  • cup Crystal Hot Sauce
  • cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Creole/Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes drained and roughly chopped (I use my hands to crush them as I drop them into the pot)
  • 1 tbsp filé powder
  • 2 lbs shrimp medium, peeled and deveined
  • cooked rice
  • Scallions sliced, for garnish


  • In a large pot (preferably Dutch oven), heat oil over medium-high heat and slowly whisk in flour. Cook and whisking constantly until a brown roux forms, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Carefully add okra, onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add stock, hot sauce, Worcestershire, Creole/Cajun seasoning, salt, cayenne, bay leaves, tomatoes and file and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  • Add the shrimp in the final 10 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
  • Serve with hot cooked rice and garnish with scallions.


Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 1426mg | Potassium: 896mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1283IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 333mg | Iron: 6mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!



  • Awesome recipe guys! I did not have head on shrimp so used shells and 1 pound of freshly steamed blue crabs. Did not have the Crystal but used some fresh serranos. I also added Andouille sausage.
    Our friend said that this one would challenge a five star restaurant item. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hey Gary!! Sorry for the delayed response! We have been in the midst of moving and things have been crazy. Steamed blue crabs are the best!! And with andouille sausage! Sounds like you just made this recipe even better. Thanks for letting us know!! Sounds wonderful!! Best, Kris & Wesley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating