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Slow Cooker Crockpot Gumbo

This Easy Slow Cooker Crockpot Gumbo is the best authentic Creole Cajun recipe with chicken, andouille sausage, seafood (shrimp and/or crab), and okra. This healthy dish is loaded with spices and can be served mild or spicy.

gumbo in a Crockpot slow cooker

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Gumbo is a staple dish for my family. We even serve it every Christmas as a main dish for the holiday. You will need dried spices for this recipe, that’s where the dish gets its flavor. Most (if not all) should be items you already have in your pantry.

chopped onions, green peppers, celery, andouille sausage, okra, and worcestershire sauce in separate bowls

Spices

The spices in gumbo (along with the roux) are what makes this dish so unique and filled with flavor. For mild gumbo omit the cayenne pepper. You will need the following:

What Type of Chicken to Use

I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can also use skinless chicken thighs with no change to the cooking time. Chicken thighs are a lot juicier than breasts and will work great in this recipe. You can also use a cooked rotisserie chicken. Chop your chicken into cubes and a little time is saved.

raw chicken breasts, raw shrimp, diced tomatoes, butter, flour, and spices in separate bowls

What Type of Shrimp to Use

Shrimp can be found at the grocery store in a few different ways. There is raw, pre-cooked, raw and frozen, deveined, tails on, tails off, etc.

I never use pre-cooked shrimp. There is an obvious difference in taste due to the lack of quality. The shrimp is cooked and then frozen and you have to cook it/warm it up again. This usually overcooks the shrimp. Raw shrimp only takes minutes to make, just buy it raw.

Always look for deveined, that’s my preference. The black vein that runs along the back of the shrimp is the digestive intestinal tract. Is this shrimp poop, yes.

You can buy it with the vein and remove it using a sharp paring knife to make a slit along the back and lift out the vein with the tip of the knife.

Buy large shrimp. No one likes those baby shrimp and they are harder to cook with.

How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp

Place the frozen shrimp in a large bowl of cold water. The shrimp will thaw within minutes and will be ready to peel.

Can You Add Other Seafood?

Absolutely! I often toss in jumbo lump crab along with the shrimp. Some also use crab legs in the shell. Seafood cooks fast. You never want to add it in during the slow cooking process. Wait until the dish has finished cooking. Toss it in at the end and give it a few minutes to cook.

sausage cooked in a skillet and butter melted in a skillet with flour

How to Create a Roux

A roux is a combination of equal parts of oil and flour. Melt the butter first, and then add the flour. And STIR, STIR, STIR. Stir constantly. If you stop, the roux will burn.

The shade of brown the roux needs to be is always a source of debate. Many prefer a lighter, peanut butter brown hue. A lot of people prefer a really dark brown hue. When making gumbo and etouffée, I have made it both ways!

Prepare it based on what you like. A peanut butter brown roux will take 5-6 minutes of stirring. A deep brown roux (as shown in the photos of this recipe) will take you 10 minutes or more.

deep brown gumbo roux in a pan

Do You Have to Make the Roux Using the Stove

If you don’t have a slow cooker with a removable stovetop safe base, then you will have to make the roux and saute the vegetables on the stove and add them to the slow cooker.

You can also skip making a roux (omit the butter, flour, and olive oil) and dump all of your ingredients into the Crockpot and cook the dish following the same instructions. This wouldn’t be authentic gumbo and the dish won’t be as thick and rich as true Southern gumbo.

If you dump the ingredients and cook it that way, you can thicken the gumbo like you would a soup, by creating a slurry. Combine 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Add the mixture to gumbo and stir until thick. Make another slurry if it doesn’t thicken up enough.

I do not make it this way. I like the real thing, so I take the extra steps to make a roux.

gumbo roux and vegetables in a skillet

Holy Trinity Vegetables

In Louisiana Cajun and Creole cuisine, we have what refer to as the Holy Trinity vegetables: onions, bell peppers, and celery. You will always find this combination of vegetables in dishes like gumbo, Shrimp Étouffée, dirty rice, and jambalaya.

gumbo roux and vegetables in a skillet

How to Make Gumbo in Slow Cooker

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Add sausage to a skillet on medium-high heat. Cook and set aside.
  2. Add butter and olive oil to the pan on medium-high heat. While it melts add the flour in 3 phases. Add the first phase and whisk. Add the second phase, and so on.
  3. Continue to whisk until the roux turns deep brown.
  4. Add spices, garlic, and worcestershire sauce to the roux.
  5. Add the roux, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and okra. Stir.
  6. Place the chicken breasts and cooked sausage in the slow cooker.
  7. Slow cook.
  8. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred.
  9. Add raw shrimp and shredded chicken to the slow cooker.
  10. Cook for a few minutes until the shrimp turns bright pink.
uncooked gumbo in a Crockpot slow cooker with chicken and shrimp

Cook Time/What is the Fastest Time it Will Cook

The fastest way to cook the dish is on High and for 3-4 hours. You can also cook it on Low for 7-8 hours. You need to cook it long enough for the chicken to become tender and shred easily.

Can You Substitute Okra?

Sure, if you want. I have no suggestions because okra is essential to the dish and a must for authentic gumbo. It adds flavor, but it’s mostly praised for being a thickener. Okra will give the gumbo a rich and thick texture. A lot of people don’t like okra because of its slimy texture. When you cook it for a long time in a recipe like this one, it isn’t slimy anymore.

cooked chicken breast held with tons
shredded chicken on a cutting board

Do You Have to Add Tomatoes?

There are a couple of versions of gumbo and some people do not like to add tomatoes. If you don’t want them, feel free to omit.

How to Store/How Long It Will Last in the Fridge

You can store leftovers tightly covered and sealed in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Freezer Tips

I love to freeze gumbo. It’s the perfect meal to reheat from frozen. It will last up to 6 months in the freezer. I like to freeze using these soup molds from Amazon.You can also freeze it along with the rice at the bottom.

gumbo in a Crockpot slow cooker

What to Serve with Gumbo

Southern Soul Food Cornbread
Sweet Potato Cornbread
Air Fryer Garlic Bread
Cornbread Muffins

More Southern Recipes

Instant Pot Gumbo
Shrimp Étouffée Recipe
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
Cajun Shrimp Pasta
Southern Chicken Spaghetti

More Slow Cooker Crockpot Recipes

Slow Cooker Crockpot BBQ Meatballs
Slow Cooker Crockpot Chicken and Rice
Slow Cooker Crockpot Chili Mac and Cheese
Slow Cooker Crockpot White Chicken Chili
Pulled Pork Sliders
Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup
Sugar-Free Apple Butter

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip

Slow cooker Crockpot gumbo in a white bowl
gumbo in a Crockpot slow cooker
Print Pin
5 from 11 votes

Easy Slow Cooker Crockpot Gumbo

This Easy Slow Cooker Crockpot Gumbo is the best authentic Creole Cajun recipe with chicken, andouille sausage, seafood (shrimp and/or crab), and okra. This healthy dish is loaded with spices and can be served mild or spicy.
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine Cajun, Creole, Southern
Keyword Crockpot gumbo, slow cooker gumbo, slow cooker gumbo with chicken, slow cooker gumbo with shrimp
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 389kcal

Ingredients

Spices

Instructions

  • Add the sliced sausage to a skillet on medium-high heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes on both sides. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the butter and olive oil to the pan on medium heat. While it melts add the flour in 3 phases. Add the first phase and whisk. Add the second phase, and so on.
  • Continue to stir until the roux turns deep brown. It should turn brown within several minutes of stirring. This is the most important step of the recipe and it requires patience. If you stop stirring before it reaches deep brown, it will cake up and/or burn.
  • Add the green peppers, celery, and onions to the roux. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes until the veggies are soft.
  • Add all of the spices, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce to the roux and stir.
  • Add the roux and vegetables to the slow cooker along with the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and okra. Stir.
  • Place the chicken breasts and cooked sausage in the slow cooker.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook for 3-4 hours on High or 7-8 hours on Low.
  • Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred.
  • Add the raw shrimp and shredded chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Cook for a few minutes until the shrimp turns bright pink.
  • Serve.

Notes

  • If you don’t have a slow cooker with a removable stovetop safe base, then you will have to make the roux and saute the vegetables on the stove and add them to the slow cooker. 
  • You can also skip making a roux (omit the butter, flour, and olive oil) and dump all of your ingredients into the Crockpot and cook the dish following the same instructions. This wouldn’t be authentic gumbo and the dish won’t be as thick and rich as true Southern gumbo.
  • If you dump the ingredients and cook it that way, you can thicken the gumbo like you would a soup, by creating a slurry. Combine 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Add the mixture to gumbo and stir until thick. Make another slurry if it doesn’t thicken up enough.
  • For mild gumbo omit the cayenne pepper.
  • You can substitute chicken breasts for chicken thighs with no change to the cooking time. Chicken thighs are a lot juicier than breasts and will work great in this recipe. You can also use a cooked rotisserie chicken. Chop your chicken into cubes and a little time is saved.
  • Seafood cooks fast. You never want to add it in during the slow cooking process. Wait until the dish has finished cooking. Toss it in at the end and give it a few minutes to cook.
  • The shade of brown the roux needs to be is always a source of debate. Many prefer a lighter, peanut butter brown hue. A lot of people prefer a really dark brown hue. When making gumbo and etouffée, I have made it both ways.
  • Prepare it based on what you like. A peanut butter brown roux will take 5-6 minutes of stirring. A deep brown roux (as shown in the photos of this recipe) will take you 10 minutes or more.
     
  • I have no suggestions for okra substitutions because okra is essential to the dish and a must for authentic gumbo. It adds flavor, but it’s mostly praised for being a thickener. Okra will give the gumbo a rich and thick texture. A lot of people don’t like okra because of its slimy texture. When you cook it for a long time in a recipe like this one, it isn’t slimy anymore.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 16g
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Recipe Rating




Ariane

Monday 7th of February 2022

I made this last week during some cold weather and it was perfection. The recipe came together really quick (easy enough for me to take a break to prep during the workday) and was full of flavor. Looking forward to eating the leftovers (and then putting the recipe into the rotation!)

Thank you for the recipe AND for the reminder that ratings/comments matter to creators :)

staysnatched

Tuesday 8th of February 2022

Thank you for sharing!

Kelly

Wednesday 2nd of February 2022

Delicious and easy! Made it with sausage, chicken thighs & shrimp. My whole family loved it & they are particular about their gumbo.

staysnatched

Thursday 3rd of February 2022

I'm glad the family enjoyed it!

Erica

Thursday 13th of January 2022

I have never eaten a gumbo that I liked but my husband likes it, so I tried this recipe especially for him. Well let's just say I was the one finishing it off. It is so so so good. The blend of seasonings and the kick of spice was just perfect.. *Chef's Kiss* I will likely never buy gumbo at a restaurant again when I can make it this good at home. I am not a fan of tomatoes so I did leave out the can of diced tomatoes for a more Cajun vs. Creole style gumbo. The okra is a MUST. Make this recipe, you will not regret it.

Anitra Johnson

Friday 14th of January 2022

@staysnatched, when I do the flour and butter and you say do it in four phases, are you staying at one of the four teaspoons of flour stir and then add another he's with a flower stir and so on?

staysnatched

Friday 14th of January 2022

I'm so glad to hear that!

Nek C

Wednesday 12th of January 2022

We usually make the instant pot version, but we wanted it to cook slow and steady this time around. Same flavor and results as the instant pot!! Delicious! Next time, we’ll be adding some good ol’ crab legs.

staysnatched

Thursday 13th of January 2022

Crab legs are so good!

Sydney

Wednesday 12th of January 2022

My mom made this for my family and she cannot be thankful enough for the detail you provide in your recipes. She said I followed everything and it was amazing. My dad said he didn’t feel the need to add any hot sauce or anything to his bowl. They had very little left over!

staysnatched

Thursday 13th of January 2022

Yay! I'm so happy she found it helpful!