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Slow Cooker Gumbo (Red Creole Style Gumbo)

Soon to be a new family favorite this flavor packed Slow Cooker Gumbo recipe is an easy ‘dump and go’ meal. This Gumbo is easy to assemble in the crockpot with an optional roux for an authentic Creole taste!

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A large white bowl with a large scoop of gumbo on top of a bed of white rice with a fork.

Crockpot Gumbo Recipe

I am a little hesitant to post this recipe because I don’t want people with Cajun and Creole roots to yell at me…

I am a complete northern girl so because I don’t have a family recipe for Gumbo or Jambalaya passed down to me I had to make my own up.

I stuck to tradition for most of this dish but also wanted to make it delicious and easy, so hopefully you will find this Gumbo fits all of that

What is the difference between Jambalaya and Gumbo?

Both come from Creole and Cajun roots and have vast similarities but the main difference is how the rice is cooked.

Gumbo is a stew served along with rice cooked separate, and depending on Creole or Cajun it is either brown with no tomatoes (Cajun) or with tomatoes (Creole).

Jambalaya is cooked with the rice, think of it as a distant cousin of the Spanish paella, with the rice in the pot.

Both typically use a roux, the ‘holy trinity’ of vegetables (bell pepper, onions, celery), and proteins such as chicken, shrimp, and sausage.

Now I will point out that both Gumbo and Jambalaya have a lot to do with how each family prepared it, so these recipes might look quite different to everyone.

But in the spirit of being a huge fan this northern girl has made her own crockpot gumbo…

Ingredients placed in a black crock of a slow cooker including chicken thighs, andouille sausage, and shrimp.

I have heard it said many time Cajun and Creole cuisine, they say “start with a roux”.

When I went to work on this Slow Cooker Gumbo Recipe I didn’t want to stray too far from its Creole roots, so in this spirit I put a roux in my crockpot.

STOP, before you leave because that sounds complicated don’t.

First off, the roux I put in this recipe is very simple and only adds about 5 minutes. Second, you don’t have to do the roux, so much so that I wrote it as ‘optional’ in the instructions.

BUT you should totally put the roux in. Not only does it add flavor to the dish but it also adds as a thickening agent.

AND at this point if you still aren’t sure what a roux is, a roux is a mixture of fat (in this case butter) and flour used in making sauces.

Beyond the roux this recipe is a great ‘dump and go’ option. Besides making the rice and throwing in the shrimp during the last 15 minutes you really just dump and stir everything into the crock and let it works its magic.

Close up of a bowl of red gumbo on top of a bed of rice with a fork.

So here is what you need…

Supplies

  • Crockpot/Slow Cooker
  • Cutting Board & Knife
  • typical Kitchen Accessories such as measuring cups/spoons, can opener, and large spoons
  • for the Roux, a Skillet and Whisk

Ingredients

You will need:

  • Red Bell Pepper – diced into small pieces
  • Onion – yellow or white onion works, the onion will be diced
  • Celery Stalks – chopped up
  • Diced Tomatoes (the big can) – a large can of diced tomatoes (or 2 of the regular size), if you aren’t a fan of chunky tomatoes you can use crushed tomatoes
  • Chicken Thighs – Boneless and Skinless, try to not to substitute for chicken breasts here as they probably will get mushy and not hold up to the rest of the ingredients
  • Andouille Sausage – you can find them in a package usually somewhere near the package meats, sizes will probably vary slightly but anything around 12 to 16 ounces should work
  • Shrimp – a pound of medium sized RAW shrimp, I suggest leaving the shells in tact during cooking because it will add more flavor to the final dish, you can simply peel the shrimp during eating (also heads up I took a little artistic liberty and took the photo of the shrimp in the crockpot with everything else, the shrimp will get added during the last few minutes)
  • Cajun Seasoning – or Creole Seasoning, I have a hard time finding anything called Creole Seasoning where I live but have an easy time finding Cajun, I figured this might ring true to others as well
  • Kosher Salt – or sea salt, if using table salt, use half the amount
  • Dried Thyme – if using fresh use twice the amount
  • Chicken Broth
  • Minced Garlic
  • Cooked Rice for Serving – I recommenced checking out my post of How to Make Rice on the Stovetop, you will make the rice as you add the shrimp
  • Butter + Flour – if you are making to roux

For a complete detailed list of the ingredients continue towards the bottom of the page.

All of the ingredients needed to make gumbo in the crockpot on a table top in bowl and on plates.

NOTE – In a lot of traditional Gumbo recipes you will see Okra, it is not easy to find fresh okra where I live, keeping in step with the Cajun/Creole seasoning above I did not use it in this recipe. If you have okra plentiful use some!

Instructions for Making Gumbo in the Crockpot

First up the ‘optional’ roux. To make the roux for this dish add a skillet to the stovetop and add the butter bring to medium heat.

Once the butter is fully melted and starting to bubble add the flour. Whisk to combine, it might seem hard and chunky at first but just keep whisking. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes smooth, keep whisking slowly until the roux becomes a dark brown color about 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat, set aside until you are ready to add the the crockpot. 

To make the Gumbo add the diced red bell pepper, onion, celery, diced tomatoes, chicken thighs, sliced andouille, cajun seasoning, salt, thyme, broth, and minced garlic to the crock. And if you made a roux add that in. Do NOT add the shrimp yet. 

Add a dark brown roux to the crockpot before stirring it in.
All the ingredients except shrimp stirred together in a crockpot ready to be cooked.

Stir together to combine and cook on LOW 6-7 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours.

During the last 15 minutes of cooking stir in the shrimp. I recommend leaving the shells on for maximum flavor but it isn’t absolutely necessary.

When you add the shrimp make sure you also make your rice for serving!

Overhead view of a crockpot filled with cook gumbo including cooked shrimp on the top.

Please note:

ADD THE SHRIMP AT THE END, for artistic purposes I took the ingredients photo with them in the crockpot, they will turn out better if you add them at the end. 

Close look inside a crockpot filled with cooked gumbo with shrimp and andouille sausages on the top.

Tips, Tricks, and Questions

  • While the shrimp is cooking is a good time to make the rice, use my Foolproof Stovetop Rice Recipe HERE.
  • You can use the traditional green bell pepper in place of red. I use red because I think the sweetness adds to the dish a lot although a green bell pepper might be more traditional. 
  • The roux can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.

What do I serve with Crockpot Gumbo?

Most would consider this a ‘one-pot’ meal but you could certainly serve with French bread or biscuits to soak up any extra sauce on the plate!

Flatly looking down at two large bowls of rice topped with saucy shrimp gumbo.
Overhead of a large white bowl full of white rice and red gumbo piled high on top showing off shrimp, sausages, and chicken.

Slow Cooker Gumbo

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes

A delicious crockpot gumbo that is easy to 'dump' and cook. With an optional roux base for a more authentic flavor this traditional Creole dish can now be a weeknight favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (the big can)
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken thighs, boneless skinless
  • 1 package andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 pound shrimp (add at the end)
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups cooked rice for serving

optional:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

Instructions

  1. Optional: Make a roux using the optional butter and flour. On the stovetop add the butter to a skillet over medium heat. Once melted and starting to bubble add the flour to the butter. Whisk to combine and continue to whisk until the mixture becomes a dark brown color about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, set aside until you are ready to add the the crockpot.
  2. Add the diced red bell pepper, onion, celery, diced tomatoes, chicken thighs, sliced andouille, cajun seasoning, salt, thyme, broth, minced garlic, and if you are using it the optional roux from step one. Do NOT add the shrimp yet.
  3. Stir to combine and cook on LOW 6-7 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours.
  4. During the last 15 minutes of cooking stir in the shrimp. I recommend leaving the shells on for maximum flavor but it isn't absolutely necessary. Once the shrimp is pink and no longer translucent the gumbo is ready to eat. Serve over a bed of rice.

Notes

ADD THE SHRIMP AT THE END, for artistic purposes I took the ingredients photo with them in the crockpot, they will turn out better if you add them at the end.

The package of andouille sausage I used was 13 ounces, anything from about 12-16 pounds should work perfectly fine here.

While the shrimp is cooking is a good time to make the rice, use my Foolproof Stovetop Rice Recipe HERE.

You can use any color bell pepper in place of red. I use red because I think the sweetness adds to the dish a lot although a green bell pepper might be more traditional.

The roux can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: about 1.5 cups over rice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 501Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 327mgSodium: 2443mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 50g

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below on the blog or share a photo with me tag @the_schmidty_wife! Can't wait to see what you made!

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

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Jaime

Friday 24th of September 2021

My roux never turned dark brown so I tossed it- but now my gumbo is very soupy…why did my roux not turn brown? I wished it way being 4 minutes

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