Ultimate Time-Consuming Seafood Gumbo

"This recipe is based on another recipe I found on the internet. I made a few changes and added my own touches. It does take a long time, but it produces the richest flavor possible! I made a double batch of this last night and had 12 people over for dinner. They all declared that it's the best gumbo they have ever had!"
photo by dkharding photo by dkharding
photo by dkharding
Ready In:




  • STOCK: Bake shrimp shells at 375 degrees F until dried and starting to brown on edges.
  • About 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Put everything into an 8-quart pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook 5 hours, uncovered.
  • When stock is cooled, drain all liquid from the vegetables (I squeezed by hand), then discard all solids.
  • GUMBO: Combine the cayenne, white and black peppers, paprika, thyme, oregano, bay leaf and salt in small bowl.
  • In a heavy pot, 6 quart or larger, heat oil over medium heat until hot.
  • Add onions, celery, and green bell peppers.
  • Turn heat to high, stirring frequently.
  • Add garlic, file powder, and the pepper-herb mixture.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add tomato sauce and stock, bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add okra and sausage and simmer for 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • When ready to serve, add all seafood and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Turn off heat, and let stand for 10 minutes, covered.
  • Serve over long-grain rice.

Questions & Replies

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  1. 12thender1
    Can chicken be added to this receipes?


  1. dkharding
    We made this for New Years dinner. It was the BEST meal! So delicious we wished we had company. This may become an annual tradition. Just the right amount of spice, fantastic stock, awesome seafood. Perfect! PS - there is actually a roux of sorts in here - it's with a large amount of File and oil. YUM
  2. Dreamgoddess
    This title of this recipe is absolutely correct…this is the most time-consuming recipe I’ve ever made. I do think the prep and cook time is a little misleading because the time to chill the stock was not factored in the total time of 7 hours to prepare. It actually took me about 10 hours to prepare this recipe. By the time I finally got the gumbo finished, I was thinking to myself that it ought to be the most fantastic gumbo I’ve ever tasted. Well it was! This is without a doubt the best gumbo I’ve ever had the pleasure to eat. I followed the recipe exactly as written except I didn't have fresh parsley for the stock. I used 1 T dried parsley. I also omitted the crawfish tails because I couldn't find any. The blend of flavors was superb with just the right amount of kick. I had never made gumbo before using a stock and I believe this was the key to such a delicious taste. I’m throwing out all the other gumbo recipes that I have. This is the only recipe I ever care to use again. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!
  3. shricpa
    I have used this recipe for the last three years for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is perfection.
  4. mapsrwd
    It takes me longer than this to make a gumbo. Of course, when you make stock, you should make a lot. It freezes well. I would not make a gumbo without a roux. I don't think anyone in Louisiana would consider it a gumbo without a roux. My other suggestion is to fry off the okra. Use butter or oil at low/medium heat until the okra is no longer ropey/slimey. I have eaten gumbo with okra that has not been fried off and it always seem slimey to me. For the roux, I would use a cast iron skillet, but not to fry off the okra.
  5. mckayjulie
    Very time consuming indeed, but oh, so worth it! I added the Trader Joe's frozen seafood mix (shrimp, scallops, calamari) in place of the crayfish, and it was perfect. Definitely a keeper!



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