What to Serve with Gumbo?

Gumbo is a traditional dish that originated in Louisiana. It has evolved over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is people’s obsession with what to serve with gumbo!

Here are what to serve with gumbo:

  • Cornbread
  • Rice
  • Pickled Okra
  • Green Salad
  • Potato Salad
  • Louisiana Bread Pudding
  • And many more.

What are they, and how to prepare them? This blog post will go through some different types of food you can eat with gumbo to find your perfect match.

What is Gumbo?

gumbo
Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo. Credit: canva

About

Gumbo is a traditional dish from Louisiana. It is made with okra, tomatoes, onions, celery, peppers, spices, seafood, chicken or sausage, and other ingredients, depending on where you are from.

The word “gumbo” comes from the French language. The word means soup in English. In this case, it refers to a thick stew-like soup with many vegetables and meat.

Most people think of New Orleans when they hear about gumbo, but there are much different gumbo worldwide.

What is the Origin of Gumbo?

The word “gumbo” comes from the Bantu language spoken by Louisiana’s slaves.

According to some sources, it originated in the Congo region of Africa. Others claim that it originates in the West Indies.

What is the Taste of Gumbo?

Gumbo is a thick, savory soup made with okra (bittersweet with a slimy feel) and/or sassafras leaves (which have a root-beer flavor), as well as various meat choices.

What is the Difference Between Gumbo and Jambalaya?

The primary distinction between Gumbo and Jambalaya is the importance of the rice, which is essential to both.

Gumbo is paired with rice that has been cooked separately, but the jambalaya pot includes rice.

What to Serve with Gumbo?

The most popular side dishes are cornbread and rice. But there are many other options as well, each of which has its flare, such as:

gumbo with rice
Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo with Rice. Credit: canva

White Rice

One of the easiest and simplest gumbo sides is white rice.

Since gumbo has so much layered flavor and is often quite spicy, the white rice helps to balance it out.

Cornbread

A southern staple, this side dish complements the soupy and zesty gumbo.

In addition, the dense, dry texture of the bread helps absorb all the liquid from the gumbo and makes the bread more delicious.

Green Salad

Gumbo is a relatively heavy and filling dish. For that reason, you might like a light side dish to balance out the taste.

If you’re starting with a salad, I recommend finishing it a few minutes before your gumbo is served so the flavors don’t clash.

Potato Salad

A potato salad is a typical side dish for a good reason. It goes well with several different meals, including gumbo. Potato salad, gumbo, and white rice complement each other so well that they make the perfect combination for a hearty family dinner.

Fried Plantains

These fried bananas are another classic side dish that goes great with gumbo. They have a crispy exterior and soft interior that’s just right for dipping into the gumbo.

Cheese Fries

Cheese fries are a classic snack food, especially during football season. You can use them as an appetizer or even as a side dish.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are my favorites because they add a refreshing note to any dish.

Bread Pudding

This dessert is also known as a crouton pudding, and it’s a popular choice at Thanksgiving.

Vegetable Medley

Vegetables are always a good idea when serving gumbo. This medley includes carrots, celery, green beans, peas, and corn.

Cauliflower Rice 

Gumbo is a very thick or a relatively light broth, depending on the recipe you use and the desired flavor.

If you have gumbo with a light broth and a thick gravy-like roux, you may want to lighten up your meal with some Cauliflower Rice.

gumbo cornbread
Shrimp Gumbo with Cornbread. Credit: canva

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is a quick and easy gumbo side dish to try. If you don’t have much time, boil or grill corn, and it will be ready!

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish, and they pair perfectly with gumbo.

Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are a traditional part of many Southern feasts, and they pair nicely with gumbo.

Shrimp

Shrimp is another classic seafood option that pairs well with gumbo.

Louisiana Bread Pudding

Louisiana Bread Pudding is a sweet dessert made from leftover bread soaked in sugar syrup and spices.

Biscuits

Biscuits are a classic Southern side dish that pairs well with gumbo.

Black Beans

Black beans are rich in protein, fiber, iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, and B vitamins.

Peas

Peas are a healthy vegetable that adds color and nutrition to your gumbo.

Okra

What to Serve with Gumbo?
Fresh okra. Credit: canva

Okra is a member of the mallow family and is used in many dishes worldwide.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite fall foods, and they pair perfectly with gumbo.

Pickled Okra

Okra is a traditional ingredient in many dishes, such as chili and stews. It’s a bit sweet and sour, and it pairs well with almost anything.

Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is classic comfort food. Add some macaroni noodles, and you’ve got yourself a tasty side dish.

Roasted Broccoli

Roasting broccoli brings out its natural sweetness, making it a great addition to any dish.

Crab Cakes

There are many different types of crab cakes available today. These crab cakes are made with lump crab meat, and they’re easy to prepare.

Crab Rangoon

Rangoon is a type of dumpling filled with crabmeat. It’s a simple yet flavorful recipe that makes a lovely starter or side dish.

Shrimp Creole

Shrimp creole is a seafood stew that uses shrimp, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices.

Spicy Shrimp

Spicy shrimp is a very popular dish in Louisiana. It’s typically prepared by simmering large quantities of shrimp in a rich broth until cooked through.

Crawfish Etouffee

Etouffee is a spicy crawfish boil that combines fresh crawfish with vegetables and herbs.

Creamed Corn

Creamed corn is a staple of southern cuisine. It’s usually served as a side dish, but it also works well as a topping on top of chicken or fish.

Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies are small fried cornmeal balls traditionally served at barbecues and other outdoor events. They’re often served alongside the barbecue.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes are a delicious snack that originated in the South. They’re deep-fried and seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Types of Gumbo

What are the Two Types of Gumbo?

The primary two types of gumbo are Creole and Cajun Gumbo. Both are frequently eaten over rice.

Creole Gumbo

This Creole gumbo contains okra. It is usually served over white rice.

It is traditionally prepared with a dark roux and contains okra, shrimp, crabmeat, chicken, andouille sausage, ham hocks, and collard greens.

Cajun Gumbo

This Cajun gumbo does not contain okra. It is often served over brown rice.

It can be prepared with either a dark roux or flour. It may also include crawfish tails, alligator tail meat, andouille sausage, and smoked turkey wings.

The Most Popular Variations of Gumbo

What to Serve with Gumbo?
Shrimp Gumbo. Credit: canva

You can’t understand a side dish of gumbo until you know what kind of gumbo it is.

This dish may be prepared in various ways, with different foods used in its preparation and various cooks preparing it differently.

Below are the types.

Seafood Gumbo

This is the most popular type of gumbo, containing shrimp and crab.

The base may be made with either a dark roux or flour. It also contains okra that provides thickness to the dish. Other seafood items added are oysters, crawfish tails, fish fillets, crabs legs, clams (in place of oysters), and alligator tail meat.

Chicken Gumbo

This is the second most popular type of gumbo-containing chicken.

The base may be made with either a dark roux or flour. It also contains okra that provides thickness to the dish. Other ingredients added are oysters and crawfish tails (in place of shrimp).

Crawfish Gumbo

This gumbo contains crawfish tails instead of shrimp. The vegetables are celery, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Garlic is a common ingredient in most gumbos, as are green onions.

Gumbolaya

This gumbo is a mix of gumbo and jambalaya. It usually contains shrimp, crabmeat, chicken, Andouille sausage, and ham hocks.

Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo

This gumbo is made with a dark roux, chicken, and Andouille sausage. The vegetables are onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and green onion. Tomatoes and bay leaves are also common ingredients in this type of gumbo.

Andouille sausage is a type of Cajun sausage traditionally made from pork. It has a smoky flavor and is spicier than most other sausages, though not as spicy as pepperoni or chorizo.

Turkey and Sausage Gumbo

What to Serve with Gumbo?
Turkey Gumbo. Credit: canva

This gumbo contains turkey and Andouille sausage. The vegetables are onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and green onion. Tomatoes may also be included in this dish.

Shrimp and Crab Gumbo 

This gumbo contains shrimp and crab. The vegetables are onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, green onion. Tomatoes may also be included in this dish.

How to Make Gumbo?

Gumbo is generally made with a dark roux, vegetables, chicken, sausage, and shrimp and served over rice. It’s packed with flavor.

Roux – The Key to Perfect Gumbo

The roux is a thickening agent that can be made of two elements: flour and oil. It’s crucial to any excellent gumbo dish!

The flour and oil are combined and cooked for around 30-45 minutes until it has a brown color similar to mud or dark chocolate.

The roux, which gives the gumbo its thickness and rich flavor, contributes to the thick texture.

Authentic New Orleans Style Gumbo Recipe

This Authentic New Orleans Gumbo is made with a dark roux, vegetables, chicken, sausage, and shrimp, and rice.

Ingredients

For the Roux:

  • 1 heaping cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup oil (vegetable or canola oil)

For the Gumbo:

  • 1 bunch celery , diced, leaves and all
  • 1 green bell pepper , diced
  • 1 large yellow onion , diced
  • 1 bunch green onion , finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley leaves , finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 Tablespoons cajun seasoning *
  • 6-8 cups Chicken broth *
  • 12-ounce package andouille sausages, sliced into ‘coins’ (substitute Polska Kielbasa if you can’t find a good Andouille)
  • Meat from 1 Rotisserie Chicken*
  • 2 cups Shrimps, pre-cooked
  • Cooked white rice for serving

Instructions

Make the Roux:

  1. In a large stock pot, combine flour and oil.
  2. Cook for 30-45 minutes on a medium-low heat, stirring constantly. When it’s finished, it should be as dark as chocolate and have a soft “cookie dough” texture. Be cautious of overcooking it!
  3. If your dough is too runny, add a little more flour or oil to thicken it.

Make the Gumbo:

  1. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, brown the sausage slices in one layer. Brown them thoroughly on one side (2-3 minutes) and then turn them over using a fork to finish cooking. Remove to a platter.
  2. The vegetables should be cooked in broth. To deglaze the pan, add half cup chicken stock to the hot skillet with the sausage. Pour any grease or drippings from the skillet into your large soup pot.
  3. Add the remaining 5 1/2 cups of chicken stock. Toss in the vegetables, parsley, and roux and mix well.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. To taste, add cajun seasoning.
  5. Add meat, chicken, sausage, and shrimp.
  6. Taste and serve.

Tips

  • The roux may be prepared in advance and refrigerated for 3-5 days.
  • If you don’t have time to cook a whole rotisserie chicken, purchasing rotisserie chicken is a good option. To make the chicken and stock, remove all of the chicken and use the carcass to produce your own homemade chicken stock.
  • For storing, keep Gumbo covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • For freezing, allow the gumbo to cool fully before freezing it. Freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe container (separate from the rice) for 2-3 months.

More about Serving Gumbo

Traditional Gumbo

Traditional gumbo commonly consists primarily of a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and the Creole “holy trinity” ― celery, bell peppers, and onions.

How to Serve Gumbo?

Andouille sausage, chicken, and shrimp are classic gumbo ingredients. Gumbo is traditionally served over rice. It can also be served with a dollop of Louisiana-style hot sauce on top.

Gumbo is commonly served as a main course or as a starter. It is also a popular dish to serve at Mardi Gras celebrations.

Andouille Sausage en Croute: What is it?

The Andouille sausage is a Cajun sausage made from pork that has a smoked taste and is spicier than most other sausages, although it isn’t as spicy as pepperoni or chorizo.

En Croute is a French word that refers to a meal baked in pastry (that is covered with dough). This is a traditional French dish that, when translated, means “crust.”

Air Fryer Gumbo: What’s the benefit?

The most current way to cook gumbo is by using an air fryer.

The benefits of an air fryer:

Healthy cooking – Cooking with an air fryer is healthier because it doesn’t require oil and the food is cooked evenly without being fried.

Fast cooking – Air fryers can cook food quickly, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights or when you want a quick meal.

No need to watch it closely – An air fryer can cook a gumbo without the need to be watched closely, making it easier to prepare other dishes or entertain guests while the gumbo is cooking.

Easy cleanup – Since there’s no oil to splatter, cleanup is much easier with an air fryer.

FAQs

What kind of bread do you eat with gumbo?

Traditionally, gumbo is served over white rice. However, if you’re looking for hearty bread to serve with your meal, try making cornbread!

What vegetable goes with gumbo?

Any vegetable that goes well with Cajun seasoning will work in gumbo. Try adding okra, tomatoes, or corn to the mix.

Does rice go in gumbo or on the side?

As mentioned above, white rice is the traditional side to serve with gumbo.

What bread to serve with gumbo?

As mentioned above, white rice is the traditional side to serve with gumbo. However, if you’re looking for a hearty bread to serve with your meal, try making cornbread!

A Southern staple, cornbread adds a pleasant note to the zesty and soupy gumbo. In addition, because of the dense, dry texture of the bread, it absorbs all of the soup’s liquid and makes the meal even more enjoyable.

What is another name for gumbo?

There is no other name for gumbo.

But according to the thesaurus, the synonyms of gumbo include bouillon, chowder, porridge, puree, and borscht.