1235 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee FL •  850.942.2557

Cajun Flair


Traditional New Orleans Gumbo Recipe

Are you looking to get into the holiday spirit this Mardi Gras? Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday (that's February 13 in 2018, March 5 in 2019, February 25 in 2020, and February 16 in 2021) and we know the perfect way to celebrate: by creating a traditional New Orleans gumbo.

Gumbo is the official state dish of Louisiana and combines the ingredients and culinary practices of several different cultures. There are many variations of this dish, so feel free to add your own flair! This particular recipe was inspired by Allrecipes.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 c. coarsely chopped celery
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 (10 oz) packages frozen cut okra, thawed
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 lb andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 lb lump crabmeat
  • 3 lbs uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 c. bacon drippings
  • 2 tbsp. bacon drippings
  • 6 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 3 qt. water
  • 2 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. hot pepper sauce (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning blend (to taste)
  • 2 tsp. gumbo file powder
  • 2 tsp. gumbo file powder

Notice the duplicate items—some ingredients are needed more than once throughout the gumbo’s preparation. There are vegetarian options as well as variations of meat that are used in other recipes found online.


  1. Grab a large saucepan to create a roux. Whisk the flour and ¾ cup bacon drippings together over medium-low heat. Form a smooth mixture by whisking the roux over heat until it turns into a mahogany brown color. This roux can take up to 20 or 30 mins; the key is to keep whisking the mixture and watching it to ensure it doesn’t burn. Once it has reached the color you desire, remove it from the heat and continue whisking the roux until it stops cooking.
  2. Use a food processor to very finely chop the celery, green bell pepper, onion, & garlic all together. Pour this mix into the roux, and then add the cut sausage. Continue cooking this mixture on medium-low heat until the vegetables are tender, or around 10 to 15 minutes. Once tender, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Combine the water and beef bouillon cubes in a large soup pot. Stir until the water has boiled and the cubes are dissolved. Then whisk in the mixture from step 2. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and add in the sugar, salt, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, stewed tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Simmer this over low heat for 1 hour; 45 minutes into the hour, mix in 2 teaspoons of file gumbo powder.
  4. While the previous step is being completed, melt 2 tbsp. of bacon drippings in a skillet. Cook the okra and vinegar over this on medium heat for 15 minutes. Then remove the okra with a slotted spoon and stir into the simmering gumbo mixture from step 3. After this, mix in the crab meat, shrimp, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer until the flavors have blended, or about 45 more minutes.
  5. Just before serving, stir in 2 more tsp. of file gumbo powder.
  6. Enjoy!


Local & Organic Produce in Tallahassee, FL

If you’re looking to make gumbo for Fat Tuesday and need organic items, New Leaf Market Co-op is Tallahassee’s premier destination for local produce! If you have inquiries as to the products we sell or are interested in our local catering services, give us a call today.


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