Grandmother Rita’s Gumbo

Grandmother Rita’s Gumbo was a staple on Christmas Eve growing up.  There is nothing quite as comforting as the sound of her humming while she cooked and the smells and flavors that came out of that kitchen.  I hope this gumbo recipe becomes a tradition for your family as well!  


  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large finely chopped onion
  • 4 finely chopped celery ribs
  • 2  finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 6 oz fresh okra, sliced
  •  Salt to taste if desired
  • 1 TBSP Creole seasoning
  • 1 TBSP blackening seasoning
  • 1 TBSP file
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp Emily’s Original Serrano Hot Sauce
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 lbs cooked chicken, shredded
  • 12-16 oz sliced smoked andouille sausage
  • 12 oz shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut in half
  • 2 cups cooked rice (for serving)


Chopped parsley, green onion, and more Emily’s Original Serrano Hot Sauce for serving



  1. In a large cast iron skillet, combine oil and flour. Cook over medium heat, frequently stirring with a whisk to make a dark brown roux. This takes about 30-45 minutes. In the last 10 minutes make sure to continuously stir so the roux does not burn. 

Pro tip: Use a milk chocolate bar to check for color.  Don’t be afraid to take it all the way!  If you don’t your gumbo will lack the depth of flavor you are looking for.

  1. In a large pot, sauté the andouille sausage until well browned.  Remove and set aside. Reserving the oil in the pot for the vegetables. 
  2. Add the chopped onion, celery and bell pepper to the pot and cook over medium heat to sweat the vegetables. You do not need to brown them. After about 5 minutes add the garlic.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan.
  4. Add all of the dried spices to the vegetables once they are softened.  Stir and allow the spices to bloom.
  5. Add the smoked sausage back into the pot along with the shredded chicken. Cook over medium heat, stirring often from the bottom, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the broth and bring to a low boil.  Gently stir in the roux and return to a low simmer.  Cook, covered for 20 minutes.
  7. Add the okra and simmer for another 15 minutes. Check to make sure all the vegetables are fully cooked and tender before adding the seafood.
  8. Add the shrimp and simmer for 2 minutes. 
  9. Taste for seasoning.
  10. Serve with rice, parsley, green onion and Emily’s Original Serrano Hot Sauce.