Packed with Creole/Cajun flavors, this easy gumbo recipe is sure to please. Make this cleaned up version of gumbo in your slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Updated 2020 with Instant Pot instructions
What is Gumbo?
Gumbo is a Louisiana stew made with meat, and/or shellfish, onions, bell peppers, and celery, and a thickener. There are many variations of gumbo out here. Some are made with chicken, sausage and seafood while others are a combination of just two. This version uses chicken, sausage, and shrimp. Gumbo is similar to jambalaya. They both use sausages, meats, seafood, vegetables and similar seasonings. However jambalaya does not use a roux. Also, while gumbo is served with rice as an accompaniment, in jambalaya the rice is mixed in with the other ingredients.
The 3 common ways to thicken a gumbo is 1) a roux, 2) gumbo filé or 3) okra. Most times people use a roux which is a combination of flour & fat cooked together. It’s not compliant or healthy. To keep this low-carb, paleo, or whole30 you will need to use wither okra or filé powder (ground sassafras leaves). I kept things simple and used frozen okra. I know this might make some people say that minus the roux this isn’t a real gumbo. My answer to that is fact that it’s being made in the slow cooker or pressure cooker makes it a non-traditional gumbo anyway, right??
Looking for other Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday recipes? Check out these:
How To Serve Gumbo
Traditionally gumbo is served over rice but since this is a cleaned up low-carb, paleo, whole30 version I serve this over….riced cauliflower. You probably guess that already.
Most Cajun seasonings already have a lot of salt (and pepper) in them. If the Cajun seasoning you’re using does not, you will need to add 1-2 teaspoons of salt and pepper to the dish.
You can substitute a Creole seasoning blend in place of the Cajun seasoning. Need a Cajun seasoning? Use this:
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 lb shrimp (fresh or frozen), de-veined & peeled
- 1/2 lb sausage, cut into round
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup frozen or fresh okra
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes
- 4 teaspoons Cajun (or Creole seasoning)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth (for pressure cooker)
- 1 tablespoon oil (for pressure cooker)
- Add all the gumbo ingredients EXCEPT the shrimp to the slow cooker. Stir to mix well.
- Cook HIGH 2-3 hours or LOW 4–6.
- Stir in the shrimp. Cook an additional 5-10 minutes or until shrimp are pink.
Electric Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)
- Turn on the pressure cooker and select sauté. Once hot, add oil, bell pepper, onion, and celery. Cook 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Pour diced tomatoes and broth into the pot. Deglaze the bottom of the pressure cooker by scraping all the bits off with a wooden spoon.
- Add chicken, sausage, tomato paste, Cajun seasoning, pepper, cayenne, thyme, and oregano. Stir to mix well.
- Close lid and seal valve. Set high pressure and cook for 5 minutes (7 minutes if using chicken thighs). Quick release pressure.
- Stir in the okra and shrimp. Set the pressure cooker to the warm setting and cook until done OR turn off the pressure cooker and put the lid back on & let the food sit for 10-15 minutes (or until okra is soft and shrimp is pink & cooked through).
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