Nina’s Gumbo

Nina's Gumbo in a bowl with a slice of bread

Gumbo is whatever Grandma had leftover in her refrigerator, she would reinvent her gumbo pot! You can have seafood or chicken gumbo. If you don’t have the seafood, chicken gumbo’s delicious!

Bowl of Nina's Gumbo with a plate of sliced bread and bowl of rice


1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oil (oil is up to your choice)


Roux (you make your roux first)
1 large onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
4 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1/2 fresh lemon
3 cups fresh shrimp*
3 cups sliced sausage
1 cup Rotel Original (CLICK HERE to buy it.)
Large 32-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 bag frozen okra (to your taste)
2-3 tablespoons Zatarain’s Pure Ground Gumbo File Spice (CLICK HERE to buy it.)

Nina's Tip*Shrimp should always be fresh! But if you can only get frozen shrimp, be sure to cook the shrimp before you add it to your pot. Frozen shrimp are imported and pumped up with water to look nice. The water pumped into the shrimp will ruin your meal. So, cook the shrimp separately with Zatarain’s seasoning, then add it to your dish.


Take a frying pan – I use a cast iron skillet – and put the oil in. Use high heat and get it hot. Slowly sprinkle the flour in the pan stirring constantly. When the mixture will become bubbly, turn it down to medium heat and continue stirring until you get a very dark color. Turn it off and set is aside.


My gumbo gravy has a red gravy and a brown gravy combination. In a large, deep pot (gumbo pots are big!) combine the onions, peppers, celery, parsley and cook that down for about 10 minutes. Then, add the frozen okra and cook that for about 10 minutes. Add the Rotel Original and the crushed tomatoes. Add the Zatarain’s Pure Ground Gumbo File Spice. Add the shrimp and sausage. Cook down for about 5 minutes. Fill the pot 3/4ths full with water. When it starts to boil, you can add the roux one tablespoon at a time. You just cook all these ingredients for about 45 minutes. That’s it! Serve over Zatarain’s Rice.

Bowl of sliced bread and bowl of rice ready for Gumbo

Nina's TipIf you’re a beginner at Cajun cookin’, when I started I used to use Zatarain’s Gumbo Mix straight out-of-the box because Gumbo’s really involved. (CLICK HERE to buy Zatarain’s Gumbo Mix.)