Cajun Gumbo Stew with Fragrant Garlic Rice



I have a confession to make…the first time I made Gumbo, I made a mess of it. Like a ROYAL mess!  And I swore to myself to NEVER make Gumbo EVER again. Then my amazing husband came to me with this recipe. I was hesitant at first but using what I learned from the last major disaster, I vowed to make this one better! Best part about this recipe is there’s NO RUE – which was one of my biggest problems last go around (the other down fall was having big chunks of celery which is why I started using the flakes). This recipe has a lot of steps but I can promise the end result is well worth it!


  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Andouille (or Smoked) Sausage, Sliced
  • 2 Skinless/Boneless Chicken Breasts, Cut into Bit-Size Pieces – Salt + Pepper to Taste
  • 3 Stalks Celery, Finely Diced (or Celery Flakes)
  • 1 Lagre Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper, Finely Diced
  • 24 Bay Leaves
  • ½ tsp Creole Seasoning
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp (Heaping) Tomato Paste
  • ½ lb Okra, Sliced into ¼”-½” Thick Slices (Totally acceptable to leave out. We’re more of fried okra folks.)
  • 1 (28 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes with Juice
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock, Heated
  • ½ lb Shrimp, Peeled and Cleaned (If desired)
  • 1 Tbsp  Parsley, Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro, Chopped



  • Place a large pot or Dutch oven over med-high heat and add olive oil
  • Once the oil is hot, add sliced sausage allowing it to caramelize and brown for a few minutes; remove browned sausage and set aside
  • Add chicken pieces into the pot along with a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper allowing them to brown in the oil/sausage drippings for about 2-3 minutes; remove browned chicken pieces and set aside
  • Add in diced celery (or celery flakes), onion and green bell pepper caramelizing them for about 2-3 minutes in oil; stir in bay leaves, Creole seasoning, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper until combined
  • Stir in garlic; once it becomes aromatic, add in tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute to cook out the “raw” tomato flavor
  • Add in sliced orka, died tomatoes with juice, hot chicken stock, brown sausage and chicken; stir to combine
  • Allow stew to simmer gently on med-low heat uncovered for 20 minutes
  • After 20 minutes, add in shrimp (seasoned to your liking) and simmer for another 2 minutes as to not overcook the shrimp
  • Finish by stirring in the chopped parsley and cilantro; sever over Fragrant Garlic Rice (keep scrolling for recipe) with some additional spice options like hot sauce, red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, if desired

Fragrant Garlic Rice


  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Large Cloves Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Cups Rice
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • 3 Cups Water


  • Place medium pot over med-high heat and add in olive oil; once hot, add in chopped garlic stirring until combined
  • Once garlic becomes fragrant, stir in rice, salt and pepper; allow rice to “toast” in garlic oil for about 2 minutes 
  • Stir in water and let rice simmer covered for about 2o minute or until rice is tender
  • Turn off the heat and after 5 minutes fluff rice with fork and serve

*I like butter in my rice – makes it super duper yummy! Add 1-2 Tbsp because butter makes everything better!


Enjoy 🙂

– TS

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