Seafood Gumbo Healthy
5/5 - (1 vote)

Thanks to a creamy roux, this nutritious and gluten-free seafood gumbo tastes just like an authentic New Orleans recipe.

This seafood gumbo is substantial and paleo, Whole30, and low carb, with sausage, okra, shrimp, and crabmeat. It isn’t a quick supper or a quick dish; it is the real deal!

Friends, I’m going to make a bold declaration. But, hey, I don’t live in New Orleans, so I’d like to think that’s fine. I’ve never done so.

But I live in Memphis, which is close enough to New Orleans to attract Nola transplants (and their restaurants!).

And it’s close enough that we go whenever we can, relishing the powdered sugar-coated street corners and the poboy shop nestled away behind a Walgreens with mind-blowing BBQ shrimp and the second lines and the deep, rich roux slowly enticing the Holy Trinity of onions, celery, and bell pepper.

So here goes:

Gumbo isn’t gumbo unless it has a roux.

Here, quick and easy do not apply! Sure, a little hack every now and again isn’t so bad. But don’t call it gumbo; call it chicken and sausage stew with okra instead.

I mean, really? That deep, brown roux that took you longer to perfect than an episode of This Is Us? That’s the secret to a fantastic gumbo.

Why is this recipe so delicious?

Seafood Gumbo
Food: Seafood Gumbo (Source: The Spruce Eats)
  • It’s a gluten-free version of traditional gumbo. Although the roux is black, rich, and thick, it is not created with all-purpose flour.
  • You’d never guess it was Whole30, paleo, and low carb!
  • The seafood gumbo is thick and robust, with sausage, shrimp, crabmeat, tomatoes, and okra.
  • It’s delicious served over a bed of steaming cauliflower rice or plain white rice.
    In a white bowl, make healthy authentic seafood gumbo with shrimp and okra over cauliflower rice.

If you don’t think tomatoes belong in gumbo, bring it up with your family!

Take it up with me, since you’re completely wrong, my friend! In reality, we usually see tomatoes in okra gumbo and none in non-okra gumbo. We’ve got the tomatoes, too, since there’s okra in this one.

The use of tomatoes, interestingly, makes this meal more Creole than Cajun.

Is this a low-carb recipe?

Yep! One serving contains 10 grams of net carbohydrates, making it a low-carb and even keto-friendly alternative. If low carb, serve over cauliflower rice (If keto, cauli rice might put you over the daily max grams net carbs with this recipe).

How do you make it?

Begin by preparing your roux: In a large Dutch oven, heat 1/3 cup of bacon drippings over medium-low heat. Whisk in the cassava flour until it is completely smooth.

Set aside: you’ll simmer this mixture over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly, or until it gets a deep caramel color.

Keep a tight eye on it so it doesn’t burn and instead slowly turns a darker hue. When it’s finished, it should look somewhat like this, if not a little darker:

While working on the roux, you can prepare the rest of your vegetables, but only for a minute or two at a time before returning to the roux!

While the roux is cooking, pulse the celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a food processor several times until the mixture is finely diced and homogeneous.

When the roux is finished, add the “Holy Trinity” (celery, onion, and bell pepper, with garlic) and the cut sausage and stir well to combine. Add a cup of water and mix everything together.

Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened somewhat, about 15 minutes. If required, add the 2nd cup of water throughout this operation to prevent the mixture from scorching on the bottom.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the 4 cups of beef broth to a boil. Add the 2nd cup of water to the pot and heat with the broth if you haven’t already.

When the roux-vegetable mixture is done, pour the boiling broth into the Dutch oven and whisk thoroughly. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut aminos, salt, spicy sauce, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, and diced tomatoes.

Cook on low to medium-low heat for 2 hours. You don’t want it to boil or sit still; instead, you want a gentle simmer with consistent bubbles but not too much movement.

If you have gumbo filé (lucky duck! ), add it to the mix. Oh, and it’s pronounced fee-lay, though it’s written without the emphasis on occasion.) After 1 hour of cooking, add 1/2 teaspoon to the gumbo.

In the medium saucepan used to cook the beef broth, heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil or extra bacon grease while the gumbo simmers (or a skillet).

Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, or until the okra is softened and somewhat sticky. Add the okra to the gumbo, followed by the crabmeat and shrimp. Cook on low heat for 45 minutes.

Add 1 teaspoon of gumbo filé if using.

Serve with some steamed cauliflower rice on the side. Fill a 1/2 cup measuring cup halfway with it and invert it in the center of a serving dish of gumbo. Serve with chopped parsley on top.

What makes this dish nutritious?

There is no gluten in this recipe because it does not use all-purpose flour.

This implies it’s safe for anyone with gluten sensitivities, intolerances, and allergies (such as Celiac disease), as well as those following a paleo or Whole30 diet.

Furthermore, there is no additional sugar, refined or unprocessed. Finally, there are no strange ingredients or preservatives!

And, of course, because it doesn’t use conventional white flour, this recipe can only be *so* real.

But cassava flour comes close, and it makes a roux as lovely as any I’ve ever made with regular all-purpose flour! I strongly advise you to get a bag of cassava flour, as it also works well in other grain-free dishes.

Cassava flour cannot be substituted with almond flour, tapioca starch, or arrowroot powder in this recipe.

Seafood Gumbo

5 minutes to prepare
3 hours and 10 minutes to cook
3 hours 15 minutes total

A traditional New Orleans seafood gumbo made gluten-free, paleo, low-carb, and Whole30-friendly. Sausage, shrimp, and crab are cooked in a thick roux.


  • 1/2 cup cassava flour
  • 1/3 cup bacon drippings see note 1
  • 1/2 cup celery roughly chopped
  • 1 cup onion roughly chopped
  • 1 cup green bell pepper seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 pound Aidell’s Chicken and Apple sausage sliced, see note 2 if not on Whole30
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend see note 3
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 14.5- ounce can of diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 teaspoons gumbo file powder divided, optional, see note 4
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or more bacon grease
  • 1 10- ounce package of frozen cut okra thawed
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat drained
  • 1 1/2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • Steamed cauliflower rice for serving as optional
  • Fresh parsley chopped, for serving, optional

Instructions For Seafood Gumbo

Seafood Gumbo Authentic
Food: Seafood Gumbo (Source: The Spruce Eats)
  1. Prepare the roux: In a large Dutch oven, heat 1/3 cup of bacon drippings over medium-low heat. Whisk in the cassava flour until homogeneous paste forms. Cook for about 30 minutes, whisking fairly constantly, or until the mixture acquires a deep amber color. Allow the process to unfold gradually rather than burning. This is what gives gumbo its distinctive flavor!
  2. In the meantime, pulse the celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a food processor a few times until finely chopped.
  3. Stir in the celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic mixture when the roux is a rich caramel color, then add the cut sausage. Stir thoroughly, then add 1 cup water and whisk thoroughly. Bring the mixture to a low simmer over medium heat and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the veggies have softened somewhat. If necessary, add another cup of water to prevent the mixture from burning on the bottom of the Dutch oven.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups beef broth to a boil. Heat the second cup of water with the beef broth if you haven’t used both cups of water yet. Whisk the hot broth into the roux-vegetable mixture thoroughly. Combine the coconut aminos, salt, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, dried thyme, and chopped tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Cook on low to medium-low heat for 2 hours. After 1 hour, add 1 teaspoon of gumbo filé to the broth.
  5. Meanwhile, in a skillet or the saucepan used to cook beef broth, heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil or extra bacon fat. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, or until sticky and softened, with the thawed okra and vinegar. Crabmeat and shrimp are added to the gumbo. Cook for 45 minutes on low heat. If you’re using gumbo filé, add the last 1 teaspoon just before serving.
  6. Serve with cooked cauliflower rice, which you can either incorporate into the gumbo or put a 1/2 cup of cauliflower rice on top for appearance. If desired, garnish with chopped parsley.


  • Note 1 If you don’t have bacon drippings, use avocado oil instead.
  • Note 2 If you’re not doing the Whole30 or going grain-free, use Andouille sausage. With Andouille, it’s even more authentic!
  • Note 3: Check that your Cajun seasoning is legal! It’s also simple to make.
  • Note 4: Gumbo filé was not included in my recipe testing because it can be difficult to come by. If you have it, use it; if you don’t, don’t worry! To order gumbo filé, go here.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 273kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 204mg, Sodium: 1426mg, Potassium: 390mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 440IU, Vitamin C: 29.7mg, Calcium: 172mg, Iron: 3mg, Net Carbs: 10g