Easy Keto Gumbo

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You will love this tasty keto-friendly gumbo with it’s plethora of veggies, chicken, sausage, and shrimp in a spicy flavorful Cajun broth.

» If you like Cajun food, give this Cajun Chicken “Pasta” a try.

A bowl of gumbo
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This Keto Gumbo recipe cuts down on carbs by thickening the soup with Gumbo filé powder rather than a flour-based roux, and by serving it over cauliflower rice rather than white rice – of you might just choose to eat it with no “rice”, as it makes a delicious soup on its own.

If you’ve never heard of gumbo filé powder, it’s a spicy herb made from the dried and ground leaves of the sassafras tree. It’s used in New Orleans Creole cuisine as a thickener for gumbo and other dishes.

Sometimes gumbo is thickened by a flour-based roux, and sometimes by okra, but we’ve cut both of those from this recipe to keep it low-carb, so the filé powder is necessary to thicken the gumbo.

A bowl of gumbo

Ingredients You’ll Need

The most difficult ingredient to find for this recipe is the gumbo filé powder. I had a hard time finding it at my grocery store, so I ordered it on Amazon. You can find it here. You can also buy the Creole seasoning on Amazon. I use the Zatarain’s brand. They have zero carbs and zero calories.

Gumbo ingredients

Other ingredients you’ll need for this gumbo are:

Chicken thighs – boneless chicken thighs (skin on or off per your preference) adds a great richness to the dish. You can use chicken breast in a pinch, but I really recommend thighs.

Andouille sausage – if you can get andouille sausage, which is a smoked pork sausage, perfect! If not, you can go with a Kielbasa smoked sausage, or a smoked Vienna sausage. Chorizo is a good substitute as well, but it adds a lot of extra oily fat to the recipe.

Shrimp – Use small shrimp that have been cleaned, peeled, and deveined. You want to be able to eat the shrimp in one bite, so don’t go with a large shrimp that would have to be cut into bites.

Onion – White or yellow onion, chopped

Bell pepper – Typically you’d use a green onion in gumbo, but I just use whatever I have on hand. Yellow or red peppers add a bit more sweetness than the more bitter green pepper.

Celery

Beef Broth

Butter

Pantry staples: Olive oil, garlic, salt, cayenne peppe, canned crushed tomatoes

How to Make Keto Gumbo

Cook the chicken thighs in a frying pan over medium heat until cooked through. This takes about 7-10 minutes. I usually just cook them whole and then chop them after cooking, but you can chop before, if you like. Set the chicken aside.

Chopped up peppers, celery and onion

Add the olive oil to a medium pot that’s big enough to hold the gumbo. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic and salt to the pot and cook over medium high heat until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the Creole seasoning, cayenne pepper, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, and tomato paste to the pot and stir to combine. Add the andouille sausage and butter. Simmer the gumbo for 20 minutes to develop flavor.

Sausage being added to the pot of gumbo

Near the end of cooking, just before you’re ready to serve it, add the shrimp and simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes before adding the gumbo filé. Adding the filé powder at the end will allow it to thicken. So give it a good stir and simmer it until it’s slightly thickened. It won’t take long.

Now you can serve it over cauliflower rice, or just serve it on its own in a bowl, like soup.

Gumbo cooking and shrimp being added

Extra Information to Make Perfect Gumbo

  • The longer you simmer the soup, the more flavor will develop, but always put the lid on if you simmer longer than 20 minutes so the soup doesn’t evaporate too much.
  • The gumbo filé acts as a thickening agent for the soup. We don’t use a roux to thicken the soup to avoid the extra carbs, so the filé is necessary for thickening. If you can’t find it, you can also add chopped okra for thickening.
  • Gumbo is often served over rice. We recommend serving it over cauliflower rice, if you want to further limit the carbs.
A bowl of gumbo

Is Gumbo Keto Friendly?

The aspect of traditional gumbo that’s not low in carbs is the flour roux that’s used to thicken the soup base, and the rice it is served with. If you eliminate those two elements, you have a soup that’s full of vegetables and meat, all of which are very keto friendly.

This gumbo uses filé powder as a thickener, and is served with cauliflower rice, or on its own, to eliminate the biggest sources of carbs in the original version. So this gumbo has just 5 net carbs per serving. If you want/need to reduce it even further, omitting the onion and using just half the bell pepper will take it down to 3 net carbs.

A bowl of gumbo

Can I Eat This Gumbo Without Rice?

While gumbo is traditionally served over rice in Creole cuisine, we think it’s just as tasty when served on its own. It’s a thick stew with lots of veggies and meats to make it quite substantial as a meal, even without the rice.

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keto gumbo

Keto Gumbo

You will love this tasty keto-friendly gumbo with it's plethora of veggies, chicken, sausage, and shrimp in a spicy flavorful Cajun broth.
5 from 7 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken, Shrimp, Tomatoes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 282kcal
Author: Laura

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound boneless chicken thighs chopped (4 small chicken thighs)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 pound Andouille sausage sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon Gumbo filé

Instructions

  • Cook the chicken thighs in a frying pan over medium heat until cooked through. Set aside.
  • Add the olive oil to a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic and salt to the pot and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the Creole seasoning, cayenne pepper, crushed tomatoes, beef broth and tomato paste. Stir to combine.
  • Add the andouille sausage and butter. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp and simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes before adding the gumbo filé. Stir and simmer until the gumbo thickens slightly.

Notes

  • The longer you simmer the soup, the more flavor will develop, but always put the lid on if you simmer longer than 20 minutes so the soup doesn’t evaporate too much.
  • The gumbo filé acts as a thickening agent for the soup. We don’t use a roux to thicken the soup to avoid the extra carbs, so the filé is necessary for thickening. If you can’t find it, you can also add chopped okra for thickening.

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 1022mg | Potassium: 546mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 913IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Easy Keto Gumbo

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