When I think of gumbo, I usually think of rice, so for a long time I didn’t make it—but gumbo itself is actually very Paleo-friendly. Traditional gumbos start with a roux, which includes flour, but I skip it completely and am always really happy with the consistency. If you like it a little thicker (or with more liquid), you can adjust the amount of chicken broth. This shrimp gumbo is spicy and delicious, whether it’s Mardi Gras or not. SERVES 4 TO 6
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 40 minutes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
½ cup chicken broth
2 dried bay leaves
1 pound raw shrimp, shells on
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onion, green and red bell peppers, celery, and Cajun seasoning for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes to the pot, and stir well. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, and add them to the pot 5 minutes before serving. When the shrimp are pink, serve the gumbo in bowls garnished with parsley.
VARIATION 1 SHRIMP AND SAUSAGE GUMBO: Make this gumbo spicier and a bit heartier by adding sausage. Cook 1 pound andouille sausage in a pan for 5 to 7 minutes, until browned, and allow to cool before cutting into ½-inch slices. Add the slices to the pot with the tomatoes.
VARIATION 2 CHICKEN GUMBO: This recipe works really well using 2 pounds diced chicken instead of the shrimp, so if that’s what you have in your refrigerator, don’t hold back. The chicken may take longer to cook, depending on the size of the dice, so make sure it’s cooked through.