If there's a more satisfying meal to make for cool weather, we haven't found it. Gumbo is a stay-inside-and-cook-all-day kind of dish that warms you inside and out. While Louisianans have firm ideas about what goes into a proper gumbo, there are infinite variations—chicken and okra; turkey and sausage; duck, oyster, and sausage—and countless versions, including ones with filé as a thickener and others with okra. So when the SL Test Kitchen set out to make a singular recipe, we weighed all of the delicious combinations before landing on shrimp and sausage. Of course, our gumbo has what you'd expect, like bell pepper, onions, and celery, plus a few surprises, such as canned tomatoes (because we think they add a nice touch of acidity). Our end result is a vibrant, cayenne-kissed dish that allows all of the ingredients to shine. Now we wouldn't dare call this the best recipe you've ever tasted—we know that's the one you grew up enjoying. That said, this is the finest pot of gumbo our Test Kitchen has ever turned out, and that's saying a lot.
Our testers chose a butter-based roux, which cooks over lower heat so it takes a little longer but gives the gumbo a nutty and rich flavor. While some cooks say a roux must be dark brown in color, a butter-based roux should be a deep shade of caramel—you don't want it to taste burned.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
**Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
(-)Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.