This Delicious Instant Pot Gumbo is a quintessential New Orleans dish that is hearty, satisfying, flavorful and perfect for a crowd. Made with chicken, sausage and shrimp, it’s a comforting dish that tastes wonderful when served over rice.
** New Readers: Please read an important message about this recipe right before the recipe card! **
Gumbo (along with jambalaya , crawfish étoufée, and shrimp creole) is a popular dish that is an essential part of New Orleans and Louisiana culture and cuisine. Gumbo is a spicy, thick stew made with chicken, sausage, seafood and vegetables, including okra, and is served over rice.
The origins of gumbo go back to the West Africans who were enslaved and brought to the colony of French Louisiana. West Africans used okra to thicken stews made with meat and shrimp. As a matter of fact, the word for ‘okra’ in West Africa is ‘ki ngombo’ and in French it’s ‘gombo’. Over time French, Native American, Caribbean, Creole and Cajun influences created the different varieties of gumbo: thick and thin, with or without tomatoes, with seafood, chicken, or sausage, and with or without okra.
There are three ways to thicken gumbo: roux (pronounced ‘roo’), okra, and filé (pronounced ‘fee-lay’) powder, which is made from dried sassafras leaves. You can use one or more of these ingredients to thicken gumbo. This recipe uses okra and roux. The roux not only thickens the gumbo, but gives it a deep, rich color. I found this interesting article from Serious Eats, detailing the history of gumbo and the use of gumbo and filé to thicken gumbos.
This Instant Pot Gumbo recipe is adapted from an authentic stovetop recipe I’ve been using for years. There are seafood gumbos, shrimp gumbos, chicken gumbos with sausage and even vegetarian gumbos.
My Instant Pot gumbo recipe has chicken, sausage and shrimp. You can modify the recipe to include your choice of meats and seafood. Don’t be daunted by the number of ingredients in the gumbo. Just be organized and have everything ready to go before you begin cooking.
Traditionally, gumbo is simmered on the stove for hours, but this Instant Pot gumbo recipe will have you eating delicious, hearty, spicy gumbo in less than an hour. One of the ‘rules’ of Instant Pot or pressure cooker cooking is that you shouldn’t add thickeners like flour until the end of cooking.
Well, you’re going to break that rule when you’re making this Instant Pot Gumbo. You’ll make the flour-based roux at the beginning and add about 4 cups of chicken broth to pressure cook the dish. Make sure that the bottom of the inner pot has no stuck on bits of food when you begin pressure cooking.
Serve Instant Pot Gumbo over rice – you should try out my Instant Pot Jasmine Rice recipe. And since you’re looking at this recipe, I think you’re really going to like my Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe too- it’s yummy!
Tips and Substitutions
One of the most important steps when cooking this Instant Pot gumbo is making a good roux. And this takes a little patience, about 10 to 15 minutes of stirring. If you don’t have the time to spend making this roux for Instant Pot Gumbo, I would suggest that you wait to make it when you’re able to give the dish the attention it needs.
Roux for this gumbo is made by cooking equal parts oil and flour. When you make the roux it’s best to get it to the color of peanut butter or even slightly darker. The end result is a rich, aromatic mixture with a nutty flavor. It’s also very important that as the roux gets darker, you stir it constantly and don’t let it burn. A burnt roux will ruin your gumbo!
This Instant Pot gumbo recipe also calls for Andouille sausage, which is a spicy smoked sausage. You can substitute regular smoked sausage if you can’t find andouille sausage.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, please read the Instant Pot DUO Beginner’s Quick Start Guide or the Instant Pot ULTRA Beginner’s Quick Start Guide first and then come back here to learn how to make Instant Pot Gumbo.
Instant Pot Gumbo Ingredients
Instant Pot Gumbo Step by Step Instructions
- Press Saute.
- When inner pot is hot, add 2 tbsp olive oil.
- Add chicken and sausage and saute until lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Press ‘Cancel’.
- Using a slotted spoon transfer contents of inner pot to a plate and set aside.
- Add remaining olive oil and all-purpose flour to inner pot, to make a roux.
- Press ‘Saute’ button.
- Cook roux until it becomes the color and thickness of peanut butter, stirring frequently, for about 10 to 15 minutes. *
* You can go darker than peanut butter. The darker the roux, the more intense the flavor of the gumbo, but be very careful not to burn, so stir constantly.
- Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic.
- Saute until vegetables are slightly soft, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in broth, tomatoes, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, salt, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, bay leaf, frozen okra, and reserved chicken and sausage.
- Using a wooden spatula, scrape the bottom of the inner pot to make sure there are no burnt bits stuck to the bottom.
- Close Instant Pot Lid, and make sure steam release handle is in the ‘Sealing’ position.
- Press ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’ and ‘+’ or ‘-‘ until display reads ‘4’ (4 minutes)
- Instant Pot display will change to ‘On’.
- Once the Instant Pot is pressurized, the float valve will go up.
- The display will count down from 4 to 0; it will then switch to ‘Keep Warm’ mode and display ‘L0:00’.
- Do a Quick Release: move the steam release handle to ‘Venting’. I like to place a folded towel over the steam release handle and move it to the venting position. Remove the towel after turning the knob.
- When your Instant Pot is depressurized, the float valve will be in the down position.
- Press ‘Cancel’ and open the Instant Pot.
- Stir in Cajun or Creole spice-rubbed shrimp.
- Close Instant Pot immediately and let the shrimp cook in the residual heat for 10 minutes.
- Stir gently and sprinkle with green onions and parsley.
- Serve over Instant Pot Jasmine Rice or a rice of your choice.
March 2018: If you’ve made this recipe before, carry on! If you’re new to this recipe, please note that some new Instant Pot owners are getting the dreaded ‘burn’ message. Here are some things you can do to try and avoid a burn notice:
Deglaze really well
After sauteing onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, turn off the Instant Pot and let it cool down for a minute or two
Add broth first
Add tomatoes last (after the meats) and don’t stir, just submerge in the liquid by pushing down with a spatula
Depending on your Instant Pot, you may need to add an extra 1/2 to 1 cup of water
Optional: cook roux on the stovetop
Delicious New Orleans Instant Pot Gumbo
This Delicious Instant Pot Louisiana Gumbo is a quintessential New Orleans dish that is hearty, satisfying, flavorful and perfect for a crowd. Made with chicken, sausage and shrimp, it tastes amazing when served over rice.
- 1/2 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
- 1/2 lb andouille sausage or smoked sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup onions diced
- 1 cup green bell peppers diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1 Tbsp garlic minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 14.5 oz. (1 can) diced tomatoes or 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 small bay leaves or 1 large
- 2 cups frozen okra
- 2 Tbsp green onions green parts only, sliced thinly
- Chopped parsley to garnish
Rub shrimp with 1 tsp of Cajun or Creole seasoning and set aside.
Press 'Saute' and when Instant Pot has heated, add 2 Tbsp olive oil to inner pot of Instant Pot.
Add andouille sausage and chicken, and cook until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Press 'Cancel' and transfer chicken and sausage to a plate using a slotted spoon and set aside.
To make the roux, press 'Saute' and add remaining olive oil and all-purpose flour to inner pot.
Cook oil and flour until the mixture resembles a dark peanut butter, stirring frequently, and being careful not to burn. This can take about 10 to 15 minutes. *
Add onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Stir until vegetables are slightly soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in broth, tomatoes, white, black and cayenne peppers, thyme, salt, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, bay leaves, and frozen okra.
Stir in reserved chicken and sausage.
Using a wooden spatula, scrape the bottom of the inner pot to make sure there are no burnt bits stuck to the bottom.
Close Instant Pot and cook on 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook' mode for 4 minutes.
Do a quick release of pressure and open the Instant Pot.
Immediately stir in the shrimp and close the Instant Pot for 10 minutes. The shrimp will cook in the residual heat.
Open the Instant Pot and sprinkle the gumbo with parsley and green onions.
Stir and serve gumbo over Instant Pot Jasmine Rice or a rice of your choice.
- Prep time does not include steps that are already accounted for in the ingredient list, e.g. chopped onions, minced garlic, diced chicken, etc.
- See the blog post for more detailed recipe tips
* The darker your roux, the more intense the flavor of the gumbo. But be sure not to burn the roux, so keep stirring constantly especially as it gets darker. It's quicker to cook the roux on the stovetop.
I am not a certified nutritionist. I provide my best estimate of nutritional information merely as a courtesy to my readers. If you depend on nutritional information for dietary or health reasons, I suggest using your favorite online nutrition calculator to confirm the nutritional value of this recipe based on the actual ingredients that you use.
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