This Delicious Instant Pot Gumbo is a quintessential New Orleans recipe that is hearty, satisfying, flavorful and perfect for a crowd or Mardi Gras celebration. Made with chicken, sausage, and shrimp, this pressure cooker gumbo tastes wonderful especially when served over rice.
[This post was first published in September 2017. It was updated in December 2019 with some new step-by-step photographs and modified instructions to help you avoid the Burn message including adding the tomatoes last.]
Table of Contents
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 Instant Pot gumbo recipe includes okra and roux. The roux not only thickens the gumbo but gives it a deep, rich color. Here’s an interesting article from Serious Eats, detailing the history of gumbo and the use of okra and filé to thicken gumbos.
There are seafood gumbos, shrimp gumbos, chicken gumbos with sausage and even vegetarian gumbos. This pressure cooker gumbo recipe is adapted from an authentic stovetop recipe I’ve been using for years.
This 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 because Jasmine rice is so great at absorbing the flavors of the gumbo.
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, possibly longer if your Saute temperature is lower than what I use.
If you don’t have the time to spend making the 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 can also be made ahead, which makes this recipe a breeze.
Roux for this gumbo is made by cooking equal parts oil and flour. When I adapted this recipe from the stovetop version, I had to change the oil to flour ratio due to sealing issues. You may find this gumbo to be slightly less thick than stovetop versions. Feel free to thicken by using the Saute function at the end.
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 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!
If it’s your first time making the dish, I recommend that you make the roux on the stovetop. It’s quicker and you have much more control over the heat than in the Instant Pot. I offer the Instant Pot option for my readers who don’t use a stove.
You can also make the roux using the oven. The flour is baked, and can be stored in a jar. I’ve not personally tried this method, but have had readers successfully use it.
Tomatoes can be a polarizing gumbo ingredient! Some people feel very strongly that tomatoes have no business in a gumbo. You can omit the tomatoes if you wish. Personally, I love the flavor the tomatoes add.
This Instant Pot gumbo recipe also calls for Andouille sausage, which is a spicy smoked sausage. You can substitute Polish Kielbasa or Spanish Chorizo if you can’t find andouille sausage. Be sure to use smoked and not raw sausage.
Some Instant Pots are prone to getting the burn message. You can avoid the burn error by following these steps:
- Deglaze very well, leaving no burnt bits on the bottom of the inner pot.
- After sauteing the onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic, turn off the Instant Pot for a few minutes to let it cool down.
- After sauteing the onion mixture, stir in broth first.
- Add tomatoes at the end, after the meats. Don’t stir the tomatoes. Just submerge them by pushing down with a spatula.
- Make the roux on the stovetop and add it to the Instant Pot with the tomatoes, not stirring it in.
- Depending on your Instant Pot, you might need to add an extra 1/2 to 1 cup of chicken broth.
[Read more: Instant Pot Burn Message]
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, you might find it helpful to first read one of the following guides and then come back here to learn how to make this recipe.
– Instant Pot DUO Beginner’s Manual
– Instant Pot ULTRA Beginner’s Manual
– Instant Pot DUO EVO PLUS Beginner’s Manual
– Instant Pot DUO NOVA Beginner’s Manual
Instant Pot Gumbo – Ingredients
- Bell peppers
- Olive oil
- Chicken broth
- Worcestershire sauce
- Bay leaf
- Black pepper
- White pepper
- Brown sugar
- Creole seasoning (spice)
- Green onions
How to Make Gumbo in the Instant Pot (Step by Step Instructions)
- Season shrimp
- Turn on Saute Mode
- Saute chicken and sausage
- Make the roux
- Saute vegetables, add spices and broth
- Pressure cook
- Quick-release pressure
- Stir in shrimp and garnish
- Thaw and thoroughly dry the shrimp with a paper towel.
- Rub Creole seasoning all over the shrimp and set aside.
Turn on Saute Mode
- Instant Pot DUO: Select the Saute function.
- Instant Pot ULTRA: Select the Saute function and press Start.
Saute Chicken and Sausage
- When the 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 the inner pot to a plate and set aside.
Make the Roux
- Add remaining olive oil and all-purpose flour to inner pot, to make a roux.
- Select Saute mode.
- 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.
Saute Vegetables, Add Spices and Broth
- Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic.
- Saute until vegetables are slightly soft, about 5 minutes.
- Using a wooden spatula, scrape the bottom of the inner pot. If there are brown bits stuck to the bottom, deglaze with a few tablespoons of chicken broth, scraping off the brown bits.
- Stir in broth, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, salt, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, bay leaf, and frozen okra. Add reserved chicken and sausage.
- Finally, add the tomatoes on top, don’t stir but submerge by pushing down gently with a spatula.
Instant Pot Duo Pressure Cook 4 minutes
- Close the lid and make sure steam release handle is in Sealing position
- Press Manual (or Pressure Cook) and + or – until the display reads 4 (4 minutes).
Instant Pot Ultra Pressure Cook 4 minutes
- Close the lid.
- Select Pressure Cook mode and adjust the time to 4 minutes (00:04).
- Press ‘Start’.
Pressure Cooking Process (Duo and Ultra)
- Instant Pot display will change to On.
- Once the Instant Pot is pressurized, the float valve will go up.
- The display will count down to 0; it will then switch to Keep Warm mode and display L0:00 or 00 00 and begin to count up the number of minutes since pressure cooking completed.
How to Quick Release Pressure (QR) on the DUO
- Move the steam release handle to Venting. Steam will come out of the steam release handle.
- When your Instant Pot is depressurized, the float valve will be in the down position.
- Press Cancel and open the Instant Pot.
How to Quick Release Pressure (QR) on the ULTRA
- Press down on the Steam Release Button until it locks into place, and steam begins to come out of the Steam Release Valve.
- When your Instant Pot is depressurized, the float valve will be in the down position.
- Press Cancel and open the Instant Pot.
[Find out more about the pressure release methods and how and when to use them. ]
Stir in Shrimp and Garnish
- Stir in 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.
Delicious New Orleans Instant Pot Gumbo
- 1/2 lb shrimp – peeled and deveined
- 1 tsp Creole seasoning – or Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 cup olive oil – + 2 Tbsp extra for sauteing
- 1/2 lb Andouille sausage – or smoked sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs – cut into bite size pieces
- 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
- 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 bay leaves – (small) or 1 large
- 2 cups frozen okra
- 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes – (1 can) or 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp green onions – green parts only, sliced thinly
- Chopped parsley to garnish
- Rub shrimp with Creole or Cajun seasoning and set aside.
- Select Saute mode and when Instant Pot has heated, add 2 Tbsp olive oil to the 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, select 'Saute' and add remaining olive oil and all-purpose flour to the 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.
- Using a wooden spatula, scrape the bottom of the inner pot to make sure there are no burnt bits stuck to the bottom. Deglaze with a couple of tablespoons of broth as needed.
- Stir in broth, white, black and cayenne peppers, thyme, salt, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, bay leaves, and frozen okra.
- Stir in reserved chicken and sausage.
- Add tomatoes on top and gently push down with a spatula to submerge. Don't stir.
- Close Instant Pot and pressure cook on High Pressure for 4 minutes.
- Do a quick release of pressure and open the Instant Pot. [Read More: The Different Pressure Release Methods]
- 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.
- If your Instant Pot is prone to getting the burn message, I recommend making the roux on the stovetop and adding it to the inner pot after the broth.
- See the blog post for more detailed recipe tips
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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