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Seafood Gumbo For One

Classic Seafood Gumbo Recipe For One - This easy to make gumbo is perfectly spiced and filled with shrimp, fish, and the trinity of vegetables. There are many seafood gumbo recipes out there but none are easier than this authentic single serving version.

A bowl of gumbo with shrimp and white rice on a tray with parsley in the background.

I'm so excited about this seafood gumbo recipe. Being originally from New Orleans, creating a single serving gumbo recipe has been on my bucket list for a few years.

I've always loved making gumbo for my family when my kids all lived at home. It was one dish that everyone loved and looked forward to eating.

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Why This Recipe Works

  • I've taken my authentic New Orleans gumbo recipe and scaled down the ingredients so that it serves one person, or possibly two if you add a side dish.
  • You won't find a huge ingredient list like you would in most gumbo recipes. The reason for this is because I didn't want my readers to have to purchase ingredients that they might only use for this recipe.
  • The challenge for me was in keeping the flavors very much the same as in my original fish gumbo recipe and I believe we've done just that.
  • My husband encouraged me to work on this recipe constantly, probably because he wanted me to make gumbo again. After quite a few attempts at making a "gumbo for one", we have a wonderful recipe that I think you'll love as much as I do.
  • This gumbo is simple yet so flavorful. The recipe calls for using shrimp and about 4-ounces of white fish. I like to use catfish, cod, sea bass or snapper. Some gumbo recipes include gumbo crabs and/or oysters. I've chosen to leave them out but feel free to add them to your gumbo if you'd like.
  • The gumbo is thickened with an easy to make roux, and also includes "the trinity of vegetables": onions, celery, and bell peppers.

What Is Gumbo?

Gumbo is a stew-like dish popular in Louisiana. It consists of a seafood or meat stock filled with seafood and vegetables. It is southern comfort food at its finest.

There are many gumbo variations in addition to seafood gumbo including those made with chicken, smoked sausage, and okra.

A closeup of a bowl of gumbo with shrimp, fish, and white rice.

Ingredients

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

ingredients labeled for making gumbo on a brown table

Ingredient Notes

There are a lot of seafood gumbo recipes out there, this is why I wanted to give you a classic, basic version made with far less ingredients than you might find in a traditional version and one that is ideal for anyone cooking for one.

  • Vegetable or canola oil: Use either of these neutral oils to make the roux. Some people like to use butter in their gumbo recipes but I don't recommend it. Oil is better because butter burns easily and you can get a darker color from the roux by using oil because it has a higher smoke point and you can cook it longer than butter.
  • All purpose flour: Flour is used to make the roux which helps to thicken the gumbo.
  • Chopped onions, green bell peppers, and chopped celery: This is known as the "trinity of vegetables" and is found in many Louisiana dishes.
  • Minced garlic
  • Chicken broth: I recommend using chicken broth in this fish gumbo recipe because it is what most people already have on hand. You can use shrimp stock instead.
  • Dried thyme, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper: For added flavor.
  • Shrimp: I recommend using Gulf shrimp if available. Make sure you peel and devein the shrimp before adding to the gumbo. You can read about how to peel and devein shrimp below.
  • White fish: Some varieties of fish I use in seafood gumbo are catfish, cod, sea bass or snapper.
  • Creole seasoning: I use Tony Chachere's.

The Key To Making An Authentic Gumbo Is In The Roux

A roux the foundation of every gumbo recipe. It is made with equal parts of just two ingredients: oil and flour. The roux is simply flour that is browned in fat (oil). It acts as a thickener and gives gumbo its rich flavor.

The oil and flour are cooked and stirred together for about 10-15 minutes on the stove until it becomes the color of caramel or a penny. When I make a large pot of gumbo, it takes about 20-25 minutes to achieve this, but since we are using a smaller 2-quart pot for this recipe, it doesn't take as long.

Making a roux isn't difficult, however, you need to pay close attention to the roux as it cooks. You'll need to stir constantly so that the roux doesn't burn. If it does, you'll need to dump it out and start over or the gumbo will have a burnt taste.

Brown roux in a stainless steel pot.
The color of the roux

See below for ways to use leftover ingredients.

How To Make This Recipe

  1. Place a 2-quart pot over medium heat and add the oil. Allow the oil to heat for about 5 minutes, then add the flour to the pot. Stir the oil and flour together to form a roux. Continue to stir the roux for 10-15 minutes, or until the color of a penny or caramel.
  2. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery to the roux and stir to blend. Stir the vegetables for 2 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook and stir the garlic for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the shrimp stock or chicken broth to the pot. Season the gumbo with the thyme, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring the gumbo to a boil and lower heat to low and simmer. Continue to simmer the gumbo for 40 minutes.
  4. Season the shrimp and fish in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of creole seasoning. Stir the shrimp and fish into the gumbo and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Taste the gumbo and add additional salt if necessary. Serve over rice.

Expert Tips

  • The best fish to use in seafood gumbo is any type of white fish like catfish, grouper, snapper, or sole. Feel free to add crab legs and/or oysters in addition to the shrimp in your gumbo recipe.
  • Watch your roux closely. Most gumbo recipes begin with a roux, it's the foundation for the entire dish. You will know that the roux is done by its color. Look for a roux to be the color of caramel or a copper penny.
  • Use a heavy-bottomed pan or pot to make gumbo and a whisk for constant stirring of the roux.
  • Don't rush when you cook gumbo. It's a slow process and worth every minute of your time. Slow cooking allows all of the flavors in the gumbo to come together.
  • Traditionally, gumbo is served over white rice.
  • Enjoy the process of making seafood gumbo. No two gumbo recipes are alike - start with this basic recipe and tinker with it later to make it your own.
Chopped onions, celery, and green bell peppers for seafood gumbo on a wooden cutting board.
The Trinity of Vegetables: onions, bell peppers, celery

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Gumbo and Jambalaya?

Gumbo is similar to jambalaya with the main difference being that the rice is cooked separately and served with the gumbo. In jambalaya, the rice is cooked along with the rest of the ingredients.
Jambalaya is more like paella. Both dishes are cooked in a large pan or pot and include vegetables, broth, and spices. The main differences between the two lie in the additions of meats and various spices.

What Should I Serve With Seafood Gumbo?

Any of these single serving and small batch recipes would go wonderfully with a bowl of seafood gumbo.
Rice
French bread
Crawfish beignets
King Cake

What Is The Best Size Pot To Use In This Single Serving Gumbo Recipe?

I use a 2-quart saucepan for this seafood gumbo recipe. For best results, use a pot of similar size.
For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

How Do I Peel Shrimp?

1. Pull off the legs.
2. Using your fingers, crack open the underside of the shell and peel it off.
3. Pinch the tail where it meets the body of the shrimp and pull off.

How Do I Devein Shrimp?

1. Gently run a paring knife along the back of the shrimp.
2. Look for the vein. It will look like a long, dark, gritty string. Using the tip of your knife, pull it out.

Other Single Serving Louisiana Recipes

What To Do With Leftover Ingredients

Since this is a single serving fish gumbo recipe, you might have a few ingredients left over. You might like to consider using them in any of these single serving recipes:

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seafood gumbo | one dish kitchen

Seafood Gumbo For One

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, French
Keywords: cajun, creole, seafood, stew
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 591kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery (about 1 stalk)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth or shrimp stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 4 ounces white fish cut into 1-inch pieces (catfish, grouper, snapper, sole)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning (I use Tony Chachere's)

Instructions

  • Place a 2-quart pot over medium heat and add the oil. Allow the oil to heat for about 5 minutes, then add the flour to the pot. Stir the oil and flour together to form a roux. Continue to stir the roux for 10-15 minutes, or until the color of a penny or caramel.
  • Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery to the roux and stir to blend. Stir the vegetables for 2 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook and stir the garlic for 30 seconds.
  • Add the chicken broth to the pot. Season the gumbo with the thyme, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring the gumbo to a boil and lower heat to low and simmer. Continue to simmer the gumbo for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Season the shrimp and fish in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of creole seasoning. Stir the shrimp and fish into the gumbo and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Taste the gumbo and add additional salt if necessary. Serve over cooked rice.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • The best fish to use in seafood gumbo is any type of white fish like catfish, grouper, snapper, or sole. Feel free to add crab legs and/or oysters in addition to the shrimp in your gumbo recipe.
  • Watch your roux closely. Most gumbo recipes begin with a roux, it's the foundation for the entire dish. You will know that the roux is done by its color. Look for a roux to be the color of caramel or a copper penny.
  • Use a heavy-bottomed pan or pot to make gumbo and a whisk for constant stirring of the roux.
  • Don't rush when you cook gumbo. It's a slow process and worth every minute of your time. Slow cooking allows all of the flavors in the gumbo to come together.
  • Traditionally, gumbo is served over white rice.
  • Enjoy the process of making seafood gumbo. No two gumbo recipes are alike - start with this basic recipe and tinker with it later to make it your own.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 591kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 218mg | Sodium: 722mg | Potassium: 982mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 113IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 4mg

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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About The Author

6 thoughts on “Seafood Gumbo For One”

  1. 5 stars
    This was my first time making or eating gumbo. Thank you for this recipe – it is so clear and easy to follow! It turned out wonderfully!

  2. Made this for a friend that was yearning for shrimp gumbo. Just used shrimp and followed the rest of the recipe to a T. He almost licked the bowl clean, said it was the best he’d ever had. Thanks Joanie for all your great little recipes.

  3. Joanie, this is more or less the way I make my regular gumbo. I add a very little crab boil to my recipe. It adds another layer of spies. You must be careful with Zatarain’s oil it is very concentrated but I love it.

    Love ya postings,
    Nina Leonard your cousin.

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