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Gumbo is an incredible stew consisting of meat, vegetables and lots of bold flavours. A dish filled with warmth and soulful flavours that just one spoonful will have you crawling back into its delicious arms forever. If you’re wondering what side dish goes well with gumbo, it is perfectly capable of filling your belly to the point of delicious satisfaction all on its own. However, a variety of tasty side dishes will most definitely make this incredible dish, a diverse experience for everyone.
Table of Contents
- What Is Gumbo?
- How To Make Gumbo?
- What To Serve With Seafood Gumbo?
- What Desserts Go With Gumbo?
What Is Gumbo?
Gumbo a West African cuisine, is a savoury stew made with a variety of meats or shellfish combined with an array of vegetables and herbs. Gumbo can be as thin as soup or as thick as gravy, and the proteins included might be chicken and crab or sausage and shrimp. This stew might be thickened with okra, with Filé (powdered sassafras leaves), with a dark roux (a blend of oil and flour cooked slowly until well browned) or any combination of the three.
Gumbo is a rich, flavourful stew that combines the unique flavours of bittersweet, yet slimy okra, and/or sassafras leaves that taste like root beer, with a variety of meat options. The exact flavour of any gumbo relies on its ingredients; seafood is one popular option, while boneless skinless chicken breast and Andouille sausage are another. Most gumbo holds a sweetness from a combination of onion, bell pepper, and celery used to flavour a soup base.
How To Make Gumbo?
The key to a wonderful gumbo is the roux, which is made with two ingredients – flour and oil – these are cooked and stirred together for about 30-45 minutes until it becomes dark chocolate brown. The roux is what adds the dee, rich flavour to the gumbo and gives it an incredibly attractive thick texture. Here’s how to make the perfect gumbo:
- Make the roux: In a large pot, combine flour and oil and cook, stirring constantly on medium-low heat, taking care not to burn it. Be patient, and remember that the thicker the roux, the richer the flavour.
- Chop the veggies: When you’re all set and ready to make your gumbo, start by chopping celery, onions, bell pepper, parsley, you can also add okra if you want.
- Brown the sausage: Spread the sausage in a single layer on a hot, large skillet. Once browned, flip each one over individually to make sure they get all nice and brown on both sides.
- Add to a large pot: Add chicken broth, veggies, parsley, and roux to the pot and stir well, (skim off any foam rising to the top of the pot) then stir in Cajun seasoning to taste.
- Add meat: Add chicken, sausage, and shrimp, and taste. Add more seasonings to your liking-salt, pepper, chicken bullion paste, garlic, and more chicken broth until you achieve the perfect flavour.
- Serve warm over hot cooked rice: You can serve this on it’s own or with a side of homemade potato salad for a delectable addition to your heavenly meal.
What To Serve With Seafood Gumbo?
Gumbo can be made with either meat or seafood, or a combination of the two depending on your preference. If you’re wondering what to serve with gumbo, then here’s your answer:
- Hush Puppies
- Cheese Bread
- Potato Salad
- Corn on the Cob
- Crab Cake
- Devilled Eggs
- Carrot Soufflé
- Fresh Salad
A perfect side dish that soaks the flavours of the gumbo beautifully is plain white rice. Just add a generous helping of the stew over the top of the long thick grains of freshly cooked white rice, and let the flavours explode in your mouth. With a soft crunch of the shrimp, followed by a syrupy warmth rolling down your throat makes for a delicious dinner.
Another wonderful side dish, that effectively absorbs the flavours of stews like gumbo is cornbread. This sweet and crumbly pastry gives a wonderful contrast to the richness of gumbo. You can even choose to crumble the cornbread over the plate of gumbo stew and eat it with a spoon, and let the sweetness of the tiny pieces of cornbread tickle your tongue here and there.
These heavenly deep-fried balls are soft, sweet and chewy and go incredibly well with gumbo, much like cornbread, its sweetness balances out the savoury flavours of the stew.
We’ve already established how wonderful bread tastes with gumbo, but you know what will amplify this bowl of deliciousness? Cheese. And loads of it. Dunking a bread loaded with cheese into the gumbo, collecting all the rich, gorgeous flavours that are in that stew, and then taking a huge bite of this new found heaven that is cheese bread, is just a party in your mouth!
When it comes down to choosing the perfect side to have with gumbo, potato salad is always a great idea. The creamy and tangy dish adds a beautiful contrast to the stew, you can even add a spoonful of potato salad to your thick gumbo and let them create brilliance.
Little fried okra poppers are the perfect addition to most stews, especially ones that are filled with a combination of vegetables, meat and seafood like gumbo.
Corn on the Cob
This is a sweet and juicy, incredibly simple side dish to pair with your gumbo, you can grill these beauties for a few minutes to bring out a smoky flavour, then slather them with lots of butter, and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning for maximum flavour.
Crab cakes are the perfect appetiser to start a main meal off with a bang, especially if you’re hosting a dinner party. Crab cakes loaded with chunks of fresh crab meat, these little beauties can be dipped into the stew, to blend the flavours emanating from the stew, transferring it to the crab cake, which will give you a bite of heaven.
Another delicious side dish to have with gumbo would most definitely be devilled eggs, you can add a bit of crab seasoning and creole into the eggs or top them with paprika.
If you’re a fan of a tiny bit of sweetness contrasting with the rich and spiciness of gumbo, then carrot soufflé is the side dish for you.
You’ll need 2 pounds of carrot peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick sticks, 1 cup of whole or 2% milk, 5 large eggs, 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter cut into small pieces, 1 1/2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
To make this delicious soufflé start to add carrots into salted boiling water over medium-high heat, until they’re very tender. Drain well, then place eggs, milk, and salt in a blender and blend till smooth, add the cooked carrots, butter and blend until very smooth.
Transfer the blended ingredients into a bowl, then add cheese, flour and baking powder and stir until combined. Then bake them until they puff and set in the middle.
And there you have it an amazing carrot soufflé ready to be devoured.
A simple green salad is a wonderful and fresh contrast to the gumbo stew, you can dress this salad up in any way you like, with tomatoes, bacon, shredded cheese, celery, avocado and your choice of dressing.
With some added crunch and juicy textures that will compliment your main meal beautifully, you can never regret having a salad as a side dish, it just makes so much sense!
What Desserts Go With Gumbo?
A wonderful and sweet way to end a hearty yet spicy meal of gumbo stew is with a dessert or a sweet side dish to compliment the meal.
- Sweet Potato Pies
- Lemon Pie
- Bread Pudding
Sweet Potato Pies
We know that potatoes are a wonderful side dish to have with gumbo, so why not try sweet potato pies to have as a dessert?
To make this you’ll need 1 pound of sweet potato, 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 unbaked pie crust.
Then boil the sweet potatoes in water, with their skin on until they’re done (40-50 minutes). Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.
Break apart the sweet potatoes in a bowl, add butter, and mix well with a mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix until the mixture is smooth, then pour this into an unbaked pie crust.
Bake at 350F for 55 to 60 minutes, or insert a knife in the middle of the pie and check if it comes out clean. The pie will puff up like a soufflé, and then will sink down as it cools.
Enjoy this delicious sweet potato pie after a warm, rich meal of gumbo.
Another excellent dessert to have after gumbo is lemon pie. This light and heavenly dessert is a delicious addition to the meal and is perfect to serve as a dessert at a gathering, or party.
To make this pie you’ll need fresh lemon juice, about 1 cup or 8 medium lemons would be perfect. Getting the most juice out of your lemons, firmly roll them on the counter with the palm of your hand before cutting into them.
A perfect dessert to have after a heavenly dinner of gumbo, is bread pudding. You’ll need 6 slices of bread, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 1/2 cup of raisins (optional), 4 eggs beaten, 2 cups of milk, 3/4 cup of white sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Start by breaking the bread into small pieces, into an 8 inch square baking pan. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread, and if you want you can sprinkle some raisins over them.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until its all well mixed, then pour over the bread and lightly push down with a fork until the bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.
Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes, then serve immediately.
So What Goes Good With Gumbo?
Gumbo is a heavenly stew packed with vegetables, meat and aromatic spices that tickle the tongue with each bite beautifully. You can choose to eat gumbo as a dish all on its own, or whip up some wonderful side dishes to have alongside the stew. You may opt for a dessert to have after your dinner, for a sweet end to the meal from bread pudding, to lemon pie, a fantabulous addition to your meal does not have to always be savoury.
What Is A Good Side Dish For Gumbo
Rice is a traditional side to have with gumbo, cornbread to soak up the flavours of the stew, hush puppies, cheese bread, potato salad, okra, corn on the cob and fresh salad.
What Kind of Salad Goes Well With Gumbo?
A simple green salad, provides a refreshing contrast in textures and flavours to the stew. You can choose anything you like: tomatoes, bacon, shredded cheese, celery or avocado and your desired dressing.
What Goes With Jambalaya and Gumbo?
Cornbread, corn on the cob, cheddar biscuits, hush puppies, green salad, cucumber tomato salad, grilled oysters, fried okra, potato salad, and rice.