How to Make Pappadeaux’s Seafood Gumbo at Home

Hey, Good News! If you’re a fan of Pappadeaux’s Seafood Kitchen, you probably know how delicious their gumbo is. This hearty stew is full of flavor, spice, and seafood, and it’s a perfect dish to warm up with on a cold day. But did you know that you can make your own version of Pappadeaux’s gumbo at home? It’s easier than you think, and you can customize it to your liking.

In this article, we’ll show you how to make a copycat Pappadeaux’s seafood gumbo recipe that tastes just like the restaurant’s. We’ll also share some tips and tricks to make your gumbo even better, as well as some variations and substitutions you can try. Whether you’re a gumbo novice or a seasoned pro, you’ll find something useful and interesting in this article. So grab your pot and spoon, and let’s get cooking!

What Is Gumbo?

Gumbo is a traditional dish from Louisiana, and it’s the official state cuisine. It’s a type of stew that consists of a strongly flavored stock, meat or shellfish (or sometimes both), a thickener, and the Creole “holy trinity” of celery, bell peppers, and onions. Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used, whether okra or filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves).[^1^]

Gumbo has its origins in many cultures, including African, French, Spanish, and Native American. The name “gumbo” comes from a West African word for okra, which suggests that the original dish used okra as a natural thickener. The use of filé was a contribution of the Choctaw people, and the roux (a mixture of flour and fat) was derived from French cuisine.[^1^]

The Difference Between Creole and Cajun Gumbo

There are two main varieties of gumbo: Creole and Cajun. Creole gumbo generally contains shellfish, such as shrimp, crab, or oysters, and a dark roux, filé, or both. Creole gumbo may also include tomatoes, which are not traditionally used in Cajun gumbo.[^1^]

Cajun gumbo is based on a dark roux and is made with shellfish or fowl, such as chicken or duck. Cajun gumbo often includes sausage or ham as well. Cajun gumbo is spicier than Creole gumbo and does not use filé or tomatoes.[^1^]

The Secret to Making a Good Roux

The roux is the foundation of any good gumbo. It’s a mixture of flour and fat (usually oil or butter) that is cooked over low heat until it reaches a deep brown color. The roux gives the gumbo its rich flavor and color, as well as thickens the broth.[^2^]

Making a good roux requires patience and attention. You need to stir the roux constantly to prevent it from burning or scorching. You also need to cook it slowly to bring out the nutty flavor and dark color without burning it. Depending on how dark you want your roux, it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to make.[^2^]

The Best Seafood for Gumbo

One of the best things about gumbo is that you can use any seafood you like or have on hand. However, some seafood works better than others for gumbo. Here are some of the most popular choices:[^3^]

  • Shrimp: Shrimp are a classic ingredient for seafood gumbo. They add sweetness and texture to the stew. You can use fresh or frozen shrimp, peeled or unpeeled, depending on your preference.
  • Crab: Crab meat adds richness and flavor to gumbo. You can use fresh or canned crab meat, lump or claw meat, or even whole crabs if you want to impress your guests.
  • Oysters: Oysters are another traditional ingredient for seafood gumbo. They add brininess and creaminess to the broth. You can use fresh or canned oysters, shucked or unshucked.
  • Fish: Fish can also be used in gumbo, but you need to choose a firm-fleshed fish that won’t fall apart during cooking. Some good options are catfish, redfish, snapper, or cod.
  • Crawfish: Crawfish are a staple of Cajun cuisine and can be used in gumbo as well. They add a distinctive flavor and texture to the dish. You can use fresh or frozen crawfish, whole or tail meat.

How to Make Pappadeaux’s Seafood Gumbo

Now that you know the basics of gumbo, let’s get to the recipe. This is a copycat version of Pappadeaux’s seafood gumbo, which is a Creole-style gumbo with shrimp, crab, and oysters. It also uses a dark roux, filé powder, and tomatoes for extra flavor and thickness. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:[^4^]


Ingredients Amount
Vegetable oil 1 cup
All-purpose flour 3/4 cup
Onion, chopped 2 cups
Celery, chopped 1 1/2 cups
Green bell pepper, chopped 1 cup
Garlic, minced 1 1/2 tablespoons
Bay leaves 2
Salt 4 teaspoons
White pepper 1/2 teaspoon
Black pepper 1/2 teaspoon
Dried thyme leaves 1/2 teaspoon
Dried oregano leaves 1/2 teaspoon
Basic seafood stock or chicken stock 6 cups
Andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 pound
Peeled medium shrimp 1 pound
Oysters in their liquor, about 9 ounces 1 dozen
Crab meat, picked over 3/4 pound
Cooked rice, for serving 2 1/2 cups
Optional Ingredients:
For extra heat:
Hot sauce, to taste (such as Tabasco or Crystal)
For extra thickness:
Filé powder, to taste (about 1/4 cup)
For extra color and flavor:
Stewed tomatoes, drained (one 14.5-ounce can)
For extra freshness:
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (about 1/4 cup)
Sliced green onions, for garnish (about 1/4 cup)

To make the gumbo, follow these steps:[^4^]

  1. In a large heavy pot over medium-low heat, heat the oil and add the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is dark brown, about 45 minutes to an hour. Be careful not to burn or scorch the roux.
  2. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, salt, white pepper, black pepper, thyme, and oregano to the roux. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Skim off any fat or foam that rises to the surface.
  4. Add the sausage and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  5. If using hot sauce, filé powder, or tomatoes, add them now and stir well. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.
  6. Add the shrimp and oysters and cook until they are just done, about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the crab meat and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  8. If using parsley or green onions, sprinkle them over the gumbo before serving.
  9. Serve the gumbo hotwith rice or crusty bread. Enjoy your homemade Pappadeaux’s seafood gumbo!

That’s it! You’ve just learned how to make a delicious and authentic Pappadeaux’s seafood gumbo at home. This recipe is easy to follow and can be adapted to your preferences. You can also make a large batch and freeze it for later use. Gumbo is a great dish to share with your family and friends, or to enjoy by yourself.

FAQs About Pappadeaux’s Seafood Gumbo

What is the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?

Gumbo and jambalaya are both popular dishes from Louisiana, but they are not the same. Gumbo is a stew that is served over rice, while jambalaya is a rice dish that is cooked with meat and vegetables in one pot. Gumbo has a thinner consistency than jambalaya, and it usually uses a roux, filé, or okra as a thickener. Jambalaya does not use any thickener, and it can be either red (with tomatoes) or brown (without tomatoes).

How do you reheat gumbo?

The best way to reheat gumbo is to do it slowly on the stovetop or in the microwave. If you’re using the stovetop, bring the gumbo to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s hot and bubbly. If you’re using the microwave, transfer the gumbo to a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a lid or plastic wrap. Heat it on high for 2 minutes, then stir and check the temperature. Repeat until it’s hot enough.

How long does gumbo last in the fridge?

Gumbo can last for up to 4 days in the fridge if stored properly. Make sure to cool the gumbo completely before transferring it to an airtight container or ziplock bag. Label and date the container and place it in the coldest part of the fridge.

How long does gumbo last in the freezer?

Gumbo can last for up to 6 months in the freezer if stored properly. Follow the same steps as above, but make sure to leave some space in the container or bag for expansion. To thaw the gumbo, place it in the fridge overnight or in a bowl of cold water for a few hours. Then reheat it as instructed above.

Can you freeze gumbo with seafood?

Yes, you can freeze gumbo with seafood, but you need to be careful not to overcook the seafood when reheating it. Seafood tends to become tough and rubbery when cooked too long or at too high a temperature. To avoid this, you can either add the seafood to the gumbo after thawing it, or reduce the cooking time of the seafood when making the gumbo.

What kind of rice goes well with gumbo?

The traditional rice for gumbo is long-grain white rice, which has a fluffy and light texture that absorbs the broth well. However, you can also use other types of rice, such as brown rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, or wild rice. Just make sure to cook the rice according to its package directions before serving it with the gumbo.

What kind of bread goes well with gumbo?

The classic bread for gumbo is French bread, which has a crispy crust and a soft interior that sops up the broth nicely. You can also use other types of bread, such as sourdough bread, cornbread, biscuits, or garlic bread. Just make sure to toast or warm up the bread before serving it with the gumbo.

What are some good sides for gumbo?

Gumbo is a hearty and filling dish that doesn’t need many sides, but if you want to add some extra flavor and texture to your meal, you can try some of these options:

  • Salad: A fresh green salad with a tangy dressing can balance out the richness of the gumbo.
  • Coleslaw: A crunchy coleslaw with cabbage and carrots can add some color and crunch to your plate.
  • Corn: Corn on the cob or corn kernels can complement the sweetness of the seafood in the gumbo.
  • Okra: Fried okra or okra stewed with tomatoes can enhance the flavor and thickness of the gumbo.
  • Greens: Collard greens, mustard greens, or spinach can add some vitamins and minerals to your meal.

What are some variations of gumbo?

Gumbo is a versatile dish that can be adapted to your taste and preferences. You can experiment with different types of meat, seafood, vegetables, spices, and thickeners. Here are some examples of gumbo variations you can try:

  • Chicken and sausage gumbo: This is a Cajun-style gumbo that uses chicken and andouille sausage as the main protein. You can also add smoked ham or turkey for extra flavor.
  • Duck and andouille gumbo: This is a rich and savory gumbo that uses duck and andouille sausage as the main protein. You can also add smoked pork or bacon for extra flavor.
  • Vegetarian gumbo: This is a meatless gumbo that uses mushrooms, tofu, beans, or lentils as the main protein. You can also add any vegetables you like, such as carrots, potatoes, zucchini, or squash.
  • Seafood and okra gumbo: This is a Creole-style gumbo that uses shrimp, crab, oysters, and okra as the main ingredients. You can also add fish or scallops for extra flavor.
  • Chicken and okra gumbo: This is a simple and easy gumbo that uses chicken and okra as the main ingredients. You can also add sausage or ham for extra flavor.

What are some tips and tricks to make your gumbo better?

Gumbo is a dish that can be improved with some simple tips and tricks. Here are some of them:

  • Use a heavy-bottomed pot to make your roux. This will prevent the roux from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Use a wooden spoon to stir your roux. This will help you scrape the bottom of the pot and prevent lumps from forming.
  • Use a whisk to incorporate the stock into the roux. This will help you create a smooth and even broth.
  • Use fresh or frozen seafood for your gumbo. Avoid using canned or pre-cooked seafood, as they tend to be bland and mushy.
  • Season your gumbo well with salt, pepper, and other spices. Taste your gumbo as you go and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  • Don’t overcook your seafood. Add it to the gumbo towards the end of the cooking process and cook it until it’s just done.
  • Let your gumbo rest for 10 minutes before serving it. This will allow the flavors to meld and the broth to thicken.


Pappadeaux’s seafood gumbo is a delicious dish that you can make at home with this easy recipe. It’s a hearty stew that’s full of flavor, spice, and seafood, and it’s perfect for any occasion. You can also customize it to your taste by using different types of seafood, meat, vegetables, spices, and thickeners. Gumbo is a great dish to share with your family and friends, or to enjoy by yourself.

We hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about gumbo. If you did, please share it with your friends and leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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