Seafood and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

Chef Emeril Lagasse

With this recipe you might be able to argue that you don’t need a gumbo pot. To keep your doubters at bay, transfer the finished slow-cooker gumbo to your favorite pot and set it on the stove. No one will ever know you didn’t sweat over it all day.


Makes about 8 servings


  • •1 cup vegetable oil
  • •1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • •2 ½ cups chopped onion (about 2 medium onions)
  • •1 ½ cups chopped celery (about 3 ribs)
  • •1 ½ cups chopped green bell pepper (about 1 medium pepper)
  • •2 tablespoons chopped garlic (4 to 5 large cloves)
  • •1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning or Emeril’s Original Essence
  • •1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • •1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • •½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • •2 bay leaves
  • •1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • •1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • •1 pound smoked sausage, cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
  • •1 pound gumbo crabs (see Note), halved
  • •6 cups water
  • •1 pound peeled Louisiana crawfish tails
  • •1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • •½ cup chopped green onion, plus more for serving
  • •¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for serving
  • •Hot steamed white rice, for serving



1. Heat a 14-inch heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven over high heat for 1 minute. Carefully pour in the oil and then whisk in the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-high and stir the flour constantly for 15 minutes, until evenly browned. It should be the color of peanut butter. If you find the flour is coloring too fast, reduce the heat to medium. It is important to watch the roux and cook it carefully to avoid burning. Once the desired color is reached, add the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, Creole Seasoning, salt, black pepper, cayenne, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and sausage. Cook for 5 minutes, and then remove from the heat.

2. Transfer the mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the crabs and the water.

3. Cook on high for 5 hours. Then stir in the crawfish and shrimp, and cook for another 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

4. Right before serving, stir in the ½ cup green onion and the ¼ cup chopped parsley. Serve the gumbo over bowls of steamed rice, garnished with additional chopped parsley and green onion as desired.

Note: Gumbo crabs are blue crabs that are not graded #1, simply because they may not be as heavy (full of crabmeat) as #1-graded crabs. They are kept aside and sold as gumbo crabs for folks to flavor soups and stews, such as this gumbo. You can often find them in the freezer section of grocery stores in Louisiana. If you cannot find them where you live, you can simply substitute 2 regular blue crabs if desired. They are used mostly to flavor the gumbo and are not typically eaten at the table.