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Let me show you just how delicious keto Cajun food can be with this easy keto gumbo recipe. Instead of using a flour-based roux that’s used in traditional gumbo recipes, this low carb gumbo is thickened naturally with okra and file powder instead, which saves a step and some carbs. We’re also using cauliflower rice instead of the regular kind, but with all the other things going on in there, I promise you won’t even notice.
Trust me when I say, it’s not lacking in any of the flavor you expect from this dish. Keto gumbo is smoky, garlicky, and peppery in all the right ways, just like the original.
Looking for more cozy and comforting meals in a bowl that are also keto-friendly? Try my other keto soup recipes – like chicken pot pie soup, keto French onion soup, or whole30 chili. All the comfort, none of the carbs.
How To Make Keto Gumbo
This easy keto gumbo recipe comes together in less than an hour – and a lot of it is hands-off! Here’s how we make it:
- Saute the okra. Cook okra in a small skillet until no longer slimy – this will prevent your soup from being slimy, too. Lesley from my team told me about this trick, and she’s from the south, so you know it’s legit! 😉
TIP: If you want this to be truly a one-pan meal, feel free to saute the okra in your dutch oven. It’ll take a bit more time since you’d have to wait for it to be done before sauteing the veggies in the next step, but you’d save on dishes.
- Saute the holy trinity. Heat oil in a large dutch oven and saute bell peppers, onions, and celery, until soft. (This trio is called the “holy trinity.”)
- Brown the sausage. Add andouille sausage and cook until browned.
- Sizzle the garlic. Make a well in the center of the dutch oven and add minced garlic. Let it sizzle for about 30 seconds, then stir into everything else.
- Simmer the soup. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, okra, Cajun seasoning, and sea salt to taste. Bring gumbo to a boil, then simmer.
- Cook the shrimp and cauliflower rice. Add the shrimp and simmer for a few minutes. When the shrimp is not quite done, add cauliflower rice and simmer some more, until cauliflower rice is soft and shrimp is opaque.
- Thicken. Sprinkle your keto gumbo soup with file powder and stir until thickened.
TIP: File should be added at the end and thickens as it sits. Don’t add during cooking or boiling, this will make the gumbo stringy and too thick.
Low Carb Gumbo FAQs
How many carbs in gumbo?
Most gumbos will have about 20 grams net carbs per serving, but it will of course vary recipe to recipe. Restaurant versions may be higher.
In this recipe, we’re skipping the roux (it will get plenty thick without it!) and the rice, so each serving of gumbo has just 8.6 grams net carbs. And keep in mind this is a large serving – 1.5 cups – that’s enough for a full meal. If you serve it as a starter, you can easily cut that to 1 cup.
Is gumbo keto friendly?
Most gumbos are not keto-friendly. Because this version only has 8.6 net carbs, it’s a great keto alternative that still has all of the flavor of traditional gumbos.
How do you make a keto friendly gumbo roux?
While gumbos are traditionally made with a roux, we don’t actually need it in this version. Instead, we’re thickening the gumbo with okra and file powder.
Can you add chicken or other seafood?
Absolutely! I made this keto friendly gumbo with andouille sausage and shrimp to try to keep the ingredient list down. (Let’s face it, Southern cuisine is not known for few ingredients. Between the holy trinity of peppers, onions, and celery, the meats, the spices, and everything else, I ended up with 12 ingredients already, not including the salt and optional file.)
This version is sort of a medley of the two common types of gumbo. Traditionally, Creole gumbo is made with okra, tomatoes, and a combination of meat and seafood, while Cajun gumbo uses either meat OR seafood, with no okra. Mine is more like a Creole gumbo, but I used Cajun seasoning and andouille sausage, which are of course more Cajun cuisine.
Feel free to make your gumbo with the proteins you like. Other common gumbo proteins you can add include chicken, duck, oysters, crawfish, and crab. Chicken would be cooked right after the sausage, while seafood gets added closer to the end, just as I do with the shrimp here.
Keto Gumbo Recipe Storage Instructions
Can you make it ahead?
Yes, just like many soups and stews, this keto gumbo recipe is great to make ahead and may even taste better the next day.
Store the soup in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Can you freeze low carb seafood gumbo?
Yes, leftover gumbo can be frozen. Freeze it for 2-3 months and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
How to reheat keto friendly gumbo:
Reheat gumbo in the microwave or in a saucepan, until heated through. Be careful not to overheat, or the shrimp will get tough.
More Southern Keto Recipes
- Southern Fried Cabbage – With crispy, savory bacon, this dish will make any picky eater love veggies.
- Cajun Shrimp Caesar Salad – A lighter meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor, thanks to perfectly seasoned shrimp and homemade dressing.
- Low Carb Cajun Onion Rings – So crispy and zesty, with no white flour whatsoever.
- Keto Jambalaya – Chock full of spicy sausage and veggies — you won’t miss the rice.
Tools To Make Low Carb Gumbo:
Click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Small Skillet – The perfect size for sauteing okra for gumbo. However, you can skip it if you prefer to just saute in the dutch oven instead.
- Dutch Oven – A quality dutch oven is a must for gumbo! The cast iron helps it simmer properly at a consistent temperature, and the special textured lid on this one helps keep the moisture circulating.
- Souper Cubes – A convenient way to freeze individual portions of gumbo… or any soup.
Reader Favorite Recipes
The recipe card is below! Readers also made these similar recipes after making this one.
Keto Gumbo Recipe
This easy keto gumbo recipe is a Southern classic made low carb. It's a simple, healthy one-pot meal that's naturally thickened and full of flavor.
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Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a small skillet over medium heat, cook the okra for about 5 minutes, until any slime cooks away.
Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bell peppers, onions, and celery. Saute for 5-8 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
Add the sliced sausage. Saute for about 5 minutes, until browned.
Make a well in the center and add the minced garlic. Let it sizzle for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, then stir in with everything else.
Add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and sauteed okra. Season with cajun seasoning and sea salt to taste.
Bring the gumbo to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the shrimp. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the cauliflower rice. Simmer for 5 minutes again, until shrimp is opaque and cauliflower rice is soft.
Remove from heat. Sprinkle gumbo with file powder and stir, until thickened.
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Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
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Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. (Learn about net carbs here.) We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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