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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.
Use my homemade cajun seasoning mix for maximum zing in your low carb gumbo, but you can also use a pre-made version if you like. Or swap it with creole seasoning if you want that variation.
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.
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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
Tap 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.
Keto Gumbo Recipe
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.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap 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
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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I have a weird name0
Where is the roux? I’m from New Orleans. You have to start with the roux. I would suggest almond flour for keto enthusiasts.
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi there, This recipe does not use a roux because that is made with flour (and is not keto friendly). Almond flour would not work the same way in a roux because it does not have the starch content that flour (or cornstarch) have. This gumbo is thickened in other ways, as described in the recipe.
Hi Maya- I’m a Louisiana gal & this recipe sounds terrific! I will say that gumbo frequently skips the tomatoes. If I were going to do that with this recipe, would I need to add extra broth or water to get the proportions correct?
Thanks for your recipes. They’re always good!
P.S. I made your jambalaya a couple of years ago- very authentic!
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Kay, You would probably have to add a little more broth, so the Gumbo isn’t too thick.
Great recipe, one exception. Leave out the cauliflower! You won’t miss the rice or cauli! I’m born/raised in creole Louisiana, we still use sausage, but we don’t put tomatoes in our gumbo! Okra, yes, if all parties like it. Mostly it’s a hodge podge of whatever meats are available. Seafoods, poultry, fish chunks, any type of sausage. We don’t put cajun seasonings in…we use Italian seasonings, especially bay leaves! Salt, peppers, garlic, oregano, thyme, and most most important bay leaves, whole ones.
If using frozen okra, do you need to thaw it before sautéing it or can you sauté from frozen?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Monica, No need to thaw the ora before cooking.
How many servings does this make?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Candee, This recipe makes 10 servings.
Absolutely delicious. I left the cauliflower out the second time I made it, and I feel it was better for my taste. I did add chicken, double the shrimp, crab legs, and double the sausage. It was amazing.
Hi! So excited to Try this recipe.😊❤️
I love seafood but my partner doesn’t so If I wanted to add cut up chicken breast to it how would I do that? Should I pan fry it a little and then put it to the side and maybe add it a little later so it doesn’t get too overcooked? Or would I just add it all in the beginning? Any advice or recommendations?
Thank you 😊
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Lucia, I have never tried that, but if I was going to, I would probably add cooked shredded chicken near the end of the cooking time.
I made this today. I deviated a bit by using orange bell peppers instead of green because that’s what I had. I also added 2 -5 oz. cans of Chicken Breast in water as we like chicken in our gumbo too. My husband doesn’t like rice so I only used 12 oz. of the riced cauliflower. He had no complaints which made me very happy! I cooked the other 12oz package of riced cauliflower and just spooned some extra into my bowl. I had fresh okra from my garden to use and used petite diced tomatoes. Did not use the file powder as I didn’t have any. Didn’t miss it. Way to go Maya! It’s going to be a favorite at our house!
My family is from Louisiana and I’ve had some good gumbo. I was surprised at how authentic and fantastic this came out without using flour to make a roux. I added a teaspoon of Pamela’s GF thickening powder and it’s perfect. Topped with file’ and Tabasco, it’s a winner!
Can I freeze this Keto Gumbo?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Joy, Yes, leftover gumbo can be frozen.
Gumbo does NOT have tomatoes and the roux is a dark brown! This is more like a creole! Still sounds good tho 😁
This tastes really good. Not like gumbo to me because missing that dark brown roux. I added 2 tsp of lobster base. I used sausage, shrimp and large sea scallops. I will make again. Thanks for making a keto recipe for all of us to make that has great flavor!!
Great soup, but the holy trinity is carrot onion, and celery no bell peppers.
Negative!!! The Holy Trinity consist of onions, bell peppers and celery! Carrots, onions and celery is called French mirepoix!
Could you use mixed vegetables or string beans instead of okra?
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Courtney, You can, but they won’t thicken the soup the way okra does.
Really want to make this recipe but cannot find okra or File powder. Are there any substitutes I can use?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Yvonne, You can omit the file powder and you can also use frozen okra which might be easier to find.
This is my very favorite gumbo recipe ever, and I’ve made a lot. Simple and so so tasty. I omit the cauli rice because I just don’t like it. But I don’t need it. The textures are perfect. I’ll never make it any other way again!
Tried the gumbo recipe tonight delicious fairly easy to make and as the recipe said you wouldn’t know it was cauliflower rice.
This recipe is so easy and absolutely delicious.
Hi, can this recipe be cooked in an instant pot?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Gabbee, I believe this would work well in the Instant Pot. I have not attempted it yet, so let me know how it turns out for you!
Made this for the first time today, and it’s absolutely fantastic. Will certainly be making it again and again. Thank you.
Just made this, so good! Did not have okra but will next time.
This was a very simple, easy and incredibly tasty recipe. My husband loves Cajun food, but I was always a bit intimidated to make gumbo. This proved me wrong. We both gave it 5 stars! Thanks, Maya, for another winner!
This was SO good and easy!! My husband and I loved it! I used Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning and omitted the salt since it has salt in it.
I made the Gumbo tonight for dinner and my husband and I loved it. It had so much wonderful flavor and very filling. My husband is still raving about it. I also made cornbread to go with it. Thank you so much for a great recipe.
This recipe is authentic and directions are easy to follow.
gumbo should not have tomatoes in it, just ask the people in Louisiana.
Extremely tasty and easy to make.
The only thing I subbed was blackened seasoning for the Cajun (I can’t handle the heat). It was still a little spicy but very tolerable. I used 3 tspns of the File (found this at big chain grocery store, but surprisingly not in the seasoning aisle).
My boyfriend LOVED it too and the leftovers were delicious as well.
Thank you for sharing!
Delish! I omitted the oakra added extra veggies. I also only used 1 tbsp of Cajun seasoning. Very tasty! Thanks
Made this for dinner today!! It was so good! Might make some of your Keto Cornbread to go with leftovers. That’s good too.
It is good. I had to add more thickeners (tomato paste, arrowroot powder, more filé) to get it to the right gumbo consistency. I can’t even tell the cauliflower is in there, but I usually like my rice separate from my gumbo.
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Kim, So glad you enjoyed the recipe! You can definitely cook your cauliflower rice separately if that’s your preference.
it was delicious, definitely saute okra first.
Michelle M Mestas0
Easy to follow & so delicious! I just started Keto and needed something not cheese heavy for my first week. This was a perfect addition to my meal prep. Very flavorful! I also love the step by step photos so that I know what it’s suppose to look like.
Can you use something other than file powder to thicken?
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Tina, File powder is the traditional option, but if you don’t want to hunt it down you can use xanthan gum to thicken your gumbo. Start with 1/8th teaspoon and let simmer until thick. Enjoy!
This recipe has been the most flavorful, fulfilling I’ve ever tasted. I make this at least once a week! Sooo good!!! Keep the recipes coming!
This is as a great recipe! I made it tonight and it’s delicious! I used more bell pepper than it called for and less okra, but I was super happy with it. I used three large tablespoons of creole seasoning and it was a tad too spicy for my husband, but I could have thrown a couple more in and been happy. Next bowl, I’m throwing some hot sauce in there. Thanks for a great Keto Gumbo recipe!
Could you use xanthum gum instead of file powder.? If so, how much xanthum gum?
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Ann, Yes! Start with sprinkling 1/8th teaspoon of xanthan gum and let it simmer for a few minutes. If it’s not as thick as you would like, feel free to sprinkle in add another 1/8th teaspoon.
Sounds delicious. What a lovely dinner option. So simple and healthy. I will definitely try this.
Absolutely delicious and full of my favorite vegetables. The entire family loved this gumbo. We’ll definitely have it on repeat!
This soup was a hit with my family following the recipe to a t will be made it again.