Shrimp Gumbo Soup (Paleo)

Easy shrimp gumbo soup made in less than 45 minutes. This simple meal can be prepared any night of the week, and is paleo and Whole30 approved.

Shrimp Gumbo Soup - a quick and easy approach to the classic Louisiana meal

When I was growing up, I thought shrimp gumbo was one of those meals that

a.) Could only possibly be made on special occasions,

b.) Had to be made in a volume so large it could feed a football team, and of course jambalaya HAD to be made alongside it…in a volume so large it could feed the state of Wyoming, and

c.) Needed to be prepared by someone who had a great deal of experience living in Louisiana…and probably that person was wearing hand-crafted alligator boots while fashioning up said shrimp gumbo and also knew how to play in banjo in addition to being a badass cook and alligator hunter (<-I’m nothing if not imaginative).

I had these pre-fabricated notions probably because the first time I consumed shrimp gumbo, it was on a special occasion made by someone who came from Louisiana, filled two of my family’s ginormous stock pots to the brim, AND was prepared in conjunction with jambalaya. Needless to say, on the list of Meals I Couldn’t Possibly Pull Off shrimp gumbo went (as did jambalaya).

But after I learned the fine art of Fake it Until You Make It in my mid-twenties, I realized I could me-ify the crap out of shrimp gumbo to

a.) Make it an everyday meal,

b.) Scale it down to feed 4 – 6, and

c.) Pretend I had an aggressive amount of experience living on a bayou with an air boat and the finest of all the alligator boots..

…because fantasy can take you surprisingly far.

Shrimp Gumbo Soup is a modern take on the classic Lousiana dish. This recipe requires only 45 minutes and is gluten-free

That catches us up to today. I’m showing you my go-to shrimp gumbo recipe which is gluten-free (gumbo is often made with roux), only requires about 30 – 45 minutes to make, and can be prepared any ol’ night of the week.

For me, shrimp gumbo is one of those instant gratification dishes. The fact that it’s big on flavor, is nice and filling, and (the way I make it) takes hardly any time to make always puts a smile on my face. All the more reason to make it a staple in my food life, amIright? MMMHMM!

If you’re already wide-eyed about the lack of authenticity about this dish, it gets better. I don’t use gumbo file in the recipe, or bouillon cubes, or butter, or margarine. I know…such a rebel.

I will say: a typical gumbo includes chicken, and I do love adding chicken to my gumboses from time to time. SO if you’re on team chicken, feel free to chop up a boneless skinless chicken breast and throw ‘er in.

Gumbo is typically served like a thick gravy with rice or corn grits, but I made this meal while I was doing Whole30 in January, so I skipped the rice and made a soup situation out of it. If you’re looking to add a little carb to the meal, definitely rice it up!

OR, you can also take the noodle approach by making the Shrimp Gumbo Pasta (<-just as authentic as this recipe, if not more) I posted umpteen years ago. 

I think that’s all you need to know for now in order to be successful at this dish. Alligator boots optional. Bluegrass music mandatory. Off you go!


Shrimp Gumbo Soup - a quick and easy approach to the classic Louisiana meal

Shrimp Gumbo Soup

Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Julia


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion see note*
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 2 bell peppers colors of choice, cored and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced, see note*
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound raw shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 andouille sausage links sliced, see note**
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley choped
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
  • 3 chives chopped, for serving


  1. Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and saute until onion begins to turn translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and garlic and continue cooking until garlic is very fragrant, about 3 minutes.

  2. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a full boil. Add the remaining ingredients and return to a gentle boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 20 minutes.

  3. Serve heaping bowls of shrimp gumbo with chives or green onion on top and enjoy! Note: the gumbo becomes even more flavorful as it sits, so this is a great recipe to make ahead of time and allow it to sit in the refrigerator 1 to 2 days before eating. 

Recipe Notes

*Omit the onion and garlic to make Low-FODMAP


**I use chicken andouille sausage, which comes pre-cooked


Never Miss a Post!


  1. Shirley

    I was just wondering what to make for dinner tonight, when I got your blog post. I will put on my pretend Louisiana style, complete with alligator boots, and whip us up some gumbo!

  2. Sue

    No gumbo file? I lived in TX and it is mandatory. It is dried and ground sassafras leaves and adds a very distinct taste. Not likely to find it in grocery stores; have to order it.

    1. Julia Post author

      That’s why I left it out. I’ve never seen gumbo file in a grocery store, and although I’m sure it’s worth buying online, I was fairly certain those who don’t carry it on-hand would be hard pressed to make the purchase unless they felt they would be using it regularly. I promise the gumbo is awesome without it 🙂

  3. Annie

    Gumbo soup? There isn’t such a thing.

    You made a soup. That’s it.

    Louisiana isn’t AT all like you described it.

    If you can’t do proper research, please stop blogging as if you actually have a clue about your subject.

    You can actually hurt a state’s tourism economy by posting such pablum.

    1. Julia Post author

      As I mentioned in the blog post, I realize there’s no such thing as Gumbo Soup…but isn’t there beauty in cooking creatively? Just a little? i’ll give you an example of this magic. There’s an entire segment of the internet dedicated to cookie bars, which is basically just a cookie recipe turned into a bar. Cookie bars are still delicious, even if they aren’t cookies. Are you following my logic?

      I didn’t really describe Lousiana in the post, so I’m not sure where the the accusation of it being described inaccurately is coming from. I went on a week-long road trip through Lousiana several years ago (complete with an air boat tour, I might add), so I’ve experienced its beauty first hand. I’m a huge fan of Lousiana and its food and culture.

      I apologize you found my blog post offensive, and I can assure you I had zero intention of ruffling up any feathers. I think if you knew me in real life you’d get the humor. Let me know if you ever make the gumbo soup. It’s a pretty good eat.

    2. Meesh

      Hey Julia,

      1. Debbie downer Annie up there needs to take a chill pill. I commend you for putting a healthy, low inflammatory, flavorful spin on gumbo for us foodies with autoimmune diseases who need to be mindful of food intake.

      2. What are your thoughts on preparing this in a crock pot? Think it can be done and will produce the same, yummy result? How about the rest of the soups you’ve posted thus far?

      3. I dig your website and recipes! Thanks for sharing. Paleo treats steered me in your direction and I’m so glad they did!

  4. Lynn C Deutsch

    Hi! I was a little skeptical last night when I printed the recipe but I happened to have everything in the fridge except the shrimp – which my 16 year old boy brought home. It was awesome! Loved it! Thank you.

  5. Jeannette

    Love gumbo, definitely going to try this recipe. I love cabbage, so I was wondering how it would taste with cabbage? What do you think?

    1. Julia Post author

      I absolutely love adding cabbage to soups and stews and think it would be lovely in this one! I bet the cabbage will give such a heartiness and comforting element to the soup and will also become so flavorful. I say go for it, and great idea! xo

  6. imagik

    Hi Julia, I made the gumbo soup today following your recipe with slight modification (I always modify recipes) and it turned out delicious. I’ve been searching for a gluten-free and healthy version of a gumbo soup and found yours just perfect.

    I am on a high-protein and low-carb diet, so first I made a chicken broth from scratch as I always do, and then followed your recipe, but saved the chicken from the stock and fried it with a Polish sausage (kielbasa) instead of the andouille sausage, garlic, onion, celery stalks, green bell pepper and Cajun spices plus lots of thyme, oregano, some marjoram, cayenne pepper, paprika, etc. When I realized I had no diced tomatoes, I drove to the nearest supermarket and got a can of diced tomatoes, frozen shrimp, fresh okra, and some fresh coriander. I searched for a gumbo file and sassafras but could not find it. I live in Toronto, Canada, so no surprise that my supermarket does not carry the Louisiana spices. But, no problem, I threw in more Cajun spices I had left from my trip to New Orleans years before.

    I combined the fried ingredients with the chicken stock, added diced tomatoes, okra, shrimp and a little bit of brown rice and let it cook for another 20 minutes or so. I served the thick gumbo soup with fresh coriander instead of chives and it was wonderful. My husband loved it.

    So, thank you so much for this great recipe. Like you, I believe in creative cooking, improvisation, and I am never super strict with recipes. Cooking is fun and often new dishes are invented when we change things or substitute ingredients, etc.

    Love your blog! Keep it up, and stay creative and witty when getting emails like the one from Annie. 🙂

  7. Sara Montague

    made this for dinner last night and was beyond satisfied .. I made a few additions and such.. I sautéed shrimp and chicken first with a little cajun seasoning cause I am weird and always paranoid about the meats and used a precooked organic kielbasa i found at the market( that one as the recipe instructed) I added celery, bay leaf, black pepper and some red pepper flakes. then added a 1/3 cup of cooked cauliflower rice to the finished bowl of soup.. my husband and I absolutely love it ! and are looking forward to leftovers tonight.. we used to make gumbo a lot before I started eliminating inflammatory foods.. so this was our first gumbo since and I feel no need to go back! in fact I like it better because it is less oily and I really could eat it just like a soup!!! and the best part is that I felt great after eating a huge bowl 🙂
    thank you

    1. Julia Post author

      Oooh la la, that all sounds great, Sara! I’m so happy you and your husband love it! Enjoy those leftovers, and thanks so much for the sweet note! 😀

  8. Terry

    OMG – delicious. So glad I found this I made your recommended modifications for a low Fodmap diet and it all worked out so well. So flavorful. Added some chopped jalapeños (from my garden) and used regular Italian sausage as I couldn’t find the chicken andouille. Definitely feel sitting it overnight was a key, as it was so much more flavorful the next day. Thank Your for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.