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"Nobody Can Be You" Instant Pot Gumbo

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This instant pot gumbo is da real deal! It’s got that classic cajun gumbo flavor and consistency but cooked in less time and with less elbow grease applied.

Spicy andouille sausage and a medley of seafood are combined for a hearty, comforting gumbo.

gumbo with rice and seafood in a white bowl

MOOD MUSIC

Steve Arrington’s “Nobody Can Be You” is my jam! It’s got a little boogie, a lot of funk and grooviness laced with nice percussion play. In my mind and soul, that’s how gumbo hits for me. You got a little bit of everything going on, but it all works together for something incredible, balanced, and in harmony when done right.

And like the song title suggests every gumbo is unique to the cook. It’s flexible enough for anyone to use their preferred ingredients. Make it for you, how you like it and don’t let yourself stand in your way!

Instant Pot Gumbo Ingredients

The ingredient list appears long, but you have great flexibility in what you include or not.

  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Andouille Sausage
  • Fresh Oysters
  • Shrimp
  • Crawfish
  • Bell Pepper
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dried Thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Bay Leaf
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Chicken Stock
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Fish Sauce
  • Okra
  • Gumbo File Powder

How To Cook Gumbo In An Instant Pot

Make The Roux

Mix the flour and melted fat or oil in cast iron skillet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place skillet on lower rack and allow to cook. You may need to stir well once or twice depending on how long you let it cook. A super dark roux will take you somewhere close to 45  minutes give or take a few. Set the roux aside when done.

Make The Gumbo

Turn Instant Pot on and using the “Saute” settings heat on medium/normal until display reads “Hot.” Add a tablespoon oil and brown the sausage. Remove the sausage and set on a paper towel lined plate.

Add the roux to the instant pot. Then add the onions, celery, peppers and saute a bit. Add about ¼ of the spice mix and stir. Mix in the garlic and fresh thyme.

Add in the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, bay leaf, and half of the remaining spices. Stir well with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom to deglaze the pan. 

Add the sausage back plus a little more seasoning. Add the okra on top. Cancel the “Saute” then add the lid, close and seal. Pressure cook for 6 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then manually release remaining pressure.

Add okra. Cancel the saute. Add the sausage back and give a quick stir. Close, seal and pressure cook for 7 minutes. Natural release another 15 minutes. Then manually release remaining pressure.

Open, add seafood ingredients plus the file and the last of the spice mix. Saute on medium 5-10 minutes.

Serve with bread, green onions, and parsley

gumbo with rice and seafood in a white bowl

Tips and Considerations For Cooking Cajun Gumbo In An Instant Pot

Trust me, it’s simpler and easiest to bake your roux in the oven. You can certainly make the roux in the instant pot, but you don’t get that dark chocolatey color I prefer. 

Roux is equal parts flour and fat. The recipe call for butter, but you can use your preferred. For me I like half butter and half duck fat. Dark fat is rich and deeply flavored. If butter makes everything better, then duck fat makes everything great.

Roux color is up to you. The darker = the more complex, but obviously takes longer to make.

Seafood choice is a personal thing. As a matter of fact that’s the beauty of gumbo, beyond the core ingredients (roux and holy trinity of celery, onions, and peppers) you have a lot of flexibility. I had easy access to crawfish and oysters so I included both along with the shrimp. Crab meat or legs/claws are options as well.

Fish Sauce is a non-traditional add but sneaky good in this gumbo. I like Red Boat personally. It’s umami-rich flavor-wise and plays well with the Worcestershire sauce to add more depth to the gumbo. 

Fresh thyme is another big time flavor boost. I like including both fresh and dried thyme. The dried thyme gives that slow release thyme flavor that is totally infused to the dish, while the fresh version gives that herbal essence that you smell and taste right off the top.

Commercial “Cajun seasoning mixes” are ok, but for maximum flavor make your own. Store bought pre-mixed stuff don’t have enough paprika flavor for my taste and they’re heavy on the salt side.

Season at every step as you go.

Make sure you deglaze the pan for both flavor and to avoid the dreaded “burn” issue that happens with Instant Pot cooking sometimes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is Gumbo File?

File is an herbal powder made ground up dried leaves native to eastern Africa. It is olive green in color and found in small bottles in any spice aisle at a grocery store.

How Do You Thicken Gumbo?

Thickening comes from the okra or file. You can use one or the other or both. I’m a both guy. If you’re using gumbo file keep in mind a little goes a long way. 

Can I Use Frozen Okra?

Definitely, feel free to use frozen okra. It’s what I use when okra is out of season. Just let it thaw first.

Can You Make Gumbo Without A Roux?

Sure, but it won’t be authentic, nor as good. Take the time, it’s worth the effort.

Do I Have To Shuck the Oysters?

Well, you'll definitely want to use shucked oysters. Whether you shuck them yourself or buy them pre-shucked is up to you. Most seafood spots and specialty grocery stores will have pre-shucked oysters for purchase. If you don't see them out, ask the fish guy behind the counter.

More Recipes

Duck and Sausage Gumbo

Gumbo Z'Herbes

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Cajun Beef Debris and Gravy

Instant Pot Beef Tips

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gumbo with rice and seafood in a white bowl

Instant Pot Gumbo w/ Sausage and Seafood

Delicious instant pot gumbo with that classic flavor & consistency, cooked in less time. Andouille sausage and seafood combine for hearty comforting gumbo
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cajun
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 609kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Equipment

  • instant pot

Ingredients

For the Roux

  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Melted Butter unsalted

For the Gumbo

  • 1 lb andouille sausage
  • 8 oz Fresh Oysters liquids included
  • 1 lb Shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb Crawfish tails
  • 1 Bell Pepper diced
  • 1 White Onion diced
  • 3 Celery ribs diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • ¼ cup Fresh Thyme
  • 5 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 1 lb Frozen Okra
  • ½ tablespoon Gumbo File Powder

Instructions

Make The Roux

  • Mix the flour and melted fat or oil in cast iron skillet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place skillet on lower rack and allow to cook. You may need to stir well once or twice depending on how long you let it cook. A super dark roux will take you somewhere close to 45 minutes give or take a few. Set the roux aside when done.

Make The Gumbo

  • Turn Instant Pot on and using the “Saute” settings heat on medium/normal until display reads “Hot.” Add a tablespoon oil and brown the sausage. Remove the sausage and set on a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add the roux to the instant pot. Then add the onions, celery, peppers and saute a bit. Add about ¼ of the spice mix and stir. Mix in the garlic and fresh thyme.
  • Add in the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, bay leaf, and half of the remaining spices. Stir well with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom to deglaze the pan.
  • Add the sausage back plus a little more seasoning. Add the okra on top. Cancel the “Saute” then add the lid, close and seal. Pressure cook for 6 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then manually release remaining pressure.
  • Open, add seafood ingredients plus the file and the last of the spice mix. Saute on medium 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve with bread, green onions, and parsley

Notes

Trust me, it’s simpler and easiest to bake your roux in the oven. You can certainly make the roux in the instant pot, but you don’t get that dark chocolatey color I prefer. 
Roux is equal parts flour and fat. The recipe call for butter, but you can use your preferred. For me I like half butter and half duck fat. Dark fat is rich and deeply flavored. If butter makes everything better, then duck fat makes everything great.
Roux color is up to you. The darker = the more complex, but obviously takes longer to make.
Seafood choice is a personal thing. As a matter of fact that’s the beauty of gumbo, beyond the core ingredients (roux and holy trinity of celery, onions, and peppers) you have a lot of flexibility. I had easy access to crawfish and oysters so I included both along with the shrimp. Crab meat or legs/claws are options as well.
Fish Sauce is a non-traditional add but sneaky good in this gumbo. I like Red Boat personally. It’s umami-rich flavor-wise and plays well with the Worcestershire sauce to add more depth to the gumbo. 
Fresh thyme is another big time flavor boost. I like including both fresh and dried thyme. The dried thyme gives that slow release thyme flavor that is totally infused to the dish, while the fresh version gives that herbal essence that you smell and taste right off the top.
Commercial “Cajun seasoning mixes” are ok, but for maximum flavor make your own. Store bought pre-mixed stuff don’t have enough paprika flavor for my taste and they’re heavy on the salt side.
Season at every step as you go.
Make sure you deglaze the pan for both flavor and to avoid the dreaded “burn” issue that happens with Instant Pot cooking sometimes.

Nutrition

Calories: 609kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 266mg | Sodium: 1870mg | Potassium: 691mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1844IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 4mg
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Recipe Rating




Big Frankie

Friday 23rd of April 2021

No sausage listed in 'ingredients', but instructions talk about sausage. Please add type and amount of sausage to ingredients. Thanks.

Marwin Brown

Friday 23rd of April 2021

Just updated. Thanks for catching and making me aware.

Addison

Sunday 21st of February 2021

This is such a hearty and flavorful dish! Bonus points that it's super easy and made in the IP!

Loreto and Nicoletta

Sunday 21st of February 2021

Your Gumbo looks so comforting! I just want to dip that bread into that Gumbo! Nice work and all in an instant pot! Brilliant!

Beth

Sunday 21st of February 2021

I've been looking for a good gumbo recipe and I can't wait to try this one. I've found everything except for the oysters and crawfish tails (it's Denver) and wonder if you'd double the shrimp or sub another meat like sausage? And that roux - oh my goodness, I wondered how you got that fantastic chocolate color.

Marwin Brown

Sunday 21st of February 2021

It's really your choice. You can't go wrong doubling wither one. Perhaps since its already seafood-heavy you can add more sausage.

Heidy

Saturday 20th of February 2021

Having lived in a little Parrish in LA for years, I am a little picky on Gumbo, but I have to hand it to you. This Instapot recipe is awesome. I am looking forward to your next post!