How Can I Thicken Gumbo? Gumbo Thickening Made Simple

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Gumbo is a traditional southern American cuisine in Louisiana and throughout the Gulf Coast.

Gumbo is cooked with chicken, okra, rice, and various seasonings depending on where you are in Louisiana.

It was initially created by West African slaves to utilize every component of the animals they killed or cultivated.

Gumbo is eaten with your hands and comes in a variety of flavors.

This meal is now available at restaurants as well as at home. Gumbo is simple to prepare yet time-consuming.

It will keep for approximately an hour after it is created before you can consume it. Gumbo is a fantastic meal, however it becomes quite runny when served.

The thickness of the gumbo is determined by how long it is cooked and if thickening is added.

There are several methods to thicken your gumbo using ingredients from your pantry or grocery store.

Continue reading to discover more about thickening gumbo.

How Do You Make Gumbo?

First, gather all of the ingredients. Obtain a big saucepan large enough to hold all of your ingredients.

In the big saucepan, add some frying oil and the onions.

Poultry seasoning, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, celery seeds (optional), thyme leaves (optional), tomato sauce (can or ketchup), and chicken stock are also called for in the recipe (from a box).

Collect your spices, celery seeds, thyme leaves, and tomato sauce.

If you want extra spice in your gumbo, combine all three of the ingredients suggested above.

Celery seeds are little round things that taste like celery, and thyme leaves are also small round things that taste like thyme.

The tomato sauce provides flavor to the gumbo rather than adding spice.

When your ingredients have been added to the pot and cooked for a few minutes, begin adding your rice for roughly 25 minutes to cook and beef stock from a box or bottled Beef broth for 20 minutes.

You may now add your chicken and okra after the gumbo has been simmering for around 45 minutes.

Continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes after adding the chicken.

The gumbo is finished after all of this is done correctly and cooked, along with certain thickening components that have been added.

Why Should You Consider Thickening Gumbo?

In a restaurant or at home menu, you may be offered extremely runny gumbo.

The broth is often prepared with chicken stock, okra, and tomatoes.

Seasonings such as garlic powder, celery seeds, thyme leaves, and other spices may be used to enhance the taste.

Regardless of taste, the soup is really watery. Gumbo thickener may transform this watery liquid into a thick, rich, and substantial meal.

The thicker the gumbo, the less likely you will get dirty eating it with your hands.

How Can I Thicken Gumbo?

The consistency of the gumbo is determined by how long it is cooked and whether or not thickener is added.

There are several methods to thicken a gumbo using products from your kitchen or a nearby grocery shop.

The most frequent approach to thicken gumbo is to incorporate a roux of flour, butter, and oil into the soup.

1 Insert Roux

To prepare a roux, add oil to the pot where the gumbo is cooking.

Any sort of cooking oil will do; vegetable or olive oil will work just as well as coconut or peanut oil.

Fill the bottom of the saucepan with approximately 3 inches of oil. Pour in the butter and flour.

The butter and flour will combine to form a mixture known as a roux. Whisk together the roux until it is thick and white.

If you don’t think the roux is salty enough, season it with salt to taste. Continue to whisk until the mixture gets a light brown hue.

2 Mix in the cornstarch

The next method for thickening gumbo is to add cornstarch.

Pour in roughly 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, followed by 2 tablespoons of chicken broth.

The corn starch will be absorbed by the broth and thicken it until there is no visible cornstarch while stirring.

3 Mix in the flour

Flour, like cornstarch, may be added in the same manner. Pour 1 tablespoon of flour into the saucepan, followed by 1 cup of chicken broth.

The flour will be absorbed by the broth and thicken it until there is no visible flour while stirring.

If you don’t have cornstarch or don’t want to make a roux, this is an excellent thickening option to try.

4 Combine a Vegetable Soup Base

A thick vegetable soup foundation will provide fantastic flavor to the gumbo and make it thicker than water.

Pour in 1 pack of vegetable soup base. 1 cup of water should be added to the saucepan and stirred until dissolved.

Then gradually add additional water until you achieve the desired thickness.

5 Let it to Simmer

If you don’t want to contribute anything or don’t have any on hand, simply leave it alone.

If you don’t have time to wait for your gumbo to thicken, simmering will take around 10 minutes longer.

If you’re in a hurry, just add some cornstarch or flour and it’ll be ready to eat in no time.

6 Pour in the Cream of Chicken Soup

Cream of chicken soup may also be used to thicken gumbo.

Add 1 can of cream of chicken soup, then whisk it into the stock until it dissolves.

Let for a few minutes extra cooking time before serving.

7 Stir in the cornmeal grits

This is one of the most common ways to thicken gumbo.

Add 1 cup of cornmeal, then add water and stir until the cornmeal is smooth and free of lumps.

While adding the mixture to the saucepan, be careful to stir in one direction smoothly to avoid clumps; add as much water as required to get the desired consistency.

8 Include bread

Put a couple of pieces of bread into the gumbo. Do not cut the bread; just toss it in whole.

The goal is to ensure that all of the small bits of bread are soaked in the gumbo soup so that there is no unsoaked bread as it travels down your throat.

You have the option of cutting the bread. Let it to soak for approximately 10 minutes, or until it softens, then discard any leftovers.


There are several methods to thicken gumbo, but the most essential factor is that you prepare it the way you want it.

You may make it as thin or as thick as you want. Just keep in mind to create it according to your preferences and the recipe you’re using.

Good luck with this recipe, and enjoy your gumbo thickened to your liking.


What makes gumbo thick?

Gumbo is substantially heavier than a normal soup, with a thick, almost viscous broth. And the most popular way to do this is to make a roux, which is made by heating flour and oil together until they thicken and darken. Gumbo may also be thickened with file, which is just powdered dried sassafras leaves.

Why is my gumbo soupy?

Inadequate Flour Use

The roux will be runny if you don’t use enough flour. “Often times, individuals do not cook the roux thick enough, resulting in a gumbo that is more like a soup than a stew,” Dickensauge explains. You want to add enough flour to your fat to make a paste-like roux.

How long does it take for gumbo file to thicken?

The longer you cook it, the darker and thicker your sauce will be. The lengthy cooking period properly blends all of the flavors while thickening your gumbo. After three hours of cooking, you should have a rich crimson sauce. You may reduce the cooking time to get a lighter sauce.

Should gumbo be thick or runny?

Cooking gumbo shouldn’t be difficult, but there are a few techniques to attaining that signature flavor. It should be a little thicker than a soup. Thickeners like roux, okra, and filé powder may help with this. These provide taste as well, but you don’t need all three.

What seasoning thickens gumbo?

File powder, derived from powdered dried sassafras leaves, is used to flavor and thicken gumbos and other foods in Creole and Cajun cuisine cooking. Gumbo is a stew that is often thickened with okra seedpods, a flour-to-fat combination called roux, and file powder.

What are the 2 rules of gumbo?

Check out Jude Walker’s compilation of the 10 commandments of gumbo to guarantee you never make a mistake.
1 – Thou Shalt Not Eat Tomatoes If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the Disney people, it’s this.
II – Do Not Use Non-Cajun Sausage Only approved merchants may provide sausage for your gumbo.
More to come…
•Jan 22, 2018

What is the secret to good gumbo?

The Roux is the secret to this dish!

The secret to every outstanding gumbo recipe is a “roux,” which is produced with two ingredients: wheat and oil. The flour and oil are heated and mixed together for approximately 30-45 minutes, or until it becomes a dark brown color, almost like mud or chocolate, and has the consistency of dough.

How do you fix soupy sauce?

Flour is the most widely accessible sauce thickening. If your sauce is too thin, consider adding a slurry (equal parts flour and water whisked together) or beurre manie (equal parts melted butter and flour kneaded together to produce a paste)—both are excellent thickeners for rich and creamy sauces like steak sauce.

How long should you simmer gumbo?

Bring the roux and stock to a medium boil once incorporated. Continue to cook, removing any foam or excess oil that rises to the top, until the sauce is thickened and delicious, approximately 2 hours. While the sauce is boiling, brown the sausage in a large pan over medium-high heat. Gumbo may be made using sausage.

Do you cover gumbo while cooking?

Bring the ingredients to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 1 hour, uncovered and stirring regularly.

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