Instant Pot Gumbo

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Weeknight magic: use your Instant Pot to make this zesty, satisfying gumbo.

Instant Pot Gumbo close up shot

Like many dishes popular in the United States, gumbo is a descendant of many “ancestors” near and far: the West African flavors brought over by enslaved people during the 18th century in addition to Cajun, Creole, and Soul traditions. It is a stew, but one with a little Mardi Gras attitude to make it special.

While Louisiana is considered the home of gumbo, its popularity has spread nationwide, and every cook makes it a little differently. It is definitely one of those dishes that varies from place to place and from chef to chef. Some recipes skip tomatoes, some use a variety of sausages, and sliced okra can be a dealbreaker in some kitchens!

I like to pair it with rice or fresh cornbread, it makes for a hearty one-pot meal. Instead of keeping watch over a bubbling pot of gumbo all afternoon, the Instant Pot means you can have your gumbo ready in under an hour – even less if you’ve prepped all your meats and veggies ahead of time. Simplifying is a win-win here.

What is Andouille Sausage?

Andouille Sausage is originally a French sausage but in the U.S., you only see the Cajun variety, which is spicier than the original French. It is a doubly-smoked pork sausage and normally pre-cooked. The Cajun seasonings bring a bright, spicy, flavor to Instant Pot Gumbo without overwhelming the other flavors. Besides starring in gumbo, Andouille is also often used in another popular Cajun dish, jambalaya.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 8 oz Andouille Sausage sliced into wheels
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 1 Red pepper deseeded and diced
  • 1 Green pepper deseeded and diced
  • 2 sticks Celery diced
  • ¼ cup Butter
  • ¼ cup Flour
  • 2 pounds Chicken thigh boneless and skinless cubed
  • 2 x 14 oz cans Crushed Tomato
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 pound Prawns deshelled and deveined
Instant Pot Gumbo ingredients top shot

Preparation Steps

Step 1: Turn your instant pot on to saute and drizzle in the olive oil and then toss in the sausage, onion, garlic, red pepper, green pepper, and celery. Saute it for 5 – 8 minutes until it has softened a bit. Then remove it from the pot.

Instant Pot Gumbo top shot steps

Step 2: Add the butter into the pot and let it melt, then pour in the flour and use a rubber spatula or whisk to mix it. Let it cook, stirring constantly until the mixture turns a golden caramel color. 

Instant Pot Gumbo top shot steps

Step 3: Pour in the chicken, crushed tomato, stock, creole seasoning, and bay leaves. And a pinch of salt and pepper. Give it all a stir together then place the lid on and make sure it is securely fitted. Turn the instant pot on to manually select high pressure and let it cook for 15 minutes. 

Instant Pot Gumbo top shot steps

Step 4: Release the steam and then carefully remove the lid. Add in the prawns, stir it together. Place the instant pot back onto saute mode and let the prawns cook for 5 minutes. 

Instant Pot Gumbo top shot steps

Step 5: Taste your dish and see if you need to add more salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaves and serve as you like it.

Instant Pot Gumbo top shot steps

Top Tips For a Perfect Instant Pot Gumbo

  • When first sautéing the vegetables with the Andouille sausage, you are just softening the vegetables – they should not brown up. The sausage will brown a little, which is good.
  • In Step 2, you are making what is called a roux, which helps the gumbo to thicken. After slowly stirring the roux to life, use a plastic, flexible spatula or wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of your Instant Pot to make sure there are no traces stuck to the bottom of your pot. This will avoid any burned spots, which would affect the overall taste.
  • Use fresh spices! Check the expiration date on your Creole seasoning. If expired, toss it and replace with a fresh container. It makes a difference in a stew like this. And don’t forget the salt and pepper toward the end.
  • If using frozen shrimp, make sure they are thawed before tossing in at the end. They won’t take long at all to cook, and the texture will taste better.
Instant Pot Gumbo top shot featured image

FAQs

Can I use chicken broth instead of chicken stock?

Yes, in equal amounts. The flavor just won’t be as deep.

What is in Creole Seasoning?

Normally, some mix of black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, thyme, and oregano. If you can’t find a premade mixture, you can add any combination of those individual spices to taste.

Why do the bay leaves get removed before serving?

Mainly because of taste and texture. To taste, they are bitter (although they leave behind a lovely herbal note in soups and stews). While they are great to have in your pot while cooking, they do not soften while cooking like most ingredients, so it’s best to take them out before serving.

Instant Pot Gumbo top shot

Serving Suggestions

Hot white rice or cornbread are the best accompaniments to Instant Pot Gumbo. Some Southerners also serve buttery snack crackers alongside it as well. Since it is so full of flavor and contains such a wide variety of ingredients, less is more.

How to Store

Instant Pot Gumbo can definitely made ahead; just allow it to cool before refrigerating. Made ahead or as leftovers, it can be refrigerated for up to 4-5 days. It freezes well, whether you’re freezing to enjoy later or a small portion of leftovers. Just let any frozen portions thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Instant Pot Gumbo close up shot
Instant Pot Gumbo close up shot

Instant Pot Gumbo

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 8 oz Andouille Sausage sliced into wheels
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 1 Red pepper deseeded and diced
  • 1 Green pepper deseeded and diced
  • 2 sticks Celery diced
  • ¼ cup Butter
  • ¼ cup Flour
  • 2 pounds Chicken thigh boneless and skinless cubed
  • 2 x 14 oz cans Crushed Tomato
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 pound Prawns deshelled and deveined

Instructions
 

  • Turn your instant pot on to saute and drizzle in the olive oil and then toss in the sausage, onion, garlic, red pepper, green pepper, and celery. Saute it for 5 – 8 minutes until it has softened a bit. Then remove it from the pot.
  • Add the butter into the pot and let it melt, then pour in the flour and use a rubber spatula or whisk to mix it. Let it cook, stirring constantly until the mixture turns a golden caramel color. 
  • Pour in the chicken, crushed tomato, stock, creole seasoning, and bay leaves. And a pinch of salt and pepper. Give it all a stir together then place the lid on and make sure it is securely fitted. Turn the instant pot on to manually select high pressure and let it cook for 15 minutes. 
  • Release the steam and then carefully remove the lid. Add in the prawns, stir it together. Place the instant pot back onto saute mode and let the prawns cook for 5 minutes.
  • Taste your dish and see if you need to add more salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaves and serve as you like it.
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