Big Charlie's Gumbo Recipe -
Big Charlie's Gumbo Recipe
  • READY IN 4 hr

Big Charlie's Gumbo

Recipe by  

"This is a basic gumbo recipe with a lot of added flavor. You can omit the stew meat if you choose or add something in its place. I recommend you serve this recipe over rice, like many other gumbo recipes."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 10 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    3 hrs 30 mins

    4 hrs


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, onions, celery and okra, stirring constantly until golden brown. Set aside.
  2. In a large heavy bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat, combine 1/4 cup of butter and flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until the roux becomes chocolate brown. Stir in the vegetable mixture, and stew meat. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender, and meat is evenly brown. Stir in water, tomatoes and sugar. Season with parsley, thyme, bay leaves, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add shrimp, crabmeat and andouille to stock pot. Stir in hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Remove seeds from lemon and squeeze juice into stock pot. Simmer an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves, sprinkle with file powder, and serve.
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  • Note
  • File powder can be added off the heat to thicken the gumbo. If added while the gumbo is still cooking, it may become stringy and unpleasant. File powder is ground sassafras leaves. It is available in many supermarkets.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
May 10, 2007

1st gumbo i made and haven't had to try any others...made this multiple times, by the book and with alterations, personal best is as such... use 1/3 cup flour and butter and take your time when making the roux (until deep brown), do stir constantly, it will be fine... fresh okra, venison rather than beef, vegetable juice instead of water, dbl the cayenne pepper, dbl the hot sauce (a habenero xxx or hellfire), add a extra 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, use high grade andouille sausage (ordered from jacob's in louisiana on-line, hard to get top-line in michigan), king crab, extra 1/2 cup celery, and although cognizent of the ol cajun addage, "never add file when using okra, as they cancel each other taste" i do add a tspn of file just as cooking is finished as well as encourage addition to individual bowls before eating...the finished product has a bite as cajun should but is not uncomfortable by any means...this recipe is always a big hit at group gatherings and expect recipes requests...thanks eric

Most Helpful Critical Review
Apr 12, 2011

It came out okay, but it did not have the "gumbo flavor" I've had out of New Orleans, so I added some Zataran's gumbo seasoning to give it a kick.

Oct 17, 2003

This Gumbo was wonderful!! I made it for my husbands 50th birthday dinner. It does take quite a bit of time to make but it was worth every minute. I left out the stew beef and added anduille sausage to it, gave it that extra bite. My best friend told me that it was THE best meal I had ever cooked and coming from her, that was a major compliment!!

Oct 17, 2003

This recipe is exceptional. I left out the beef, and served it over rice, it was quite good that way, I didn't feel that anything was missing. The andouille sausage adds a LOT of flavor, you really shouldn't substitute anything else for it. Splash in some Tabasco, and you're in heaven; this meal is incredible

Nov 19, 2007

Great recipe. I took out the beef and added a 3 pound rotisserie chicken (pulled and stringed). Also made crawfish cornbread to compliment. Next time I will use rock shrimp because I prefer whole shrimp, and the ones I got had to be cut down. I simmered for an extra hour before adding meat and then simmered for another hour before adding file powder, just to make sure the flavors were more combined. Was a huge hit with my friends.

Sep 19, 2005

My boyfriend owns a bar, and I made this gumbo for his Mardi gras celebration this year, and everyone LOVED it. I get requests for it all the time. Now that football season is underway I'll be making it again. Thanks!!!!

Jan 25, 2008

Delicious! I did substitute scallops for the beef. Great recipe as written. My hot sauce was habanero.

Feb 14, 2004

I thought this recipe was awesome. Very spicy. I did add oysters to the mix tho. For someone like myself that loves fiery food, this is a great recipe. now if i could just convince my family to eat it!


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  • Calories
  • 421 kcal
  • 21%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 15.2 g
  • 5%
  • Cholesterol
  • 147 mg
  • 49%
  • Fat
  • 26.9 g
  • 41%
  • Fiber
  • 3 g
  • 12%
  • Protein
  • 29.6 g
  • 59%
  • Sodium
  • 1032 mg
  • 41%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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