Gumbo-laya is my delicious mash-up recipe of a combination of two Louisiana favorites, gumbo and jambalaya! Filled with sausage, shrimp, chicken and spices, a bowl of this warming recipe makes for a rich, hearty and comforting meal!
Gumbo and Jambalaya Get “Mashed up” For Gumbo-laya
The folks of Louisiana sure are proud of their gumbo and their jambalaya, as they should be. Both dishes are utterly delicious and super cozy!
Full of incredible flavor, jambalaya and gumbo make use of that amazing trinity of onion, celery and bell pepper, plus spices and add-ins that create a rich and hearty stew-like consistency.
But the two are not the same, and here some differences:
Gumbo does not include tomatoes, and typically uses a thickener such as a roux, file, or okra. The rice? That’s cooked up separately and served on the side. It can also be quite dark in color, since it’s quite common for the roux to be cooked for hours to produce that level of depth.
Jambalaya, on the other hand, does make use of a tomato base, and the rice is cooked directly in the pot along with the veggies, usually some sausage, chicken, and shrimp, making for a thicker finished dish.
Because both gumbo and jambalaya are equally amazing and delicious in my book, I thought I’d bring the two together as a mash-up to prepare this gumbo-laya recipe that’s the best of both worlds!
How to Make My Gumbo-laya
My gumbo-laya recipe makes use of one of my favorite veggies, okra. Perhaps I’m a bit strange, but I love the stuff.
And while okra may need some getting used to due to its unique consistency, it’s a perfect thickener and add-in to this mash-up recipe, and comes from the gumbo side of things.
As for a bit of a jambalaya influence, I use tomatoes as a base for this recipe rather than a roux.
Of course the onion, celery, and bell pepper trinity is added for flavor, along with some smoky sausage, some chicken and shrimp, and these are all ingredients that both gumbo and jambalaya typically can include.
When it comes to the rice, I prefer to cook it separately rather than directly in the pot with the other ingredients in order to control the thickness. I also prepare it using fragrant jasmine rice and garlic, and have included the recipe for that below!
Here’s a quick glance at my Gumbo-laya recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe further down…)
- To get my sausage and chicken nice and caramelized, I like to cook that meat first over high heat and then remove it from the pot.
- Next, I get those aromatics going by adding in my trinity of veggies followed by my seasonings.
- I create the flavorful tomato base next, then add in my stock, and add back into my pot my sausage and chicken along with the okra, and allow things to simmer just until cooked.
- While the gumbo-laya simmers, I prep my fragrant garlic rice, and keep it warm.
- At the very end of the simmering process, I add in my shrimp and simmer just until cooked through, then ladle my gumbo-laya over the fragrant garlic rice.
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 705 calories (with about 1 cup cooked rice)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound spicy andouille (or smoked) sausage, sliced
- 8 chicken tenderloins (or 2 skinless/boneless chicken breasts), cut into bite-size pieces
- Black pepper
- 3 ribs of celery, finely diced
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 large bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon, heaping, tomato paste
- 1/2 pound okra, sliced into 1/4 – 1/2” thick slices
- 1 (28 oz) can organic diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 cups warm chicken stock
- 1/2 pound peeled and cleaned, medium size shrimp (raw)
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
Fragrant Garlic Rice Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 2 cups jasmine rice (un-rinsed)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 3 cups water
- Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil; once the oil is hot, add the sliced sausage in, and allow it to caramelize and brown for a few minutes; once well browned, remove the sausage from the pot, and set it aside for a moment.
- Next, add the chicken pieces into the pot along with a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper, and allow them to brown in the oil/sausage drippings for about 2-3 minutes; remove the chicken pieces from the pot, and set aside for a moment.
- To the same pot add in the diced celery, onion and bell pepper, and caramelize it for about 2-3 minutes in the oil, then add in the bay leaves, the Creole seasoning, the cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and stir to combine.
- Add in the garlic and stir, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste, and cook for about 1 minute to cook out the “raw” tomato flavor; add in the sliced okra, the diced tomatoes with juice, the hot chicken stock, as well as the browned sausage and chicken, and stir to combine.
- Allow the gumbo-laya to simmer gently on low/medium-low, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- While the gumbo-laya simmers, prepare the fragrant garlic rice: place a medium pot over medium-high heat, and add in the olive oil; once hot, add in the pressed garlic, and stir to combine; once the garlic becomes fragrant, add in the rice, the salt and the pepper and stir, and allow the rice to “toast” in the garlic oil for about 2 minutes.
- Next, add in the water, stir, and simmer the rice, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until tender; turn off the heat, and after 5 minutes, fluff with fork and keep warm.
- After the gumbo-laya has simmered for 20 minutes, add in the shrimp (you can season it with a sprinkle of salt/pepper if you wish), and simmer for only 2-3 minutes more as to not overcook it.
- Finish the gumbo-laya by stirring in the chopped parsley and cilantro, and serve over the garlic rice with some additional spice/heat options like hot sauce, red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, if desired.
Tips & Tidbits for my Gumbo-laya:
- Make ahead, but leave out the shrimp until the day of: You can easily prepare this recipe ahead of time, just hold off on adding the shrimp until the day you’d like to serve it to keep from over-cooked shrimp. On the day of, just reheat until simmering, then add in your shrimp and simmer for a few minutes more, until cooked through.
- Browning is the key to deep flavor: Brown your ingredients very well, until nice and caramelized, to impart the most flavor and richness. Get the sausage nice and brown, as well as the onion, celery and bell peppers.
- Spice as you wish: I like my gumbo-laya spicy, but the levels in this recipe are more on the medium to mild side. Feel free to add more cayenne for more heat, perhaps even a few dashes of hot sauce at the end, or even a sliced jalapeno!
- Time creates depth: The longer this stew sits, the better it becomes and the richer the flavor. You’ll find that a couple days after you’ve prepared it, the flavors will intensify, so feel free to enjoy leftovers for 2-3 days (if you have any, that is).
Cook’s Note: This recipe was originally published in 2013, and has been updated with even more love!