Bayou Vermilion Shrimp and Crab Gumbo

Shrimp and Crab Gumbo

Gumbo embodies the diverse cultures of south Louisiana with seamless perfection and brings us together around the table. It’s pure comfort over rice, and nourishes the soul right down to the last inexplicably opulent bite. In this version of shrimp and crab gumbo, we’ve included a rich shrimp stock, spicy andouille sausage, and decadent lump crabmeat. Whether you serve this Shrimp and Crab Gumbo at a dinner party, a tailgate, or as the centerpiece of your holiday table, we’re sure it will be a hit.

Bayou Vermilion Shrimp and Crab Gumbo
Serves 6
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  1. 2 pounds unpeeled extra-jumbo fresh shrimp
  2. ½ cup butter, divided
  3. 8 cups water
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 2 stalks celery, chopped
  6. 3 bay leaves, divided
  7. 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  8. ½ cup vegetable oil
  9. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  10. 2 cups finely chopped onion
  11. 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  12. 1 cup finely chopped celery
  13. 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  14. 1 (12-ounce) bottle amber beer
  15. 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  16. 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  17. 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  18. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  19. 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  20. 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked free of shell
  21. Hot cooked white rice, for serving
  22. Garnish: chopped parsley and green onion
  1. Peel and devein shrimp, reserving shells. Refrigerate shrimp. In a 3-quart saucepan, melt ¼ cup butter over medium heat. Add shrimp shells, and cook until pink. Add 8 cups water, onion, chopped celery, and 1 bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven, add sausage, and cook over medium heat until golden; remove with a slotted spoon, and let drain on paper towels.
  3. Add oil and remaining ¼ cup butter to pot, and heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes; add flour, and whisk until smooth. Cook, whisking frequently, until roux is dark brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Add onion, bell pepper, and finely chopped celery; cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender, about 15 minutes. Add garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add beer, and stir to combine.
  5. Strain shrimp stock through a fine-mesh sieve into Dutch oven; discard solids. Add reserved sausage, Cajun seasoning, salt, thyme, cayenne, Worcestershire, and remaining 2 bay leaves. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer 11/2 hours.
  6. Remove from heat, and stir in shrimp. Let stand until shrimp are pink and firm, about 3 minutes; add crabmeat, and stir gently to combine. Serve with rice and parsley.
Louisiana Cookin


  1. As a Chef, cook and writer too. For very large parties when ordering celery it is by heads or stalks around 8 to 10 to one bunch so I would have to agree with R.Vann that I would change the recipe to to ribs. But today if you would walk down the street and ask Jane Doe or Jack Smith what they would call one single piece a whole head of celery is called they will say a “stalk”, what it has come to mean. So a single “stick” from the stalk is a rib. But recipe organize cookbook use rib for sizing. So if you plan to put this in one and plan to change there recipe to size it larger or smaller. Like for me and my wife just the 2 of us we love these recipes but we can eat all that so I always cut them in half or less. Some dictionaries use the accurate but clunky term “leafstalk” for a single rib. Which now makes me crazy too.

    • Indeed, “leafstalk” might be the most accurate (and clunky!), but because we are a national magazine we have to try to stick to a standard that most readers will understand.

      • I worked in a grocer’s produce department through my younger years (through most of the 80’s). A celery stalk and rib were synonymous terms, the whole harvested plant was called a ‘head of celery’. Related order forms and advertisements were worded as such. If the terms were being misused, it was an industry-wide misuse.

  2. The Bayou Vermilion Gumbo was the best gumbo I have ever made. I felt completed transported to the Bayou with each bite it is a keeper in my repertoire of recipes.

  3. ..again, after a year of testing other gumbo recipes this is by far my favorite! It is superior in flavor and holds true to everything I associate with “real” gumbo. I can not sing this recipe’s praises loud enough!

  4. This is the 4th “annual” making of this recipe. I didn’t realize that I crave it in the cold until I went hunting up the recipe and realized I have made this every year since 2015. Today, my husband and I spent a pleasant Saturday in the kitchen with this recipe. I am originally from the Gulf Coast at the LA/TX border and grew up eating so many wonderful Creole and Cajun dishes – and miss the cuisines so much. Subscribing to your magazine keeps me connected. I held my breath last year because my husband came home with a bottle of stout called “Old Crank Case” and it was black as midnight so I worried it was going to be a disappointment (or worse). Well, it added a depth and richness we loved – so this year it is intentional that we added an Imperial Stout by the name of Night Tripper. it’s fragrancing the house as I write on this dreary, cold, February day in Connecticut. It is a winner!

  5. I dont know about ya’ll, but I go ahead and add a little file’ in my gumbo. I’m from S.E. TEXAS and Louisiana border too and gumbo just isn’t right without file’.

  6. And yes, again in 2022, it’s what’s for dinner on this snowy CT day in February! Every February-and I don’t plan it!

  7. I made this for my neighborhood Fat Tuesday on 3/5/2023. Can’t get my roux dark brown but the gumbo i made was amazing. I will be using this recipe again. I had a gallon size bag of shells in the freezer which i added to the shells from today’s shrimp. The stock was amazing.


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