John Folse Gumbo Recipe: A Taste of Louisiana’s Culinary Heritage

Gumbo, a quintessential dish of Louisiana, embodies the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

With roots tracing back to West African, French, Spanish, and Native American influences, gumbo is a melting pot of flavors and traditions.

John Folse, a renowned Louisiana chef, has perfected his gumbo recipe over the years, capturing the essence of Louisiana’s culinary heritage.

This recipe combines savory meats, aromatic vegetables, and a flavorful roux to create a dish that is both comforting and complex.

Let’s embark on a culinary journey through the bayous of Louisiana with John Folse’s iconic gumbo recipe.


1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 large onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound andouille sausage, sliced

1 pound chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, diced

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 cups chicken stock

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

File powder for serving

Cooked white rice for serving


Large Dutch oven or stockpot

Wooden spoon or whisk

Chef’s knife

Cutting board

Measuring cups and spoons



Prepare the Roux:

In a large Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.

Gradually whisk in flour to create a smooth roux. Cook, stirring constantly, until the roux turns a rich brown color, about 30-45 minutes.

Sauté Aromatics:

Add chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, and minced garlic to the roux.

Cook until vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.

Add Meats:

Stir in sliced andouille sausage and diced chicken thighs.

Cook until meats are browned, about 8-10 minutes.


Pour in chicken stock and diced tomatoes.

Add bay leaves, dried thyme, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.

Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Add Shrimp:

Once the gumbo has simmered and flavors have melded, add peeled and deveined shrimp to the pot.

Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until shrimp are pink and cooked through.


Ladle gumbo over cooked white rice.

Sprinkle with file powder for added flavor, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy the taste of Louisiana!

Nutritional Facts

Serving Size: 1 cup of gumbo with rice

Calories: 380

Total Fat: 20g

Saturated Fat: 5g

Cholesterol: 110mg

Sodium: 900mg

Total Carbohydrates: 26g

Dietary Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 5g

Protein: 24g

Health Benefits

Gumbo offers a hearty and satisfying meal with a variety of nutritional benefits.

It’s rich in protein from the combination of chicken, shrimp, and sausage, which helps in muscle repair and growth.

The vegetables like onion, bell pepper, and celery provide essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

Additionally, the roux, made from vegetable oil and flour, adds a source of energy while contributing to the dish’s texture and flavor.

While gumbo can be high in sodium, using low-sodium chicken stock and controlling the amount of added salt can help moderate sodium intake.

Enjoying gumbo as part of a balanced diet provides a taste of Louisiana’s culinary heritage while nourishing the body with wholesome ingredients.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I use other types of meat in gumbo besides chicken, sausage, and shrimp?

Yes, traditional gumbo recipes often include a variety of meats such as duck, turkey, or even seafood like crab or crawfish.

Is it necessary to make a roux for gumbo?

Yes, the roux is essential for flavor and thickening the gumbo.

It adds a nutty richness and helps create the characteristic texture of the dish.

Can I make gumbo ahead of time?

Absolutely! Gumbo actually tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to develop.

Simply store it in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.

What can I substitute for file powder if I can’t find it?

If you can’t find file powder, you can omit it from the recipe.

It’s used as a thickening agent and has a subtle flavor, so its absence won’t greatly affect the dish.

How spicy is gumbo?

The level of spiciness in gumbo can vary depending on personal preference and the type of sausage used.

You can adjust the heat by choosing a spicier or milder sausage, or by adding hot sauce or Cajun seasoning to taste.

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