Gumbo is a delicious and often spicy stew, almost like a chili, that is the official state cuisine of Louisiana. It’s full of cajun and creole ingredients and flavors that excite the senses and warm the belly. If you love spicy dishes or hearty stews, you can’t go wrong with an easy weeknight gumbo.
But this can be difficult for vegans since gumbo traditionally has seafood and sausage in it. But don’t fear! Below are our favorite easy vegan gumbo recipes that will have any New Orleans local making yummy noises!
1. Vegan Gumbo By Delish Knowledge
For a straightforward and scrumptious vegan gumbo recipe, save this one from Delish Knowledge. While many recipes replace the sausage and seafood with a plant-based substitute, this recipe keeps it simple, using the veggies you’d expect in gumbo, and goes without the proteins.
It’s one of the easiest gumbos to make if you have all the ingredients in your kitchen. The recipe calls for jalapenos that give the gumbo the right amount of kick and keeps your taste buds on their toes.
The final result is a thick bowl of stew that warms the soul and excites your palette. One of the key ingredients is the fire-roasted tomatoes, which add a smoky and distinct flavor that every gumbo needs.
It also uses an unsweetened soy beverage which thickens and enhances the taste of the other ingredients. And Delish Knowledge mentions some optional vegan sausage if you need that extra protein.
2. Vegan Gumbo Louisiana Style By Chef Crafted Vegan Recipes
There are different styles of gumbo, but Louisiana is one of the most popular, thanks to the melding of rich southern flavors. In Louisiana, especially New Orleans, you can find gumbo on every menu, but finding a vegan one is trickier.
But thanks to Chef Crafted Vegan Recipes, you can enjoy these rich flavors without animal byproducts or proteins. The trick to nailing this recipe is being patient and making the perfect roux.
Roux is just flour mixed with vegan butter, or in this case, sunflower oil. But the roux provides a thick base, so you make gumbo and not just a bowl of soup. But after the roux, this recipe is a breeze, and you can cook everything in one pot to save time on dishes.
3. Vegan Cajun Gumbo By Hell Yes It’s Vegan
For an authentic cajun gumbo, make this recipe by Hell yes It’s Vegan. Cajun flavors are vibrant, spicy, and warm, offering southern flavors designed to highlight the decadence of seafood.
But even without the seafood, you can still achieve these incredible flavors. The ingredients are unique, including jackfruit chicken, hearts of palm seafood, and seitan sausage, which helps create that fishy spiced flavor you want from a gumbo.
Using tabasco sauce in this recipe is essential to achieving the right cajun flavor, so try not to substitute with a different hot sauce. And this vegan gumbo calls for a whole lot of species, so make sure your pantry is full or head to the grocery store before taking on this meal.
With creole seasoning, kelp granules, and more interesting ingredients, you’ll likely have to stop at the grocery store anyway.
4. Chef Charity Morgan’s Vegan Creole Gumbo Recipe By Thrillist
While cajun is delicious, creole gumbo is a little different, incorporating Caribbean flavors and steering away from the southern taste of Louisiana.
Chef Charity Morgan based the recipe on her grandmother’s meaty gumbo but managed to capture the flavor without using any animal byproducts or meats. The devil is in the details with this recipe.
Rather than table salt and pepper, use pink Himalayan salt and white pepper, which alters the flavor to have a deeper and more unique flavor. And this recipe calls for plant-based shrimp and a plant-based sausage or beef alternative because that’s what the Chef’s grandmother used in her recipe.
Don’t skimp on the ingredients in this one. It may seem like there are more ingredients than necessary, but that’s what gumbo is all about! The flavors combine to create a subtle taste that simply wouldn’t be there if you skip a few ingredients or make too many substitutions.
5. Healthy Vegan Cajun Gumbo With Okra By Not Enough Cinnamon
Gumbo is a hearty dish, but for vegans that want to prioritize nutrition in every meal, this is the perfect gumbo recipe. Not Enough Cinnamon swaps some traditional ingredients and replaces them with healthier options without sacrificing the vibrant flavor.
Plus, the result is colorful and enticing. And this recipe is a lot more accessible to children if you’re feeding little ones! This gumbo does away with any additional proteins and focuses on the veggies, adding cauliflower for an earthy flavor.
Not to worry, it still delivers the intense and delightful flavor every gumbo should. The okra and bell peppers complement each other beautifully, making for a loaded dish that warms the belly.
And one of the boldest ingredients in this recipe is the liquid smoke. So if you can get your hands on it, it’s the perfect addition to enhance the flavor.
6. Vegan Gumbo With Andouille Red Bean Meatballs By Connoisseurus Veg
Even if gumbo isn’t your favorite meal, you’ll want to save this recipe to make these andouille red bean meatballs that are out of this world.
They’re easy to make and have a fascinating umami flavor that could fool any meat-eater. The meatballs are peppery with a firm texture, so they hold their own against the fierce gumbo flavor. Interestingly, this recipe features soy sauce in place of Worcestershire.
The soy sauce adds a subtle sweetness, along with the salty flavor that elevates the meatballs and vegetables for a more decadent flavor.
The meatballs take less than 40 minutes to make and have a distinct flavor that will make your gumbo stand out. So consider saving this recipe for your next vegan gumbo contest if those exist.
7. Vegan Chicken and Sausage Gumbo By Emilie Eats
A vegan gumbo can be just as meaty and umami-flavored as any regular gumbo, don’t let the carnivorous tell you differently.
Emilie Eats offers this noteworthy gumbo recipe loaded with chicken and sausage, all plant-based, of course. It uses many alliums, like onions and garlic, so be prepared for that earthy roust flavor those vegetables offer.
And while the steps to make this recipe are easy-peasy, make sure you prepare ahead of time. When all is said and done, it takes about six hours to cook because the onions and smothered okra simmer for so long.
But the smothered okra makes this vegan gumbo unique and oh so flavorful. This recipe also includes soy curls, which may sound strange, but they have a similar texture to chicken and work as an excellent alternative.
8. Sweet Potato Vegan Gumbo By MasterCook
Sweet potatoes are a rich vegetable and blend perfectly with savory dishes, especially gumbo. If you have some extra sweet potatoes lying around your kitchen, this is the perfect opportunity to use them!
This recipe makes a peppery and spicy gumbo that is thick and velvety. And it has a prominent tomato flavor that balances well with the chunky sweet potatoes. The addition of wild rice elevates the dish for an earthy and rich flavor that makes you feel right at home no matter where you make this.
When you simmer the sweet potatoes in the flavorful gumbo mixture, they begin to soak up the spices and herbs, making them tastier than ever.
The combination of sweet potato and spicy hot sauce offers the ideal balance of flavors that will wow your guests and have them asking for seconds.
9. Instant Pot Lentil Gumbo By Cotter Crunch
People may not associate lentils with gumbo, but they’re one of the most fabulous ingredients to incorporate into this dish because of their soft texture and subtle nutty flavor.
This recipe is also one of the easiest on the list and can be done all in one pot in just 30 minutes. So if you want gumbo but don’t have time to let the vegetables and spices simmer for hours on the stove, this is the best recipe for you!
With celery, okra, cauliflower, and lentils, this is also one of the healthier gumbo recipes. It’s full of plant proteins and fiber but is still filling and comforting, the way a gumbo should be. And if you don’t want a super thick gumbo, this one skips the roux, so it’s a bit looser.
10. Chloé’s Vegan Gumbo Z’herbes By Cooks Without Borders
This gumbo recipe is all about the herbs, making for an aromatic and appetizing dish. Make sure you have all your herbs ready to go or visit a grocery store before starting Chloe Murphy’s fabulous vegan gumbo recipe.
You’ll need collards, kale, chard, turnip greens, watercress, dandelion greens, spinach, beet greens, arugula, bay leaves, mustard greens, and carrot tops. Not only is this recipe yummy and herbaceous, but you can use some ingredients you’d otherwise throw away, such as the carrot tops!
The recipe is also easy, essentially throwing everything into one pot and letting it simmer and meld for about two hours. But if you’re in a pinch or just super hungry, you can serve it after just one hour.
11. Spicy Vegan Gumbo By One Green Planet
If you love a super spicy meal that makes your eyes water and your sinuses clear, look no further than this fiery vegan gumbo by One Green Planet. It’s robust and delicious and super hot.
The addition of rice can help cool your tongue a bit but be warned that this recipe is not for the faint of heart. It features vegan chicken strips and vegan sausage for a meaty and loaded bowl of food.
The hefty serving of red pepper flakes gives this vegan gumbo its heat, but you can always load it up with your favorite hot sauce or some diced jalapeno peppers if you want a true five-alarm meal. But taste as you go so you don’t overdo it!
12. Spicy Louisiana Style Jackfruit Gumbo By A Vegan Gourmet
This vegan gumbo with jackfruit uses traditional New Orleans flavors and techniques to make it as close to a classic gumbo as possible. Along with green jackfruit, the recipe also uses vegan sausage to beef up the bowl, so it’s thick with different textures.
If you’ve never enjoyed jackfruit, you’re missing out, and this is your chance to give it a go! A crucial ingredient for this recipe is the two teaspoons of pickapeppa sauce. This sauce is a traditional Jamaican condiment, sometimes called Jamaican ketchup.
The sauce is peppery, sweet, sour, and spicy, bringing a distinct tang to the final dish. Plus, you’ll likely fall in love with it and be happy to have a small bottle in your home for other dishes.
13. Proper Vegan Gumbo (With Okra Andouille Sausage) By Earth To Veg
Earth To Veg has one of the best vegan gumbo recipes because it captures the perfect andouille flavor that most gumbos have in the sausage. But instead, it uses a vegan andouille sausage to deliver this taste.
This vegan gumbo recipe is one of the coziest and flavorsome dishes because it allows ingredients to simmer in an amber beer to enhance the flavors and lock in a rich taste. Try not to skip this step, as it’s worth running to the liquor store and grabbing a tallboy or sixpack!
Earth To Veg also recommends you serve this with potato salad, rather than the traditional side or base of rice.
Combining this zesty and chilled salad with a fiery and robust gumbo creates an explosion of flavor on your plate that will become one of your new favorite dinners. And it’s the perfect pairing for a picnic table.
14. Vegan Gumbo With White Beans and Greens By Food52
Try Food52’s white bean gumbo loaded with green vegetables for something a little different. Most gumbos are red or deep brown in color, thanks to all the seasonings and dark vegetables, but this recipe takes a different approach.
If the acidity present in tomatoes, peppers, and similar ingredients is not your favorite, you can still enjoy a yummy vegan gumbo if you follow this recipe.
With celery, sweet green peppers, bay leaves, collards, turnips, radish greens, and/or mustard greens, this dish is a lovely shade of green, different from most gumbos.
And the beans bring a unique and substantial texture that makes this gumbo all the more enjoyable. This can be a great recipe if you have heartburn or picky children.
15. Vegan Collard Green Gumbo and Hot Water Cornbread By Darius Cooks
This recipe not only offers a fabulous gumbo but a delicious and exceptional cornbread recipe. While anyone can make a mediocre cornbread from a box mix, you’ll want to try this outstanding hot water cornbread.
It uses typical cornbread ingredients, but the key is to heat the water and oil before mixing the batter so the bread is fluffy and thick.
The gumbo uses frozen collard greens and mostly pantry staples, so this is one of the easier recipes to throw together on short notice but packs a major punch of flavor. It’s also one of the more flexible gumbo recipes on this list, allowing you to choose your hot sauces and preferred seasonings.
16. Sweet Potato, Okra, and Chickpea Gumbo By FatFree Vegan Kitchen
When discussing beans, chickpeas often get left behind. Maybe it’s because of their name, or maybe, it’s because they look very different from other beans.
Nevertheless, they’re an excellent bean for a thick and peculiar gumbo. Sweet potato and chickpeas are not traditional gumbo ingredients. But after you combine them with okra and all the classic creole seasonings, you’ll never believe they weren’t part of the typical gumbo.
They add a hardy and sturdy flavor and texture that rounds out the dish, making it more comforting and warm on chilly evenings.
This recipe makes a beautiful and vivid bowl of vegetables and spices that will wow your guests when you serve it. And try to use smoked salt for this recipe to guarantee that smoky flavor.
Easy Vegan Gumbo Recipes, Final Thoughts
Gumbo is an immensely comforting and warm meal that meat-eaters have always enjoyed. But now, vegans get to enjoy it just as much!
Whether you want an all-veggie gumbo or a vegan gumbo recipe that could fool any carnivore, this list has the perfect vegan gumbo for you.