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Easy keto gumbo recipe with crab and shrimp

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Gumbo is a classic southern dish that's rich, hearty, and full of flavor. But if you're on a keto diet, you might be wondering if you can still enjoy this delicious soup. The answer is a resounding yes! With a few tweaks and substitutions, you can whip up a keto gumbo recipe that's just as tasty as the traditional version. Let's dive in!

gumbo on spoon

The Basics of Gumbo

Before we get into the keto gumbo recipe, let's talk a bit about gumbo itself. Originating from New Orleans, gumbo is a thick soup that's a staple in both Cajun and Creole cuisine. The biggest difference between traditional gumbo recipes and our keto version is the roux. Traditional recipes use a flour-based roux, which is a mix of flour and fat, to thicken the soup. But for our low-carb gumbo, we'll be skipping the flour and using other methods to achieve that thick, hearty consistency.

best keto gumbo recipe ready to eat
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Keto Shrimp and Crab Gumbo

Dive into the rich flavors of New Orleans with this Keto Shrimp and Crab Gumbo. Packed with succulent shrimp, tender crab meat, and a medley of aromatic vegetables, this dish offers a low-carb twist on a classic southern favorite. The Creole seasoning adds a kick, while the seafood stock brings a depth of flavor that'll have you coming back for seconds. Perfect for cozy dinners or impressing guests, this gumbo is a must-try for anyone on a keto diet or simply looking for a delicious soup to warm their soul.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

Servings: 4 

Net Carbs: 4 net carbs per serving

keto gumbo recipe ingredients


4 Tbsp. Butter

1 Tbsp. Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

½ Onion chopped

1 Red bell pepper chopped

1 lb. Shrimp peeled and deveined

8 oz. Crab meat

2 tsp. Minced garlic

½ C. Celery chopped

3 tsp. Creole seasoning

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

3 C. Seafood stock

Cooking Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.

Shrimp cooking in pot

Add the shrimp to the pot, seasoning with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until cooked through, then set aside.

Melt the butter in the same pot over medium heat.

adding onions to keto gumbo recipe
adding peppers to keto gumbo recipe
adding celery to gumbo

Stir in the onions, red bell pepper, and celery. Sauté until softened.

Mix in the minced garlic, creole seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce. Sauté for another 30 seconds.

gumbo cooking in pot

Pour in the seafood stock and bring the mixture to a light boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

adding shrimp to gumbo
adding crab to pot

Mix in the shrimp and crab meat, and let it simmer for another 5 minutes before serving.

keto gumbo recipe in a pot

Tips for the Perfect Keto Gumbo

  • Cauliflower Rice: Instead of traditional white rice, opt for riced cauliflower. Not only is it a fantastic low-carb alternative, but it also absorbs the gumbo's flavors beautifully. You can either buy it pre-riced at the grocery store or make your own using a food processor.
  • Andouille Sausage: For an added depth of flavor, toss in some sliced andouille sausage. It complements the seafood and gives the gumbo a smoky touch. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even brown it in a separate skillet before adding it to the pot.
  • Creole vs. Cajun Seasoning: Both are staples in Cajun and Creole cuisine. While Creole seasoning is milder and more herb-forward, Cajun seasoning packs a punch with its cayenne pepper base. Depending on your heat preference, you can choose one or even mix a bit of both.
  • Thickening: Traditional gumbo often relies on a dark roux or filé powder for thickening. In our keto version, if you're missing that classic thickness, a teaspoon of xanthan gum or arrowroot powder can do the trick. If you're a fan of filé powder (made from sassafras leaves), you can sprinkle a bit at the end for that authentic gumbo flavor.
  • Cookware: Using a dutch oven or a large stockpot is ideal for gumbo. These pots distribute heat evenly, ensuring all the ingredients meld together perfectly. If you're short on time, a pressure cooker can speed up the process, or for a slow infusion of flavors, a crock pot or slow cooker works wonders.
  • Storage: Real gumbo aficionados often say gumbo tastes even better the next day, and they're not wrong! The flavors meld and deepen overnight. Store your gumbo in an airtight container in the fridge. When reheating, do it slowly on the stove, and if it's too thick, a splash of chicken broth can loosen it up.
  • Additional Ingredients: While our keto gumbo recipe focuses on shrimp and crab, feel free to toss in chicken breasts or jumbo shrimp. If you're at the grocery store and spot some fresh green onions, they make a great garnish. And for those who love a kick, a dash of hot sauce or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper can elevate the heat.
  • Roux: While our low carb gumbo doesn't use a traditional flour-based roux, if you're curious about making a keto-friendly gumbo roux, almond flour or coconut flour combined with a little butter can create a thickener. Remember, achieving a dark roux takes patience, so keep that heat low and stir constantly.
  • Flavor Enhancers: Bay leaves, a touch of tomato paste, or even a splash of shrimp stock can add layers of flavor to your keto gumbo. Remember, keto gumbo is all about layering flavors, so don't be afraid to experiment.
  • Nutritional Information: Always keep track of your ingredients, especially if you're strict about your keto diet. There are many apps and websites where you can input your exact ingredients to get the nutritional values, ensuring you stay within your carb limits.
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With these tips in hand, your keto gumbo is sure to be a hit, capturing the essence of real gumbo with a low-carb twist. Whether you're serving it in a bowl over cauliflower rice or sipping it straight from a mug, it's a delicious keto-friendly treat that pays homage to classic southern cooking.

bowl of keto gumbo with shrimp and crab


1. How many carbs are in keto gumbo?

This keto gumbo recipe contains only 4 net carbs per serving.

2. What are the 2 rules of gumbo?

The two general guidelines for gumbo are: always start with a roux (though we modify this for keto) and include the "holy trinity" of green bell peppers, onions, and celery.

3. Is seafood gumbo high in carbs?

Traditional seafood gumbo can be high in carbs due to the flour-based roux and white rice. However, our keto version is low-carb friendly.

4. Can I add other meats to this gumbo?

Absolutely! Chicken thighs or breasts, sausage gumbo variations, or even beef can be added to your keto-friendly gumbo. Just ensure you adjust the cooking time accordingly.

5. Can I use regular rice instead of cauliflower rice?

While traditional gumbo is typically served with white rice, it is not suitable for a keto diet. Cauliflower rice is a fantastic low-carb alternative that provides a similar texture and absorbs the flavors of the gumbo beautifully.

6. Can I add seafood to my keto gumbo recipe?
Absolutely! Feel free to incorporate shrimp, crab meat, or any other seafood you enjoy into your gumbo. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the seafood is cooked through.

7. Can I make gumbo without a Dutch oven?
Yes, you can use a large soup pot or even a crock pot to make your keto gumbo. The key is to have a vessel that can accommodate all the ingredients and allow for simmering.

8. Can I freeze leftover gumbo?
Yes, gumbo freezes well. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or freezer bags. When ready to enjoy, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop.

close up of keto gumbo

Key Takeaways

  • Versatility of Gumbo: keto Gumbo is not just a dish; it's a canvas. Whether you're on a keto diet or just looking to experiment, gumbo adapts. Our low carb gumbo version is proof that you can maintain the essence of this Cajun food while making it fit your dietary needs.
  • Roux Realities: The heart of any gumbo is its roux. Traditional gumbos use a purpose flour-based roux, which gives it that iconic thickness and flavor. In our keto gumbo recipe, we've swapped it out for a keto roux, ensuring you get that same depth of flavor without the carbs. And if you're curious about the famous roux that many chefs talk about, it's all about the slow cooking and the color – the darker the roux, the richer the flavor.
  • Cauliflower Rice: This isn't just a substitute; it's a game-changer. Serving your gumbo over cauliflower rice not only keeps it low-carb but also lets you enjoy a hearty bowl of gumbo without feeling weighed down.
  • Meaty Matters: While our low carb recipe focuses on shrimp, don't let that limit you. Tossing in andouille sausage or even beef can elevate your gumbo to new heights. It's all about layering flavors, and each meat brings its unique touch.
  • The Holy Trinity: In Cajun cuisine, the combination of green bell peppers, onions, and celery is revered, and for a good reason. This trio forms the base for many dishes, especially gumbo. They provide a flavor foundation that's hard to replicate. Always ensure you have these three when starting your keto gumbo recipe.
  • Cooking Vessels: A large pot is your best friend when making keto gumbo. It allows all the ingredients to mingle and meld, creating that rich creole flavor. If you're looking for a one-pot meal that's sure to impress, gumbo is your go-to.
  • Flavor Enhancements: Keto Gumbo is all about depth of flavor. Ingredients like file powder, a staple in creole food, can add an earthy undertone. A splash of beef broth can deepen the taste, and a sprinkle of Cajun spice can add that extra kick.
  • Serving and Presentation: Always serve gumbo hot, preferably in a deep bowl. If you're looking to present it, a bowl of gumbo garnished with some fresh herbs or green onions can make it look as good as it tastes. And for those who love to document their culinary adventures, having a recipe card on hand can be great, especially if you're tweaking and making the keto gumbo recipe your own.
  • Carb Count: Always be mindful of the net carbs, especially on a keto diet. Our gumbo ensures you get a delicious meal without the carb overload, with only 4g net carbs per serving.
  • Embrace the Essence: Whether it's the hearty recipes, the gumbo file, or the rich history of Cajun and Creole cuisine, always remember that gumbo is more than just a dish. It's an experience, a journey of flavors, and a testament to the rich culinary tapestry of the South.
bowl of gumbo ready to eat

Conclusion : Keto Gumbo Recipe

Gumbo is more than just a dish; it's a celebration of flavors, cultures, and traditions. And the best part? You don't have to give it up on a keto diet. With this keto gumbo recipe, you can enjoy a delicious meal that's both comforting and keto-friendly. So, the next time you're craving some hearty stew or want to impress your friends with a classic southern dish, give this recipe a try.

Yield: 4

Keto Shrimp and Crab Gumbo

keto gumbo recipe in a pot

Dive into a bowl of rich New Orleans flavor with this Keto Shrimp and Crab Gumbo. Brimming with succulent shrimp, tender crab, and aromatic veggies, this low-carb delight captures the essence of the South without the carbs. Serve over cauliflower rice and savor the Creole magic in every bite! Perfect for cozy nights or impressing guests.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 4 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ Onion chopped
  • 1 Red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 lb. Shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 8 oz. Crab meat
  • 2 tsp. Minced garlic
  • ½ C. Celery chopped
  • 3 tsp. Creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 C. Seafood stock


    Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
    Add the shrimp to the skillet, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute until cooked through, and set aside.
    Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat.
    Stir in the onions, peppers and celery, and saute until softened.
    Mix in the garlic, creole seasoning and worcestershire, and saute for 30 seconds.
    Pour in the seafood stock, and bring to a light boil.
    Reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
    Mix in the shrimp and crab meat, and simmer for another 5 minutes before serving.


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Servings: 4
Net Carbs: 4 net carbs per serving

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