What to Serve With Gumbo?

What to Serve With Gumbo
Image credit: insanelygoodrecipes.com

No party is complete without delicious food and drinks. So when you’re preparing to welcome your friends for a gumbo feast, make sure you have some options for what to serve with gumbo.

Gumbo originated in Louisiana and is a thick stew typically made with chicken or shrimp. It can include any type of meat or seafood as well as fresh veggies and spices like cayenne pepper and thyme.

The most common side dish served with gumbo is rice, but many people also like to serve it with bread (especially cornbread), potatoes, or pasta.

Listed below are the mouth-watering dishes of what to serve with gumbo. Enjoy!

1. Fried Okras

First on the list of what to serve with gumbo is the Crispy fried okras. This pairs nicely with a bowl of savory gumbo. If you’ve never had okra, try it—it might become one of your favorite side dishes for gumbo. 

Moreso, the dish pairs well with chicken and shrimp varieties.  It’s full of fiber, calcium, and vitamin C. Serve as a side dish or as an appetizer before serving your bowl of delicious gumbo sauce!

2. Crab Cakes

Crab cakes are the second on our list of what to serve with gumbo. The combination of crab meat, Creole seasoning, onions, and bell peppers can’t be beaten. 

Put it on a buttered slice of French bread, and you have one flavorful treat! To make it even better, try some remoulade sauce as well. However, don’t forget your favorite hot sauce!

3. Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Rice

Next up on what to serve with gumbo is the Cilantro and lime. They are a classic pairing for Mexican cuisine, so try them out in your next batch of rice.

To make it, simply wash long-grain white rice and combine it in a saucepan with water, salt, butter, and chopped fresh cilantro leaves. 

Further, bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

Stir in the juice of half a lime and top with sour cream (or Greek yogurt if you’re going vegan), plus extra cilantro before serving.

4. Pickled Jalapenos

Adding a fiery garnish, pickled jalapenos are often served alongside soups and stews. A spicy treat, pickled jalapenos offer a bit of extra zing without overdoing it.  

Substitute hot sauce if you’re looking for something spicier. Pickled jalapenos are sweet and tangy, making them a great complement to rich or spicy foods like gumbo.

Try one of those recipes to make your own pickled jalapenos at home. With pickled jalapeños, what to serve with gumbo is no problem. 

5. Maque Choux

This Cajun corn dish is a must if you’re serving up gumbo. It’s an important side dish in Louisiana cooking, and it can be made with bacon or smoked turkey.  But sometimes, we like it best without meat.

Leave out any salty ingredients (like bacon) if you plan to have anything else salty as part of your meal. You can also add cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and paprika for extra flavor. Maque choux is made by boiling corn kernels in water until they are soft. 

Then add onion and bell peppers before sautéing everything together. The mixture is seasoned with salt, pepper, butter, sugar, and green onions. Serve maque choux on its own or alongside what to serve with gumbo. Yum!

6. Buttermilk Fried Chicken

This is a classic Southern favorite. You’ll need a quality deep fryer or dutch oven to make your own homemade fried chicken. You can also buy an air fryer if you prefer. 

Try adding some of your favorite spices and seasoning when preparing buttermilk fried chicken as what to serve with gumbo.

Make sure that whatever ingredients you use have been fully incorporated before serving up your gumbo. This is to avoid extra flavors getting in the way of enjoying what makes it so delicious.

7. Squash Gnocchi

This vegan-friendly dish is a great option for what to serve with gumbo. If you’ve never made gnocchi from scratch before, don’t fret—it’s not too difficult.

The basic instructions are: boil potatoes until tender, remove skins, add flour, and knead the dough until combined.

Then, roll into long strands, chop up into small pieces, and steam. To spice things up a bit and turn your gnocchi from bland to bam, try frying them in butter or olive oil on medium heat.

Also, add spices of your choice (paprika works well) while they cook. The result will be tasty bites of potatoes that offer a satisfying crunch without losing their fluffy texture.

8. Jambalaya

One of Louisiana’s most iconic dishes is Cajun Jambalaya—and it’s typically served at big family gatherings. The word jambalaya translates into Creole as okra, rice, and tomatoes.

Whatever you call it, Jambalaya is an irresistible mix of meat, seafood, and veggies cooked in one pot—no doubt about it! 

So, if you decide to spice things up with a dash of heat from cayenne pepper or hot sauce, you can’t go wrong.

Your guests will remember your authentic Cajun meal for years to come. Jambalaya really is an enjoyment guaranteed when it comes to what to serve with gumbo.

9. Cornbread

A staple for any southern meal, a traditional New Orleans dish is cornbread. Pair it up with your favorite sides, and you’re all set.

You could even make a batch of cornbread muffins if you plan on eating in instead of at a gathering. It’s as easy as that! 

Start off by adding all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, yellow cornmeal, and baking soda into a medium mixing bowl. Mix these ingredients together until they are combined well.

Then add buttermilk, melted butter or oil, and beaten egg into the bowl. Cornbread is an option on what to serve with lobster.

10. Hush Puppies

This deep-fried cornbread is a southern staple in almost every household. Hush puppies pair wonderfully as what to serve with gumbo but can also be served on their own.

These deep-fried balls are soft, sweet, and absolutely delicious! What’s not to love? As an added bonus, they go great with spicy foods like gumbo. 

11. Mixed Green Salad

This one is easy: There’s no need for a recipe; just wash and tear some greens, like mesclun or baby spinach.

It adds freshness and crunch to your bowl—you’ll feel more satisfied when you eat it! What’s more? What to serve with gumbo? Mixed green salad? Yes!

12. Corn on the Cob

Many people love corn on the cob but have no idea how to prepare it. Simply boiling it in water can result in dry and flavorless kernels.

The trick is adding a dash of salt and butter before boiling. Add salted butter and salt for every corn you’re cooking. 

Then, add them about 3 minutes before boiling, cook for about 7–8 minutes after adding them, or until tender. Be sure to squeeze some fresh lime juice on top for an added touch! There you have what to serve with gumbo!

13. Drinks

If you’re not serving alcohol, you should definitely consider setting out some of these beverages. They all complement a spicy dish like gumbo wonderfully.

Staying hydrated is an important part of dining. It cuts down on overeating and can help regulate digestion. 

However, if you want to keep your drink simple, lemonade is a sweet way to refresh without filling up too many sugar calories (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

14. Potato Salad

A staple at any family picnic or potluck event, potato salad can be made in several different ways and is a popular side dish for any occasion.

While traditionally served warm, it also makes for an excellent accompaniment for cold soups and salads. 

As well as being served on its own, potato salad can be combined with other foods such as bacon and eggs or fresh fruit.

This creates perfect additions to your recipe repertoire. What to serve with gumbo again? Here it is!

For an easy side dish that your guests can help themselves to as they enjoy their gumbo, try a creamy potato salad.

Simply combine boiled potatoes, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, chopped onion, celery (or celery seed), and diced boiled eggs in a large bowl. 

However, if you like variety in your potato salads, you can add chopped scallions or parsley for added flavor.

Or take things up a notch by adding crumbled bacon and using spicy mayonnaise instead of regular. When choosing what to serve with gumbo, you won’t go wrong with potato salad.

15. Cheese Bread

No Cajun feast would be complete without a generous portion of cheesy, savory bread. While plain old French bread is always a fine choice, one option you might consider is cheese bread.

With just a few ingredients like butter, flour, and mozzarella cheese, you can have a special treat that pairs nicely with gumbo in no time at all.

Plus, cheese bread can be frozen for later use, making it even more convenient! After trying out these tasty bites, you will never want to serve plain old French bread again. Cheese bread is definitely what to serve with gumbo too!

16. French Bread

Muffuletta is a popular New Orleans sandwich featuring salami, ham, and cheese. Since muffulettas are generally served cold (ideal for picnics), French bread makes for a fine vessel when discussing what to serve with gumbo! 

17. Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is a dessert made by combining stale bread, eggs, and milk together and baking it in an oven.

After baking, you top it off with some kind of delicious sauce. It can be served warm or cold and is usually eaten as a late-night snack because of its rich flavor. 

However, if you want to make bread pudding at home, you will need fresh eggs from your local farmer’s market. These alongside cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.

Cinnamon is what gives bread pudding that sweet taste. The next thing you will need for bread pudding is flour and sugar, so go out and get yourself 2 loaves of French bread.

This may be from your local bakery or grocery store, along with one block of cream cheese and some butter. While thinking about what to serve with gumbo, remember bread pudding!

18. Cheesy Grits

Baked chicken tenders are a healthier alternative than fried. But don’t think of it as diet food, but rather low in calories and full of flavor.

Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray; lay chicken strips on the sheet, then spray lightly again. 

Next, bake at 350 degrees until cooked through, 10–15 minutes. Serve hot and pair them up with your favorite gumbo recipe for a meal that tastes great and is good for you. What to serve with gumbo? Cheesy grits got this!

19. Baked Chicken Tenders

What more can we think of as what to serve with gumbo? Yes! Chicken tenders! They are a safe, versatile, and delicious way to liven up any meal.

Serve them as is, or pair them with a flavorful marinade. Either way, chicken tenders are sure to please everyone at your table. 

The key is ensuring they’re fully cooked before eating; you can always heat them up later if they’re not done in time for your meal. It may take a few extra minutes of cooking, but it will be well worth it.

Chicken tenders also work great for parties and picnics, where hot dogs and hamburgers are usually served. Try wrapping chicken strips in bacon or baking them into cheesy bites if you want to take things up a notch.

20. Boiled Crawfish

If you’re serving your gumbo on its own, consider adding boiled crawfish. The bright pink color of crawfish makes for a beautiful presentation, plus it’ll put everyone in a festive mood.

Boil crawfish by dumping them into a large pot of boiling water and allowing them to cook for 4–6 minutes.

Don’t forget to season! When they’re done cooking, drain the crawfish and place them on ice in an empty cooler.

Then, prepare your other ingredients, or guests may burn their tongues waiting for theirs! Boiled crawfish; an answer to what to serve with gumbo!


Just because you’re eating gumbo doesn’t mean you have to skip out on something sweet. Whether you like your dessert to be just as filling as the main course or want to serve something light and airy that won’t weigh down your tummy, there are tons of delicious desserts you can pair with this classic southern dish. 

Gumbo is one of Louisiana’s most iconic dishes, and if you’re lucky enough to try some at any given time, it will almost certainly be served with rice.

The rice is cooked in the same pot as the roux that flavors the soup. But there are many more ways to serve gumbo than simply with this classic accompaniment, and here’s our list of what to serve with gumbo!

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