What to Serve with Gumbo? 20 Best Side Dishes

If you think gumbo is only delicious in New Orleans, think again.

Gumbo is one of the most versatile and popular dishes in the world.

Wherever you live, you’ll find a version of it.

In fact, the word “gumbo” was coined in reference to the Cajun stew of the same name.

You can make a basic version from scratch or use premade mixes.

The best part about gumbo is that you can make it any way you want.

If you’re into seafood gumbo, there are countless combinations to choose from.

If you prefer chicken gumbo, there are even more options available.

Or you can make your own from scratch, adding your favorite ingredients to create your own unique taste.

What to serve with gumbo will be determined by your preferences.

Some people like it spicy, some prefer it mild.

Some love it sweet, others like theirs savory.

With so many different options, it’s easy to find the perfect side dish for gumbo.

What to Serve with Gumbo – 20 Best Side Dishes

Gumbo is one of those traditional dishes that are so good, you almost don’t need a side dish.

But when you do want to serve a side dish, it should have a strong flavor.

Here are a few options to consider:

1. Rice

Gumbo is one of those dishes that is so good, it really doesn’t need anything more than soup.

But rice — served hot and steaming — goes perfectly with gumbo.

Rice is also a healthy addition. It adds fiber, minerals, and vitamins to your meal.

Rice has a wonderfully bland flavor and works well as a neutral backdrop for all the bold flavors in your gumbo.

If you’re looking for another side dish option, rice is a wonderful choice.

You can serve your rice either alongside or even as a replacement for the noodles.

2. Steam-Bread

side dishes for gumbo

Gumbo is a delicious, traditional Cajun stew.

It usually contains a large variety of different ingredients, such as chicken, turkey, sausage, ham, okra, corn, andouille, shrimp, and, often, cornbread or steamed rice.

While the exact ingredients vary by region, gumbo is always served over either rice or bread.

Rice or bread is used as a “soil” for the spices and flavors of the gumbo to infuse into.

If you’re looking for a simple side dish that goes perfectly with gumbo, then consider serving it with steamed-bread.

It has just the right amount of chew and texture to stand up to the roux-based gravy of gumbo.

It also makes for a great “dump-and-stir” type recipe.

You can use any type of bread you like for this — even white bread or rolls.

I personally like to use egg-free bread because it doesn’t get too mushy when it is submerged in a pot of boiling water.

3. Cornbread

Gumbo is a spicy, stew-like soup that originated in the French West Indies.

It was brought to New Orleans by French colonists and is now considered a quintessential part of the city’s cuisine.

Gumbo is usually made with okra, but in some cases, such as when making shrimp gumbo, it can be made without.

Either way, cornbread — or any other type of bread you like — works perfectly as an accompaniment.

Serve your cornbread alongside the gumbo or you can even top your bread with the cornbread mix and eat it along with the rest of the gumbapalooza.

4. Crackers

Gumbo is one of the most popular soups in the world and is served throughout the American South.

A traditional version of gumbo contains little more than okra, filé powder, onions, celery, garlic, and seasonings.

That being said, there are many different types of gumbos, and you should experiment to see what you like best.

Try serving your gumbo with crackers.

The flavors of the soup and crackers together are just magic.

Plus, you get the added bonus of getting to eat some delicious crackers, which is always a good thing.

5. Brown Rice

Gumbo is a stew-like dish that originated in the southern United States.

It’s traditionally made with meat and seafood, but you can easily make a vegetarian version by using vegetables instead of meat.

For the rice, brown rice is the best choice. It has a nuttier flavor and texture than white rice.

You can serve your gumbo with either white or brown rice.

If you’re looking for something more filling, you can also top your rice with some fried chicken or sausage.

6. Fried Cabbage

If you’re looking for a vegetable-based side dish that is low in fat, then cabbage is a great option.

It’s not just healthy, but it’s also extremely versatile, which makes it perfect for gumbo.

Fried cabbage is the perfect side dish for those who like their soups extra hearty, but you don’t want to make the meal too heavy.

The cabbage can be served alongside the gumbo, or it can even be used as a topping for the gumbo.

It’s also important to note that the cabbage will get softer after being cooked in the gumbo, so it should be served immediately after you take it out of the pan.

7. Tarragon Fried Rice

Gumbo is one of those dishes that you just have to experience in person.

It’s all about the broth and the spices, which really come together to create an incredible flavor sensation.

The combination of rice and okra are very popular in Louisiana, and fried rice is the perfect way to serve up a hearty bowl of gumbo.

If you’re looking for something healthy and low-calorie, then this is one of your best bets.

You can serve it alongside gumbo or even as a side dish.

8. Fresh Okra

Gumbo is one of the most versatile stews in the world, and it’s a great way to showcase the flavors of the season.

As far as ingredients, there are many different ways to go with gumbo.

A good starting point is to add whatever vegetables you have on hand.

Be sure to use okra, which gives the dish its distinctive flavor.

For an authentic New Orleans-style gumbo, you can serve your dish with a loaf of crusty French bread.

9. Fresh Vegetables

You can’t go wrong with a hearty and flavorful vegetable side dish like gumbo.

The broth in this classic New Orleans dish is packed with vegetables, herbs and spices, which is why fresh vegetables are such an ideal accompaniment.

A variety of different veggies will bring a lot of flavor to your gumbo, so feel free to pick and choose from the list below.

For a traditional Cajun-style gumbo, you can swap out okra for zucchini.

If you want to make it even healthier, you can leave out the rice and use a whole grain pasta like farfalle instead.

10. Cauliflower

Cauliflower can be enjoyed in so many different ways.

Whether you love it as a side dish or opt to eat it as a main course, cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables out there.

Gumbo is one of those dishes that is always delicious, but tends to get forgotten about on a regular basis.

If you’re looking to up the ante on this classic recipe, then serve your gumbo with some steamed cauliflower.

The cauliflower adds a delicate flavor to this rich and hearty stew.

Cauliflower is also very high in vitamin C and fiber, and is low in calories.

It’s a perfect addition to your next meal.

11. Fried Plantains

Gumbo is one of those classic Southern dishes that has a long list of ingredients.

If you’re looking for something simple and quick, you can serve fried plantains as an appetizer or side dish to accompany your gumbo.

The plantain, or banana, is a delicious tropical fruit with a crisp texture and slight sweetness.

It’s the perfect pairing with spicy, savory gumbos and jambalaya.

Fried plantains can be eaten as a snack or even included in other dishes like fritters and crepes.

12. Buttermilk Biscuits

Gumbo is a very adaptable dish and one that can be enjoyed at any time of day or night.

If you’re looking for a side dish that’s both delicious and hearty, then you should definitely consider serving gumbo with buttermilk biscuits.

The hearty texture and taste of the soup itself is perfect for dipping a biscuit in.

If you prefer a slightly sweeter side, then you should consider adding some fresh fruits like peaches or apples.

13. Sweet Potato Chips

Sweet potato chips are a perfect side dish with Cajun-style gumbos like gumbo.

These crispy chips are especially good with Creole, red pepper, or brown rice gumbos.

Crispy sweet potato chips go really well with the earthiness of beans, and you can even toss in some jalapenos or cayenne pepper for a kick.

14. Grilled Corn

Gumbo is a traditional southern dish made from a variety of spices and seafood.

It’s an excellent dish that is great for entertaining since it can be served in large quantities.

If you’re looking to serve some healthy dishes, then look no further than this recipe for grilled corn.

The sweetness of grilled corn is a wonderful complement to the spice-filled broth of your gumbos.

The crunchy and salty flavors are also perfect for a side dish.

You can serve this grilled corn as a stand-alone side dish, or you can serve it alongside your gumbo.

15. Mashed Potatoes

Gumbo is one of the dishes that seems to have been around forever.

It’s a traditional New Orleans stew that is typically made with shellfish or chicken, but it can also be made with other meats or even vegetables.

Gumbo is traditionally served over rice, but it goes perfectly with mashed potatoes.

The spiciness of the gumbo will balance out the sweetness of the potatoes.

Serve your gourmet mashed potatoes with a side of hot sauce for an extra kick.

16. Rice Pilaf

Rice pilaf is a wonderful addition to gumbo.

In fact, rice pilaf is often considered the “fifth” or “extra” ingredient in traditional gumbo.

It adds a wonderful, nutty flavor that complements the rich meatiness of the gumbo.

Rice pilaf is also a wonderful side dish because it goes with just about anything.

17. Raw Nopales Salad

Salads and gumbos are a great way to get lots of vegetables in your diet, and raw nopales are one of the best choices you can make.

Nopales (pronounced no-PAHL-eez) are prickly pear cactus pads that are delicious when eaten raw.

They have a slightly sweet flavor and are crunchy and somewhat fibrous. They add a unique texture and slight hint of bitterness to dishes like gumbos.

Raw nopales are available in most large supermarkets in the produce section near the cucumbers.

Try serving gumbo with some raw nopales — it really takes the dish to another level.

18. Italian Peperonata

Gumbo is a thick stew made with a variety of ingredients — usually including chicken, seafood, shellfish, sausage, and/or vegetables.

Because of the wide variety of ingredients used to make gumbo, it can be a healthy choice or a decadent one.

However, there is one ingredient that is almost always used in gumbo — and that ingredient is pasta.

Pasta adds body, thickness, and a satisfying chew to the dish.

If you decide to add pasta to your gumbo, you should serve it with a side dish of diced red or yellow bell pepper — or even both!

Serve it with Italian-style peperonata — which is simply diced red or yellow bell peppers sautéed with olive oil, minced garlic, and salt and pepper.

19. Easy One Pot Greek Rice

Gumbo has been around for centuries and originated in Louisiana.

It’s a hearty, flavorful stew that can be served over rice or grits.

If you want to add some additional flair to your gumbo, try serving it over this easy one-pot Greek rice.

The lemon and orange flavors pair wonderfully with the rich flavors of the seafood in the soup.

You can use whatever type of seafood you want, but shrimp is a great option.

You can also add some fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro to give it a bit of a kick.

20. Easy Ratatouille

Gumbo is the ultimate comfort food.

It’s so simple, yet so satisfying.

Gumbo can be prepared using different types of vegetables, and they all have their own unique flavor.

While celery is a traditional choice, the flavors in ratatouille are perfect for gumbo.

Ratatouille is a dish that can be made using a variety of different ingredients, and it’s no wonder why it has become a popular option.

Rice and beans are the most common side dish pairings for gumbo.

But if you’re looking for something a little more exotic, then ratatouille is a great option.

Conclusion

Gumbo is a spicy, rich stew that originated in the French Louisiana region.

It’s traditionally made with chicken or seafood, but you can easily modify it to use whatever meat or fowl you have on hand.

This versatile dish goes great with all sorts of different side dishes, but these seven are some of the best.

They’re easy to customize, and you’re sure to find a combination that works great for you and your family.

gumbo side dishes

20 Easy Gumbo Side Dishes

Gumbo is a savory stew. It is often served with rice. The name comes from the African words for okra, "gombo" and "katcho", a cooking pot. Gumbo is a very popular dish in Louisiana, and variations of it are found in West African countries such as Nigeria. There are many different ways to make gumbo.
Here are some gumbo side dishes that go well with gumbo.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 275 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Rice
  • Steam-Bread
  • Corn Bread
  • Crackers
  • Brown Rice
  • Fried Cabbage
  • Tarragon Fried Rice
  • Fresh Okra
  • Fresh Vegetables
  • Cauliflower
  • Fried Plantains
  • Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Sweet Potato Chips
  • Grilled Corn
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Rice Pilaf
  • Raw Nopales Salad
  • Italian Peperonata
  • Easy One Pot Greek Rice
  • Easy Ratatouille

Instructions
 

  • Pick any of these easy and delicious Gumbo side dishes.
  • Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
  • Be ready in 30 minutes or less.
Keyword Gumbo Side Dishes