Taste of Louisiana: Canning Gumbo Recipe

Plate of gumbo
Canning gumbo starts by making the gumbo with okra, shrimp, veggies, and spices. Once cooked, ladle the gumbo into hot canning jars, leaving ½ inch headspace, then process in a pressure canner for 90-100 minutes.

Is it Better to Water Bath Can or Pressure Can Gumbo?

Pressure canning is the safest method of processing gumbo. This stew contains low-acid veggies and proteins like sausage, chicken, or seafood. A pressure canner’s high heat destroys clostridium botulinum bacteria. Processing in a water bath is unsafe because pathogens survive in less-acidic environments.

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Seafood gumbo bowl

Louisiana Cajun Gumbo Canning Recipe

  • Author: Regie
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 55 minutes


Is it your first time canning gumbo? Follow these foolproof steps for making a rich and spicy classic Louisiana Cajun gumbo perfect for canning.


  • 2 pounds small okra
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped, peeled, and seeded fresh tomatoes, or 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined


  1. Wash canning jars, lids, and rings in warm, soapy water and rinse well. Cover the jars in simmering water until ready to use.
  2. Wash okra, tomatoes, onions, bay leaves, and celery thoroughly under cool, running water.
  3. Trim the tip and stem ends from the okra and cut them into ¼-inch round pieces.
  4. Core the tomatoes and dice them into ½ inch slices. Cut ½ inch onion sizes and chop the celery into coarse pieces. Set aside.
  5. Prepare your clean, de-veined, peeled shrimp and put them in the refrigerator.
  6. In a large stockpot, add the vegetable oil. Add okra and saute over medium-high heat while stirring for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Pour in diced tomatoes, onions, and celery. Stir and cook the veggies for 18-20 minutes.
  8. Season the mixture with salt, cayenne pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. Cover with water, stir, and bring your gumbo to a boil. Uncover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
  9. Add your shrimp, and stir to blend before cooking for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
  10. Prepare your pressure canner per the manufacturer’s instructions. Fill it with 2-3 inches of water and place a canning rack inside. Heat the water using your stovetop.
  11. Ladle your hot Louisiana gumbo into hot pint or quart jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.
  12. Using a bubble popper, remove air bubbles.
  13. Wet a clean cloth or paper napkin with vinegar and wipe the rims.
  14. Place lids and screw bands on and fasten until fingertip tight.
  15. Carefully load the filled jars into the canner using a jar lifter. Attach the lid and turn the heat to high to bring the water to a full, vigorous boil.
  16. Open the vent pipe to release a steady stream of steam for 10 minutes.
  17. Place the weight on and bring your canner to the appropriate level of pressure per your canner type and elevation:

Dial-Gauge Pressure Canner

  • 0 – 2,000ft: 11 lbs
  • 2,001 – 4,000ft: 12 lbs
  • 4,001 – 6,000ft: 13 lbs
  • 6,001ft and up: 14 lbs

Weighted Gauge Pressure Canner

  • 0 – 1,000ft: 10 lbs
  • 1,001ft and up: 15 lbs

Post Processing  

  1. Process pints and quarts for 100 minutes.
  2. Once the specified time lapses, turn the burner off. Wait for the pressure to drop to zero before opening the lid.
  3. Remove jars from boiling water using a jar lifter. Position the jars on a wire rack or draft-free surface 1 inch apart to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours.
  4. Test seals by pressing the centers of the lids with your finger. Sealed jars don’t flex up and down when pressed. Refrigerate unsealed jars and use them within four days.
  5. Remove screw bands and wipe jars and lids. Label sealed jars with canning date and contents. Store in a cool, dry place and enjoy within 12 months.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Canning Time: 100 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours


  • Serving Size: 24 ounces
  • Calories: 394kcal
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 270mg
  • Fat: 21g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 35g
  • Cholesterol: 230mg

Best Ingredients for Canned Gumbo

These ingredients are used to make flavorful gumbo:

  • Andouille sausage
  • Cajun seasoning or cayenne pepper
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Chicken stock or chicken broth
  • Crab legs
  • Fresh bell peppers
  • Garlic
  • Okra
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp
  • Tomato sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
Gumbo ingredients including beans, green tomatoes, and okra
Gumbo ingredients

How Long Does it Take to Can Gumbo?

Pressure canning gumbo with seafood takes 100 minutes for pints and quarts. Gumbo with chicken or sausage is processed for 75 minutes for pint jars or 90 minutes for quart jars.

How to Store Canned Gumbo

  1. Store sealed jars of canned gumbo at cool temperatures between 50-70°F to preserve texture and color.
  2. Keep cabinet shelves clean to prevent cross-contamination.
  3. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can shorten the shelf life of canned food.
  4. Store your jars at least six inches above the floor to avoid damp conditions and prevent lid corrosion.

What is the Shelf Life of Canned Gumbo?

Canned gumbo can last up to 18 months. According to the USDA, the best-used-by date is within one year from the canning date. If you open gumbo jars, refrigerate the contents and consume within 3-4 days.

How to Freeze Gumbo

Freezing chicken & sausage gumbo extends the shelf life to 6 months, while frozen seafood gumbo lasts up to 3 months.

Here’s how to freeze gumbo:

  1. Prepare sizeable freezer-safe containers.
  2. Ladle the hot gumbo and wait for it to cool to room temperature.
  3. Using a clean spoon, remove air bubbles and leave 1 inch of headspace.
  4. Seal the containers with clean lids. Write the date and contents on the containers before putting them at the bottom of your freezer.
Frozen gumbo and vegetables in a freezer in airtight containers
Frozen gumbo and veggies

What is the Difference Between Gumbo and Jambalaya?

Some key differences between gumbo and jambalaya are:

  1. Consistency and texture: Gumbo has a soupy consistency, while jambalaya is similar to Spanish paella or West African Jollof, which are moist and less soupy.
  2. The role of rice: Gumbo is a Louisiana stew served over cooked rice, while jambalaya is cooked with rice as a primary ingredient.
  3. Use of roux: Classic gumbo includes thickeners such as roux, okra, or file powder. Conversely, jambalaya doesn’t have thickeners.


Growing up as a farm girl, Regie assisted her grandparents in canning sheep meat and helped her mother sell canned carrots. This grew her passion for canning from a young age. As a writer, she uses her canning experience to give creative, practical ideas for preserving different foods to canning enthusiasts.

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