Commander’s Palace Seafood Gumbo

Commander’s Palace is a New Orleans institution, and they make fabulous seafood gumbo. Commander’s Palace Seafood gumbo is a medley of seafood and vegetables, including shrimp, crab, oysters, onions, garlic, peppers, and okra. You don’t know what you are missing if you haven’t tried the best gumbo.

seafood gumbo over rice in a black bowl

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About Commander’s Palace Restaurant

For well over 100 years, Commander’s Palace has been a venerated New Orleans landmark in the Garden District. The restaurant has earned seven James Beard Foundation awards. But there is much more to this legendary restaurant than its haute Creole cuisine and infamous 25-cent lunchtime martini specials.

Commander’s Palace has been serving up classic Cajun and Creole recipes for generations, prepared by some of the finest chefs in Louisiana, including Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, Jamie Shannon, Tory McPhail, and Meg Bickford.

One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the seafood gumbo. No trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Commander’s Palace for a bowl of this fabulous gumbo. Their dining room is elegant with glass chandeliers and rich, plush chairs, and the hand-painted murals in the dining room are lovely. 

However, if you can’t make it to the Big Easy, you can still savor the taste of this dish by cooking up a batch at home using the Louisiana seafood gumbo recipe below.

What is Gumbo?

At its heart, gumbo is simply a stew. This Creole recipe originated in Lousianna at the turn of the 20th century and is so ingrained in the area’s culture that it is listed as the state’s official cuisine.

Traditionally, gumbo was made from anything that walks, flies, or swims, but these days, the most popular versions are chicken, sausage, or seafood.

So, what is usually in gumbo besides meat or fish?

First off, all gumbos contain onions, bell peppers, and celery. These three vegetables are so prevalent in Cajun and Creole cooking that they are sometimes called the ‘Holy Trinity’ of the cuisine.

In addition to the veggies, gumbos always contain some thickener. Most recipes call for using okra in addition to filé powder or roux. Okra is a popular vegetable throughout the South. Filé powder comes from the leaves of the American sassafras tree. Roux is a mixture of flour and fat.

The ingredients used for thickening in this recipe are roux and okra.

Isn’t Gumbo Just Another Name For Jambalaya?

Don’t be confused when it comes to gumbo and jambalaya. Although both are popular Lousiana dishes, they are not the same thing.

Jambalaya is a slightly older recipe than gumbo and first began appearing in New Orleans’s French Quarter in the late 1800s.

Besides the recipe’s origins, the most distinct difference is how each dish uses rice. Gumbo is served on top of white rice, while white rice is cooked in the same pot as the rest of the jambalaya.

The cooking method for jambalaya creates a naturally thicker stew and eliminates the need for additional thickeners.

Seafood Gumbo Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you will need to make seafood gumbo:

  • All-purpose flour – this is to make a dark brown roux
  • Vegetable shortening – You can use shortening or vegetable oil 
  • Fresh garlic cloves
  • Onion – white onions are recommended. Yellow onions are ok to use. 
  • Red or Green Bell pepper
  • Celery
  • Peeled raw shrimp (fresh is best, but frozen is ok)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Crab meat (claw meat is preferred) 
  • Water
  • Bunch Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Bay leaves
  • Okra – fresh okra is best 
  • Oysters with juice
Commander's Palace seafood gumbo ingredients

How to Make Seafood Gumbo

Here are the steps for making this copycat Commanders Palace gumbo recipe:

  1. Cook flour and shortening in a large pot over medium-high heat until the flour turns brown and begins to smell nutty. Stir occasionally.
  2. Add garlic and cook until golden brown.
  3. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery, and cook until transparent, scraping the sides and bottom of the pot.
mirepoix for seafood gumbo
  1. Lower heat to low, and add shrimp and tomato sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes, stir in water, and blend well.
  2. Add all other ingredients except okra and oysters. Cook for about 30 minutes.
  3. Add okra, and cook until the okra turns bright green.
  4. Add oysters and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve the gumbo in a soup bowl over steamed rice.
a bowl of homemade Commander's Palace seafood gumbo, 3 forks, a spoon, and wood bowls

Tips For Cooking and Storing the Roux For This Louisiana Seafood Gumbo Recipe

  • Rule the roux. Be careful when making your roux. Ideally, you aim for a dark, melted chocolate color, but it is easy to burn the flour. Heat very slowly until it reaches the desired color. It can take up to an hour to reach the perfect color, but remember, you can always use an under-colored roux, but you can’t use one you burn. If black spots appear, you’ve burnt the roux and must start over.
  • Don’t waste a great roux. Making a roux takes time. You can double or triple the amount you need for the seafood gumbo recipe and then store the rest in an airtight container in the freezer.
  • Use a wooden spoon. Use a wood spoon. You will be stirring for a long time. A metal spoon will heat up and become uncomfortable.

What to serve with Gumbo

​Now that you have made a delicious pot of gumbo in your own kitchen, what should you serve with this? I recommend a cold beer. Grab some Abita beer if you want to enjoy gumbo like the residents of New Orleans. Here are a few additional suggestions. 

  • Rice – Hot buttered rice is perfect to serve with Gumbo. 
  • Potato Salad – People in Northern Louisiana enjoy a scoop of potato salad with their gumbo. A mustard-based potato salad is one you should try with your gumbo. 
  • Pickled Okra – The brine of the pickled okra is a great palate cleanser. 
  • Sliced green onions – Some people love to sprinkle green onions on their gumbo when serving it. 

How to Store and Reheat Seafood Gumbo Leftovers

Storing: Allow the gumbo to cool to room temperature for no more than 2 hours. Transfer the gumbo to an airtight container, leaving about an inch of space at the top to expand if you plan on freezing. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezing: Allow the gumbo to cool to room temperature for no more than 2 hours. Transfer the gumbo to a freezer-safe container, leaving about an inch of space at the top to allow for expansion. Seafood gumbo can be frozen for up to 3 months for best quality. Thaw it in the fridge overnight.

Reheating: Transfer the gumbo to a pot and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until warm. Always ensure the gumbo reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F when reheating. Overcooking can cause seafood to become rigid, so avoid boiling it vigorously.

overhead view of seafood gumbo over rice in a black bowl

Love Cajun and Creole food? Try these recipes

More Fine Dining Seafood Recipes

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seafood gumbo over rice in a black bowl

Commanders Palace Seafood Gumbo

You can make commanders palace seafood gumbo with this recipe
4.91 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Cajun
Keyword: Commanders Palace Seafood Gumbo, gumbo, seafood gumbo
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 650kcal


  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 6 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 pounds shrimp peeled
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 pounds crabmeat claw preferred
  • 1 bunch chopped Parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 8 ounces okra frozen
  • 1/2 pint Oysters with Juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Make a roux with the flour and shortening. Cook flour and shortening in a large pot over medium-high heat until the flour turns brown and begins to smell nutty.
  • Add garlic and cook until golden brown. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook until transparent.
  • Turn heat down to low, and add shrimp and tomato sauce, simmer 10 minutes, stir in water, and blend well.
  • Turn heat down to simmer and add all other ingredients except okra and oysters.
  • Cook for about 30 minutes add okra, and cook until the okra turns bright green.
  • Add oysters and cook 10 minutes longer. Serve in a soup bowl over steamed rice.


  • Do not use a cast iron pot to cook the soup, it will discolor the soup.  Stainless steel, or a ceramic pot like Le Cruset is recommended.


Calories: 650kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 71g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 621mg | Sodium: 3073mg | Potassium: 969mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2225IU | Vitamin C: 68.8mg | Calcium: 497mg | Iron: 8.2mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Carolyn

    This is basically the recipe I use, modified over years. Except: I add a few shrimp, 5 or so, when I add the holy trinity. They will just disappear and add flavor. The main shrimp I dust with a Cajun spice mix, like Emerils, and sauté very briefly, just till some of the pink disappears. Then do not add them to the gumbo until the very last minute. I don’t usually add okra. I provide filé powder so that everyone can add a bit to their bowl. It’s very subtle and adds a bit of thickening. For years I added no tomatoes. I have found that a tablespoon or two, depending on how much you are making, deepens the flavor, but I didn’t grow up with tomatoey gumbo. There are a million ways to make gumbo. Most are wonderful. Its all about your tradition. I fully agree with the comments about not adding water. When I first started making gumbo, I wondered what I was doing wrong. I followed recipes, and even my relatives were no help. I think they guarded their secrets. Finally, I realized water was the,problem. Broth, the best homemade broth if possible.

    • Tricia B.

      Agreed with you Cheryl!! I have several friends who are from Louisiana and it’s true… “ask 100 cajun cooks how to make gumbo… ALL DIFERENT ANSWERS… ALL in the timing OR what you happen to throw in the pot at the time!!

  2. Baltisraul

    5 stars
    Wonderful gumbo. I would saute the shrimp in a garlic butter sauce in a different pan and add the last couple minutes. That way you keep the shrimp away from the salt content and there is no chance of the salt making the shrimp mushy and the shrimp remain snappy this way.

  3. Jane Pate

    4 stars
    I have been making seafood gumbo for years thanks to my sister-in-law who grew up in New Iberia, La. Instead of the tomato sauce, we use canned tomatoes with the juice that have been cut up or blended slightly. Also for the okra to keep from being “slimy” we precook it in a skillet with a little oil. and add it in at the same time as all of the other. This looks though like a pretty close recipe to the one we make.

  4. Samantha Brumley

    I can’t imagine leaving shrimp in a gumbo pot for 1+ hours….it would turn out to the equivalent of shredded tire pieces!!!! I’ve cooked gumbo at least 75 times in my life and I’ve ALWAYS put them in maybe 15-20 minutes before serving, otherwise WAYYYYYY over cooked.

    • Keith Mac

      Agree Samantha… I would never do this also, with adding water… it will not have good flavor. I make a stock with all seafood shells, heads, etc. with onion root, shell, celery root and leaves. That stock taste like seafood stew and you add this instead of 3 qts water.

      Then you can add seafood late and have a rich, deep flavored gumbeaux!

  5. Bobby

    Should the roux be cooked over high heat and how long? I also noticed they put the shrimp in early, wouldn’t it over cook?

    When I do a roux I use medium heat it takes about 45 minutes to get nice and dark and usually add shrimp the last 30 minutes.
    I’ll take any tips.

    • Stephanie

      When I was in culinary school, we browned flour in the oven. We put some in a pan, baked the flour at 350 degrees until it was brown, then made the roux. You may want to try this to make a nice roux.

4.91 from 11 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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