Gumbo 101: What Not to Put in Your Pot

Oh gumbo, one of the most popular dishes in the state of Louisiana.

This amazing dish holds so much tradition to almost every family in South Louisiana. With so many renditions of this delicacy, I’ve seen and tried a number of different recipes for gumbo. I’m no chef, but I have had my share of gumbo throughout my life, some good some bad, but to each his own. However, there are some things that one just should not add to a pot of gumbo.

I’ve come across many posts on the proper etiquette of gumbo preparations. This is my take on gumbo.


Putting veggies in gumbo makes it more of a stew. I mean just add roast, and bam you’ve got a good ole’ bowl of stew. I’ve never heard of potatoes, carrots, etc. going into gumbo. So, let’s try to avoid that, shall we? To be honest, the only veggies allowed in gumbo are the holy trinity and your garnish.

Hot dogs??

From what I understand, this has been a really big debate for a very long time, but do some people really put hot dogs in gumbo? Growing up, I never had gumbo with hot dogs in it. To be honest, I am not a fan of hot dogs at all … ever. But apparently, some people put them in their dish and love it. Just give me a good ole’ smoked or andouille sausage and that will work just fine.

Type of gumbo

It has also been brought to my attention that it’s best to establish what type of gumbo is being made. Whether it’s creole gumbo or seafood gumbo. In my opinion, it truly doesn’t matter. If you look back in history, gumbo was actually a dump-style meal, meaning that whatever was available was dumped into a pot and enjoyed for generations.

Now I may seem like a hypocrite for the last line, but many Louisianians take this very seriously now that gumbo has become a well-known dish. So, for all the ones out there wanting to know how important it is to make the best gumbo, try following my advice but also ask friends and family for their take.

It’s a learning process to get the best recipe down, but the most important thing to remember is that gumbo is meant to bring friends and family together. Gumbo brings warmth, love, and tradition and that makes this beloved dish the best one in this amazing state.

What’s your take on gumbo? Anything I should try? Share your favorite in the comments.


Ja’Nae was born in Houma and raised on the outskirts of New Orleans known as the Westbank, where she still resides. She’s currently dating her boyfriend of 3 years and together they raise their daughter A’nylah. After attending Jackson State University, she moved back to New Orleans and then earned her master’s at Full Sail University in Public Relations, she currently works part-time at a local Bra Boutique where she enjoys helping women feel good about themselves. In her free times, she’s looking for the latest fashion trends, working out, learning how to organize her life, relaxing by enjoying a good movie or series and finding fun things to do with her new family.


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