Louisiana-Style Vegetarian Gumbo Recipe with Okra and Zucchini (Vegan)

Bowl of Vegetable Gumbo with Thyme Garnish
Vegetable gumbo with okra photo by Envision / Getty Images
  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Ratings (15)

Gumbo calls Louisiana home, but you can make a vegetarian and vegan vegetable gumbo at your home and bring a bit of the old south into your kitchen no matter where you live!

This vegetarian gumbo recipe has the traditional and mandatory celery, onions, and bell peppers as well as tomatoes and okra, making this a Creole-style or Louisiana vegetarian gumbo, rather than Cajun, which omits the tomatoes. Gumbo isn't traditionally made vegetarian, so there's not really a wrong or a right way to make it. The recipe does call for filé powder for seasoning, and there's not really any good substitute. You can omit it without too much trouble and just add a touch more thyme and salt, and maybe a touch of something savory and neutral to add flavor (like garlic powder or celery seed, or a dash of a Creole seasoning blend if you have one). 

If you need it to be gluten-free, just be sure to use a gluten-free vegetable broth, or substitute water instead.

If you like gumbo, scroll down for a few more vegetarian gumbo recipes and meat-free Cajun and Creole-inspired recipes to try.

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or other neutral cooking oil)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or water to keep it gluten-free)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1 1/2 cups okra, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon filé powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash black pepper, to taste
  • Dash tabasco sauce, to taste
  • 3 cups rice, pre-cooked

How to Make It

  1. Sautee the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic in olive oil over medium heat in the largest saucepan or soup pot you have. Allow this mixture to cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Next, carefully add the water and vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a low simmer, then add the tomatoes, sliced okra, sliced zucchini, thyme, filé powder, salt, pepper, and tabasco, stirring to combine. Cover the pot partially, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not overcook.

    Serve generous portions of your vegetable gumbo over a pre-cooked plain steamed white or brown rice, or, serve your vegetarian gumbo over quinoa for a little protein boost.

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