Gumbo is a popular stew dish made famous in New Orleans, Louisiana. It consists of andouille sausage, cooked rice, strong beef stock, and Creole / Cajun spices and ingredients, like onions, bell peppers, and celery. Gumbo can also be made with chicken, shrimp and seafood, and even duck.
Gumbo has been around since the 18th century, as accounts show mention to similar dishes. In the 1970s, people in Louisiana fell in love with the plate and made it the states’ official dish.
Ever since then, its popularity has grown to worldwide status. If you’d like to learn what side dishes to pair with gumbo, read on.
17 Side Dishes to Serve with Gumbo
Rice is the most common side dish served with gumbo because it can soak up all of that delicious gumbo flavor.
While white rice with gumbo is famous, other varieties of rice can also be served for added flavor. Brown or wild rice has fiber and other nutrients to promote good health.
Coming in close second in popularity is cornbread. Cornbread is loaves of bread made from cornmeal, eggs, flour, and honey.
These sweetbreads can be served in smaller portions or on sliced bread, and their sweetness pairs well with gumbo’s array of flavors. Cornbread is also great for dipping and getting the last savory drops of gumbo.
3. Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is a classic side dish that goes with most meals, especially gumbo. Gumbo has smoky, Cajun spices, and roasted corn on the cob accentuates these flavors.
You can go with boiled corn on the cob or the grill lightly salted with some butter for a delicious break between gumbo.
4. Hush Puppies
Hush Puppies are a staple of Southern Comfort food. Their name comes from the American Civil War when soldiers would fry leftover cornbread batter and feed them to stop dogs from barking.
Hushpuppies are made of cornmeal batter fried with onion powder, garlic powders, and spices.
They make a great addition to any gumbo meal.
5. Collard Greens
Collard greens or Chard can be served solo or in a salad for a healthy side dish. Collard greens are common in Southern cuisine and add to the Southern Comfort feel of your meal.
Collard greens are pretty accessible and can be found in most grocery stores and supermarkets.
6. Maque Choux
Maque Choux is a typical Cajun dish made of corn, heavy cream, bacon, peppers, and seasoning. Prepared Maque Choux isn’t as readily available at grocery stores but can be easily made at home.
This dish is a great way to spice up your corn and add more flavor to your gumbo meal.
7. Crab Cakes with Cajun Cream Sauce
For a succulent infusion of flavor, crab cakes in cajun cream sauce are a perfect choice. Gumbos can come with different meats and crab cakes pair well with seafood gumbo.
Crab cakes are made by combining crab meat with mayonnaise, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and seasoning, and then frying or baking them into patties. The cream sauce gives the cakes a superb kick of flavor.
8. Cheese Bread
If you prefer salty over sweet, you can go with cheese bread. Cheese bread is made with buttermilk, flour, herbs and spices, and cheese, of course.
Most cheese bread can be found at bakeries but can be easily made at home. Parmesan cheese is the best cheese to use and can satisfy your taste buds.
9. Slow-Cooked Creamed Corn
If you want to get fancy with your corn, try this side dish. Slow-cooked creamed corn is simple to make and only requires five ingredients: corn, butter, milk, sugar, and cream cheese.
Slow-cooked corn in cream makes a sweet, delectable side order that pairs well with gumbo and cornbread.
10. Deviled Eggs
If you’re looking for a little more protein to complement your gumbo, deviled eggs are a great option. Deviled eggs are egg yolks mixed with vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, and spices.
Serving deviled eggs is sure to impress any gathering, as they are equal parts flavorful, and presentable. Don’t forget the dash of smoked paprika for an extra kick.
11. Bread Pudding
With so many ways to make bread, we had to include one of the sweetest on our list. Bread pudding is sweetened with vanilla and powdered sugar and baked to perfection.
Bread Pudding is versatile and can be served as a side dish or dessert with a scoop of ice cream on top.
Okra is a plant that grows edible seed pods and is a popular snack for its taste and nutritional content.
For a healthy alternative, you can sautée or roast okra in olive oil with some garlic and onions. You can also fry okra for a savory side.
13. Fresh Salad
A fresh greens salad is a healthy option to pair with your gumbo. Some people may find the flavors of gumbo to be overpowering, so a light side like arugula salad can pair well.
There are so many types of salads that pair well with gumbo, mainly sweet salads like pear and arugula or blueberries and spring mix.
14. Spinach Madeline
Spinach Madeline is a dip made of jalapeño cheese and spinach. You can add more ingredients like Worcestershire sauce and onions, but it’s optional.
Spinach Madeline is the perfect side dish if you have cornbread or cheese bread, but it can also be served solo with gumbo for a spicy addition.
15. Potato Salad
Potato Salad is another classic accompaniment with gumbo. Potato salads are also versatile, but most recipes call for potatoes, mayonnaise, seasonings, and vegetables.
Potato Salads are effortless to make. Simply cut the potatoes into ¼ inch pieces, boil until tender, and mix with mayonnaise and your choice of vegetables or fruits. Add some bits of bacon for a smoky flavor.
16. Sweet Potato Wedges
Sweet Potato is a healthy, less starchy cousin to potatoes. When cut into wedges and baked until crunchy, these wedges make the perfect companion for dipping into your Gumbo or Spinach Madeline.
Sweet Potato wedges are relatively simple to bake and can quickly boost your side dish game.
Quinoa is an indigenous grain from Peru and a healthy replacement for white rice. It contains more fiber than white rice and other nutrients.
Quinoa has a neutral flavor that won’t interfere with the star of the meal. You can mix the gumbo with quinoa for a true blending of cuisines.
You’re all set to pair your gumbo with the perfect side dish: whatever your heart desires! Try out a few combinations and see which works best for your tastebuds.
Do you have any other suggestions that weren’t on the list? Share your favorites in the Comment Section below!