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Entrees/ Recipes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Healthy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Gumbo

A bed of rice covered with vegetable stew on a white plate

This veggie-packed vegetarian gumbo recipe is made in a slow cooker, so it’s super easy to make—and it’s a healthy vegan option as well! Kidney beans, zucchini, and mushrooms, replace the meat in this healthy, goodness-packed slow-cooker stew. And don’t worry! The heat is still there with the addition of Cajun seasoning and hot sauce. If you’re not opposed to meatless sausage, Field Roast’s Mexican Chipotle Sausage would be a great way to add some heat (and a little faux meat) too.

A bed of rice covered with vegetable stew on a white plate

Healthy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Gumbo

A veggie-packed meatless gumbo recipe, adapted from Williams-Sonoma's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 servings


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 oz white mushrooms quartered
  • 1 small zucchini cut into thick half moons
  • 1 cup frozen okra sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetarian worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hot sauce and cooked rice for serving


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic and cook until softened and just beginning to brown, 8–10 minutes. Transfer veggies to a 4–6 quart slow cooker.
  • Return the Dutch oven to the stovetop and heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in it. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until it's golden brown, about 4 minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil; once the broth has come to a boil, transfer it to the slow cooker. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker except the hot sauce and cooked rice.
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6–8 hours. Once the gumbo has finished cooking, remove the bay leaf and add more salt and pepper to taste if needed. Serve over rice with hot sauce.
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  • Reply
    January 22, 2014 at 9:16 am

    So what if it doesn’t have meat or seafood, it looks like a big plate of comfort to me!! Yummy!!

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    January 22, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Love this veggie version of the classic! I’m been going slow-cooker crazy, so I eat up every veggie-friendly recipe I find 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 22, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      I loooove my slow cooker! When you’re busy, it is SO nice to have dinner ready and waiting. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 22, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    “Don’t be afraid to be a little inauthentic. I mean, it’s just food. If your […] tastes good, does it really have to be a perfect replication of the original? No! […] Enjoy your food for what it is!”

    Amen to THAT! People just take things WAY too seriously these days, ESPECIALLY food (to the point of being judgemental, snooty and, in the end, exclusive and offensive; Top Chef contestants are like the Inuit, but instead of having 50 words for “snow”, it’s 50 for “puree”). Like you said, it’s JUST food. Don’t complicate it, and, by all means, ENJOY it. There should never really be any rules when it comes to food; taste is such a subjective thing, anyway. As long as one is thoughtful, conscientious and aware of where their food is coming from and how it’s produced, what you do with it is fair game. 🙂 Unconventionality usually equates with originality, which usually wins out for me. 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 22, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      Yes, a lot of people will get caught up in the right or wrong way to do things, but really, unless you’re doing something that could cause food poisoning, fire, or the loss of a limb, there’s no right or wrong with cooking as long as it tastes good in the end. I think that fear of doing things wrong keeps a lot of people out of the kitchen, which is sad!

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    January 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    im all about making changes to the traditional recipes – this is surely going to be a hit 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 22, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      Me too–I very rarely make things the way they’re supposed to be made. 😉

  • Reply
    Allison Drake
    January 22, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    This looks delicious! Can you suggest a replacement for okra? We can’t get this in Australia!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 22, 2014 at 10:14 pm

      You can omit it entirely, double the zucchini, or add a yellow squash instead. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lynn @ The Actor's Diet
    January 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I love this! I’ve got a crockpot red beans and rice recipe that would go great with this! Here it is:

  • Reply
    January 22, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I love your website! I was so tired of my old standby’s. You have given me a reason to go on cooking.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    One of the things that I discovered about the.boy that surprises me in a major way is that he loves okra. It’s very uncharacteristic of him. I love okra too so this is totally happening.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 22, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Ha! There are times when I love okra and times when I hate it. I was pretty ready to pick the okra out of my gumbo, but surprisingly, I liked it. But yeah, it’s not exactly the most popular veggie.

  • Reply
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking
    January 22, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Love this delicious, hearty gumbo, Kiersten! It looks so warm and comforting… and filling!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 24, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      It’s definitely filling, especially when served with a big bowl of rice!

  • Reply
    Helen @ Scrummy Lane
    January 23, 2014 at 3:11 am

    Totally agree that things don’t HAVE to be authentic – doesn’t matter in the slightest!
    Nice site, by the way!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I like your philosophy – I’ve seen other bloggers get attacked by readers for making “inauthentic” versions of traditional dishes, but I think the point of having a blog is to be creative and contribute something different from what everyone has already made! I wouldn’t know what authentic gumbo is anyway, but this sounds good to me and the mexican field roast sausage would be perfect in it!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 24, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      I’ve seen the same! It’s such a silly thing to get upset about, isn’t it? Some people have too much time on their hands! 😉

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board
    January 24, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I hate when people leave comments like you can’t call this X, true X only has this, this, and this .. If we never experimented with dishes then so many delicious ones would never have been invented (not to mention food would be pretty boring)! Traditional gumbo has never really appealed to me but this version sounds great!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 24, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      Yeah, those comments bug me too! I don’t get too many of them (I guess because people coming here are already assuming my recipes will deviate from the original since they’re meatless!), but I see some pretty intense arguments on other blogs and I feel bad for those bloggers!

  • Reply
    May 10, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Making this tonight using leftover butternut squash and parsnip soup as part of the mix 🙂

  • Reply
    August 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I picked up some fresh okra and peppers at the market today. Do you think this recipe will fare well with fresh okra instead of frozen? I’ve never cooked okra before…

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 27, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      I’ve never cooked with fresh okra before either, only frozen! I think it should work out either way, but let me know how it turned out if you made it.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I made a giant pot of this tonight and it is TAS.TY. I’m very happy with how it turned out. I used fresh okra instead of frozen, and cooked them with the other ingredients listed in the first step so they wouldn’t be slimy and disgusting. That is the only thing I did differently and I will definitely be making this again in the future. I already screenshot the recipe to my computer!! 🙂 Thanx!!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    As the husband of a vegetarian-who-doesn’t-cook (and as a non-vegetarian), it’s been frustrating trying to come up with tasty vegetarian dishes that can be made easily to support my wife. It’s hard when you’ve been raised with meat @ every meal and there seems like so little time in every day to spend researching and experimenting on making things vegetarian. I made this gumbo yesterday for my wife and I was amazed how good it all turned out! (I’m looking forward to the leftovers this weekend!) I’m glad that I stumbled upon your website—it looks like a great resource going forward. I think I’m going to try out a weekly dinner plan next. Thank you!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Do you have a suggestion on how to make a gluten free roux? I am thinking a GF flour mix should do the trick. Just wondering if someone has already tried that. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      November 26, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      I’m not gluten-free, so I’ve never made a gluten-free roux before. I know that with gravy, some people use cornstarch or arrowroot powder as a thickener, so that might be an option.

  • Reply
    January 4, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    What if I don’t own a dutch oven? Is a big pot ok?

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 6, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      I developed this recipe for a slow cooker, so while you can make it in a pot on the stove, the cook time is going to change significantly.

  • Reply
    February 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    I made this gumbo – AWESOME!!!!!! At the end I threw in a bag of frozen precooked baby shrimp. quite tasty

  • Reply
    April 21, 2015 at 12:11 am

    This looks very tasty. I am making this tomorrow !! But I was wondering if I could substitute brussels sprouts for the Okra? I’m not really sure if this would work Thanks

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Sorry for being a few days late with my reply – Brussels sprouts will work, but they won’t thicken the gumbo like okra does.

  • Reply
    Lauren W.
    June 19, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Okay this seriously turned out AMAZING! I can’t even put into words how much I enjoyed this dish! Thank you so much!!

  • Reply
    Matthew Kneale
    September 16, 2015 at 12:18 am

    I found the can of tomatoes made the meal taste way too acidic. Next time I might try using fresh tomatoes and add some brown sugar.

  • Reply
    January 2, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    This is absolutely delicious!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2016 at 10:57 am

    So you think this would work if you prepare everything The day before and just start The cockpit? It is a lot to prepare in The morning with everything Else…

    • Reply
      May 5, 2016 at 9:05 am

      If you prepared everything the day before, I’d refrigerate it and then put it in the crockpot the next morning – it shouldn’t be left room temperature in the crockpot overnight.

  • Reply
    March 14, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    I’m a little confused. Its called Gumbo, but that’s not what the picture shows. I’m a cajun from South Louisiana, so I’m quite familiar, and I make my own vegetarian Okra Gumbo that’s a big hit with even the meat eaters. However, when you eat gumbo, its in a bowl with lots of liquids and you put a big scoop of rice in before using the soup spoon to add the gumbo. This looks VERY dry. Is it supposed to be like a gumbo with lots of liquids like a soup, or is it more like a stew like it looks in the picture? There’s no picture of the pot with the gumbo in it, so I’m not sure if its the same consistency as the picture or if it has all the liquids and can be eaten like a soup with rice.

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