Gumbo is a classic Louisiana meal loaded with seafood, vegetables, and a bunch of intense flavors. Most delightful recipes include combinations of bell peppers, shrimp, chicken, celery, onions, and okra. And yes, extra seasoning and herbs to achieve that famous spicy flavor.
So, if you’re wondering what flavorsome side dishes pair well with this gumbo meal, we’ve got your back. Traditionally, gumbo is served with a warm bowl of white rice, making them the ultimate combo.
But don’t let that stop you from discovering other options. Here are the 23 Best Side Dishes that will turn your hearty bowl of gumbo into a memorable meal!
1. Crab Cakes
Do you like to offer and serve an appetizer before dishing out and savoring that delicious gumbo? Well, this easy crab cake recipe from Taste of Home is the perfect idea to start off your gumbo meal with creativity and flair!
While you may find it challenging to make enough of this dish for a large group, if you have an intimate family dinner, these crab cakes made with pieces of fresh white crab meat, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and mayonnaise are the sure way to go!
Here’s another appetizing side dish that absolutely blends well with gumbo. For many, a hearty stew of seafood gumbo would not be complete without the presence of potato salad on the side.
We always look for a rich and creamy dish to savor and drizzle on top of our gumbo. On top of everything, this side dish recipe has the healthiest ingredient combinations you can ask for-white potatoes, yellow mustard, salad dressing, and celery!
3. Cheese Bread
How can you eat a hot, delicious bowl of gumbo without some buttery and tasty cheese bread on the dining table? Whether it’s soft dinner bread rolls soaked in cheddar and parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese, you can never go wrong with cheese bread for your most awaited family gumbo meal.
Bake a lovely loaf of this cheese bread made with only kitchen staples of egg, milk, butter, and cheese! Then, serve this bread to the dining table, and you’re all set!
4. Deviled Eggs
Whether you like to spice things up or just want the upper hand in your kitchen, deviled eggs are the best choice to serve with a delightful gumbo meal. Making deviled eggs the familiar way would not make them dry and bland.
But wouldn’t it be more thrilling to add a little more flavor and spice to them? Yes, it absolutely would! Add a bit of pickle juice, paprika, mayonnaise, yellow mustard, and garlic powder, and you just create your new version of this side dish recipe.
Here’s something you can enjoy and savor without worrying about the extra calories. The fresh cabbage is fried until crisp and crunchy and coated with sweet and spicy seasoning.
No fancy ingredients are needed, just a crusty cabbage mixed with bacon and dipped in a sweet and mild hot seasoning. You can enhance this side dish recipe and intensify the taste by adding mild paprika or your favorite Cajun seasoning!
6. Prawn Toast
Prawn toast is sure to be a certified hit when you serve it as a flavorsome appetizer to your gumbo. Lightly crisp with sesame seeds and juicy prawn filling, what’s not to love about this side dish? Many enjoy its nutty sesame seed coating and chili dip, which gives the prawn a well-balanced and luscious taste.
Add a little more creativity and color to your gumbo meal with this green bean salad side dish mixed with a delicious marinade.
Mix mustard, vinegar, pepper, olive oil, and salt in a pan, let it simmer for a while, and toss in your fresh green beans. This mouthwatering side dish brings a magical twist to your gumbo meal while still being super-duper simple and just ready in a few minutes.
Steamed white rice is the most classic and traditional side dish to serve with gumbo, and that’s for a good reason. There’s nothing that can be compared to a hearty and chewy starch to go with the rich and savory soup of seafood gumbo. Just imagine that spicy sauce coating each piece of steamed rice!
But what kind of rice goes well with gumbo? In this recipe courtesy of Food Network, Hooni Kim uses short-grain rice. To be honest, there’s no really wrong or right answer, so just let your taste buds show you the way!
If you’re a sweet tooth, you can’t have or end a main course meal without any presence of dessert. Banana pudding is a fantastic sugary treat to wrap up your spicy gumbo feast.
Made with milk, vanilla wafers, bananas, whip cream, and vanilla extract, this pastry got some wonderfully sweet flavors and richness best eaten after a hot and spicy meal of seafood gumbo!
10. Carrot Souffle
Do you like another dessert treat to lighten up your spicy gumbo meal? The star of this side dish recipe is nothing, but the fresh carrot puree mixed with sugar, vanilla, and margarine.
So, if you’re thinking of another nice to try with your gumbo meal, your lovely guests will surely welcome this carrot souffle dessert treat with open arms. Or they may just simply like the sweet contrast this side dish brings with the rich spice of gumbo.
Like gumbo, jalapeno cornbread is recognized and well-known as a staple meal in Southern cuisine. This spicy and savory pastry made with cheddar cheese, scallions, jalapenos, and butter gives a wonderful complement to the richness of seafood gumbo. On top of everything, it serves as a sponge that soaks up that flavorsome soup!
12. Lemon Pie
A sweet, delightful, and fluffy slice of lemon pie is another excellent dessert side treat for a delicious bowl of gumbo. Made with graham crackers, milk, lemon juice, whipped cream, and meringue topping, this pastry has a pleasant citrus taste that makes a fantastic palate cleanser after eating gumbo.
For a light and healthy weekend dinner, I highly recommend steamed asparagus. Asparagus is pretty low in calories and is an excellent source of nutrients and vitamins. Together with a hearty stew of seafood gumbo, they would make a well-balanced but delicious meal. As a bonus, ad some butter, salt, and pepper to taste!
14. French Baguette
We’ve already settled and made it clear that bread really tastes great and goes well with gumbo! But do you have any idea what else pairs perfectly with it? French baguette, and tons of it! Just imagine dishing out that sweet, nutty, savory, and buttery bread into a hearty bowl of hot seafood gumbo. Perfection!
15. Fried Okra
While fried okra is not everyone’s favorite veggie, this simple side dish might change the hearts and minds of even the most picky eaters.
Arrange the fresh okra pods soaked in egg on a frying pan, drizzle with vegetable oil, and fry them until caramelized. Combine with ground cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, and a sprinkle of Kosher salt, you’ll have a fantastic side that’s flavorsome and inviting!
Sweet potato chips do not just brighten your plate with their rich orange color, but they naturally enhance the savory notes of gumbo by pairing them with sweetness. This side dish recipe is exceptionally flavorful and uses salt, vegetable oil, and chili powder for a wonderfully crisp and delightful finish!
17. Grilled Corn
Grilled corn is sweet, tender, juicy, and incredibly simple to make and prepare. If you’re not busy and have some time left, grill the fresh corn for several minutes to give it a beautiful smoky flavor and they’re ready to go! Brush it with cilantro lime butter and sea salt or sprinkle it with red pepper flakes for an extra hint of hot flavor!
I made a variation of this coleslaw salad at least once a week, and it’s perfect alongside everything from a fried chicken sandwich and baked tofu tacos to a luscious bowl of gumbo.
Thanks to the cabbage, onions, and carrots, it’s extra colorful and the flavors marry so well if you just give it some time to stay in the bowl. The yellow mustard and mayonnaise mixed with black pepper and vinegar blend against the mild salty and crunchy veggies.
These crispy, deep-fried hush puppies balls are tender, chewy, and fluffy, and blend really well with a delectable bowl of gumbo.
Like cornbread, the hush puppies’ sweetness balances out the deep, savory, and rich flavor of gumbo. Do you like to make these sweet balls a bit more interesting and exciting? Give it a mild hint of spice by marinating it with Cajun spice and cayenne pepper!
One of the most basic and straightforward recipes for seafood gumbo is here. This pickled jalapeno recipe uses easy-to-find grocery ingredients like vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, and of course, jalapenos.
All you must do is combine all the ingredients until they’re mixed well. Make sure the jalapenos have come to a boil to achieve a soft, tender, and juicy texture.
Roasted vegetables are the perfect way to have some extra flavor and nutrients, plus they’re ready in just a snap of time.
Just toss them on a roasting tray and bake for thirty minutes at three hundred degrees Fahrenheit. Potatoes, carrots, parsnip, smashed garlic, and red onions are my recommended vegetable mix. Finally, sprinkle with parsley, and serve!
22. Sauteed Spinach
Sauteed spinach is a quick side dish you can conveniently whip up at any time of the day. And they’re fantastic with almost any main course meal, whether it be honey-mustard chicken, sausage lasagna rolls, cilantro lime shrimp, or, yes, your favorite gumbo!
With the baby spinach leaves cooked to perfection with garlic and olive oil in a hot pan, this simple side dish recipe with only four ingredients and fifteen minutes will definitely catch you by surprise!
23. Potato Wedges
These golden baked potato wedges are crunchy on the outside and soft pillows on the inside. Honestly, I cannot think of a better texture combination to a hot bowl of gumbo than these potato wedges!
Flavored with parmesan cheese and a good kick of garlic, paprika, and onion powder, these baked potato wedges are absolutely herby and salty.
It’s one of the most enticing gumbo side dish recipes on this list, no doubt! And yes, since they’re baked in the oven, not deep-fried, these delicious potato wedges are much healthier than the famous French fries.
Indeed, no matter how flavorful and luscious gumbo is, side dishes need to be present for an unforgettable festive scene to satisfy and fulfill everyone’s craving.
What sides to serve with this hearty meal might be a challenging lane to walk, but not anymore with our list of 23 Best Side Dishes for Gumbo. Feel free to go back to this recipe collection to know what goes well with gumbo so you can have plenty for friends and family to enjoy!
Raelyn Fuller has been known as a food and wine enthusiast for her entire life. She is a Food Nutritionist student who works as a journalist for their university in their school newspaper. Right after creating her excellent blog, she was recruited by Birch Restaurant, where she gives her strong opinions about restaurants! Her favorite cuisines are Japanese, Mexican, and Korean!