This easy vegan gumbo is delicious, heartwarming, and full of flavor and texture, a perfect dish to serve for Mardi Gras. Traditional Louisiana gumbo is made with meat and/or seafood, but you won’t miss those ingredients in our vegan version thanks to a well-flavored broth and a lovely mix of veggies.

Vegan Gumbo is totally customizable, so feel free to give or take whatever ingredients you like. Vegetables like cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans, spinach, sweet potatoes, or tomatoes would all work great here. Instead of brown lentils, you can use white, black, kidney, or pinto beans, black-eyed peas, or corn. Flavor your broth the way you like with extra chili, garlic, tomato sauce, or herbs. And add extras like vegan sausage, beefless strips, or konjac ‘shrimp’.

Serve gumbo with rice, or on its own. The leftovers freeze well.

On a budget?

  • Choose frozen okra and bell peppers.
  • Use light soy sauce instead of mushroom sauce.
  • Instead of buying expensive pre-made seasonings, make your own creole mix with onion and garlic powder, black, white, and cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, basil, oregano, and thyme.
  • Make your own broth with leftover veggie scraps.

Healthy options

  • Omit the roux (oil and flour - the first step), and sauté your veggies with water or vegetable broth instead. Use a little less broth, and allow the okra to be your only thickening agent.
  • Choose low sodium broth and mushroom sauce.
  • Serve gumbo with brown rice, quinoa, or with a big side salad.

Want a deluxe version?

  • The beauty of this dish is how a few simple ingredients can make for such a delightful stew.
  • Make sure to choose high-quality ingredients!
  • Add some vegan seafood! Tofu or banana blossom fish, shrimp made of konjac root, or crabs made of the heart of palm are all awesome additions to gumbo.
  • Or add some plant-based meat. Jackfruit or a vegan sausage are all great.

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 50 mins

Vegan Gumbo

Serves 4


  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can of lentils, rinsed and drained (1.5 cups)
  • 1.5 cups of okra (fresh or frozen), halved or sliced
  • 1/2 cup of frozen mixed veggies (such as peas, corn, and carrots)
  • 1 cup of soy or seitan (vital wheat gluten) chunks
  • 2.5 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp mushroom sauce
  • salt, pepper


  1. Heat up 4 tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add flour, and cook for about 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until it turns into a brown paste. Set aside.
  2. Heat up the rest of the oil in a pot, then add onion, celery, bell pepper, and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add lentils, okra, mixed veggies, soy or seitan chunks, vegetable broth, creole seasoning, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and fresh thyme. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover the pot. Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more broth if needed, as you go.
  4. Pour the roux into the pot, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the stew thickens.
  5. Discard thyme, and season stew with mushroom sauce, salt, and pepper.


Calories 377 | Total Fat 19.6g | Saturated Fat 3.3g | Cholesterol 3mg | Sodium 1222mg | Total Carbohydrate 32.6g | Dietary Fiber 7.7g| Total Sugars 6g | Protein 17.2g | Calcium 78mg | Iron 3mg | Potassium 426mg |


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