This vegan gumbo recipe is hearty, savory, filling and warming. With a mix of beans, mushrooms and okra, this vegetarian gumbo is cheap to make and full of flavour. Starting with a dark, rich roux, key herbs and spices, and a secret umami ingredient, it’s hard to believe that this vegan gumbo doesn’t have any meat in it!
With the exceptional success of my vegan jambalaya recipe, creating a vegan gumbo recipe was a no-brainer. I must have looked at about fifty recipes for gumbo and ended up more confused than I was before.
There’s just so many ways to make gumbo and everyone swears by their own version!
I had quite a few decisions to make when creating my own vegan gumbo recipes, but one thing I was certain about from the start was that I absolutely wanted it to include okra.
If you read along regularly, you’ll know how often I woefully complain about all the normal fruits and vegetables that are very difficult to find in Barcelona. Okra is a happy exception - it’s one of the few things that’s actually more accessible to me here than in Canada.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I can buy it in the supermarket, but there is a neighbourhood not far from my home with a large South Asian population where I can get fresh, quality okra all year round.
I absolutely love okra in curries and gumbo is a great recipe to start with if you’re not familiar with how to cook this fruit.
Since okra is used to thicken gumbo, whether or not to do a roux was the first decision I had to make. I decided to go ahead with a roux for the deep, nutty flavour that it would add to a meatless gumbo and sauté the okra to remove most of the slime that grosses lots of people out.
Roux isn’t hard to make, you just need to stand over it stirring for a bit. The deeper colour you let it get to, the more flavour it will bring to the dish. I let mine go to a dark caramel, milk chocolate colour that was a little darker than peanut butter.
If you’re nervous, you can do it slowly over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, or turn the heat up to medium-high and have it ready in about 15 minutes.
Next, to add another layer of flavour I added dark miso paste. Miso is what I often use in vegan curry pastes in order to replace shrimp paste and add a savory, umamai note.
It worked wonderfully in this vegan gumbo recipe, adding a meaty, gravy-like flavour without tasting of miso soup. My husband wasn’t able to guess that miso was the secret ingredient!
Finally, I was quite conservative with the herbs and spices, adding just a bit of thyme, bay leaves and cayenne pepper. But you can get creative here if you want and add any combination of Cajun seasoning, smoky paprika or liquid smoke, oregano, nutmeg, allspice, lemon juice, vinegar or filé powder (or whatever else you like in your gumbo).
However you choose to make it, this vegan gumbo will fill your belly and satisfy all vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. If you like this recipe, be sure to check out my vegan jambalaya or my smoky Cajun-style black-eyed peas.
Wanna see how to make vegan gumbo? Watch the video and share it on Facebook:
This vegan gumbo recipe is hearty, savory, filling and warming. With a mix of beans, mushrooms and okra, this vegetarian gumbo is cheap to make and full of flavour.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 small green pepper, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups (200 grams) okra, sliced
- 1 can (400 grams / 14 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 2 ½ - 3 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 10 button mushrooms, quartered
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups (330 grams) mixed beans or lentils (I used chickpeas, kidney beans, white beans and brown lentils)
- 1 tablespoon dark miso paste
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Freshly ground pepper
- Brown rice, to serve
- A small handful of fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Heat a wide saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and sprinkle over the flour. Stir or whisk continuously until the roux reaches a dark caramel or milk chocolate colour, a bit darker than peanut butter. It will take about 15 – 20 minutes. Don’t let it burn or you will have to start over.
- Add the onions and continue stirring continuously until soft. Add the green pepper, celery, garlic and okra. Sauté, stirring frequently for 10 – 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the okra slime has disappeared.
- Add the tomato, 2 ½ cups of stock, mushrooms, beans, thyme, cayenne pepper and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
- If you like your gumbo a bit thinner and more soup-like, add as much of the remaining stock as you want. Turn off the heat and ladle a small amount of the gumbo into a small bowl and add the miso paste. Stir well to dissolve and add back to the saucepan. Mix well. Taste the gumbo and add salt to taste (depends on how salty your stock and miso are) and pepper.
- Serve the gumbo with brown rice and sprinkled with some fresh parsley.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 782Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2991mgCarbohydrates: 127gFiber: 32gSugar: 32gProtein: 38g
This post contains affiliate links which help to offset the cost of running the blog with no additional cost to you.
Bam's Kitchen says
Love your recipes! Seen several of them that I can't wait to make for our family on pinterest and wanted to come by and say hello. Would love a bowl of this delicious vegan gumbo coziness on these cold days. Take care
Thanks so much! I'm also familiar with your blog and enjoy those blogs that share my love of international cuisine. Thanks so much for stopping by!
I've tried okra twice in my life and it's been a slimy disaster which ended up in the dishes being tossed out. This gumbo looks crazy good though so I'm going to give it another go. Your recipes have never let me down, never. Will report back when I've made this bowl of deliciousness 😉 Thanks for all the great recipes.
Rachel Lestina says
Hello! I was wondering if I am supposed to use 1 cup of dry lentils in the recipe or the equivalent to make 1 cup fully cooked lentils? I plant to use 1 can of kidney beans and the rest lentils. Thank you!
The lentils are cooked.
I made this today and it is absolutely delicious! I skipped the miso paste, because I didn't have any, but I think it turned out great anyway 🙂 thank you for the recipe!
Jocelyn Salvador says
Thank you SO much for the Vegan Gumbo recipe! However, I omitted the miso paste (I couldn't find it anywhere!), and added a bit of hot sauce and about a teaspoon extra of cayenne pepper and it was amazing! It was the first time I've ever made a rue and I'm going to incorporate it into some of my other recipes! Thank you!
So glad you liked it, thanks so much!
Olivia Marquez says
Ummm this recipe is fookin amazing!¡! Will definitely be making it again. I didn't use to miso paste because the one store that has it near me was closed, so I'm curious as to how the flavor is changed with it. Also, I was so excited for a whole vegan recipe, and then I left for 15 minutes and my dad added in shrimp and chicken buillon when I was gone so much for the excitement. But I imagine it's just as delicious vegan. ¡Gracias para la receta!
Oh man, dads ... *rolls eyes*, lol!
Kim Schultz says
I made this for my husband and I and it is AMAZING!!!!!!! It takes a bit of work (especially the roux) but its totally worth it!!!! I served it with fresh sourdough bread. Highly recommend!!!
Manny Marz says
Hello, fresh okra is hard to find where I live could frozen okra work just as good?
Can I skip out on the Okra? If so are there any other vegetables that can be used to replace it?
Yes, you could leave it out or replace it with zucchini but don't cook the zucchini as long.
Is it safe to assume that this freezes well?
John guido says
Is it OK to use gumbo file with this recipe ?
Sure. I can't buy it where I live so I don't know how much to add but if you do, go ahead.
Thanks for this recipe! I made it to freeze so my boyfriend will have some healthy, veg-heavy meals while I'm away (he can't cook to save his life :P). It's very tasty. I added half the amount of miso since my veg stock (I used "Better than Bouillon" since I'd run out of stock) was fairly salty already. This was my first time making a roux, and I was surprised at how effective it was at thickening the whole thing! Definitely will make again.
At what point do I add the miso? Sometimes I’m a bit slow, but I can’t find it anywhere in the instructions.
Never mind I found the miso paste! See I told you I’m slow lol
Just a note with okra. If you dip each okra in Apple cider vinegar and let it dry on a paper towel...this cuts the sliminess of the okra.
I just saw that on tv the other day. I will defo try it next time I've got some okra!
Jere Holland UpsherJere says
Tiffany L says
Hey there! Was planning on making this tonight, was wondering if I can put this in the crock pot to simmer? And if so how long would you suggest?
Sophia Manning says
Made this tonight and it is GREAT!!! Thank you for this recipe. I am new to vegan and this will be placed in rotation.
I am making this right now, on the simmer for 30 minutes step and i just can't stop sampling it! So delicious!!!
Loved this! I made it tonight and I am not a regular cook! Definitely checking out the rest of your recipes now! Thanks!!
Audra OBrien says
So good! I have never made a rue and now I want to make it more. I had a hard time finding the miso and I don’t know what it added but my family was pleased with it.
I had a lot of fun making this recipe! What is the number of calories per serving?
I don't know. You can try copying and pasting the ingredients into one of those online calorie calculators.
My friend sent me this recipe in November and I have made it at least 7 times since then. It is now one of my go-to recipes. I always omit the miso because I never have it, and it still tastes great. A few times I have not had mushrooms, and I use corn instead. That is also good. Thanks for this!
Can you use canned beans or does it require bagged ones
Canned is fine.
Cassie larson says
We're trying to cut out oil, so I tried making the roux with veggie broth and it just got gummy before turning brown. I also used spelt flour so that might have had something to do with it too, for all I know. Do you think I'd need to skip the roux or is there a hack for roux I don't know about?
Cassie larson says
I just googled it and you can bake the flour in the oven till it is browned and then add cold water and THEN add it to the recipe! So cool.
Alison Higgs says
You can also toast the flour in a pan until it is brown - saves fuel! Keep stirring until it's nut brown.
I just made this tonight and my husband had 3 helpings of it! So delicious. We are new to clean eating and this is going to be part of our rotation!
What type of green pepper? Green bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, etc... Please advise.
Green bell pepper. Or I sometimes use sweet Italian pepper, whatever I find in the grocery store. Not a chilli pepper.
This dish is excellent!!! My meat eating husband loved it as much as me! Toward the end I realized I wanted a darker flavor, so I added 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika. For brightness I also tossed 1/2 t. of oregano. The paprika made your dish outstanding!
I'm planning to double the recipe next time (soon) and add some kind of vinegar.. I think some acidity will work wonderfully in this dark dish (ha, I'll let you know when I find out)!
I can't wait to have this for lunch tomorrow! Thank you SO much!
how many servings does this make?
I want to make this but I only have yellow miso. Will that be ok to use instead of dark or just leave it out? Thanks.
Sure, yellow miso is fine.
Never think of using okra in gumbo! Thank you for amazing recipe!
T Robinson says
I found this recipe on Pinterest and made it today. This is absolutely delicious! This is definitely a keeper and I think this will be in regular rotation during the colder months. Thanks for sharing!
Jennifer Foulks says
Hi I used beans from a bag..I saw that someone else asked and you said canned was ok. So which one did you use? It’s taking my gumbo quite longer to cook them 30 minutes because the beans are not done....so I’m thinking I should have used canned as well
I used canned beans. If using dry, they will need to be fully cooked before adding them to the gumbo.
This so So, So Good! Thanks for another delicious recipe!
Absolutely loved this recipe! So easy to follow and absolutely delicious!
I want to make a gluten free version. Is the roux absolutely necessary? What can I substitute for flour?
I'm sorry, I don't cook gluten free so I'm not an expert. However, I googled "gluten free roux" and found several recipes so I hope one of them will work for you.
We've been making this at home for a couple years now (sorry for the delay on commenting). It has become a staple in our house; it always turns out amazing! We use Alton Brown's method for making the roux - bake equal parts oil and flour in the oven at 350 degrees for 90 minutes, stirring three times during the baking process. Thank you so much for this recipe!
My sister is vegan now and last Thanksgiving she was only able to eat collard greens and rice. This year one of my dishes was to make gumbo for the family so I decided to look for a vegan option just for her so that she would no miss out. This was so full of flavor and she kept going back for more. She was so happy. Could not find the dark miso but was able to find the light colored miso. Wonderful recipe!
Amazing!!! Made it two weeks in a row! I added mushrooms and left out the miso paste.delicious with corn bread.