What Can You Substitute For Chicken Gumbo Soup?

A thick gravy, some juicy pieces of chicken, and a lot of veggies make an authentic chicken gumbo soup. It’s the perfect comfort food that’s not only filling but also delicious. But have you ever wondered what can be the best substitute for the chicken gumbo soup? 

Crab and shrimp gumbo soup is the best substitute for this traditional Louisiana dish. But you can also try other alternatives like beef soup, mushroom soup, potato soup, etc. 

If you ever get bored of eating the same soup or want to try something else in general, there are multiple other alternatives to chicken gumbo soup. Wondering what they are? Let’s explore together. 

But first, let’s take a brief look at chicken gumbo soup and its ingredients.  

What Goes In Chicken Gumbo Soup? 

The traditional chicken gumbo soup recipe includes chicken chunks, chicken stock, bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, celery, and some herbs and spices. 

But why is it called gumbo soup? Well, the word gumbo comes from the West African word gombo, meaning okra. Okra is one of the base ingredients in the soup and is used in its powder form. It makes the soup thicker. 

Gumbo soup is available in food stores, but if you want, you can make it from fresh ingredients. 

What Can You Substitute For Chicken Gumbo Soup

What Can Be The Best Substitute For Chicken Gumbo Soup? 

Chicken gumbo is delicious, and there is no denying it. But as we say, variety is the spice of life; there is no harm in trying some substitutes for it. 

Moreover, chicken gumbo soup is definitely not on your plate if you are a vegan or vegetarian. This is why I have found some vegan/ vegetarian alternatives as well, that taste as heavenly as the chicken gumbo soup. 

Let’s take a look at some alternatives to chicken gumbo soup, for vegans/ vegetarians and for those who don’t enjoy chicken but like other meats.

Mushroom Soup 

What Can You Substitute For Chicken Gumbo Soup

I know chicken and mushroom sound poles apart, but trust me, mushroom soup can also make you drool. It’s made with oyster mushrooms, vegetable stock, spices, and herbs.

The meaty texture of the mushrooms makes them a good substitute for chicken. 

The mushroom pieces replace the chicken chunks. The thick creamy texture of the soup will surely make you crave more. You get canned mushroom soups, and all you need to do is, warm it up a little and enjoy. 

Beef Soup 

If you are not a big chicken fan, beef soup is something you’ll surely love. Other veggies like- onions, bell pepper, carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes are added to make it more flavorful. The beef is cooked until it gets tender and juicy. 

Shredded beef pieces are added to the soup, which adds to the taste and texture of the soup. 

Potato Soup 

What Can You Substitute For Chicken Gumbo Soup

If you are a vegan or vegetarian, potato soup is another great substitute for chicken gumbo soup. Cook the potatoes in the vegetable stalk, and add your preferred vegetables, some herbs, and spices.

Potato soup does not need additional thickener since it has a starchy texture. 

Enjoy the potato soup with rice or bread. It’s best to have days when you are craving something tangy, spicy, and delicious. 

Other Gumbo Soups 

Gumbo soups have different varieties like- crab and shrimp gumbo, sausage gumbo, Gramercy crawfish gumbo, etc. These are available in cans, or you can make your own at home.

If you can’t find chicken gumbo soup cans at the grocery store, these are the closest alternatives with almost the same taste. 

Try This Delicious Shrimp & Crab Gumbo Soup Recipe: Best Chicken Gumbo Soup Substitute 

Shrimp and crab gumbo soup is the next most popular gumbo to chicken. The dish is also widely consumed across different regions, and it’s quite easy to make. Let’s check the ingredient list and cooking method. 

Ingredients for the stock 

  • 3 pounds medium-sized shrimps (shell removed and deveined. Preserve the shells) 
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 gallon + 2 cups clam juice 
  • 2 celery ribs 
  • 1 finely chopped onion  
  • 1 large chopped carrot 
  • 8 bay leaves 

Ingredients for the roux 

  • 1 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour 

Ingredients for gumbo 

  • 4 minced garlic cloves 
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil 
  • 2 finely chopped celery ribs 
  • 1 finely chopped large onion 
  • 1 finely chopped large green pepper 
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes (crushed) 
  • 1 pound okra (sliced into ½ inch rounds) 
  • 1 tbsp paprika 
  • 1 tbsp chile powder 
  • 1 ½ tbsp file powder 
  • 1 tsp dried thyme 
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano 
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1 tsp white pepper (ground) 
  • Shelled and deveined shrimp (from stock) 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 pound lump crab meat 
  • Tabasco, steam rice, and sliced scallions (for serving) 


Step one 

Take oil in a stockpot and cook shrimp shells. Cook on high heat for five minutes until they turn brown. Add tomato paste and cook for two more minutes until the tomato paste starts sticking to the pot. 

Add clam juice and all other ingredients mentioned for the stock and bring it to a boil. Let the stock simmer for 25 minutes. Once done, strain it in a large bowl. 

Step two 

Place a saucepan on medium heat. Add oil and flour, and stir continuously. Cook for about 30 minutes until the roux turns golden brown. Now increase the heat to high and cook for ten more minutes. Take the roux in a bowl and keep it aside. 

Step three 

Take the stockpot again in medium heat, and add 2 tbsp oil, garlic, onion, and celery. Keep stirring the ingredients until they get soft.

Add roux and keep cooking until you see small bubbles. Now add the tomatoes and stock and bring it to a boil. In low flame, let the stock simmer for 1 ½ hour and skim off the fat. There should be no floury lumps. 

Step four 

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet, and add okra, green pepper, chile powder, paprika, oregano, thyme, file, white pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add salt according to your salt and keep stirring for 5 minutes. Add some stalk to mix all the ingredients well. 

Step five 

Transfer the spice mix to the gumbo and simmer for one more hour. Add the shrimp and cook until it turns white. Then stir in the crab meat and add some more salt to finish off. Enjoy with steamed rice, tabasco and sliced scallions. 


Finding an exact substitute for it is not possible since every dish has its unique flavor, but the soups I mentioned here are no less when it comes to richness of flavor and texture. Get some ready-to-eat canned soups or make them yourself; either way, you’re going to love all these gumbo soup alternatives. 

Have you already tasted any of these? If yes, let us know your thoughts, and stay tuned for more interesting posts. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Types Of Soup Is Chicken Gumbo?

Chicken gumbo is a spicy soup with lots of veggies. This Louisiana soup combines the flavors of American, African, Indian, and European elements. 

Apart From Chicken, What Else Can You Add In Gumbo?

You can add sausage, shrimp, and some other seafood to gumbo to make it more flavorful.

Can I Use Chicken Broth Instead Of Chicken Stock In Gumbo?

Yes, you can use chicken broth instead of chicken stock in gumbo. It’s best to use either of these instead of plain water. If you don’t have chicken broth or chicken stock, you can use vegetable stock as well.

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