The Vegetarian Society Cookery School’s Gumbo Recipe

Posted on the 8th August 2017

For a stunning midweek meal to bring everyone round the table or as a weekend classic, this beautiful Louisiana-inspired casserole never fails to impress. To find out more about amazing American veggie cooking, check out The American Veggie experience right here.

A flavoursome Louisiana casserole hinting of influences from Africa, France and Spain. Our vegetarian version uses beans and tofu in place of the traditional meats and shellfish. Okra is used in this dish to act as a thickening agent. Filé (sassafras) powder is often used in gumbo in place of okra.

Serves 4

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 40 minutes




For the Creole seasoning

2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp black pepper

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp white pepper


For the gumbo

1 tbsp olive oil

250g basil tofu, cubed (or 250g vegan sausages)

1 red onion, chopped

1 celery stick, sliced

1 green pepper, chopped

2 cloves smoked garlic, crushed

1 tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce

200ml vegan red wine

250g okra, fresh or frozen

500ml vegetable stock

400g tin chopped tomatoes

200g shredded chard

100g frozen spinach

400g tin of white beans, drained

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped

American vegetarian gumbo cooking class


1 If using vegan sausages rather than basil tofu, cook according to product instructions then slice and set aside for later.

2 Make the Creole seasoning by mixing together all the spice ingredients.

3 In a frying pan, shallow fry the tofu cubes in half the oil until crisp, turning to cook each side. Set aside for later.

4 Start the gumbo by frying the onion, celery and green pepper in the remaining oil for 5 minutes or until they start to soften.

5 Add the smoked garlic, chipotle in adobo sauce and homemade Creole seasoning and fry briefly for 1 minute, stirring frequently to avoid sticking.

6 Add the red wine and cook for 5 minutes to reduce slightly.

7 While the wine is reducing, wash the okra thoroughly under cold running water then pat them completely dry with kitchen roll. This step is important to help prevent the okra becoming slimy when cooking. If using frozen okra skip to next step.

8 Now add the vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes, okra, chard, spinach, beans and pre-fried tofu to the saucepan. Bring the casserole to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

9 Finally, add the sliced sausage and stir in the cherry tomatoes. Serve garnished with the parsley.

Copyright © The Vegetarian Society


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