Gumbo roux is actually the heart and soul of any great gumbo recipe, regardless of what type you make. You can make the perfect gumbo if you get your roux right! So, let’s get to know what this actually is.

Gumbo roux typically comes together with equal parts of a source of fat and flour. The stages of making the roux are white roux, blonde roux, light brown roux, and dark brown roux. And we usually use dark roux when making gumbo. This ingredient also adds flavor to other dishes apart from gumbo.

If roux ever confused you or you had difficulties making this at home, we have all the answers for your problems right in this article- keep reading!

What Is Gumbo Roux?

Gumbo roux is recognized as the heart and soul of any gumbo recipe, which adds tons of flavor to the dish. As mentioned in the beginning, any great gumbo would start by getting this roux right. Making the roux is not hard and complicated but counts for attention and restraint. Although we specifically call it gumbo roux, it is generally used in many Cajun and Creole dishes as the base of a certain dish.

A standard roux calls for equal parts of fat and flour. And traditionally, the dark roux or the roux that looks like melted milk chocolate, copper penny-colored or reddish-brown, is used in gumbo. Creole gumbo is made with a little deeper colored roux than that of Cajun gumbo. 

This ingredient can be made right before you get started with making gumbo or any other dish. Or else, you could make it ahead and keep it in the refrigerator or simply buy pre-made ones from the store. However, there are a few tips and tricks you should remember and be aware of when making gumbo roux at home. In fact, we should pick the proper utensils, ingredients and keep in mind that the process ends and begins with lots of patience.

Gumbo is a popular dish coming from Cajun and Creole cuisines. So, if you want to learn more about this delectable food, click on this and refer to our detailed article.

Gumbo Roux Ingredients

01- The Source Of Fat

Not all sources of fat are suitable for making gumbo roux. Nevertheless, you can choose oil, butter, margarine, ghee, or animal fat like lard, bacon drippings, or sausage grease. You can use a plant-based oil if you are making vegetarian gumbo or any other vegan dish. 

Here are a few types of neutral-flavored oils that would work best for gumbo roux:

  • Peanut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Canola oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Corn oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Vegetable oil

However, olive is not much recommended by expert chefs since it does not have a higher smoke point or a neutral flavor. Therefore, if you are generally used to cooking with both olive oil and vegetable oil, 

we suggest going with vegetable oil.

Tip: If you wish to make a brown or dark brown roux, it would be best to make this with an oil with a higher smoke point, so your roux will not easily burn during the long cooking process.

02- Flour

It is recommended that plain, white flour is the best to make the gumbo roux. You can go with bleached or unbleached regular all-purpose flour. Self-raising or gluten-free flour types can change the taste and consistency of your roux. If you ever experience that your roux isn’t thickening up, that’s probably because of the kind of flour you have used.

What Ingredients Could You Find In Store-Bought Gumbo Roux?

Gumbo roux comes under several brand names, and you can buy them from grocery stores, supermarkets, and online shopping sites. You shouldn’t confuse this product with the ones that are labeled as “Gumbo Base” since they are gumbo roux mixed with other ingredients used to make gumbo.

These gumbo roux products might include:

  • Enriched flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Citric acid
  • Hydrogenated palm oil
  • Wheat ingredients
  • Caramel color
  • Malted barley flour
  • Other flavors, colors, and preservatives

Other Uses Of Gumbo Roux

Apart from making the base for gumbo, brown or dark brown roux can also be used to make other dishes such as:

  • Etouffee
  • Bechamel sauce
  • Espagnole sauce
  • Gravies
  • Soups
  • Stews

A Simple Homemade Gumbo Roux Recipe

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Recipe by SpiceRally


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Here’s the correct way of making the perfect roux for your gumbo if you are not interested in pre-packaged ones from the store. And if you make gumbos quite often, we will teach you how to make this roux ahead and store it for one month. So, grab a few simple ingredients and be prepared to make the best roux ever!

Cook Mode

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  • ½ cup ½ Butter or Oil

  • ½ cup ½ All-purpose flour

  • Equipment
  • 01 01 Heavy-bottomed Skillet/ Dutch oven/ Cast iron pot/ Ceramic-coated pot

  • 01 01 Whist/ Wooden spoon


  • Keep the pot over medium-low heat and add oil or butter in it.
  • Let the butter melt or oil heat and sizzle.
  • Now, start adding the flour gradually, with one hand, while using the other hand to whisk through to avoid getting any large lumps.
  • Keep the heat at medium-low and continue cooking, frequently whisking and scraping the bottom of the pot for about 25-30 minutes until you get a dark brown roux.
  • Watch closely, and do not stop mixing, or you’ll burn the roux.
  • Once you get the desired color and consistency, use it right away with gumbo or let it cool down, pour it into a well-fitting container, and store it in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Tasty Notes By SpiceRally

  • If you are using butter, feel free to use salted or unsalted butter. It all stands up to your preference.
  • Be very wary of the heat. It is critical to cook the roux in medium-low heat throughout the process since increasing the heat to speed up cooking can burn the roux. You will stand no chance of using it once you burn it. You’ll have to discard and start over again with a new batch.
  • You can use a wire whisk if you make your roux in an iron skillet. A wooden spoon is better if you are making it in a Dutch oven or a ceramic-coated pot.
  • Avoid using thin-bottomed pots like stockpots, so there’s a higher probability of burning your roux even before it is cooked.

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Is Gumbo Roux Vegan?

The deciding fact of the gumbo roux, if it is vegan-friendly or not, depends on the source of fat used. Any gumbo roux that has been made using plant-based oil and plain flour can be considered a safe pick for vegans. If you are purchasing this from the store, it would be best to refer to the list of ingredients to make sure.

Is Gumbo Roux Gluten-Free?

Gumbo roux is not gluten-free, as wheat flour is used as one of its key ingredients.

Is Gumbo Roux Keto-Friendly?

Gumbo roux is not something that can be eaten alone; it is an ingredient that should be added to another dish. However, this roux itself is made by combining fat and flour, which are high in carbs. Therefore, this cannot be counted as a keto-friendly addition.

Does Gumbo Roux Contain MSG?

MSG is typically not a standard ingredient included in gumbo roux. But if you are buying this from the store, read the list of ingredients to see if MSG is added.

Get Your Roux Right For The Best Gumbo!

If you do not miss a word in our post, we hope we provided you with helpful tips and tricks to make the perfect roux for your next gumbo, along with many unknown things about this core ingredient that makes an ideal gumbo. In fact, this simple combination of fat and flour works as the base for all types of gumbo recipes while making the base for several other dishes.

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