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What To Serve With Gumbo – 17 Best Side Dishes

This article was updated on the 4th of September 2023 for clarity and freshness.

If you’re wondering what to serve with your gumbo, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 17 of the most popular side dishes for gumbo.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

The best dishes to serve with gumbo are cilantro-lime black bean rice, potato salad, French bread rolls, or healthy slaw. Try pickled jalapenos, green bean salad, quinoa salad, and roasted veggies for a healthier option. You can also try cornbread, hushpuppies, fried okra, or potato wedges.

For each side dish, I’ve provided alternative options to cater to various diets and lifestyles, including vegan, quick and easy, and health-conscious options.

Great Flavor Pairings for Gumbo

Gumbo is a traditional stew that originated in the southern U.S. state of Louisiana. It can be made with meat, seafood, vegetables, or a combination of these, resulting in a hearty main dish.

  • Zesty flavors: These provide a fresh contrast to the rich, deep flavors of gumbo. A squeeze of lemon or a side of vinegary coleslaw are easy options you can try.
  • Sweet flavors: If you aren’t a fan of zesty flavors, something sweet can also help balance the richness of gumbo. Try a side dish made with naturally sweet ingredients like sweet potatoes and corn.
  • Herby flavors: Fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, or green onions (scallions), can be sprinkled on top of gumbo to give it a bright, fresh finish.

Starchy Sides

Gumbo is a saucy dish, so it’s a no-brainer to serve it over something starchy to soak up all the goodness. Rice is the go-to option, but the world of starches has a lot more to offer if you’re looking to switch things up.

Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Rice

4.7 ⭐️ (248 ratings) | 30 mins

White rice is typically served with gumbo, but you can make your meal heartier with this rice and beans dish.

Aside from being more filling, the addition of lime juice and cilantro infuses this dish with a citrusy kick that helps cut through the richness of your gumbo.

And what I love about this is that despite the modifications, it only takes 30 minutes to make, which is around the same time regular white rice would take.

What readers are saying…

“Delicious! I make this frequently and it is always an excellent side dish. I also add a few dashes I’d green Tabasco sauce to jazz it up.”

“This has become a family favorite, for sure!”

“Tried this today. Used riced cauliflower instead of rice, but did all other ingredients as specified in recipe. It was delicious. A great combo of seasonings.”

🌴 Coconut Lime Rice
🧘‍♀️ Lemon Garlic Cauliflower

French Bread Rolls

4.9 ⭐️ (105 ratings) | 1 hr

Not in the mood for rice? These French bread rolls are a great alternative.

They’re soft and fluffy, with a beautiful golden-brown crust, just like their big brother, the French baguette. They’re perfect for mopping up your gumbo’s finger-licking good broth!

They’re also easier to make than you think, especially if you have a stand mixer. Most of the ingredients are pantry staples, and the process of making the dough is straightforward.

What readers are saying…

“We loved this recipe. I made half a recipe since it is only my husband and I. The bread is tender and fluffy with a nice crust the little topping of salt on top hit it out of the ballpark.”

“I made these today. They taste exactly like the crusty rolls in English bakeries.”

“These rolls were absolutely delicious! The best we’ve ever eaten. They were also very easy to make!”

🇺🇸 Buttermilk Biscuits
😇 Keto Sweet Dinner Rolls

Jalapeno Cornbread

4.8 ⭐️ (9 ratings) | 50 mins

Think plain bread is a tad too boring for your gumbo? Go with this cornbread recipe instead.

It’s loaded with shredded cheddar cheese and jalapeno bits, making each bite a delight. Will Cook For Smiles discards the jalapeno’s seeds and membranes for a lightly spicy kick, but I like adding in a small amount for a more prominent heat.

And if that’s not enough, this cornbread has a tender, moist crumb perfect for mopping up all the goodness from your gumbo. Yum!

What readers are saying…

“Currently eating our cornbread piping hot out of the oven. Absolutely delicious! I’ll definitely return to this recipe.”

“By far the best and easiest cornbread I’ve ever made!! It was moist, delicate, slightly spicy, and we couldn’t stop eating it!”

“Turned out wonderful! Very fluffy with a beautiful crisp top…”

🍯 Honey Cornbread Muffins
🤩 Fully Loaded Cornbread

Potato Wedges

5.0 ⭐️ (25 ratings) | 50 mins

Got gumbo leftovers? Turn it into a filling snack by serving it alongside these potato wedges

Lucy from Bake Play Smile tosses the wedges in melted butter and oil, which helps create an extra crunchy outer layer. The wedges are also lightly flavored, making them the perfect base for your bold gumbo.

I prefer making these wedges in the oven, but this recipe also includes an air fryer method if you’re in a rush.

What readers are saying…

“My partner and 11 year old said they were the greatest wedges of all time!”

“I made these for the family tonight and doubled the recipe……there was just one problem…….they were so darn delicious and we all wanted more.”

“Much tastier than any restaurant wedges.”

🍠 Sweet Potato Wedges
😇 Parmesan Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

Brown Butter Sage Butternut Squash Gnocchi

5.0 ⭐️ (15 ratings) | 25 mins

Ready to go on a culinary fusion adventure? Whip up this brown butter squash gnocchi to pair with your gumbo, providing a fun Italian twist to a Southern classic.

These orange-hued dumplings have a nutty flavor amplified by tossing them in a sage brown butter sauce. It’s a warming, autumnal flavor that pairs well with gumbo. 

Scoop a heaping serving of your gumbo over these squash gnocchi for a nourishing meal. 

What readers are saying…

“I LOVE this! Gnocchi is one of my fav foods and I seriously can’t get enough of pumpkin right now.”

“Butternut squash gnocchi, sooo good!”

“I’ve never made gnocchi before but I do love it and this flavor combination sounds delicious.”

🏃‍♀️ Ricotta Gnocchi
🍝 Baked Spaghetti Squash with Lemon and Garlic

Light and Fresh Sides

Light and fresh side dishes complement rich and boldly flavored dishes like gumbo. They also add a crisp bite, contrasting the gumbo’s tender textures.

Healthy Slaw

4.9 ⭐️ (150 ratings) | 20 mins

Gumbo can get heavy, so this healthy slaw is the best side dish to add a fresh bite. 

It’s a lighter version of your traditional coleslaw. Instead of mayo, the veggies are dressed with a lemon dressing. It’s simple, but the bright, citrusy flavors of the salad are great for cleansing your palate in between bites of your flavorful gumbo.

You can serve this slaw immediately, but I prefer letting it chill for an hour or two so the flavors can meld and develop better.

What readers are saying…

“I made your coleslaw tonight and it was so tasty. I added peanuts and it was super.”

“I’ve made this slaw three times in the past two months, including Thanksgiving, because it’s been an absolute hit with guests.”

“This was a big hit, everyone loved it. My husband said it was the best coleslaw he ever had.”

🌿 Cilantro Lime Slaw
🤩 Pickled Red Cabbage

Quick Pickled Jalapenos

4.9 ⭐️ (34 ratings) | 20 mins

While gumbo is a complete meal in itself, these pickled jalapenos are a simple side to add brightness.

They have a slight crunch and the right balance between tangy, sweet, and spicy flavors. Mix them in with the gumbo, or dip the jalapeno slices in the broth for a quick refresh.

And the best thing about these pickled jalapenos is that even without canning, they can last for about four weeks. I love using the leftovers in sandwiches, with fried food, or even just for snacking.

What readers are saying…

“Best Pickled Jalapenos I’ve ever had or made! I can even eat them for breakfast! I’m making another batch today!”

“These are by far the best pickled peppers ever. As well as them being addictive they are high in vitamins, minerals and capsaicin.”

“Amazing!! My family loves them. I can never seem to make enough!”

🥒 Refrigerator Pickled Vegetables
😋 Fresh Jalapeno Relish

Green Bean Salad

Total Time: 1 hr 35 mins

Craving a salad to accompany your gumbo but don’t want just leafy greens? This green bean salad may be just what you’re looking for. 

It’s a fun salad filled with various crispy and juicy ingredients for a nice textural contrast. Everything is tied together with a simple but phenomenal vinaigrette you can make with the ingredients from your pantry.

Psst… this salad can be prepped ahead of time, but only add the arugula when ready to serve to preserve its flavor and crisp bite.

What readers are saying…

“Hi, made this recipe for the first time yesterday and it’s delicious, I had leftovers tonight and it’s tastier!”

“It looks so delicious and perfect to take to a picnic.”

“The salad was amazing and everyone loved it.”

🍋 Lemony Steamed Green Beans
🦃 Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

5.0 ⭐️ (44 ratings) | 50 mins

This quinoa salad is an excellent alternative to rice-based dishes. The quinoa, avocados, and sweet potatoes make this salad satisfying, but the kale, other veggies, and the simple lemon vinaigrette help keep it light and fresh.

I also like adding a handful of chopped walnuts for some crunch, and you can also try roasted pumpkin seeds, almonds, pistachios, and sunflower seeds.

Enjoy this filling salad with your gumbo for a hearty, healthy meal.

What readers are saying…

“Tried this salad today and it was sooo amazing! Super fresh and filling! Loved it <3”

“I love this salad a lot! Amazing flavors and it’s my go-to for friends’ lunches! I’m obsessed with the dressing and am actually using it on my green salads too.”

“Absolutely love this salad! Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods. Added some coarsely chopped pecans for crunch. So delicious!”

🌞 Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
🌷 Spring Quinoa Salad

Balsamic Roasted Veggies

5.0 ⭐️ (21 ratings) | 35 mins

Got no more energy to make a side dish for your gumbo? You can quickly put together these roasted veggies as a side dish. 

You simply have to chop them up, transfer them to a baking sheet, drizzle them with a homemade balsamic marinade, and roast them. It’s that easy!

Any veg works for this recipe, but the key is to select a medley that take the same amount of time to cook to completely make the process effortless. Expect tougher veggies like sweet potatoes to take the longest time to cook.

What readers are saying…

“Such an easy recipe to follow. First time roasting in the oven. Tip about spacing veggies was very helpful.”

“I find the roasted veggies taste the BEST, even better than my favorite quick stirfry.”

“Amazing recipe! I made it for the teacher appreciation week at my son’s school and they absolutely loved it! I left the veggies in the marinade overnight.”

🧈 Buttered Vegetables
🧘‍♀️ Steamed Vegetables

Southern Favorites

You’re guaranteed a cozy, comforting meal when you serve your gumbo with these Southern favorites. Just a heads up, though — you’ll likely head straight to the couch after eating this combo.

Southern Potato Salad

4.9 ⭐️ (60 ratings) | 30 mins

Not feeling a rice dish to accompany your gumbo? A classic Southern potato salad is an ideal alternative. 

This pairing is controversial, but it makes sense. The cool, creamy potatoes are a delicious contrast to your gumbo’s flavorful and spicy broth, making each bite balanced.

You can use any potato variety to make this recipe, but Spicy Southern Kitchen recommends Russet potatoes. They get kind of crumbly once boiled, giving the salad that iconic creamy consistency.

What readers are saying…

“Truly the best potato salad recipe so far. I added a little dill weed as topping along with the paprika.

“The dressing is so tasty and tangy – it really makes for a delicious potato salad!”

“This is my first time making potato salad and I tell you, it is soooo delicious 😋. My husband was wowed, and told me to make sure that I keep this recipe for future use.”

🌱 No-Mayo Potato Salad
Roasted Potato Salad

Hush Puppies

5.0 ⭐️ (5 ratings) | 31 mins

These crunchy morsels are a delight with gumbo, especially seafood gumbo. They’re extra crispy on the outside, with soft and fluffy insides that just melt in your mouth. 

And their size makes it incredibly easy to pop one in your mouth, and before you know it, you’ve already demolished half a plate.

I like keeping these hush puppies traditional by deep-frying them, but How to Feed A Loon also includes instructions for baking them if you want them to be a bit healthier. Their texture will become closer to cornbread, but they’ll still be equally delicious.

What readers are saying…

“Absolutely the best hush puppies I have ever made! Light, fluffy and delicious. I added some red pepper flakes for a kick… Simply fabulous!”

“A good mix of ingredients! Very good recipe I will do again.”

🍂 Squash Puppies
🥵 Spicy Pickle Hush Puppies

Fried Okra

4.7 ⭐️ (21 ratings) | 15 mins

Not a fan of okra? Well, this Southern classic might just change your mind. 

Frying helps eliminate the okra’s sliminess, which is a turn-off for many people. And the okra slices are coated with a mixture of cornmeal and flour, giving them perfectly golden, crisp crusts that make them oh-so-addictive.

Fried okra is better with a dipping sauce, but you can skip it when serving with gumbo and dunk the slices straight into your stew.

What readers are saying…

“These came out crispy and delicious!”

“Love fried okra! This reminds me of my childhood!”

“This fried okra recipe is perfect way to get my little ones to try and most likely enjoy okra.”

😇Air Fryer Okra
😋 Okra and Green Tomato Fritters

Maque Choux

5.0 ⭐️ (40 ratings) | 30 mins

Add fresh and vibrant splashes of color to your gumbo with this maque choux. It’s a classic Southern side dish made with sauteed corn and peppers. 

This dish gets its bold flavors from bacon grease (YUM) and cajun seasoning. It sure packs a punch! But Chili Pepper Madness adds a splash of cream that mellows out the whole dish, making it a lightly decadent contrast to gumbo.

Another thing I love about this dish is that everything comes together in 30 minutes, making it excellent for busy weeknight dinners.

Psst… in need of a cajun seasoning substitute? I’ve got you covered.

What readers are saying…

“I used only about 1/4 of a jalapeno because I had guests who don’t like anything hot and the finished dish was very tasty. I love corn and this was an interesting new way to use it.”

“This is a very popular side dish in my house. Your recipe is the same as my grandmas.”

“Loved it! I used Penzy’s Cajun seasoning and only half a jalapeno (thinking about my guests). Next time I’ll add the whole thing. The cream really softens the heat.”

🧀 Baked Creamed Corn Casserole
🌱 Succotash

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

5.0 ⭐️ (3 ratings) | 1 hr

Enjoy your Andouille gumbo with a side of this fried chicken for the ultimate Southern comfort meal.

With the sheer amount of fried chicken recipes out there, nothing comes close to buttermilk fried chicken. You get extra juicy and tender chicken with an ultra-crunchy skin that’s simply to die for. And every bite is flavorful – no part of your chicken is left unseasoned or bland. 

You might never want fast-food fried chicken ever again once you’ve tried this homemade version!

What readers are saying…

“Easy and delicious! I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and they came out moist and flavorful.”

“YES! Thank you so much! This was my first time making fried chicken – been intimated for years – and today was the big day! You really came through with this recipe and I appreciate it!”

Baked Chicken Tenders
🍄 Fried Oyster Mushrooms

Seafood Treats

These tasty seafood treats are the way to go if you want to add a fun surf-and-turf twist to your andouille sausage gumbo!

Maryland Crab Cakes

5.0 ⭐️ (14 ratings) | 1 hr

Beef up your gumbo meal with a serving of these crab cakes. 

They’re made with chunks of jumbo lump crab, making them extra meaty. This also means you won’t need to use too much filler. In fact, Coley Cooks only uses eight pieces of crackers for the filler.

I especially love serving these crab cakes with andouille gumbo. They’re also great with seafood gumbo to keep the oceanic twist going!

What readers are saying…

“This was so delicious. Instructions was easy to follow and it came out just as beautiful as on the photos.”

“This is the best crab cake recipe ever! I love this recipe! It is so easy to make! Always a big hit with my family! Thank you for sharing this recipe!”

“This is my go-to crab cake recipe and it never disappoints. I made it for a friend’s birthday dinner last night and everyone loved it”

💃 Crab Imperial
🦀 Baked King Crab

Prawn Toast

5.0 ⭐️ (12 ratings) | 15 mins

Prawn toast is guaranteed to be a massive hit when you serve it as an appetizer or side dish to your gumbo.

Lightly crisp and with a tasty prawn mousse filling – what’s not to love about them? I personally love the sesame coating, which gives the toasts a delectable nutty taste. 

Kitchen Sanctuary recommends deep-frying these treats for the best flavor and texture. But if you want to make them healthier, you can bake them with a little bit of oil brushed over each prawn toast.

What readers are saying…

“Wow what a treat ! So easy to make but even easier to eat!”

“Just perfect. Comes out as described. Very tasty. Will make my own from now on.”

“Most wonderful recipe, the whole family loves them and I will never be able to eat takeaway prawn toast after making these! Heavenly…”

🍤 Popcorn Shrimp
🥥 Coconut Shrimp

What To Serve With Gumbo – 17 Best Side Dishes

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your gumbo.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gumbo side dishes, what to serve with gumbo
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 150kcal


  • 1 portion jalapeno cornbread
  • 1 portion buttermilk fried chicken
  • 1 portion fried okra
  • 1 portion potato wedges
  • 1 portion hushpuppies
  • 1 portion squash gnocchi … and more


  • Prepare your gumbo according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
  • Side dishes include: cilantro-lime black bean rice, potato salad, french bread rolls, healthy slaw, jalapeno cornbread, hushpuppies, pickled jalapenos, crab cakes, fried okra, maque choux, green bean salad, buttermilk fried chicken, potato wedges, squash gnocchi, prawn toast, sweet potato quinoa salad, and balsamic roasted veggies.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 150kcal

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