Gumbo is a classic Southern dish that has been around for centuries.
It’s an incredibly versatile and satisfying meal — but what are the best side dishes to serve with it?
Do you stick to the essentials like rice or hush puppies, or switch things up with something unexpected like sautéed vegetables?
No matter how often you make gumbo at home, you can mix up your usual routine by pairing it with one of these fourteen flavorful side dishes!
From a classic Cajun cornbread to creative zesty slaws, we’ll show you all of the perfect (and delicious!) sides for this comforting Creole stew.
Get ready to spice up your next bowl of gumbo with one (or more!) of these unique additions!
What to Serve with Gumbo? 14 Delicious Side Dishes
1. Cilantro-lime Black Bean Rice
It’s the perfect combination of flavorful and healthy, and it’s sure to please everyone at the table.
This rice is packed with flavor thanks to cilantro and lime.
The black beans add a nice texture and nutrients, making this dish a great option if you’re looking for something healthy.
And, it’s really easy to make.
Simply cook the rice according to package instructions, then stir in the black beans, cilantro, and lime juice.
If you want to kick up the flavor, even more, you can add some chopped jalapeno to the mix.
And, if you’re serving this rice as a main dish, feel free to top it with some grilled chicken or shrimp.
2. Cucumber Tomato Salad
This cucumber tomato salad is a refreshing and easy side dish that is perfect for any summer meal.
This salad is packed with flavor, and the best part is that it only takes a few minutes to make.
The cucumber tomato salad is a great recipe to try because it is healthy, flavorful, and easy to make.
This salad is a good source of vitamins and antioxidants, and the tomatoes add a delicious sweetness to the dish.
The cucumber tomato salad is also a low-calorie food, so it is a great option if you are watching your weight.
To make this cucumber tomato salad, simply combine chopped cucumbers, diced tomatoes, red onion, fresh herbs, and the dressing of your choice.
I like to use a vinaigrette dressing, but you can use any type of dressing that you like.
For an extra kick of flavor, you can also add crumbled feta cheese or Kalamata olives.
3. Jalapeno Cornbread
Looking for a delicious side dish to go with your gumbo? Look no further than jalapeno cornbread.
This recipe is packed with flavor and is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.
Jalapeno cornbread is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy.
The cornbread is nice and moist, while the jalapenos add just the right amount of heat.
If you want to tone down the spice level, you can always remove the seeds from the jalapenos before adding them to the batter.
Making this dish is easy and only takes a few minutes.
Simply mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and then bake in a preheated oven.
Be sure to let the cornbread cool slightly before serving so that you don’t burn your tongue.
4. Homemade Hushpuppies
Hushpuppies are a delicious Southern dish that can be made at home with just a few simple ingredients.
This recipe is perfect for those who want to try their hand at making hushpuppies for the first time.
The key to making delicious hushpuppies is to get the flavor just right, and this recipe does just that.
These hushpuppies are light and fluffy on the inside with a crispy exterior, and they are packed with flavor thanks to the addition of onions, corn, and garlic.
Here are a few tips to help you make the perfect hushpuppies:
- Use self-rising cornmeal for the best results.
- Be sure to add enough salt to the batter – this will help to offset the sweetness of the cornmeal.
- Do not overmix the batter – this will result in tough hushpuppies.
- Use a small ice cream scoop or spoon to form small balls of batter before frying.
- Fry the hushpuppies in batches so that they have plenty of room to cook evenly.
5. Crisp Pickled Jalapeno
If you’re looking for a delicious and easy side dish to go with your gumbo, look no further than crisp pickled jalapeno.
This dish is packed with flavor and has a nice crunch that pairs perfectly with the gumbo.
Plus, it’s super easy to make – even if you’ve never pickled anything before.
The key to making this dish is to get the right balance of flavor.
You want the jalapenos to be nice and crispy, but you don’t want them to be too spicy.
To achieve this, we recommend using fresh jalapenos and adding a few slices of onion for sweetness.
If you like things on the spicier side, feel free to add more jalapenos or even some cayenne pepper to the mix.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, simply combine them in a jar or container and cover them with vinegar.
Let the jalapenos soak for at least 24 hours before serving – this will give them time to absorb all of that delicious flavor.
When you’re ready to eat, just scoop out a few pieces and enjoy.
6. Crab Cakes
Crab cakes are a popular seafood dish that is often served as an appetizer or main course.
Traditionally, crab cakes are made with lump crab meat, bread crumbs, egg, and mayonnaise.
They are then pan-fried or baked until golden brown.
Crab cakes can be served plain or with a variety of sauces, such as tartar sauce or cocktail sauce.
When done right, crab cakes are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
The crab meat should be the star of the dish, so be sure to use fresh, quality crab meat.
If you are using canned crabmeat, make sure to drain it well and pick out any bits of shell.
When adding the other ingredients, be careful not to overmix, as this will result in tough crab cakes.
If you want to make perfect crab cakes at home, follow these tips:
- Use fresh, lump crab meat for the best flavor and texture.
- Be sure to mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly before shaping the cakes.
- For a crispy exterior, coat the cakes with bread crumbs or cracker crumbs before cooking.
- Cook the crab cakes over medium heat until they’re golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
7. Jackpot Biscuit-Cornbread Stuffing
Looking for a delicious and easy-to-make stuffing recipe? Look no further than this Jackpot Biscuit-Cornbread Stuffing.
This dish is packed with flavor, thanks to the combination of biscuit and cornbread.
Plus, it’s easy to make and can be tailored to your liking.
One of the best things about this dish is that it’s so versatile.
You can add whatever seasonings you like to give it a unique flavor.
If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, you can add sage and thyme.
For a more modern twist, try adding some garlic or onion powder.
And if you want a little bit of heat, add in some cayenne pepper.
The possibilities are endless.
Another great thing about this recipe is that it can be made ahead of time.
Simply prepare the stuffing according to the recipe instructions, and then store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it.
When you’re ready to eat, simply bake it in the oven until it’s hot and bubbly.
8. Loaded Baked Potato Salad
Loaded Baked Potato Salad is the perfect dish to bring to your next potluck or summer BBQ.
This dish is packed with all of your favorite baked potato toppings, including bacon, cheddar cheese, and green onions.
The best part about this salad is that it can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it.
If you’re looking for a dish that is sure to please a crowd, look no further than Loaded Baked Potato Salad.
This salad has all of the flavors of a classic baked potato, including bacon, cheddar cheese, and green onions.
The best part about this dish is that it can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it.
If you’re looking for a dish that is both flavorful and easy to make, look no further than Loaded Baked Potato Salad.
This salad only requires a few simple ingredients and can be made ahead of time.
For an extra bit of flavor, try adding some chopped fresh herbs to the salad before serving.
9. Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Arugula salad is a light and refreshing dish that is perfect for a summer meal.
The peppery flavor of the arugula is offset by the sweetness of the lemon vinaigrette, making for a unique and delicious flavor combination.
The salad also has a nice crunch from the Parmesan cheese and the toasted almonds.
The textures of the various ingredients come together perfectly in this dish.
To make the salad, start by toasting the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat.
Once they are lightly browned, set them aside to cool.
Next, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and salt in a small bowl.
In a larger bowl, combine the arugula, Parmesan cheese, and toasted almonds.
Toss with the lemon vinaigrette right before serving.
This salad is best when served immediately after it is made.
10. Simple Tossed Green Salad
A simple tossed green salad is a great recipe to have in your repertoire.
It’s versatile, easy to make, and can be tailored to your taste.
The key to a good tossed green salad is to use fresh, seasonal ingredients.
The greens should be crisp, and the vegetables should be crunchy.
You can also add some fruit to the mix for sweetness and extra flavor.
To make a simple tossed green salad, start with a bed of mixed greens.
Add in some chopped vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.
You can also add some crumbled cheese or chopped nuts for extra flavor.
For the dressing, use a light vinaigrette or simply olive oil and vinegar.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
11. Warm Farro Salad
This Warm Farro Salad is the perfect dish to bring to a potluck or picnic.
It’s a great recipe to try because it’s simple to make and can be easily customized to your liking.
The salad has a slightly nutty flavor from the farro and the sweetness from the dried cranberries and honey balance out the flavors nicely.
To make this dish, simply cook the farro according to the package directions.
Once it’s cooked, add in the dried cranberries, chopped nuts, and green onions.
For the dressing, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss everything together.
You can serve the salad warm or cold.
If you’re serving it cold, let it sit for at least an hour so that the flavors have time to develop.
12. Fried Okra
Fried okra is a Southern dish that is often served as a side.
It is made by coating sliced okra in cornmeal or flour and then frying it in oil.
The result is a crispy, crunchy dish that is bursting with flavor.
Okra has a slightly grassy taste, and the cornmeal coating adds a touch of sweetness.
The texture of fried okra is also very important.
The okra should be tender on the inside but crispy on the outside.
This can be achieved by ensuring that the oil is hot enough before adding the okra to the pan.
Fried okra is best enjoyed fresh out of the pan, but it can also be reheated and enjoyed later.
13. Red Cabbage Slaw
Red cabbage slaw is a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed all year round.
The key to the perfect slaw is in the balance of flavors – sweet, sour, salty, and spicy.
The cabbage should be shredded finely, and the other ingredients should be chopped into small pieces.
This ensures that each bite is a delicious explosion of flavor.
When making red cabbage slaw, it is important to use fresh ingredients.
The cabbage should be crisp, and the other vegetables should be crunchy.
If you are short on time, you can use pre-shredded cabbage, but the flavor will not be as fresh.
To add an extra kick of flavor, consider adding a handful of chopped herbs or a spoonful of hot sauce.
14. Oven-roasted Corn On The Cob
If you’re looking for a delicious and easy side dish to go with your gumbo, look no further than oven-roasted corn on the cob.
This simple recipe only requires a few ingredients and can be made in under an hour.
Oven-roasted corn on the cob is the perfect side dish because it is packed with flavor.
The corn is roasted in the oven with butter, garlic, and herbs, which gives it a lovely savory taste.
It’s also slightly sweet from the natural sugars in the corn.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even add a little bit of cayenne pepper to give it a kick.
Here are some tips for making the perfect oven-roasted corn on the cob:
- Make sure to use fresh corn for this recipe. The fresher, the better.
- Try to use corn that is similar in size so that they all cook evenly.
- The cooking time will vary depending on how hot your oven is, so keep an eye on them and test them by piercing the kernels with a sharp knife.
- Be generous with the butter, garlic, and herbs. You want these flavors to really stand out.
In conclusion, there are many delicious side dishes that go great with gumbo.
I hope this blog post has helped you choose what to serve with your next gumbo dish.
If you have any suggestions or recipes of your own, please share them in the comments below.
What to Serve with Gumbo? 14 Delicious Side Dishes
- 1. Cilantro-lime Black Bean Rice
- 2. Cucumber Tomato Salad
- 3. Jalapeno Cornbread
- 4. Homemade Hushpuppies
- 5. Crisp Pickled Jalapeno
- 6. Crab Cakes
- 7. Jackpot Biscuit-Cornbread Stuffing
- 8. Loaded Baked Potato Salad
- 9. Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- 10. Simple Tossed Green Salad
- 11. Warm Farro Salad
- 12. Fried Okra
- 13. Red Cabbage Slaw
- 14. Oven-roasted Corn On The Cob
- Select your favorite sides from the list above.
- Prepare the side dish according to the recipe instructions.
- If you’re short on time, some of these can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.
- Serve and enjoy!
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!