Are Gumbo and Jambalaya Different From Each Other?
Are Gumbo and Jambalaya Different From Each Other?

Are Gumbo and Jambalaya Different From Each Other?

Gumbo and Jambalaya – Both delicious and equally popular. Let us understand how are they different from each other in flavors and method of cooking.

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Gumbo and Jambalaya are equally delicious dishes that are popular in different areas of the world. As they are popular with New Orleans and Louisiana Creole cuisines, people often find it difficult to figure out the difference. Let’s get into the details about gumbo vs jambalaya – how are the different or similar in flavors, ingredients and mode of prepration.


What Is The Difference Between Gumbo And Jambalaya

What exactly is Gumbo? Gumbo is a tasteful dish with a broth-like texture that thickens with okra, dark roux, and ground sassafras leaves. It is a famous recipe from Southern Louisiana since the 1700s. Star food elements like celery, paprika, onions, garlic, bell peppers, and bell peppercorns are part of this dish. The protein content of this recipe can be from shellfish or meat. A significant aspect of Gumbo is that it requires longer hours and is slow cooked. To form a broth, you need to cook it on a simmer flame for approximately three hours. Until then, you cannot add quick-cooking ingredients like seafood.


Gumbo is slow cooked.

What exactly is Jambalaya? It is another mouth-watering cuisine from the French Quarter of New Orleans. This stew is made after sautéing vegetables and meat. Its prime elements are onions, celery, and pepper. Sausage or chicken meat add a protein quotient to it. After adding jambalaya over rice and stock, it cooks on a simmer flame for about an hour. You do not need to stir Jambalaya like many other dishes. Creole Jambalaya might consist of tomatoes but it is absent in its Cajun version. Few types of Jambalaya also include beef, seafood, or even duck.

Jambalaya has everything from rice, veggies to meat.


Ingredients In Gumbo And Jambalaya

Gumbo- Gumbo is a unique preparation with onions, celery, okra, meat, green pepper, and thick stock. It is a fact that people from various regions indulge in distinct meat preparations. Few popular options include chicken, ham, shrimp, sausage, and crawfish. Okra, and roux help as a thickening agents to the cuisine.

Jambalaya- Jambalaya is a perfect combination of vegetables and meat. Rice and stock blend wonderfully with the Jambalaya to prepare the perfect stew. The basic ingredients of this cuisine are ham, chicken, crawfish, shrimp, and smoked sausage. Creole Jambalaya consists of tomatoes while it refrains from Cajun Jambalaya. You can also add beef or duck in a few versions of this cuisine.


Nutritional Information About Gumbo And Jambalaya

Gumbo Jambalaya comprises of conventional cooking techniques. There are many nutritional advantages. You can consume them and also be assured of gaining some nutrition out of them. The sausages in both recipes contain high protein content. As a result, it is good for your health. But you also need to take into account the sodium and calories in the dish. Their replacement is viable with the use of brown rice instead of white one, using sesame oil or walnut oil as well as saturated fats.

Another aspect of Gumbo and Jambalaya is that you can find different variations throughout the world. They are amazing recipes and depending on the place and weather, the variations are done by the people. Here are a few variations of Gumbo and Jambalaya.


Gumbo Vs Jambalaya Vs Creole


Gumbo Variations

Cajun Gumbo – Dark roux has a burnt color and okra is an alternate option for many. Mixing it with various options like chicken, duck, seafood, and sausage, file’ powder. In this recipe, fowl debone is mostly not done and veggies like celery, onions, and bell pepper cannot strain out of the dish. You can use green onions and parsley for seasoning. Throughout Southwestern Louisiana, Cajun gumbo is commonly found.

Creole Gumbo – Tomatoes and seafood are a great thickening agent in this cuisine. Although creole is not spicy like the Cajun variety as the usage of cayenne pepper is in extremely minimal quantities.

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Gumbo z’herbes – If you are not a meat lover, this version of Gumbo might suit you. It is made out of turnips, spinach, and mustard greens. However, this recipe has lesser popularity as it is very time consuming and lengthy.


Jambalaya Variations


Jambalaya can be made with or without tomatoes.

Creole Jambalaya– It is also known as ‘Red Jambalaya’. Prime ingredients in it are seafood, peppers, onions, celery, and sausage. The addition of tomatoes brings about a bright red color to the recipe.

Cajun Jambalaya- Brown Jambalaya is another name for this variation. Its basic ingredient is onions, seafood, celery, and bell pepper. This recipe does not call for tomatoes and this is the reason behind its brown color.

White Jambalaya- It is a quick-cooking option and vegetables, as well as meat, is cooked distinctly. Rice is not a part of the cooking process. Savory stock helps the rice cooking. You can include its addition to vegetables and meat before serve. This might be the reason for the term ‘white Jambalaya’.


Cooking Techniques For Gumbo And Jambalaya

Recipe for Gumbo – While preparation of Gumbo, proper cooking and stirring of roux is done till the color gets brown. You need to stir it continuously for about 25 to 40 minutes. After that, you can add meat and vegetables. Once that accomplishes, simmer the recipe for several hours and then serve it with rice that are made separately.


Gumbo is served with rice.

Recipe for Jambalaya- While making Jambalaya, primarily meat cooking is done and later the vegetables are added. Veggie cooking comprises of 50% onions and proportionate quantities of celery and bell peppers. Once the veggies become translucent, adding up of seafood and tomatoes ensures a perfect blend. Once the entire process if done, rice addition is done with the serving pot. After pouring the stew and stock in the pot, you can add the rice towards the end.


Jambalaya is essentially a rice and meat dish.



The simplest distinction between Gumbo and Jambalaya is the rice addition during their cooking methods. If you refer to the important information stated above, it would be clear enough to make out the difference between the two. Gumbo is mainly a thick stew that can be served with rice. On the other hand, Jambalaya is the stew where the cooking of rice is done along with the main recipe. Spices and vegetable content of Gumbo and Jambalaya are although similar, but the technique of rice added to it makes the difference.


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