Creole Gumbo with Lentils

Creole Gumbo with Lentils is a lower carbohydrate version of this Louisiana classic.  Made without a roux, Creole Gumbo with Lentils is very flavorful and hearty; there is no need to serve it over or with additional rice. Incorporating the “Holy Trinity” ingredients of Louisiana’s Creole and Cajun cuisines, okra and the all-important seasonings, Creole Gumbo with Lentils is a dish we’re sure you will enjoy.  Start out with an Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad, then serve Creole Gumbo with Lentils with a Louisiana-style hot sauce and filé powder at the table, accompanied by a medium-bodied red wine, like Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or Pinot Noir.

Creole Gumbo with Lentils

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes. Serves 6.

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  • 1 ½ cups Water
  • ¾ cup Brown Lentils, rinsed and sorted for any debris
  • ¼ cup uncooked White Rice
  • ¼ cup Cooking Oil (Olive/Canola Oil blend recommended)
  • 3 Italian Sausage links, hot or mild, your choice
  • 2 boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 lb. piece Smoked Ham
  • 1 ½ cups chopped Onion
  • 1 Tb minced Garlic
  • 2 cups sliced Celery
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers, trimmed, cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 Tbs Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ Tb dried Oregano leaves
  • ½ Tb dried Thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ tsp ground Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Sweet Paprika
  • 3 Bay Leaves, preferably fresh
  • 1 ½ cups very ripe Roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb Okra, trimmed and cut into ½-inch slices
  • 2 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ cup Water*
  • 1 lb. raw, peeled and deveined, tail-on 26-30 count Shrimp
  • Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • Filé powder

Creole Gumbo with Lentils


  1. In a 2-quart sauce pan, bring the 1 ½ cups of water to a boil, then add the lentils, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes, add the white rice to the cooking lentils, adding a little water if necessary; stir, cover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside, keeping it covered.
  3. While the lentils and rice are cooking, add the cooking oil to a 5-quart Dutch oven over a medium-high heat. Prick the Italian sausages all over and add to the hot oil; cover and brown the sausages but do not cook them through.  Remove the sausages to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the chicken thighs to the Dutch oven, and cook, uncovered, over a medium-high heat, turning once to brown both sides.
  5. While the chicken thighs are browning, slice the sausages into thin rounds and return to their bowl, along with any juices.
  6. Dice the ham into small cubes and add to the sliced, par-cooked sausages.
  7. Once the chicken thighs have browned, push them to the sides of the Dutch oven, add the diced ham and sliced sausages to the Dutch oven and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes over a medium-high heat.
  8. Add the onion, garlic, green bell peppers and parsley to the meats in the Dutch oven, stir to mix everything together, cover and continue to cook for 35 minutes.
  9. While the vegetables and meats are cooking, combine the seasonings (oregano, thyme, cumin, cayenne pepper, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and paprika) in a bowl. Chop the tomatoes, slice the okra and combine n a second, larger bowl with the bay leaves and vinegar, and set aside.
  10. Once the vegetables have softened, stir the seasonings into the vegetables and meats in the Dutch oven, cook uncovered for 1 minute to allow the seasonings to bloom.
  11. Add the tomatoes, okra, bay leaves and vinegar, along with an additional ½ cup of water, to the Dutch oven, stir, cover and cook over a medium heat for 25 minutes.
  12. Add the cooked lentils and rice and the raw shrimp to the gumbo, stir to mix all the ingredients together and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the shrimp have turned pink.
  13. Remove the bay leaves and serve Creole Gumbo with Lentils in bowls, with a Louisiana-style hot sauce and filé powder at the table.

Creole Gumbo with Lentils


  • Creole Gumbo with Lentils is very dense and hearty; if you prefer a thinner, more soup-like gumbo, feel free to add 2 cups of water instead of ½ cup.

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