This healthy vegan Gumbo with okra and lentils is made without meat, seafood, and a roux. The recipe is flavorful, satisfying, filling, nourishing, rich in plant-based protein, and easy to make. You can enjoy this gluten-free, meat-free dinner with rice, bread or even potatoes.
One-Pot Vegan Gumbo
Satisfying, warming, flavorful, rich and so hearty! When you want to eat a comforting meal this delicious vegan Gumbo is simply perfect. Especially during the cold months when most people are craving warming soups and stews. But I also enjoy eating it when it’s hot because comforting dishes are my favorite! Eating a big bowl of a hearty stew is pure joy! This vegan dinner recipe is made in one pot, it’s gluten-free and easy to make! This is not a classic Gumbo recipe made with meat, seafood and roux! I made my own twist by using wholesome plant-based ingredients only.
Made With Okra, Beans & Lentils
Gumbo is a Creole stew which is popular in Louisiana, a South East state of the United States of America, and it’s even the official state cuisine. A classic Gumbo consists primarily of meat and/or seafood. My vegan Gumbo recipe contains lentils, beans, and what Louisianians call the “Holy Trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers, and onions. I also added some other ingredients which add a wonderful flavor. In my opinion, there is no need to cook this dish with meat and fish. A meat-free version is equally tasty (or even more delicious) and it also contains plenty of plant-based protein because of the lentils and beans!
How To Make Vegan Gumbo?
This healthy vegan Gumbo is seriously so easy to make. All you need to do is chop the veggies, put all ingredients in a pot and wait until the vegan Gumbo is ready. I used brown lentils but green lentils should be fine too. They might take some minutes more to cook but that’s no problem at all. You should be also able to make this recipe in an instant pot. I haven’t tried it out yet but I will soon because I am going to order an instant pot and can’t wait to receive it. I will update the recipe once I cook this meal in the instant pot.
This Vegan Gumbo Is:
- Plant-based (meat-free, dairy-free)
- Easy to make
- Low in fat
Made Without Roux
As I mentioned before, this is not a classic Gumbo recipe. I made it without a roux, without meat, sausage, and shrimp. Maybe you never heard of roux before. Roux is made with flour and either oil or bacon drippings (which is something I do NOT want to eat, especially the latter!). It’s used to thicken soups and stews and most Gumbo recipes contain a roux. I didn’t make it because, in my opinion, it’s much healthier to thicken a Gumbo with lentils and okra. Lentils add fiber, plant-based protein, and texture, that’s why I love using them in so many recipes.
How To Serve This Easy Gumbo Recipe
I prefer to eat this vegetarian Gumbo with rice, however, it also tastes delicious with potatoes or bread. This recipe serves 4 and you can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. This dish is also great for meal prep, to take to work and uni.
If you make this delicious vegan Gumbo then please leave a comment below and let me know how it turned out! And if you even take a photo of it, then I would love to see it. You can DM it to me on Instagram. Don’t forget to tag me in your Insta caption + photo with @elavegan and use the hashtag #elavegan and I will gladly check out your post. If you love hearty dinner recipes, definitely also check out this hearty lentil soup and my easy lentil stew recipe!
Vegan Gumbo Recipe
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 1 bell pepper chopped
- 5 oz (140 g) mushrooms sliced (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika powder
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
- Sea salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup dry lentils (I used brown)
- 3 cups of vegetable broth
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 14 oz (400 g) crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups (150 g) okra chopped
- 15 oz can of (250 g) cannellini beans or cooked beans of choice
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1-2 tbsp plant-based milk to thicken (optional)
- Fresh herbs e.g. parsley to garnish
- Watch the video (scroll down a bit) to see all instruction steps.
- Heat oil in a pot over medium heat and add the chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the spices, the lentils, and broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Now add the bay leaves and cook the vegan Gumbo with a lid on for about 15 minutes.
- Then add the crushed tomatoes and okra and stir. Let the Gumbo simmer for a further 10-15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked but not mushy.
- Finally, add the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and the cooked beans.
- You can also mix 1 tsp of cornstarch with 1-2 tbsp plant-based milk and add it to the Gumbo to thicken.
- Taste it, if you want it spicier, add more red pepper flakes, or hot sauce to taste.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy! Can be served with rice, potatoes or bread.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
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I made this tonight for dinner and every single person in my family liked it!!!!! That doesn’t happen very often. My 6 year old even asked if I could pack leftovers in her lunch. This will be going into our regular rotation!
Aww, that’s awesome, Sara. Thanks for your amazing feedback. 🙂
This looks so yummy. I would like to make this in my life skills classroom, with students. Do you have any ideas on how I could do this in a slow cooker?
Hi Sara, I haven’t made this recipe in a slow cooker, however, I would try it as follows:
Heat oil in a pot over medium heat and add the chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
Transfer everything to your slow cooker, including the spices, lentils, broth, crushed tomatoes, okra, and bay leaves.
Stir to combine, then cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Finally, add the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and cooked beans for the last 30 minutes, or so.
Hope this helps. 🙂
Easy and delicious! I doubled the recipe and made it as is..I’ve been vegan for 10 years and my New Year’s resolution is to become a great vegan cook. Thank you for sharing!
Wonderful! So amazing that you are also vegan for 10 years now (me too). Happy 2022. 🙂
I added a can of pure pumpkin to thicken a bit and it was very tasty! I was also out of canned beans so I ended up using a mixture of brown lentils and red lentils, I just put in the brown lentils earlier so both got cooked the right amount of time.
Sounds great! Happy you liked it, John. 🙂
Yum, I will definitely be making this again. I didn’t add the corn starch because I wanted to enjoy the sauce on the rice.
Sounds great, Kelly! Thanks for your feedback. 🙂
Delicious!!! Will definitely make again!
Happy you liked it, April. 🙂
This was wonderful! The taste layers were fun to build. As I was cooking, the initial taste was remarkable, but I thought it lost its zing after the tomatoes were added. I plowed forward, though, and once it simmered with the tomatoes, it all blended together. to an even better taste. Wowza, it was simply amazing. Thanks for this recipe, it’s a keeper!
That’s awesome, Amy! I am so glad you liked it. 🙂
Thanks for your great feedback.
Love this recipe. Tastes amazing.
Can it be frizen?
Hi Paul, I am so glad you like it! Yes, it can be frozen. 🙂
Great recipe! Had a lot of flavor, no salt added. I used a little more vegetable broth to yield more gravy. Omitted mushrooms as did not have any on hand and instead added vegan spicy sausage at the end with the beans. Am definitely making again! Thank you for sharing a wonderful recipe!
You are very welcome, Cindy! I am so glad you liked it. 🙂
This was my first time ever making or even eating gumbo. Simple recipe with lots of veggies! I subbed zucchini for the shrooms and it was a great swap! Sadly this gumbo seemed bland to me. The hubs really liked it, but I wish it had more flavor. I added more salt to my bowl which helped, but maybe next time I will add cajun seasoning or find some gumbo file seasoning.
Thanks for your feedback! 🙂
I’m not sure if I commented on this already but my friend just gave me another batch of okra. I had to comment on this because it is so amazing. This is my second time making it and I think I loved it even more this time. Thanks Ela ????????
Hey! I am so glad you like it dear! Thanks for your kind comment. 🙂
Excellent recipe! My friend, who was skeptical, ate his words. So delicious. Thanks!
That’s awesome! I am so glad it turned out yummy. 🙂
Made it. It was delicious!!
I am glad it turned out yummy. 🙂
Can this be made in the instant pot?
Hi, I still haven’t tried it, but I think it should work well. 🙂
Do you peel the okra in video it looked peeled.
Hi Trudy, as far as I remember, I didn’t peel it. 🙂
Love this gumbo! Have made It many times! Thank you!
My pleasure! I am glad you like it, Adriana. 🙂
I am super impressed with this recipe! I am originally from Louisiana and have cooked gumbo numerous times with meat. I transitioned to vegaterian March of 2019 and OMG this has to be the BEST gumbo meatless recipe I have tried. Your recipes are phenomenal!!!! Thank you so much!!!
Thanks so much for your kind compliment, Scott! I appreciate it a lot. 🙂
Ela, have you figured out how to cook this recipe in the Instant Pot? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your delicious recipes!!!
Unfortunately, I haven’t tried it yet. However, I would suggest sauteing the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and mushrooms for 4-5 minutes. Add all other ingredients, and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes, then natural release. Not sure how it will turn out though! Please report back if you give it a try. 🙂
Can I use frozen okra or is fresh better?
Frozen okra should be fine too! 🙂
Any thoughts on making this in a slow cooker/crock pot????
Hello Tiffany! I am pretty sure it would work fine. I would suggest adding all ingredients (except the canned beans) to the slow cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours. Add the cooked beans for the last 30 minutes of cooking time. Please report back if you give it a try. 🙂
I have made this dish 3 times in the past two weeks and it’s so tasty! I cook mine for probably twice as long though, as I really think helps the flavors meld together and the veggies get nice and soft. I also add a head of cauliflower for extra volume!
Wow, that’s awesome! Thanks so much for your amazing feedback, Sarah. 🙂