The roux is what thickens this Vegan Butternut Squash Okra Gumbo as well as give it a deeper flavor. While butternut squash isn’t a traditional gumbo ingredient, it adds a fall flair. There is a no oil added option and you can substitute cooked beans for the vegan sausage if you want.
Butternut Squash Okra Gumbo with Brown Rice is a healthier gumbo option. And like in all my recipes you have options to make it gluten-free and oil-free.
The taste of butternut squash and the bright orange color scream autumn comfort food to me. I decided to make a bowl of this vegan butternut squash okra gumbo to celebrate fall.
What Is Gumbo?
Gumbo is a thick stew that has gumbo, sautéed veggies and usually meats. Of course, this is a vegan version but we’re using vegan sausage and chunks of butternut squash to make our meatless version hearty.
Can I Make Butternut Squash Okra Gumbo in an Instant Pot?
If you want to try to make this in your Instant Pot DO NOT cook the thick roux in it. Instead do all the other ingredients in the IP and make the roux on the stovetop.
If you add it all in together the mixture will be too thick to come up to pressure and you’ll get a burn notice.
Can I Make an Oil-Free Roux?
A roux is toasted flour and oil cooked slowly together until thick. So while you can’t make a roux per say, there is a way to thicken this gumbo without the traditional oil.
You can also make this oil free by just toasting flour and leaving out the oil. The roux won’t need to cook as long and the gumbo will be a little thinner, but it will still taste great!
This is a Cajun gumbo, so it does not contain any tomatoes. The roux is what thickens the gumbo and gives it a deeper flavor. Butternut squash isn’t a traditional ingredient, but I think it works well.
What Vegan Sausage Did You Use?
I used a homemade vegan andouille sausage that’s in The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot, so I can’t share it here. But you can order the book here or there are a few vegan brands that make it too.
Want a hands off gumbo? Then try this Slow Cooker White Bean Quinoa Gumbo instead.
More Fall Recipes to Try
- Mashed Potato Crusted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, and Tofu Pie
- A Vegan Slow Cooker Menu Plan That Makes Autumn Easy!
- Roasted Butternut Squash Burgers with Sabra Spread
- Bursting Full of Fall Flavors Vegan Menu Plan(Opens in a new browser tab)
Vegan Butternut Squash Okra Gumbo
for the roux:
- 1/4 cup avocado oil or other mild oil LEAVE OUT TO MAKE OIL-FREE
- 1 cup unbleached white flour or use a gluten-free blend or single flour
for the saute:
- 3/4 cup minced onion
- 3/4 cup minced bell pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons regular paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon to 1 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper to taste
for the simmer:
- 8 cups water
- 3 cups sliced okra , fresh or frozen
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 2 cups chopped vegan andouille sausage or your favorite cooked beans , or add Brussels sprouts and/or cauliflower
- 4 cups 4 cups cooked brown rice
- Tabasco or other vinegar based hot sauce , optional
Make the roux
- In a large soup pot, over low heat, add the oil and flour and mix well. You will slowly toast this mixture.Note: if you are making oil-free you will just be slowly toasting the flour so it will take less time.
- It will start out a pale white and then after about 15 minutes it will be a light brown. After 15 more it will be more maple colored.
- The most important thing is to not let this burn and stir often throughout the roux cooking process. If you burn it you must throw it out and start again. So go low and slow.
- Since this process takes about 30 minutes I like to prep my veggies while this is cooking. Cut a little, stir the roux, cut some more, etc.
- Once the roux is a medium brown and begins to smell almost like toasted nuts, add in the the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Turn up the heat to medium low, stir and saute until the veggies begin to soften.Note: If you are making this oil-free you may need to add some water while you are sauting the veggies to keep them from sticking.
Make the Gumbo
- Add in the herbs and spices. You can leave the salt, pepper, and cayenne to add before serving if you want. Or start small and add more at the end if you're not sure how you like it yet.
- Add the water, okra, butternut squash, and andouille or beans. Cover and let cook over medium-low heat until the okra and squash are soft, about 20 minutes.
- Taste and re-season salt, pepper, and cayenne as needed. I make ours very mild since I'm the only one in my householdwho likes spicy food. I just add in lots of hot sauce to my bowl.
- Serve topped with rice and hot sauce on the side.
- Note: this freezes well too, so I make up containers with th gumbo and rice to freeze for grab and go lunches!