Louisianan Gumbo is a hearty, flavorful meal made with a roux of oil and flour and a variety of other spices and ingredients.
Making a big batch of gumbo and eating it for several days in a row is a breeze. Some people are curious about gumbo because it’s served with rice and frequently has seafood in it.
Is gumbo safe to freeze? Depending on whether the gumbo contains seafood, it can be frozen for 3-6 months. Even though there are some precautions and safety precautions to be followed when cooking gumbo in advance and freezing the leftovers, the end result is a tasty, convenient meal you can enjoy whenever you want.
To ensure that none of your hard work goes to waste, find out how to freeze gumbo effectively.
What To Consider When Freezing Gumbo
Freezing gumbo is both safe and possible. This makes it simple to heat up a portion from the freezer when you only have a few minutes to prepare a meal.
Gumbo that has been frozen and reheated will not have the same flavor as when it was first made. Even if you don’t use it all, it’s a great way to store any leftover gumbo, and it’ll still taste great when you do.
Gumbo contains a wide variety of ingredients, some of which do not freeze as well as others.
Gumbo’s main ingredients vary depending on the freshness of the ingredients in your area, but traditional ingredients include shrimp, sausage, crab, oysters, bell peppers, okra, garlic, parsley, tomatoes, and rice.
In gumbo, rice and shrimp are two difficult-to-freeze ingredients that are both served as side dishes.
When thawed, frozen rice can become mushy and disgusting to eat. So that you can enjoy your gumbo with rice without having to cook it from scratch, here are some tips.
Shrimp, a common gumbo ingredient, can either become mushy or incredibly soft when cooked.
The texture of shrimp changes significantly when heated, but by taking the proper precautions, the change can be minimized.
Can You Freeze Gumbo With Shrimp?
Gumbo with shrimp can be frozen just fine if you have a lot of it leftover and don’t want it to be thrown away!
Gumbo necessitates the use of several different frozen ingredients. If you don’t freeze the gumbo and rice, it’s fine.
To make gumbo that can be frozen, follow these steps:
- Before freezing the gumbo, allow it to come to room temperature. So the freezer doesn’t get too hot, and bacteria won’t grow. You can do this by placing the pot of gumbo in the sink and running cool water over it. If you’d like it to cool down faster, throw in a few ice cubes.
- Divide the mixture into freezer-safe plastic bags and seal them. Allow for some bag expansion during freezing by leaving a 1/2-inch space at the bag’s top. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of a gumbo explosion in your freezer.
- Squeeze out any extra air before sealing the plastic bag.
- Make a note of the date you put the food in the freezer on the plastic bag so you know when it needs to be eaten.
Gumbo with seafood can be kept in the refrigerator for three months, while gumbo without seafood can be kept for six months if properly stored.
It’s also possible to freeze the gumbo in airtight plastic containers.
Make sure to wipe up any gumbo that has spilled on the lid or side of a plastic container before closing it to ensure an airtight seal.
Tip: If you’re only going to reheat one or two portions of the gumbo at a time, portioning it out is a good idea. This prevents you from having to defrost the entire batch and not finishing it.
Gumbo cannot be refrozen, so only defrost what you intend to eat.
Can You Freeze Gumbo With Rice?
Although gumbo and rice can both be frozen, it’s not recommended that you do so in the same container. If the gumbo’s rice is frozen, it will become mushy and crumbly, making the whole thing soggy and unpleasant to eat.
If you’re freezing the gumbo, proceed as described above, but don’t stir in the rice until it’s time to eat.
- When making gumbo ahead of time, you can freeze the rice for later use in the dish.
- Prepare the rice according to the package directions.
- Place the cooled rice in a single layer on a baking sheet and let it stand for up to 20 minutes before serving.
- Place portions of the rice in freezer-safe plastic bags after it has cooled.
- Place the bags in the freezer, then label them with the date they were frozen.
- Save storage space by laying the bags flat.
- Keep the rice in the fridge for up to two months before using it.
Making a few extra servings of rice and keeping them in the freezer is a great way to use up any leftovers without having to start from scratch every time.
Do not use it more than 2 months after freezing it; mark the freezer bag with the date of freezing.
How Long Can I Freeze Gumbo?
Gumbo can be frozen for up to three months if it contains seafood, or up to six months if it does not contain seafood.
After that, you can eat it, but the quality will start to deteriorate and it will not taste as good as you had hoped.
Gumbo can be kept in the fridge for up to three days if stored in an airtight container. You should toss any leftover gumbo after three days.
How To Reheat Gumbo
It’s not difficult to reheat gumbo. Before you can reheat the gumbo, you must first remove it from the freezer and let it thaw.
There are two methods for defrosting gumbo:
- Thaw the gumbo by placing it in the refrigerator to cool. Depending on how frozen your gumbo is, this could take several hours or even overnight in the fridge. Thawing frozen gumbo, or any other food, in this manner prevents the food from reaching temperatures that could promote bacterial growth.
- Once defrosted, you can use it immediately. If you don’t have time to leave it in the fridge, place it in a bowl of lukewarm water for 30 minutes at a time, changing the water as needed. This prevents the gumbo from sitting at room temperature for an extended period of time.
You can reheat the gumbo in a saucepan on the stove once it has thawed. To serve hot, turn up the heat to medium-high and reheat the gumbo until it reaches a temperature of 165°F.
Any gumbo that has been reheated must be consumed right away or thrown away.
Heating and storing the gumbo multiple times increases the likelihood of bacteria growth, which increases your risk of getting sick from the food you’re eating.
As a result, freezing individual servings is preferable so that no gumbo goes to waste.
Can I Reheat Gumbo In The Microwave?
Microwave gumbo can be warmed up, but not as thoroughly as on the stovetop.
To reheat gumbo in the microwave, follow these steps:
- Thaw the gumbo, if necessary.
- Put the gumbo in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it up in the microwave for two minutes.
- For 30 seconds, heat the gumbo over medium-high heat.
- Stir for 10 seconds after removing from microwave and returning to the oven.
- Continue heating until it is piping hot, then stop.
If you heat the gumbo in batches, be sure to stir it well between each one so that the heat is distributed evenly throughout the mixture and no cold spots form.
Should Gumbo Be Soupy?
The consistency of gumbo should be different from soup; it should be thicker.
Because a roux was used to thicken and darken the dish, the broth is thicker. Gumbo can be thickened with file, a powdered dried sassafras leaf mix, which some people prefer.
Does Gumbo Taste Better the Next Day?
Gumbo, like most stews and curries, improves with age. Due to this aging process, the flavors become richer and more complex.
What Can I Eat With Gumbo?
Rice is the ideal side dish for gumbo. However, while some people prefer to serve their gumbo with homemade garlic bread or mashed potatoes, rice complements the dish so well and allows you to soak up all of the delicious flavors.