Bowl of gumbo
The Difference Between Étouffée And Gumbo
Étouffée and gumbo may be similar in terms of flavors and technique, but there are key differences between them, namely different culinary backgrounds.
Gumbo is a soup with a broth-based recipe. It's usually served with a scoop of rice in the bowl and is adaptable to the ingredients on hand, like seafood, chicken, sausage, or ham.
Étouffée is not a soup. It's a sauce-based recipe usually containing seafood — traditionally crawfish — and served on a bed of rice.
Both recipes have similar flavors from the roux and the Cajun trinity of onion, celery, and bell pepper, but there's a wider variety of ingredients in gumbo than in étoufée.