What better way to celebrate Mardi Gras than with a homemade gumbo? Here are six versions that are centered on chicken or seafood, but you can prepare them with beans and more veggies instead to lower the fat. That's the wonderful thing about gumbo: It's a versatile comfort food that's not difficult to make and tastes even better the next day.
1. Chicken Gumbo by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner
Andouille sausage, hot paprika and cumin ensure a flavorful gumbo that's also a one-pan meal — which makes for an easy cleanup.
Per serving: 466 calories, 8g saturated fat, 19g carbohydrates, 29g protein, 5g fiber
2. Hearty Okra Gumbo With Chicken and Shrimp by Elizabeth Terry
Don't be fooled by the okra: This isn't a traditionally spiced gumbo recipe. Basil, chili sauce and bay leaves lend it a unique flavor.
Per serving: 281 calories, 3g saturated fat, 13g carbohydrates, 31g protein, 3g fiber
3. Nana's Southern Gumbo by Gina Neely and Pat Neely
This Southern-style family recipe is seriously succulent, flavored with — among other tasty ingredients — crab, ham, shrimp and chicken. Don't be shy with the hot sauce.
Per serving: 456 calories, 4g saturated fat, 25g carbohydrates, 36g protein, 3g fiber
4. Seafood Gumbo by Tom Fitzmorris
While this is a more involved recipe, calling for homemade stock and roux, we think the end result is worth it. You can include any combination of fresh crab, crawfish, oysters and shrimp.
Per serving: 245 calories, 3g saturated fat, 14g carbohydrates, 26g protein, 3g fiber
5. Monday-to-Friday Gumbo by Michele Urvater
This hot gumbo includes kidney beans and chicken or turkey breasts. Easily turn it into a vegetarian dish by using vegetable broth and more beans in place of the meat.
Per serving: 402 calories, 1g saturated fat, 49g carbohydrates, 33g protein, 10g fiber
6. Andouille Sausage, Shrimp and Oyster Gumbo by Clifford A. Wright
Although this recipe is a little heavier than the others, we love the traditional andouille and seafood combo. Serve over brown rice or with a side of greens.
Per serving: 686 calories, 12g saturated fat, 24g carbohydrates, 49g protein, 2g fiber