Oven Roux for Gumbo

The oven method makes deep dark gumbo roux with way less work than standing over the stove! This oven roux is ready in about 2 hours, but only requires a few minutes of stirring. It’s the perfect dark roux for making gumbo!

Dark roux for gumbo on a wooden spoon.

The hallmark of a great gumbo is the dark roux. The nutty toasted flavor that is unique to a dark chocolate roux is necessary for gumbo, but it can be labor intensive! The traditional way to make gumbo roux is to stand over the stove, constantly stirring, for at least 45 minutes. Making an oven roux will save you work and the result tastes just as good as the original method. 

If you need some more options, you can also make a microwave roux or a dry roux!

Why you’ll love this recipe

Lauren’s Take: Making a roux in the oven isn’t quicker than the traditional stove top method, but it is a lot easier. You only need to stir the roux about every 30 minutes, so you don’t have to stand over the stove for an hour plus!

Taste: Oven baked roux tastes exactly like a traditional roux

Time: About 2 – 2.5 hours, but only a few minutes of active time. 

Testing Notes: I’ve tested this recipe in double and triple batches. The more flour and oil you have, the longer the roux will take. 

Why Make an Oven Roux?

So if making a gumbo roux in the oven takes about two hours, why choose this method over the traditional stove top method? There are a few main reasons:

  1. Less work. It takes more time, but most of that is inactive time. You only have to stir the roux for a minute every 30 minutes or so, which frees up most of that time!
  2. Less likely to burn. The oven provides a slower, more even heat than the stove, which helps prevent burning. 
  3. Make it in bulk. You can double or triple this recipe to make some roux for future use. 

Plus, this oven roux will taste identical to a stove top roux!

Authentic Cajun Tip

The perfect gumbo roux is brown to dark brown in color. The roux should look glossy, but not greasy. The texture will be like fine wet sand. 

Expert Tips for Making Roux in the Oven

  1. Use a sturdy pot/pan – You will have to put it in and out of the oven, so don’t use anything flimsy or you can burn yourself. My favorite is a cast iron pan or casserole dish. 
  2. Stir gently. Hot roux is like hot lava – it will burn you! Stir gently to prevent splashing around. 
  3. Set a timer. It’s easy to forget when you only have to check on it a few times, so make sure to set a timer for 30 minutes for the first hour and a half, then 15 minutes once the roux gets closer to the right color. 
  4. Remove it from the hot pan when done. Roux will continue cooking in a hot pan even when removed from heat. Once you have your desired roux color, you need to stop the cooking process. If you’re making gumbo now, adding the trinity will stop the cooking process. If you’re saving it for later, transfer the hot roux into a heat safe container. To save you from transferring hot roux, remove it from the oven just before it hits the right color. 
  5. If it burns, throw it out. Unfortunately, there is no saving a burnt roux. If you see any specks of black in the roux, throw it away and start fresh. A burned roux will taste bitter. 

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ingredients needed to make gumbo roux in the oven.

See the recipe card below for the complete list of ingredients and measurements.

Fat – For a dark gumbo roux, go for a fat that can stand up to the heat. I prefer using a neutral oil like vegetable oil or avocado oil. Some people like using bacon grease, but I find it overpowers the gumbo flavors. Avoid olive oil for its strong taste. While butter makes a perfectly delicious blond roux for béchamel, avoid using butter when making a dark roux as it can burn easily. 

Flour – All purpose flour is the best choice. I have not tried roux with different kinds of flour.

Equipment Needed for Baked Roux

Whether you’re making a gumbo roux on the stovetop or in the oven, you want a strong sturdy and evenly heating pot. A heavy dutch oven or a deep cast iron skillet are both great options for making roux. 

You will also need something to stir with. A wooden spoon is the classic choice, but I also like a silicone spatula to fully scrape the bottom of the pot when stirring. 

For storage, I like using a glass jar like a mason jar or Weck jar

How to Make a Roux in the Oven

Whisking together oil and flour in a baking dish.

Step One: Combine

Stir flour and oil together until mixed well. Place in oven for 30 minutes. 

Blond roux.

Step Two: Stir

Gently stir, then put back in the oven for another 30 minutes.

Stirring a peanut butter colored roux.

Step Three: Stir Again

Gently stir again, then put back in the oven for another 30 minutes. The roux should be getting closer to a brown color after an hour and a half. 

Final stage of dark brown roux for gumbo on a spoon.

Step Four: Stir Some More

Gently stir, then put back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Repeat until the roux is a rich deep brown color. 

If you’re looking for the traditional way of making roux, check out How to Make Roux for Gumbo.

Jump to Recipe

Stages of Gumbo Roux

As roux cooks, it becomes darker in color. A darker roux has more flavor, but less thickening power. A lighter roux will have stronger thickening power, but a milder flavor. Different recipes call for different color roux. 

  1. White roux – This roux has the highest thickening power, and mildest flavor. It is used to thicken soups, stews, or gravy. 
  2. Blond roux – As the roux cooks longer, it becomes a blond roux. This roux still has thickening power, but develops a slightly nutty flavor. It is used to make béchamel for alfredo sauce or mac and cheese sauce. 
  3. Brown roux – This stage develops a peanut butter color. It has some thickening power and a deeper nutty flavor. It is used to make étouffée or stews. Some like their gumbo with this color roux. 
  4. Dark brown roux – This roux is a rich chocolate color. It has the least thickening power, but the deepest rich flavor. It is perfect for making gumbo. 
Stages of Gumbo Oven Roux.

Storage & make ahead

Storage: Store roux in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. 

Freeze: Store roux in a freezer safe container for up to 1 year. 

Reheat: To use roux that has been refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature on the counter for an hour before you use it. You can pour off the oil at the top or stir it back into the roux. To use a roux that has been frozen, allow it to defrost on the counter or in the refrigerator overnight. 

A jar of oven roux for gumbo.

Frequently Asked Questions

What temperature to cook a roux in the oven?

The best temperature to cook a roux in the oven is 350°F (175°C). You may be able to get away with it higher if you check on it more frequently. 

Can you burn oven roux?

Yes, you can still burn an oven roux. Although making a roux in the oven is less likely to burn, it can still burn if you leave it in for too long or don’t stir thoroughly. 

What happens if you burn roux?

Unfortunately, if you burn roux you have to throw it out and start over. There is no way to save a burnt roux. Burnt roux will have flecks of black, smell burnt, and taste bitter. It will ruin the whole gumbo, so better to start over. 

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Dark roux for gumbo on a wooden spoon.

How to Make Gumbo Roux in the Oven

Making oven roux takes a little longer than the traditional method, but is much easier! You only have to stir it a few times. Tastes just as good as the traditional roux method.
5 from 35 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Ingredient
Cuisine American, Cajun, French
Servings 10
Calories 250 kcal

Equipment

  • Heavy cast iron pot or skillet
  • Wooden spoon or silicon spatula

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • PREP: Preheat the oven 350°F (175°C).
  • MIX: Combine oil and flour in your pot or skillet and mix well. Place mixture in the oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
  • STIR: Remove the roux from the oven and gently stir, making sure to scrape up the bottom well. Put back in the oven for another 30 minutes. Repeat for a total of 90 minutes, then check back in 15 minute increments until the roux is a deep chocolate brown. It should take about 2 to 2.5 hours.
  • USE: If you are making gumbo now, Transfer the roux to your pot and continue cooking as usual.
  • STORE: If you are storing roux for later use, allow it to cool completely, then store in an airtight jar.

Notes

  • The ratio for roux is commonly 1:1, but I prefer slightly more flour than oil to make the final gumbo less oily. You can also use ¾ cup oil instead.
  • Double or triple this recipe to make a larger gumbo, or to store some for later. This will increase cooking time.
  • Recipe makes 1 ¼ cup of roux which is enough for a gumbo with 8-10 servings.
  • Store roux at room temperature for 2-3 days, in the refrigerator for up to 6 months, or in the freezer for up to a year.
    remove it from the oven a little before your desired color.
  • A hot pan will continue cooking the roux even when it’s removed from heat, so remove it from the oven a little before your desired color, or transfer the roux to a heat safe container when it’s done.
  • If you need a gumbo recipe, try Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 2gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gSodium: 0.3mgPotassium: 17mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 0.04gCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
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Meet Lauren

I’m the blogger, recipe developer, food photographer, and otherwise food obsessed gal behind Lauren From Scratch. I was born and raised in New Orleans and lived in South Louisiana most of my life. Growing up around Cajun country has instilled a love of food that runs deep in my bones. I am passionate about food and teaching you how to make mouth-watering Louisiana inspired dishes in your own kitchen!


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