Louisiana Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is a true representation of classic home cooking – taking simple, inexpensive ingredients and elevating them into an extraordinary meal. This Creole gumbo is loaded with okra, tomatoes, sausage, and chicken – it is so delicious.
This chicken and sausage gumbo is a variation of a recipe that I inherited from my mother-in-law, Mary. Everyone that I have served this to absolutely LOVES it.
Before all you diehard Cajuns come at me – this is Creole gumbo – meaning that it is made with tomatoes and okra. Don’t let that stop you from trying it! Everyone that has tried this recipe always asks for seconds. My mother, who doesn’t even like gumbo (or okra) had two servings and my father said that it was terrific. It really is so good!
(If you are in New Orleans and have the chance to get gumbo at a restaurant, seafood gumbo is always a great choice because the seafood is always really fresh. If you are landlocked in Tennessee like we are – Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo is a delicious alternative.)
Table of Contents
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- Andouille Sausage – My husband’s favorite andouille is Veron’s Andouille, but lately, I’ve been loving Savoie’s Andouille. It adds some extra salt and spice to the gumbo that is so tasty.
- Chicken Breast or Thighs – You can use diced or shredded chicken – whatever your family prefers. This is a good way to use up a leftover rotisserie chicken if you have one. Sometimes I will even cook my chicken in an Instant Pot and shred it up while the gumbo is cooking. By the time you need to add the chicken, it will be done. You can also bake the chicken in the oven while baking the okra. If it isn’t fully cooked, that’s totally fine – it will cook more in the gumbo broth and will be even more flavorful.
Ingredients to Make a Roux
- All-Purpose Flour (Or gluten-free 1-1 substitute)
- Vegetable, Canola, or Light-Tasting Olive Oil
- Chicken Stock – I like to make mine at home using leftover chicken, duck, or turkey carcasses. Homemade has so much flavor and is a great way to repurpose food scraps.
Vegetables in Gumbo
- The Holy Trinity – Diced Peppers, Onions, and Celery
- Okra – You can use diced fresh or frozen okra.
- Green Onions
- Tomatoes – YES! *GASP!* You can use diced canned tomatoes or diced fresh tomatoes.
Spices in Gumbo
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Parsley – You can use dried parsley or fresh parsley for this gumbo.
- Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
🥣 How to Make It
Chicken and Sausage gumbo is a labor of love as it is a decent amount of work – but it really isn’t that difficult and it is so worth it. Gumbo is so delicious and is always so impressive. I love making huge batches of gumbo so that we always have some in the freezer for easy and delicious dinners.
If you want to cook along with me, you can do so by clicking here to watch the video.
First, Cook the Chicken & Okra
The first step to making gumbo will be baking the okra and cooking the chicken (if you don’t already have some leftover to use up). Preheat the oven to 350°F and spread the frozen okra onto a baking sheet.
Baking okra will help bake off some of the “sliminess.” (We don’t want to lose all of the slime as it helps thicken the gumbo, but we do want to get rid of some of it.)
To make the chicken, I will do one of two things. I will either cook 2 – 3 chicken breasts in my Instant Pot, then dice them up. Or, lately, I have been baking the chicken on a sheet pan (with edges) while I bake the okra.
I slice the chicken breasts in half down the middle to make them thinner, then bake the chicken for about 20 minutes, drizzled with a little olive oil, salt, and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. (Even if it is not fully cooked, I remove it and dice it up – the hot broth will finish cooking it and the chicken will absorb so much more flavor.)
Once the okra and chicken are in the oven, I start working on the gumbo.
I first dice up andouille sausage and drop it in a large pot over medium heat. While it cooks, I get the vegetables diced up.
Pro Tip: If you dice the vegetables a day or two before while getting things ready, cover the celery in water in an airtight container. It will lose moisture as it sits and will be crunchy and harder to cook.
Now, Cook the Andouille
Once the andouille is cooked, remove it from the pot and start making the roux. (There should be some browned bits of sausage on the bottom of the pan – these will get scraped up and mixed into the roux to add another layer of flavor.) (Pictures 1 -2)
This recipe uses a roux that isn’t as dark as a traditional Cajun gumbo, but it does take 10 – 15 minutes to get to the right color.
Next, Here’s How to Make a Roux
To make the roux, heat the oil over medium-low heat and then add flour. Stir or whisk until the clumps of flour are broken up. Scrape the sausage bits off the bottom of the pot as well. The roux will look kind of like paste at first, then it will slowly start to get darker and will start smelling toasty.
While the roux is cooking, you can finish chopping the vegetables. The gumbo will start with the “Holy Trinity” – onions, green peppers, and celery.
Don’t forget to stir the roux every few minutes while you chop. As it gets closer to your desired color, you may need to stir more frequently to prevent the roux from burning.
How Do You Know if a Roux is Cooked Enough?
For this type of gumbo, you don’t want a “chocolate” colored roux as you would use for Cajun gumbo, Gumbo Yaya, or duck gumbo. You are looking for more of a cardboard box/peanut butter-colored roux.
This light roux is just the right amount of “toasty” to give flavor and thicken the gumbo but it does not take over the taste and allows all of the other ingredients to shine.
Cooking Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
When the roux is cooked to the desired color, add the baked okra and stir. (Dump it right off the cookie sheet.) Then mix in the “holy trinity” – green peppers, celery, and onion. (If you baked chicken with the okra, pull it out now whether it is fully cooked or not.)
Cook the okra & veggies in the roux for 3 – 5 minutes, letting the roux get all over the veggies and let them start to soften from the heat. (Picture 7)
Then add the garlic, tomatoes, green onions, and season with marjoram, basil, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper. (Pictures 8 – 9) Cook for 1 – 2 minutes.
Next, add the chicken – diced or shredded – whichever way your family prefers. (If you cooked the chicken in an Instant Pot, go ahead and add the broth that was in the bottom of the pot – it’s liquid gold!) (Picture 10)
Add the cooked andouille and cook for a few more minutes, stirring to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. (Pictures 11 – 12).
Then add the broth. (Picture 13)
Bring the broth to a boil to get it nice and hot, then reduce the heat so that the gumbo starts simmering. (Pictures 14 – 15)
Simmer the gumbo over low heat for at least an hour – longer if you have time. I usually cook mine for 2 – 3 hours. The longer you cook the gumbo, the better it will be. (The liquid will reduce A LOT, but if it starts to look like too much broth is cooking off, you can either add more chicken stock or reduce the heat even lower and put the lid on the pot.)
Stir the gumbo every once in a while to make sure that the bottom does not burn. It might develop a film on top – just stir that in.
Last summer, I made a quadruple batch of gumbo to bring on vacation. The picture on the left is how the gumbo looks before it reduces. On the right is how it looks after it has been reducing for at least an hour – the broth is nice and thick and the okra, celery, & peppers soften.
When the gumbo is ready, serve in big bowls and enjoy!
Please email me if you have any questions about making this recipe – I have put a lot of practice into crafting this method and the recipe and I was trying to explain it in full detail.
If it is at all confusing, I would love to clarify. Please do not email me to complain about tomatoes in this CREOLE gumbo. You can read more in this post about why CREOLE gumbo has tomatoes in it.
🍳 Serving Suggestions & Uses
When you are ready to eat your gumbo, serve it with fluffy white rice or green onion rice. I like to cook rice in my Instant Pot while the gumbo is finishing up. Garnish with a little more salt and pepper to taste and a splash of Tabasco Sauce. Some people also like to top their gumbo with green onions.
🥄 What to Serve with Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
We like to serve our gumbo with crunchy French bread and white rice. This gumbo is a pretty full meal with protein, rice, and vegetables, so we don’t really like to add anything else to it. To really take this over the top, serve gumbo over buttery green onion rice instead of white rice. It is so flavorful!
I’ve seen on Facebook that some people like to add sweet potatoes, potato salad, egg salad, and hard-boiled eggs to their gumbo. My inlaws who were born and raised in different parts of Louisiana had never heard of this until I brought it up, so it must be a regional/family specific thing.
My photos aren’t always pretty – this was served at an Airbnb while we were on vacation. Terrible lighting, beachy dishes, but delicious!
🙋♀️ Frequently Asked Questions
Baking okra before adding it to gumbo dries it out a little and prevents it from becoming a slimy mess. To do this, spread out the okra on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 15 – 20 minutes This should take about the same amount of time as it takes to cut up all the veggies and get the roux cooked.
Once cooked, rice can start to grow bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Refrigeration can slow the growth of bacteria, but it will not prevent it. It should be thrown out after 5 days.
To refresh and soften leftover rice, it can be microwaved with a wet paper towel or rag draped over the bowl and a few spoonfuls of water in the bottom of the bowl. Rice becomes crunchy when stored in the refrigerator as the moisture leaks out of it. Reheating with a wet towel and added water will add moisture back into the rice.
Between the roux and okra, gumbo should thicken as it simmers. If the gumbo has simmered for a while but still seems very thin, you can add Instant Roux mixed with a little of the broth or add a pinch of filé after the heat is turned off. (Filé will alter the taste of gumbo, so be prepared for that. To me, it has a taste a bit like allspice.)
Absolutely! I nearly always use frozen okra in gumbo. I either buy bagged cut frozen okra, or I use okra that I have grown and frozen.
If gumbo ends up oily, it’s possible the roux has split a little, wasn’t a good balance between flour & oil, or it just wasn’t cooked enough. To fix this, you can sop the oil up with a slice of bread or put ice in a serving spoon, then dip the back of the spoon in the oil. It should harden on the back of the spoon. Wipe the oil off the spoon and repeat until it is all sopped up.
Absolutely. I freeze gumbo nearly every time I make it. It freezes really well and makes for easy weeknight meals. (I freeze gumbo without the rice and make fresh rice in my Instant Pot when I reheat it.)
In my opinion, yes. Gumbo and Red Beans & Rice are always better the next day.
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✏️ Helpful Tips
- Find a brand of andouille sausage that you really like – if you don’t like the sausage, you won’t like the gumbo. Our favorite brand is Vernon’s, though a close second is Savoie’s.
- Be sure to bake okra before adding it to the gumbo – it will keep it from getting slimy. If you are using freshly picked okra from your garden as we do, it works really well to blanch it to soften the “pod” – then drain, slice, and bake the okra. It is an extra step, but if the okra is too fresh (or you let them grow too long), it can be almost inedible if you don’t soften the pod.
- I like to start my gumbo in the late morning just before lunchtime, and then let it simmer until dinner. It will be so thick and so delicious.
🥫 Storage/Shelf Life/Reheating
Once cooled, gumbo can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days. Gumbo can also be frozen. I like to freeze gumbo for easy dinners on busy weeknights. Gumbo can stay frozen for 3 – 6 months, it is possible that it will last longer but the quality might decrease. (Freeze and store without the rice.)
To reheat gumbo, heat over low heat on the stove or slowly in the microwave. Serve with freshly made white rice.
Can You Put Warm Gumbo in the Fridge?
I am not a huge fan of doing this. Some say that you can do this if you keep the lid off, but it still makes me nervous.
Ideally, the gumbo should be brought to room temperature and then covered and stored in the fridge. Gumbo will spoil and will get “sour” if you put it directly in the fridge with a lid on when it is hot.
To cool gumbo quickly, I like to fill the sink with ice and just place the whole pot in the sink, stirring so all of the gumbo cools. Another option is transferring the gumbo to smaller containers and pointing a fan at it, stirring the gumbo pretty frequently.
I have also heard that people drop frozen water bottles in the gumbo to cool it down. I’m not a huge fan of heating plastic water bottles – the plastic is not made for that, so do this at your own risk.
More Cajun & Creole Recipes
Have You Tried This Recipe?
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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- a stock pot or a gumbo pot
- the oven
- 2 – 3 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs I have started undercooking the chicken and letting it finish in the boiling stock – it gets poached with all the delicious flavors in the broth.
- 32 oz cut okra about 6 – 8 cups
- 1 pound andouille or hot smoked sausage, diced or sliced
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil canola, avocado, or light tasting olive oil will also work
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1 cup green bell pepper diced
- 1 cup green onions thinly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped If you do not have fresh parsley, use 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of dried parsley.
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon marjoram
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 2 dried bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon black pepper Pepper to taste at this point, you may need more depending on your preferences.
- 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice or use 2 – 2½ cups of fresh tomatoes, cut into small chunks
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt + more to taste
- ½ teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning + more to taste
- 3 quarts chicken stock, chicken broth, or bone broth
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- Tabasco Sauce
- Begin by preheating the oven to 350°F. Spread the okra on a cookie sheet and let it bake while you get everything else cooking.32 oz cut okra
- While the okra is in the oven, spread chicken breasts on a cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil & sprinkle with salt, pepper, and some Tony's Creole Seasoning. Bake the chicken for the same length of time as the okra and remove it when the okra comes out. (It's okay if it isn't fully cooked.)2 – 3 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- Once the okra and chicken are in the oven, dice up andouille sausage and drop it in a large pot over medium heat. While it cooks, dice up the vegetables.1 pound andouille or hot smoked sausage, diced or sliced
- Once the andouille is cooked, remove it from the pot and start making the roux.
- To make the roux, heat the oil over medium-low heat and then add flour. Stir or whisk until the clumps of flour are broken up. Scrape the sausage bits off the bottom of the pot as well. The roux will look kind of like paste at first, then it will slowly start to get darker and will start smelling toasty.⅓ cup vegetable oil, ½ cup all-purpose flour
- For this type of gumbo, you are looking for more of a cardboard box/peanut butter-colored roux. (There are more details about the roux above in the post.)
- Once the roux is ready, add the baked okra right from the oven. Also, remove the chicken from the oven and set it off to the side.32 oz cut okra
- Stir the okra into the roux, then add the diced green bell pepper, diced onion, and diced celery. Stir into the roux and cook for about 5 minutes.1 cup onion, 1 cup green bell pepper, 1 cup celery
- When the onions start to soften, add the garlic, tomatoes, and green onions, then season with marjoram, basil, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, Tony's, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes.1 cup green onions, 4 cloves garlic, ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon marjoram, ½ teaspoon dried basil, 2 dried bay leaves, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice, 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, ½ teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
- Next, add the chicken – diced or shredded. (If you cooked the chicken in an Instant Pot, go ahead and add the broth that was in the bottom of the pot – it's liquid gold!)2 – 3 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- Add the cooked andouille and cook for a few more minutes, stirring to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.1 pound andouille or hot smoked sausage, diced or sliced
- Now, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.3 quarts chicken stock, chicken broth, or bone broth
- Once the gumbo broth starts boiling, reduce it to a simmer. Simmer uncovered on low heat for at least an hour, I recommend 2 – 3 hours. The longer you cook the gumbo, the better it will be.
- Stir as needed to prevent the gumbo from sticking to the bottom. It might develop a film on top – just stir that in.
- When ready to serve, spoon the gumbo into bowls with a scoop of freshly made white rice. Garnish with extra salt & pepper if desired and a few dashes of Tabasco Sauce.Tabasco Sauce, 4 cups cooked white rice
- If you dice the vegetables a day or two before while getting things ready, cover the celery in water in an airtight container. It will lose moisture as it sits and will be crunchy and harder to cook.
- Cook the gumbo for as long as you can. It will get nice and thick and will be so delicious.
- The liquid in the gumbo will reduce A LOT, but if it starts to look like too much broth is cooking off, you can either add more chicken stock or reduce the heat even lower and put the lid on the pot.
Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.