Chicken & Sausage Gumbo is the truest representation of Louisiana cooking - taking simple, inexpensive ingredients and elevating them into something extraordinary. This Paleo Gumbo is made grain and gluten-free for a hearty soup that anyone can enjoy.
The food in New Orleans is unlike anything that you will find anywhere else. When I was trying to work out all of my food sensitivities, finding a way to eat gumbo was at the top of my list of priorities. A good gluten-free gumbo is surprisingly hard to find. This great recipe is a variation of my mother-in-law’s Chicken and Sausage Gumbo using a paleo roux.
The only way this recipe differs from traditional gumbo recipes is the roux. The recipe comes straight from my mother-in-law’s family from Southern Louisiana and it is on repeat around here. It is the perfect way to enjoy the delicious Cajun flavors from my favorite place without leaving the house.
If you get the chance to visit New Orleans, seafood gumbo is always a great choice because you can’t beat fresh seafood. When you are landlocked in Tennessee like us - chicken and andouille sausage gumbo is a great alternative.
Table of Contents
- 🥘 Ingredient Notes
- 🥣 How to Make It
- How Do You Keep Okra from Getting Slimy?
- How Do You Make a Paleo Roux for Gumbo?
- How Do You Know if Your Roux is Cooked Enough?
- 🍳 Serving Suggestions & Uses
- How to Make Cauliflower Rice
- Recipe Variations
- ✏️ Helpful Tips
- How to Store Paleo Gumbo
- Try These Other Great Paleo Recipes
- 📝 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
🥘 Ingredient Notes
Ingredients to Make the Paleo Roux
- Almond Flour
- Avocado Oil
After lots of testing, I’ve settled on almond flour as the best type of flour to use. The almond flour gets really toasty and tastes really good after it cooks for a while. (I have tried a paleo roux with tapioca starch, but it just gets kind of gummy and burns easily. Coconut flour has a pretty strong taste that tends to take over the flavor of the gumbo. I like the almond flour best. My husband was not a fan of the aftertaste of toasty cassava flour and it doesn’t really agree with my insides, so we settled on almond flour!)
We chose avocado oil as the oil because it can get really hot without burning and doesn’t have much of a taste. Olive oil has a pretty noticeable taste and when making a roux, you will notice it. Light-tasting olive oil burns when cooked long enough to make a good roux.
You can also use bacon fat from pasture-raised bacon - I know you keep a big heaping cup of bacon grease next to your stove as I do. It will alter the taste a bit, but it will be tasty. If you feel like getting really crazy, you can also try using duck fat in place of the avocado oil. When we make duck gumbo, we use duck fat to make the roux and the flavor is incredible.
Paleo Gumbo Essentials
- Cooked Chicken - diced or shredded. This is a good way to use up a leftover rotisserie chicken. I like to cook mine in my 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 use chicken thighs or chicken breasts for this.
- Andouille Sausage - For Paleo sausage, my favorite is Gilbert's Chicken Sausage - otherwise, we get something from a butcher or Whole Foods. If you live somewhere where you just can’t get Andouille sausage, you can use a good smoked sausage. But for the love of all that is Cajun, please do not use Kielbasa and call it a real gumbo.
- Chicken Stock or Broth - We like to use a good, hearty chicken bone broth and load this gumbo up with nutrients.
- Diced Green Bell Pepper
- Diced Green Onions
- Diced Celery
- Cut Okra - Either fresh or frozen
- Diced Onions
- Diced Tomatoes or Fesh Garden Tomatoes, diced - Creole gumbo uses tomatoes and it is delicious.
- Dried of Fresh Chopped Parsley
- Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
- Dried Thyme
- Dried Basil
- Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning - If you can’t find Tony’s where you live, you can use Cajun Seasoning.
🥣 How to Make It
The first step will be getting the chicken cooked and baking the okra. If you are using leftover chicken, just bake the okra. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
You have two options here for making your chicken - I like to cook 2 - 3 chicken breasts in my Instant Pot. If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can bake the chicken in the oven at 350 - 375°F for about 20 minutes. (Drizzle it with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet with edges.)
While the chicken is cooking, you should also pre-cook the okra. This helps bake off some of the slime so that when you add it to the roux, it helps thicken the gumbo instead of turning into a slimy mess.
How Do You Keep Okra from Getting Slimy?
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 until it is slightly dried out. This should take about the same amount of time as it takes to cut up all the veggies, cook the chicken, and get the roux started. (I like to multitask!)
Once the okra is in the oven, you can begin chopping your vegetables. The gumbo will start with the "Cajun Holy Trinity" - onions, green peppers, and celery. Once you have the veggies chopped, you can start the roux.
How Do You Make a Paleo Roux for Gumbo?
To make a paleo roux, use the same proportions of oil and flour as regular gumbo - ½ cup of flour to ⅓ cup of oil - but use your favorite Paleo flour. I like to use almond flour and avocado oil. (I have used tapioca starch and light tasting olive oil but the tapioca starch got a little too gummy for my liking and seemed to burn easier.) A lot of roux recipes use equal parts oil and flour, but for this recipe, we don’t and it always turns out great.
Heat the oil over medium-low heat and then add the flour. (Picture 1) It will look kind of like paste at first (Picture 2), then it will slowly start to get darker. (Picture 3)
How Do You Know if Your Roux is Cooked Enough?
Once the roux starts to brown and thicken - almost the color of sand or peanut butter but not quite the color of a cardboard box, it is ready to use. (Picture 4) This recipe does not use a super dark roux.
Cooking the Gumbo
When the roux is cooked enough (Picture 1), immediately add the okra and the "holy trinity" - green peppers, celery, and onion. Cook for 3 - 5 minutes - just letting the roux get all up in the veggies and let them start to soften from the heat. (Picture 2)
Then add the garlic, tomatoes, and green onions. Then season with marjoram, basil, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper. (Picture 3) Cook for 1 - 2 minutes.
At this point, the chicken should be ready to go, so shred that and drop it right in. (If you cooked the chicken in an Instant Pot, go ahead and add the broth that was in the bottom of the pot. Yum!) (Picture 4)
Cook for a few minutes and then add the chicken broth stir it up! (Picture 5)
Slowly bring the gumbo to a boil and start cooking the andouille in a frying pan over medium heat.
The timing should coincide so that the andouille will finish cooking when your gumbo starts boiling. (It should already be cooked, you just want to caramelize the outside. ) Add the andouille to the gumbo, then, turn the heat on the gumbo down low so that it is simmering, and wait patiently.
Simmer the gumbo on low heat for an hour at least - longer if you have time. I usually cook mine for about 3 hours. The longer you cook your gumbo, the better it will be. If it starts to look like too much broth is cooking off, feel free to add more or put a lid on it.
🍳 Serving Suggestions & Uses
When you are ready to eat the gumbo, serve it over cauliflower rice (if Paleo or Whole30) otherwise you can use white rice. Season and garnish with salt, pepper, and a splash of hot sauce. Our favorite is Tabasco Sauce.
Gumbo is delicious when eaten fresh, but it is almost always even better when eaten the next day.
How to Make Cauliflower Rice
I love to make cauliflower rice - it is so easy. I saute a finely diced onion until translucent, then add a bag of riced cauliflower. You can use fresh or frozen. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and a few shakes of 21 Seasoning Salute or your favorite mild seasoning.
Saute for a few more minutes, then reduce the heat and cover to fully cook the cauliflower. This should take about 7 - 10 minutes.
- Add seafood to the gumbo - Add a pound of shrimp to the gumbo 10 - 15 minutes before pulling it off the heat. It cooks fast, and you don’t want it to overcook. My husband thinks shrimp and chicken don’t go together so we don't do this often, but a lot of people like it.
- Filé - Gumbo Filé Powder is something that some people like and a lot of people really don’t like. It's a pretty polarizing ingredient. It can be used to thicken gumbo. And it is actually paleo. It is made from ground-up sassafras leaves. We personally don’t love it and find that it has an unusual taste. If you want to try it, I recommend keeping it on the table and letting people shake it onto their individual bowls so that you don’t end up ruining the whole pot.
- Make a dark brown roux. With this gumbo recipe, we don’t make the roux super dark because the almond flour can burn and taste kind of rancid. Feel free to give it a try if you want, just watch the roux very carefully as it starts to get darker!
✏️ Helpful Tips
- Find a brand of andouille sausage that you really like - if you don't like the sausage, you won't like your gumbo. Our favorite brand is Vernon, though it is not Paleo. Gilbert's Sausage makes a Paleo version that is really good and the kind you can get from the Whole Foods butcher is usually Paleo - always ask first. (The brand Bilinski's sells a compliant andouille sausage as well, but we didn't really like that one.)
- Be sure to bake your okra before adding it to your 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 boil it to soften the "pod" as it can be a bit fibrous - then slice and bake the okra. It is an extra step, but if your okra are too fresh (or you let them grow too long) they can be almost inedible if you don't soften the pod.
How to Store Paleo Gumbo
Once cooled, gumbo can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge for about a week. Gumbo can also be frozen - I like to freeze my gumbo in long, flat containers and then once frozen, vacuum seal the blocks. They can stay frozen this way for at least 6 months.
Try These Other Great Paleo Recipes
Though not specifically written as Paleo, my Seafood Gumbo recipe can be made paleo by using the roux recipe here, then following the recipe as written. It is one of our favorites!
Have You Tried This Recipe?
Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!
Paleo Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- 2 - 3 boneless chicken breasts Cooked and shredded. My favorite way to do this is in an Instant Pot, though you can also bake your chicken on a nonstick cookie sheet (or use a nonstick mat) at 375° F for about 25 minutes.
- ⅓ cup avocado oil
- ½ cup almond flour
First Vegetable Group (Group #1)
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
- 24 oz okra, diced, frozen or fresh
Second Vegetable Group and Spices (Group #2)
- 1 cup green onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 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
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
- 1 lb andouille or hot smoked sausage, sliced Gilbert's Andouille is Paleo, as is the Whole Foods Andouille at MOST Whole Foods. Ask the butcher of the ingredients before buying because stores might use different ingredients.
- 4 cups cauliflower rice You can use regular rice if you are able to eat it, but to remain Paleo or Whole30, use cauliflower rice.
- Tabasco Sauce
- Begin by getting the chicken cooking. I like to make mine in my Instant Pot so I can be hands-free to cook the rest of the gumbo. You can find instructions here. You can also bake the chicken breasts on a nonstick cookie sheet (or use a nonstick mat) in the oven at 350 - 375° F for about 20 - 25 minutes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and some Tony's Creole Seasoning on them.
- While cooking the chicken, you can also cook the okra. Baking the okra ahead of time will keep it from getting stringy and slimy when you add it to the gumbo. It requires 15 - 20 minutes to cook, so I usually pop it in the oven at 350° F when I throw the chicken in the Instant Pot or oven and start cutting up veggies. Check on the okra once or twice and stir to be sure it is not burning.24 oz okra, diced, frozen or fresh
- Cut up all your vegetables. I separate them into groups because I find it easier to just toss them into bowls by what goes in the pot in what order. Combine your diced onion, celery, and green pepper.1 cup onion, diced, 1 cup celery, diced, 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
- In a separate bowl, combine green onions and garlic.1 cup green onions, chopped, 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- Begin the roux. It will take a few minutes to heat up but will start to change quickly once it has heated up. The colors will change from white, to light brown, and then the perfect shade of brown - somewhere between sand and a cardboard box.⅓ cup avocado oil, ½ cup almond flour
- Add the first group of vegetables and cook for about five minutes.1 cup onion, diced, 1 cup celery, diced, 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
- After the onions start to appear translucent, add the second group of vegetables with the spices and the can of tomatoes. Then add the shredded chicken.2 - 3 boneless chicken breasts, 1 cup green onions, chopped, 4 cloves garlic, chopped, ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon marjoram, ½ teaspoon dried basil, 2 dried bay leaves, 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice, ½ teaspoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Cook for another five minutes or so, and then add the chicken stock, water, salt, & black pepper. Bring to a boil.2 quarts chicken/bone broth, 1 quart water, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- While the gumbo is coming to a boil, cook the andouille. I like to use quartered pieces of sausage - you can also cut it into rounds.1 lb andouille or hot smoked sausage, sliced
- Add the cooked andouille to your gumbo once it is boiling and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer on low heat for at least an hour, I recommend 3 hours. Gumbo gets better the longer it cooks and even better the longer it sits.
- When I am working from home, I will make it in the morning and let it simmer on low, low heat all day.
- Serve with cauliflower rice if you are strict Paleo or following a Whole30. White rice is fine if you can eat it! (Instructions above on cooking the cauliflower rice.)4 cups cauliflower rice
- Salt/pepper to taste and add a splash of Tabasco sauce.Tabasco Sauce
Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.