This rich and decadent Chicken and Sausage Gumbo starts with a dark, rich roux and is filled with tender chicken, smoked sausage, and the infamous holy trinity! This is an authentic recipe from my mom that will transport you right to the magic of the French Quarter!
Authentic Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
With Mardi Gras just around the corner, there’s no better time to make some Chicken and Sausage Gumbo! With ingredients like smokey sausage, Cajun seasoning, and the infamous Creole holy trinity, this authentic NOLA inspired dinner can’t be beat.
Sometimes, it’s okay to break a sweat over your stove for a little bit. We’re all too aware that these days, air fryers and pressure cookers get plenty of usage from quick and easy recipes. However, with a recipe like this gumbo, it’s best to take it nice and slow – just like they do down in The Big Easy. But don’t worry, while it may need some time to simmer on the stove, it is still an easy recipe and I will walk you through it step by step!
The roux is what really sends this gumbo to the next level. It requires a bit of your attention and some stirring, but every second of effort you put into it is well worth it in the end! The richness of flavor in your roux is what will make this dish SO much better than other gumbos you’ve tried. Trust us when we say that the magic is in the roux!
With that being said, the other elements of this gumbo are also pretty dang delicuious. Tender bites of chicken are mixed throughout the flavor packed gumbo alongside pieces of mouthwatering smokey sausage. Serve all of this goodness on top of a pillow of white rice and you’ve got yourself a delicious dinner for you and your krewe!
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Ingredients
- Vegetable Oil: Canola or avocado oil can also be used in a pinch, but traditionally vegetable oil is used.
- All Purpose Flour: This is what you’ll need to make your roux!
- Yellow Onion: A white onion will work, but a yellow onion is preferred for the slight sweetness.
- Green Bell Pepper: As part of the holy trinity, no gumbo would ever be complete without a green bell pepper.
- Celery: Make sure to rinse it prior to chopping, as celery tends to be a little dirty from time to time.
- Garlic: Use fresh, not pre-minced or paste garlic for the best flavor.
- Chicken Broth: You can use regular or low sodium broth.
- Chicken: You can use chicken breasts or thighs, it’s up to you!
- Sausage: When it comes to sausage, the only kind that has business being tossed into a gumbo is smoked or andouille.
- Cajun Seasoning: We always use our easy homemade Cajun Seasoning, but store bought is also fine.
- Okra: Make sure it’s not pickled. Check out your local farmer’s market for the best options!
- Diced Tomatoes: Use them right from the can and don’t drain them!
Can I Add Shrimp?
Looking to add shrimp to your gumbo? Sounds delicious to me! But you want to keep in mind that shrimp cook very quickly and then can become tough.
So to add shrimp to a gumbo, you want them to be the last ingredient you add. My mom taught me to add the shrimp at the last step and let them cook for about 5 minutes, until white and translucent. Then serve your gumbo. This will ensure the shrimp are nice and tender, not tough and chewy.
How to Make Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Don’t burn that roux!: In a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly. It is very important to continue stirring roux so that it doesn’t burn. Continue cooking roux until it’s the color of chocolate milk or light brown.
If you start to see black flecks or it starts to smell burned, toss it and start over. In the images above, you will see a lighter roux on the left and a darker roux on the right. You want to aim for a darker chocolate roux to give your gumbo that classic rich flavor.
Make it flavorful: Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery, and keep stirring and cook for 3 minutes. Add in your garlic and broth, stirring until all ingredients are mixed together.
The roux may separate from the broth, but if you keep whisking and it will blend back together. Make sure you keep your heat at a steady temperature.
Toss in the fixins and let cook: Add the chicken breast, sausage, and cajun seasonings. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next add okra and tomatoes and continue simmering for 30 more minutes or longer if you have the time for up to an hour. The longer you let a gumbo simmer, the more rich the flavor!
Tips for the Best Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- The darker the roux, the more intense the flavor will become. As long as you keep stirring and don’t let the roux burn, you can go for a darker, more robust flavor.
- Don’t be afraid to lower the heat while stirring your roux. I started out with a medium heat, and as my roux started to brown, I lowered my heat. Most importantly, continue stirring with a whisk, not a spoon!
- When you add your broth to the roux, add it slowly and stir constantly. The roux may separate from the broth, but that’s okay. Keep stirring and it will come back together.
- You do not have to use chicken broth. Water is fine. If your roux is bold, you probably won’t even taste the broth.
- Don’t like thick gumbo? Try making 1/2 cup oil with 1/2 cup flour. Or add more chicken broth or water. My mom always made it thick, so that is how we make it.
- Make sure all of your ingredients are chopped and ready. Once you start the roux, you cannot stop stirring, so you’ll need everything ready to go.
- Okra and tomatoes are completely optional. Omit okra if you do not like it. I add tomatoes when I add okra to help cut down on the slime of the okra. It’s an old Louisiana secret to use tomatoes to cut down any slime from okra. You can also use frozen okra, if fresh is not available.
- Spice it up! To make your gumbo spice, toss in some hot sauce, crushed red pepper flakes, or cayenne powder.
You’re going to want to serve this gumbo with white rice. Why? Because it’s traditional, of course! White rice is the perfect base for gumbo because it absorbs every last delicious drop.
It’s also tasty to top off your bowls with chopped green onions, chives, parsley, or hot sauce.
Can I make this ahead?
Absolutely! Gumbo is a wonderful make ahead dish and growing up my Mom always made it well ahead of company coming over.
You can prep it days ahead of time and store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Then before your guests arrive, move it back into a pot on the stove and bring it back to a low simmer. The gumbo will be ready to go whenever you are!
How To Store Gumbo
Store gumbo in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or freeze your gumbo in freezer safe containers for up to 3 months.
To thaw, I like to move my gumbo over to the fridge the day before. Then reheat in the microwave or on the stove top.
Chicken And Sausage Gumbo
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound boneless chicken, breasts or thighs, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 pound smoked sausage or andouille sausage, sliced
- 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
- 1 pound okra, sliced
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, do not drain
- Cooked white rice
- Green onions or chives
- Hot sauce
- In a large dutch oven, or heavy bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly. It is very important to continue stirring roux so that it doesn’t burn. Continue cooking roux until the color of chocolate milk or light brown. (If you start to see black flecks or starts to smell burned, toss it and start over.)
- Add onion, bell pepper and celery, keep stirring and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and broth, stirring until all ingredients are mixed together. The roux may separate from the broth. Keep whisking and it will blend back together.
- Add chicken breast, sausage and cajun seasonings. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next add okra and tomatoes and continue simmering for 30 more minutes or longer if you have the time for up to an hour.
- Serve with white rice. Add chopped parsley, chopped green onions or chives, as desired.
Looking For More Cajun Recipes?
Lucky for you, we have a lot! Here are a few of our favorites: