There’s nothing like a hot bowl of chicken and sausage gumbo on a cold winter’s night. Or serve up this Cajun recipe at your next Mardi Gras celebration!
Why this recipe works
Winter months have me reaching for something simmering on the stove to warm me up. So this pot of gumbo is the best soup of the season.
Luckily, my good friend and contributor, Holly Clegg, has an easy gumbo recipe that’s tasty and healthy, too.
This recipe comes from her cookbook, trim&TERRIFIC Gulf Coast Favorites. Not only does it feature this Cajun gumbo, but other 30-minute Southern family-style recipes, too.
If you love chicken and sausage gumbo, and are looking for healthy food to cook with a Southern twist, it’s a cookbook you’ll have to add to your collection.
- roux: an all-purpose flour
- vegetables: onions, green bell peppers, celery, tomatoes, green onions
- protein: boneless chicken breasts, pork or chicken sausage
- seasonings: cayenne pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, thyme
- serve on: brown rice
How to make chicken and sausage gumbo
In the South, seafood is a popular gumbo ingredient. Still, when seafood isn’t readily available, this chicken and sausage version of traditional gumbo is your delicious answer.
1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Place flour on a baking sheet, bake 20-30 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes, or until the flour has browned and is the color of pecan shells. You do NOT want a dark brown roux.
(This process works well in a toaster oven, too.) Set the roux flour aside.
2. In a heavy large pot or a large Dutch oven coated with nonstick cooking spray, on medium-high heat, sauté the onion, garlic, green peppers, celery until tender.
3. Add the browned flour (the roux), stirring constantly.
4. Gradually add the water, tomatoes, chicken, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Bring the gumbo to a boil.
5. Turn the burner to low heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the chicken is tender.
6. While gumbo is cooking, brown sausage in a skillet. Add sausage, green onions, and Worcestershire sauce to chicken gumbo, cooking 10 more minutes. Skim any fat from the surface of the chicken and gumbo.
7. Serve the chicken and sausage gumbo over brown rice.
8. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
What is a roux?
Often a roux of oil and flour is used as the thickening agent in gumbo, but the secret to this dish is a dry roux. This helps cut down on fat but keeps all of the rich flavors.
Bake the flour at 400 degrees F on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes, stirring every 7 to 10 minutes until the flour is a toasty pecan color. Then add it to your sautéed ingredients.
This dry roux gives your easy sausage gumbo recipe that familiar flavor and color, but without all the extra calories.
Can you make gluten-free gumbo?
To cook up an easy gluten-free chicken and sausage gumbo, substitute King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour for the regular flour. (I’ve heard it works well for making a roux in Cajun cuisine.)
However, I’m not sure the gluten-free flour browns in the same amount of time. So keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t burn.
Chicken: Keep it easy on yourself and use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. No one will know the difference, and it will only taste like you’ve been cooking all day!
Vegetables: Buy already chopped onion, green peppers, celery, canned diced tomatoes, and jarred minced garlic.
Or use a hand food chopper to chop the vegetables. I have a similar chopper and LOVE IT. Not only does it save time, but my eyes don’t water when chopping onions.
By using these shortcuts, you’ll cut down the cooking time enough to make this a perfect weeknight dish.
Rice: Add a little brown rice to your chicken and sausage gumbo recipe, and you have a tasty, nutritious, and diabetic-friendly meal that’s sure to have the whole family wanting seconds!
Get the rice started first! Don’t forget to get the brown rice started first thing in your rice cooker, too!
Can I use white rice?
If you’re not a fan of brown rice, feel free to use white though it’s not as diabetic-friendly.
What kind of sausage?
This recipe calls for reduced-fat sausage (pork or chicken). A chicken andouille sausage or any smoked sausage also works in this dish.
What kind of chicken?
Skinless, boneless chicken breasts are the leanest. However, you can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this creole gumbo.
If this isn’t spicy enough, you can add Cajun seasoning like gumbo file powder. (Filé powder made from the dried and ground leaves of the sassafras tree.)
You can also add some bay leaf (or bay leaves) if you like.
You can also use chicken stock instead of the water or use half water and half chicken stock. While that will add more flavor, it will add more calories.
You can add some fresh parsley or okra.
Don’t care for green pepper? Use red bell pepper instead.
How to serve gumbo
Serve this gumbo with your favorite New Orleans cocktails or Cajun hot sauce.
It’s also terrific with cornbread muffins. Or try these cornbread recipes:
Can you freeze gumbo?
This recipe makes a big pot, so freeze leftover chicken gumbo recipe for a quick and easy weeknight meal for another time!
Just place the cooled gumbo in freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Make sure to label and date the bag or container.
Since this is sausage and chicken gumbo, it can be frozen for up to 6 months. (Seafood gumbo is only good for 3 months in the freezer.)
More awesome recipes from Holly Clegg
You can find more of Holly Clegg’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at The Healthy Cooking Blog.
Check out Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC™ cookbooks on Amazon, too!
What do you like best, seafood or chicken and sausage gumbo?
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 10 cups water
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice (don’t drain)
- 4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound reduced-fat sausage (pork or chicken), sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Cooked brown rice for serving
- Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Place flour on a baking sheet, bake 20-30 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes, or until the flour has browned and is the color of pecan shells. Set aside.
- In a heavy large pot or a large Dutch oven coated with nonstick cooking spray, on medium-high heat, sauté the onion, garlic, green peppers, celery until tender.
- Add the browned flour (the roux), stirring constantly.
- Gradually add the water, tomatoes, chicken, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Bring the gumbo to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the chicken is tender.
- While gumbo is cooking, brown sausage in a skillet. Add sausage, green onions, and Worcestershire sauce to chicken gumbo, cooking 10 more minutes. Skim any fat from the surface of the chicken and gumbo.
- Serve the chicken and sausage gumbo over brown rice.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 433Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 508mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 53g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.
Diabetic Exchanges: 4 very lean meat, 0.5 starch, 1.5 vegetable
Recipe and photo used with permission of the author.
Originally posted on January 12, 2016. Updated with new photos and information.