Chicken Andouille Sausage Gumbo

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Get a taste of New Orleans cuisine at home with this delicious gumbo! Smoky andouille sausage, okra, and aromatic vegetables make this an authentic recipe perfect for sharing.

Beautiful pot of gumbo made with chicken andouille sausage
Table of Contents
  1. What is gumbo?
  2. Cook the chicken
  3. Cook the okra
  4. Thicken the gumbo with a roux
  5. Add a holy trinity of vegetables
  6. Add bold seasonings
  7. Sausage selection
  8. Simmer
  9. Add the gumbo filé powder
  10. The difference between gumbo and jambalaya
  11. Regional styles or variations
  12. Serve this with
  13. FAQ
  14. Chicken Andouille Sausage Gumbo Recipe

New Orleans is a melting pot of extravagant culture, abundant energy, live music, and Creole cuisine. I’ve enjoyed eating at iconic restaurants like Commander’s Palace and Brennan’s to smaller establishments off the beaten path. I always order gumbo everywhere I go, as each place has their own unique twist.

This recipe is a great way to learn classic kitchen techniques, from homemade chicken broth to a traditional roux for thickening. However, I’ll share quicker options if you’re short on time. This recipe makes a big pot of gumbo to share, or you’ll have plenty of leftovers. Now, in the kitchen, turn on some New Orleans Jazz and “let the good times roll” (laissez les bon temps rouler).

What is gumbo?

Is it a soup or a stew? It’s something more in between, dare I say, “stoup.” It’s a staple Creole dish originating from Louisiana. The preparation highlights the combination of African and European cooking techniques and flavors.

Gumbo is flavored with the holy trinity of vegetables like onions, bell pepper, and celery, plus hot cayenne pepper, various meat, and seafood. Depending on the regional style, it uses different thickening agents to add a rich texture, like roux and filé powder.

Pre-portioned ingredients spread on a table

Cook the chicken

To develop the flavor of the gumbo, start by cooking the chicken and reserving the liquid. I use boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs or a mixture. It cooks quickly for a delicious broth. However, if you want a more robust stock, you can use bone-in poultry. I recommended using 2 ⅓ pounds of chicken instead to account for the bone.

For convenience, you can use 6 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken or leftovers to add later in the cooking process. You can also use store-bought unsalted chicken broth or stock instead of the homemade versions.

Cook the okra

Fresh okra is in season in the summer; otherwise, you’ll need to grab a frozen package. The light green, slender, tube-like okra seed pod has a grassy, slightly sweet flavor. When you slice it open, there are tiny white seeds. When cooked, it extrudes a clear edible goop called mucilage. 

It may seem slimy after boiling, but it won’t be so noticeable once mixed with the other ingredients. A small amount helps thicken the consistency. Draining the liquid after simmering helps remove some of the sticky substance, so it’s not overpowering. 

Close up photo of a whisk mixing a dark brown roux in a pot

Thicken the gumbo with a roux

Making a roux is a classic French technique used as a thickening agent in soups, stews, and sauces. I make a dark brown roux from equal parts of butter and flour for this recipe. Prolonged cooking of 15 minutes over moderate heat adds a rich, deep toasted flavor. Make sure to keep stirring. You want it deep brown, not burnt!

Add a holy trinity of vegetables

The flavor base of many Creole and Cajun dishes is called the holy trinity. It’s a combination of bell peppers, celery, and onion. Depending on the meal, various ratios and amounts are used. It’s a Lousiana-inspired mirepoix, and it adds beautiful aromatics, color, and flavor to the gumbo. 

I also add minced garlic for an earthy flavor and allium aroma. Saute the chopped vegetables until tender. As they release their moisture, the natural sugars come to the surface to add a hint of sweetness to complement the savory and spicy flavors.

mirepoix of diced bell peppers and onions

Add bold seasonings

It’s not a creole dish without spice! I use dried herbs like thyme, basil, and bay leaf because they are more concentrated in flavor than fresh. To make the gumbo spicy and smoky, add cayenne pepper. A little goes a long way! 

You can add a lower amount, about ¼ teaspoon to start, and increase to taste for more mild heat. For a vinegary spice, add hot sauce like Crystal. The andouille sausage is also hot and will infuse the capsaicin and flavor into the dish.

Sausage selection

Andouille is the best choice to compliment the gumbo. It’s a smoky pork sausage mixed with cajun seasonings. The seasonings may include salt, garlic, onion, spicy red pepper, black and white pepper, paprika for color, and celery powder, depending on the brand. 

I use cooked sausage and slice them into thick pieces to add to the pot. If you can’t find it at your local store, kielbasa or any other type of spicy sausage will work. You can even adjust the heat with more cayenne pepper or hot sauce.

Simmer

I prefer my gumbo with pieces of tomato, but some would rather omit it based on their taste preference. Chef’s choice! It takes about 45 minutes to simmer. This duration lets the flavors meld together, and some of the moisture evaporate. I add the shredded chicken in the last 15 minutes of cooking, so it’s doesn’t dry out. The result is a rich, thickened broth with hearty chunks of ingredients.

Fresh cracked pepper over pieces of chicken andouille sausage gumbo

Add the gumbo filé powder

If your pantry is not stocked with gumbo filé powder, then grab a bottle. It’s dried and ground sassafras leaves. It adds a characteristic eucalyptus aroma, with an earthy thyme flavor and even root beer notes. Did you know that the fizzy drink used to be made from the root bark of sassafras? It’s added at the end of cooking when the heat shuts off. 

When mixed in, it lightly thickens the gumbo. It can develop a stringy flavor when overheated, so you wait to add it right before serving. Some readers serve it on the side so they can sprinkle it over the gumbo to their liking. I use Zatarain’s gumbo filé for my recipe.

The difference between gumbo and jambalaya

Gumbo is a hearty soup or stew inspired by the French bouillabaisse and named after the West African word for okra “guingombo.” It can be thickened with a dark roux, okra, file powder, or a combination. Rice is served on the side with gumbo. Jambalaya is rooted in Spanish influence from paella. It’s a rice-based dish simmered with various vegetables, meats, and seafood.

Regional styles or variations

In different parts of Lousiana, the style of gumbo can differ. The southeastern region can be seafood-based with tomatoes. In contrast, the southwestern area can be meat-based with chicken or andouille sausage and thickened only with a roux. Also, some prefer to serve the gumbo filé on the table instead of cooking with it.

close up showing pieces of okra, chicken, and sausage in a bowl

Serve this with

FAQ

What is gumbo filé powder?

You will see this ingredient in many gumbo recipes from Louisiana. Filé powder is sassafras leaves that have been dried and ground into a fine powder. It’s used to thicken gumbo just before serving.

Is there a substitute for okra?

Okra helps with thickening and adds a unique taste. If you don’t like it or can’t source it, omit it or there are substitutes. For flavor and thickening, gumbo filé works well, about 1 tablespoon if not already in the recipe. For texture, use chopped nopales, eggplant, or green beans.

Do tomatoes go in gumbo?

Different regions in Louisiana have preferences to add tomatoes. I prefer the tomatoes’ sweetness and acidity, but you can omit them if desired, although the gumbo will be slightly less chunky.

Can this be made in the slow cooker?

Yes! However, the roux must be cooked on the stovetop then transferred to the slow cooker. I also recommend sauteing the vegetable in the roux for better flavor. Add the cooked okra, chicken, and gumbo filé powder in the last hour. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or high for 5 to 6 hours.

Bowl of gumbo served over white rice

The color of the roux impacts the thickening

There are different types of roux colors; white, blond, brown, and dark brown. They can be cooked for a few minutes, up to 15 minutes, until the desired color and flavor are developed. A general rule of thumb is that the lighter the roux, or less cook time, the higher the thickening power, but the least flavor. The gumbo’s deep brown color and nutty taste are from the well-developed roux.

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Chicken Andouille Sausage Gumbo

Get a taste of New Orleans cuisine at home with this delicious gumbo. Smoky sausage, okra, and aromatic vegetables make this a recipe perfect for sharing.
4.92 from 1340 votes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Servings 6 servings
Course Soup
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, or thigh
  • 2 quarts water, to cook the chicken
  • 1 pound okra, 1" pieces, or frozen
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cup yellow onion, ¼" dice
  • 1 ½ cup bell pepper, ¼" dice, green and red
  • cup celery, ¼" dice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups diced canned tomatoes
  • 12 ounces andouille sausage, cooked, ½" slices
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme,
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon gumbo filé, Zatarain's

Instructions 

  • Cook the Chicken – In a medium-sized pot, add chicken and cover with 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until fully cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes.
    The internal temperature should reach 160ºF (71ºC). Strain the chicken broth and reserve.
  • Shred the Meat – Remove cooked chicken from the pot. Allow it to cool, then shred into small pieces. Cover and set aside.
  • Cook the Okra – In a medium-sized pot, add okra and ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer, occasionally stirring, until tender, about 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a colander, drain and set aside.
  • Make the Roux – In a large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, combine butter and flour. Cook over medium heat, frequently stirring with a whisk, until a dark brown roux forms, about 15 minutes.
    If needed, increase the heat if you do not see a substantial color change. In the last 5 minutes, continuously stir, so the roux does not burn.
  • Saute the Vegetables – Add onion, bell peppers, celery, and garlic to the pot. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Cook the Sausage – Add cooked okra, tomatoes, and sliced sausage. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the Seasonings – Add bay leaf, thyme, basil, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
  • Simmer – Stir in 4 cups of the reserved chicken broth. Loosely cover the pot and simmer over medium-low heat, occasionally stirring until the gumbo thickens, about 30 minutes.
  • Simmer the Chicken – Add the cooked shredded chicken and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Add the Gumbo Filé – Turn off the heat and slowly stir in the gumbo filé. Do not reboil after adding, as this tends to make the gumbo stringy—taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired. Add more chicken broth if you want a less thick consistency.
  • To Serve – Scoop and serve over steamed rice.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Recipe Yield: About 6 cups
  • Serving Size: About 1 cup
  • For a Mild Spice: Reduce cayenne pepper to ¼ teaspoon, increase to taste. Chili powder can also be used but won’t be as smoky in flavor.
  • Use Rotisserie Chicken: Add 6 cups of pre-cooked shredded chicken.
  • Store-bought Broth or Stock: You will need 4 cups, plus more if you want to adjust the thickness.
  • Make it Gluten-Free: Use cassava flour instead of all-purpose flour. Adjust cook time based on the color change of the roux.
  • Adding Seafood: Shrimp or crab can be added in the last 5 to 10 minutes of simmering. Cook until no longer raw.
  • Storing: Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Freeze individual portions for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring until hot. Add more chicken broth or water if needed.
  • Recipe Source: “Favorite Recipes from Famous New Orleans Restaurants,” by Express Publishing Co. (1981).
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Andouille Sausage Gumbo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 615 Calories from Fat 396
% Daily Value*
Fat 44g68%
Saturated Fat 18g90%
Cholesterol 142mg47%
Sodium 1097mg46%
Potassium 920mg26%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 2555IU51%
Vitamin C 79mg96%
Calcium 238mg24%
Iron 6.2mg34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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300 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Louisiana Bird says

    I’m a Cajun who lives in the Acadiana region of Louisiana. STOP WITH THE TOMATOES IN GUMBO!!!! You don’t put tomatoes in gumbo!!! Go into somebody’s Parrain’s house & grab a can tomatoes you gonna get knocked up side the head with that can if you ruin that pot! It’s Cultural misappropriation! You want to make our food, fine- just do it right.

    BTW, we use oil in our gumbo roux, not butter. Equal parts. When it’s done, you gotta skim the fat off otherwise you get a bowl of grease. Andouille is NOT recommended b/c it’s greasy. Only non-Cajuns are enamored with the stuff, probably b/c the name is funny to non-French ears. We have hole in the wall meat markets all over the place that make a wide array of various fresh and smoked sausages, and stuffed… you name it.

    Find you a pack of over-seasoned, too hot, too salty can’t eat it jalapeno pork sausage and THAT makes an amazing gumbo. (It works b/c the long cooking time cooks out the salt & heat and puts it in the gumbo instead of just the sausage so the sausage becomes edible & the gumbo has amazing flavor.) However it’s rare to come across that since we know how to cook & the meat markets rarely mess up like that.

    • C Hargrove says

      She explained the difference in regions of Louisiana. I am from the Southeastern part of Louisiana and tomatoes and andouille are added! Gumbo is mainly an African dish with okra and American Indian’s contributed sassafras leaves, or file gumbo, as a traditional part. It’s changes in different regions are based on what was available back in the day. For example, tomatoes were readily available in the Port of New Orleans but not in Acadian areas.

    • Rose says

      Im pretty sure gumbo is made different in each restaurant, between each family & even between those family members! Just like every dish is.
      Its nice that u shared your version, but since its YOUR version not everyone’s gonna like it. ANY COOK that’s worth their salt in the kitchen knows that.
      Could you imagine if every momma, every restaurant made things how 1 person thought it should be made? What a tasteless boring world that ? that’d be!
      Its like when i see recipes on-line for buffalo chicken wing dip, wings, or beef on weck(those DON’T vary much in Buffalo)… BUT i love food & i understand that someone who’s not from Buffalo isn’t going to make it like its made in the city it was created in.

  2. Niall says

    That whole dismissive, arrogant somebody’ll hit you up side the head tomato or not BS really gets old. I too am from Acadiana originally, down south of Amite, and I can tell you, Bird, that if you go watch 5 Cajuns cook gumbo, you’ll see 5 slightly different approaches. Tomatoes are more often Creole than Cajun, but my great-aunt Pauline would likely hit YOU with her stirring spoon for talking to somebody that way in her kitchen.

  3. C Hargrove says

    One more tip that I learned from an old African American Louisiana family is to add a teaspoon or more of white vinegar when cooking the okra to prevent sliminess.

  4. Kenny says

    I made this recipe yesterday. It turned out VERY good. Just a little light on salt, but a quick fix. I added Texas gulf shrimp for added flavor profile. The rux took all 15 minutes, so pull up a seat. Tonite it should be amazing.

  5. Emma says

    I made this (minus cayenne pepper because I’m a wimp – I only did a pinch of cayenne and then split the rest of the measurement between chili and cajun seasoning), and it came out AMAZING! Fantastic recipe, and my husband loved it. Really clear ingredient list and directions, which I appreciate! Thanks so much!

  6. Mindy says

    This is so close to my recipee. I love it. Why do you cook the okra seperate? I thought that was to put in and thicken. If I cook it long enough – 15 minutes – it thickens the sauce and is not slimy. I only use fresh. I like the idea of adding the vinegar though. I do add shrimp at the very end as well. And yes I do use tomatoes as well. This is not a bash party here.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thanks for your feedback! I cook the okra separately so that it doesn’t get too slimy, but if you have had a good experience with adding it to the gumbo then that’s fantastic!

  7. Paul M. says

    I decided to try this recipe and cook it for my bible study group. I doubled it to accommodate the number of people and it still turned out amazing! Next time I’ll reduce the amount of cayenne if I’m cooking for others, but it was just right for my taste!

  8. Helen Chin says

    Thanks Jessica! This recipe is so easy to follow, and is so delicious! I’ve made it multiple times, and my family loves it! This time, I added lobster shells to the soup for a richer taste. (A practice commonly done by the Jamaican Creoles) I also used frozen cut up Okra instead of the fresh ones. Thanks for the step by step advice.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I recommend making the roux and sauteeing the vegetables on the stovetop. Add that mixture to the slow cooker, along with the other ingredients (except gumbo file). Add 4 cups of chicken stock or broth, instead of the liquid for cooking the chicken separately. Add raw chicken breast or thigh directly to the slow cooker. Cook HIGH 2-3 hours or LOW 4–6. Add the gumbo file in the last 15 minutes of cooking. Let me know how it goes!

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