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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

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A big pot of Gumbo simmering on the stove will fill your home with a truly unique aroma!  Spicy, thick and wonderfully delicious, this is the essence of Louisiana! 

Imagine tender chicken and savory sausage melding together with a mix of vibrant vegetables and spices, each ingredient contributing to the rich tapestry of flavors that gumbo is celebrated for. This dish is more than just a meal; it’s an invitation to explore the rich heritage of Creole and Cajun cooking, one spoonful at a time.

A bowl of sausage and chicken gumbo with a scoop of white rice on top.
Spicy andouille sausage and chicken gumbo

On our last trip to Louisiana, we spent four days in New Orleans exploring the sights, sounds and the history of that famous city. The first day, while browsing Bourbon Street, we stopped for lunch and we each ordered a bowl of gumbo (along with a shrimp remoulade salad).

Spicy, with a tantalizing aroma, it was served in a shallow soup plate with a scoop of white rice and a small loaf of French Bread.  It was so delicious that we ordered it again for lunch the next day while on our adventure in the French Quarter.

If you like this recipe try our seafood gumbo recipe.

Why this Chicken Sausage Gumbo Recipe Works

  • Versatile Ingredients: This chicken and sausage gumbo recipe is all about keeping things easy and fuss-free. Whether you’ve got fresh okra on hand or a bag of frozen, it’s all good here.
  • Flavors That Hug You Back: This sausage and chicken gumbo is our grandma’s cooking with a modern makeover. Chicken and andouille sausage blend with spices that bring just the right amount of warmth and depth. The optional filé powder is a nod to tradition and elevates the flavor, and helps thicken the gumbo slightly. 
  • Roux Made Easy: A roux, essentially a blend of flour and fat cooked together, is the foundation gumbo, and it’s the secret to its rich flavor and luxurious texture. 
  • Your Gumbo, Your Rules: Want to crank up the heat with extra cayenne or hot sauce? Go for it. Prefer your gumbo thick enough to stand a spoon in? Let it simmer. 
A collage of six photos showing how to make a chicken and sausage gumbo recipe.

What is Gumbo?

Gumbo, Louisiana’s official pride and joy, is as diverse as it is flavorful. At its core, gumbo is a rich stew, brimming with vegetables, smoked sausage, and your choice of meat or seafood, all simmered in a pot of spices that sing with depth and warmth. Like the best of soups, its flavors meld and deepen overnight, promising an even more tantalizing experience the day after.

And when it comes to choosing your proteins, chicken, sausage, and shrimp are the all-stars. They each add their own kick, making the gumbo even more dynamic and delicious.

In every gumbo recipe, you’ll find it’s traditionally thickened with a roux, okra, or a combination of both, contributing to its signature hearty texture. A slow simmer of a couple of hours is crucial to coax out the layers of rich flavors that gumbo is famed for.

But no discussion of gumbo would be complete without mentioning its foundational element: the holy trinity of Creole and Cajun cooking. This essential trio—onion, celery, and bell pepper—serves as the backbone of flavors for the recipe. It’s this mixture that starts the flavorful parade in your pot, setting the stage for everything that follows.

A large pot of chicken and sausage gumbo.
Spicy andouille sausage and chicken gumbo.

Ingredients in Chicken Sausage Gumbo

  • Meat: Chicken, Andouille sausage
  • Produce: Okra, Onion, Celery, Green bell pepper, Red bell pepper, Garlic, Basil, Thyme, Parsley, Bay leaves
  • Pantry: All-purpose flour, Canned diced tomatoes
  • Pantry Seasonings: Salt, Freshly ground black pepper, Cayenne pepper, Dried basil, Creole seasoning, Dried oregano, Filé powder (optional)
  • Condiments: Butter, Vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce

Ingredient Substitutions

We seem to field a lot of questions about ingredients like “does thyme go in gumbo?”, and “is it ok to put bay leaf in gumbo?”The answer to both is a resounding yes! Thyme and bay leaves are traditional herbs used in gumbo, contributing to its distinctive flavor profile. 

However, it’s important to remember that gumbo is a wonderfully versatile dish. Feel free to experiment with the herbs and seasonings. If you don’t have fresh thyme, dried herbs will work fine as well. No bay leaves? It’s ok if you leave them out. Here are a few other inquiries we get.

  • File powder is commonly used in Creole cuisine. Made from ground sassafras leaves, it has a unique earthy flavor. It is more commonly used as a last-minute addition to gumbo or sprinkled over individual servings. If you don’t have it available, just omit it. 
  • Creole seasoning is as common as salt in Creole cuisine. There are several brands available in most grocery stores but it is also easy to make your own supply. If you can’t find it you can blend cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried oregeno, celery salt, paprika, and pepper.
  • Okra is often used in gumbo for its thickening properties and distinct texture. However, if you’re not a fan or can’t find it, you can leave it out or toss in some cubed eggplant which will add some body in its own unique way. 
A bowl of Louisiana chicken and sausage gumbo with a scoop of rice.
Spicy Louisiana Gumbo

Roux: The Heartbeat of Gumbo

So, here’s the scoop on roux – it’s basically the secret sauce that makes gumbo, well, gumbo. Think of it as the unsung hero, quietly doing its thing, blending flour and fat together until magic happens.

It’s where all good gumbos start, laying down those deep, soulful flavors and colors that hug your taste buds with every spoonful. Making roux is a bit like being a kitchen DJ, mixing until you’ve got just the right consistency and shade.

The darker the roux, the richer the flavor it brings to the party, but it’s a bit of a trade-off because a dark roux won’t thicken the gumbo as much as a lighter roux.

Perfecting Your Dish

After simmering for a couple hours the flavors blend together in a delicious, slightly thickened spicy sauce.  It is customary to serve gumbo with white rice which pairs well with the spiciness of the dish.  Sprinkle each serving with file powder and garnish with chopped parsley for the perfect touch.

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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Gumbo is traditional Louisiana cuisine of spicy stew with chicken, andouille sausage, vegetables and herbs and spices. It is customary to serve gumbo with white rice.
5 from 19 votes
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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 -10 servings
Calories: 470kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger


  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
  • 10- ounces fresh or frozen okra sliced thin
  • 1-½ pounds chicken thighs skinless, boneless
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper seeded, and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded, and chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 12 ounces cooked andouille sausage, cut into ½ -inch slices
  • 1 can 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes
  • 3 whole bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for serving
  • 2 teaspoons filé powder optional, see note


  • In a large skillet, over moderate heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the oil. Add the okra and, stirring constantly, cook until the white threads disappear. Transfer to a plate and reserve.
  • Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper then sear to a golden brown on both sides, about 8-10 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate as they cook. When the chicken pieces are cool enough to handle cut them into pieces and reserve.
  • In a 6-quart Dutch oven or large pot set over medium-high, melt the butter, gradually add the flour. Stirring constantly, cook the roux until it becomes caramel colored, being careful that it does not burn.
  • Add the onions, celery, red and green bell pepper, garlic, cayenne, if using, basil, thyme, oregano and Creole seasoning, cook for 3 minutes. Gradually add the chicken broth, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add the sliced andouille sausage and the reserved chicken. Stir in the tomatoes, reserved okra, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce and the thyme sprigs. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, adjust the consistency to your preference by either adding additional chicken broth for a thinner sauce or allowing to reduce further for a thicker sauce.
  • To serve: Remove and discard the bay leave and the remains of the thyme sprig. Ladle the gumbo into soup plates. Serve a small dish of file powder for guests to sprinkle on their serving if desired. Serve with white rice and garnish with chopped parsley.


  1. The gumbo can be served after a 30-minute simmer but the longer it simmers the more the flavors will develop and will reduce and thicken.
  2. Filé powder is a spicy herb made from drying the leaves of the sassafras tree and grinding them to powder. It can be found in most grocery stores and it is an important ingredient in Creole cuisine.
  3. filé powder is a thickening agent and should only be added at the end of the cooking process. Preferably to individual servings.
  4. A dark, more intense flavor in the sauce can be achieved by cooking the roux to a milk chocolate color, being cautious not to burn it.


Serving: 1-1/2 cups | Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 878mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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Friday 12th of February 2021

I come form a long line of Cajuns and Tomatoes/Bay Leaf do not go in Gumbo, Chefs in New Orleans are the only Chefs whom put this in there Gumbo and it is Yuck ! and most of them aren't Cajun

Pat Nyswonger

Friday 12th of February 2021

Thank you for your comments, David...

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