This down home Cajun chicken and sausage gumbo recipe is made with a rich and comforting dark roux, the Cajun holy trinity of vegetables, seared chicken, smoked andouille, and plenty of Cajun seasoning. This is one of my most favorite dishes in the whole world. I can never get enough gumbo.
The Best Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
I will never tire of saying this - I LOVE GUMBO! It's so true. Gumbo is by far one of my favorite foods in the entire world. I've enjoyed a LOT of different cuisines, and gumbo ranks right up there at the top. Especially a good Cajun version.
When we were in New Orleans, I ate gumbo every day. It was a little bit different at each place, which is one of gumbo's glories. You can make it as unique as you'd like. Make it YOURS!
In Louisiana, you have influences from southern cooking, French, African, Spanish, Irish, Italian, even American Indian. That is what makes Cajun and Creole cooking so fantastic.
Let's talk about how to make Cajun chicken and sausage gumbo, shall we? Excited!
Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Ingredients
- Oil. You'll need vegetable oil or peanut oil for making the roux.
- Chicken. I like chicken thighs for this, though chicken breast works great, too.
- Andouille. Cajun smoked sausage is the best.
- Flour. For making the roux.
- Vegetables. Use the Cajun Holy Trinity of onion, bell peppers, and celery, along with garlic and okra.
- Seasonings. Use your favorite Cajun seasoning blend and a bit of salt and black pepper and bay leaves. Try my Homemade Cajun Seasoning blend.
- Stock. Use chicken stock, though vegetable stock works as well.
- Herbs. Chopped parsley and filé powder (ground sassafras leaves, a traditional thickener) to taste if desired.
How to Make Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Brown the Chicken and Andouille. First, heat up a large pot or Dutch oven to medium high heat and add your olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown it along with the andouille a couple minutes per side, stirring.
Once the meat is done cooking, remove it from the pot and set aside for now.
Make the Roux. Next add a half cup of peanut oil to the pot, then slowly stir in a half cup of flour. Mix them together with a wooden spoon, stirring constantly, for 20-30 minutes at medium heat to darken your roux to the color of a milk chocolate to dark chocolate brown color.
Learn more about How to Make a Roux (includes video).
Cook the Vegetables. Add the green bell peppers and jalapeno (if using), onion, celery and garlic. Stir and cook about 5 minutes.
Add the Meats and More. Add chicken, andouille sausage, okra and Cajun seasoning. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
Simmer. Add the chicken stock. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom. Add bay leaf and bring to a a boil, stirring occasionally.
Reduce the heat to medium-low heat and simmer for at least 1 hour. 1.5-2 hours is fine to develop more flavor, though you may need to add in a bit more liquid.
Check every 15 minutes to 30 minutes.
When you're ready to serve it, swirl in some fresh chopped parsley. Let it cook in about 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat and stir in filé powder as a thickener, if using. Serve into a bowl, over white rice if desired, and garnish with extra parsley.
Potato salad is a very popular dish to serve with gumbo. Go for it!
Boom! Done! Now it's time to enjoy your hearty, comforting chicken and sausage gumbo. This is one of my very favorite recipes in the whole world. Patty's, too. Don't forget the hot sauce!
Recipe Tips and Notes
- The Roux. The KEY to making this dish, and I cannot emphasize this enough, is in the roux. The longer you cook a roux, the darker it gets, turning from a blonde color to copper brown to a rich chocolate brown. You will achieve different flavors based on the color of your roux. Traditional Cajun gumbo uses a dark brown roux, though you can go lighter if desired. See my page on How to Make a Roux.
- Okra. Okra is often used as a thickener in the making of gumbo. However, an alternative is to use file powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves) instead. While visiting New Orleans, I found many gumbo recipes that do not use okra. So as an ingredient, okra is not required and is open to the preference of each cook. You'll still run into people, though, who insist it is not gumbo without okra, so add the okra if you'd like. Or not.
- Heat Factor. Cajun and Creole cuisine isn't meant to be HOT. It is SPICY for sure, with lots of seasonings. I like to up the heat a bit with jalapeno peppers and extra cayenne pepper or hotter. Worcestershire sauce is another ingredient some people like to include. Just a few dashes. It won't affect the heat, but does up the zest factor.
- If you're interested in the history and more of this wonderful dish, check out my post on How to Make Gumbo - a Guide.
Regarding the roux, here is a bowl from a batch made with a lighter roux. Crazy delicious.
Storage & Leftovers
Leftover gumbo will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days in a sealed container. You can also freeze it for up to 2-3 months.
The Difference Between Gumbo and Jambalaya
There are many similar ingredients between gumbo and jambalaya, but jambalaya is more of a rice dish with lots of meats and seafood, where gumbo is more of a thick stew that starts with a roux. Both include a mix of satisfying spices. See my post on Gumbo vs. Jambalaya for a more detailed discussion.
I hope you enjoy it! People ask me for this recipe all the time, so here you go. It's finally on the web site. Let me know how it turns out for you!
Check out my Shrimp Creole Recipe, too!
I wrote about my recent trip to New Orleans, including restaurant recommendations. Check it out here: New Orleans foodie experience. So awesome!
The biggest reason I LOVE gumbo is because it is packed with more flavor than practically anything I can think of. Mostly everything breaks down into the liquid and there is an unbelievable flavor explosion when you taste it.
I like all types of meats added in and even vegetarian or seafood versions. But I’m a sucker for andouille so this is tops in my book.
I wish I could eat this every day, but then I fear it would make all other food taste bland.
If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you'll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don't forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I'll be sure to share! Thanks! -- Mike H.
Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Recipe
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken thighs chopped - chicken breast is good, too
- Salt and pepper to taste (I use 1 teaspoon each)
- 12 ounces andouille sliced into ¼ inch slices
- ½ cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
- ½ cup flour
- 1 medium bell pepper chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium celery stalk chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 cup okra I used frozen
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning or more to taste
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 tablespoons chopped parsley + more for serving
- 1 tablespoon filé powder or to taste if desired
- For Serving: Cooked white rice if desired
- Heat a pan to medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and heat.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan along with the sliced andouille. Cook a couple minutes per side until browned. Set aside until ready to use.
- Add ½ cup peanut oil to a large pot and heat to medium heat. Add flour and stir. Cook for 20-30 minutes, constantly stirring, until the roux browns to the color of chocolate.
- Add peppers, onion, celery and garlic. Stir and cook about 5 minutes.
- Add chicken and andouille. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add okra, Cajun seasoning and chicken stock. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom.
- Add bay leaves and cook at medium-low heat for 1 hour to thicken. You can simmer longer if you’d like. Taste and adjust for salt.
- Stir in parsley and cook 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in filé powder, if using.
- Serve into a bowl, over white rice if desired, and garnish with extra parsley.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 2/8/21 to include new information and photos. It was originally published on 6/1/18.