This is the best turkey gumbo ever made with a rich, dark roux and lots of turkey and andouille sausage, perfect for leftover turkey, a comforting favorite.
My Favorite Turkey Gumbo
We're cooking up a big pot of Turkey Gumbo in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen tonight, my friends. Pull up a chair and join us!
Whenever I have leftover turkey, usually from a roasted turkey from the holidays or some special occasion, I think of gumbo.
Leftover turkey is great for making soups and stews, for making sandwiches, but my favorite way to use it is absolutely for making gumbo.
My recipe is similar to my Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, but swaps in turkey for the chicken, and it is just as delicious. You can also make it with raw turkey breast, whichever you have on hand.
Either way, leftover turkey gumbo is everything you need.
Let's talk about how to make turkey gumbo, shall we?
Turkey Gumbo Ingredients
- Turkey Breast. You can use raw or leftover cooked turkey breast.
- Andouille Sausage. Smoked andouille is tremendously delicious. You can use up to a pound of smoked sausage.
- Peanut Oil. You can use a neutral vegetable oil.
- All Purpose Flour. To make your roux, 1/2 cup.
- Cajun Holy Trinity. Bell pepper, onion, and celery, plus garlic. You can use jalapeno peppers for a spicier version.
- Okra. If desired. Okra helps to thicken the gumbo, but if you're not a fan of okra, skip it.
- Cajun Seasonings. Use my homemade Cajun seasoning recipe, or this homemade Creole seasoning recipe.
- Chicken Stock. Or use homemade turkey stock (see notes), or vegetable stock.
- Bay Leaves. Plus salt and black pepper.
- Chopped Parsley.
- For Serving. Cooked white rice and filé powder for thickening, if desired
How to Make Turkey Gumbo - the Recipe Method
Brown the Turkey and Andouille. Heat a pan to medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and heat. Season turkey breast 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. If using leftover turkey breast, add it later when you add the stock.
Make the Roux. Heat ½ cup peanut oil in a large pot or Dutch oven to medium heat. Add flour and stir constantly. Cook for 20-30 minutes, constantly stirring, until the roux browns to a dark brown, the color of chocolate. You can darker if you’d like for more developed flavor.
For more detailed information, see my post on How to Make a Roux (includes a video).
Add the Vegetables. Add peppers, onion, celery and garlic. Stir and cook about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
Add reserved turkey meat and andouille. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
Add Spices and Stock. Add okra, Cajun seasoning and chicken stock. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom.
Simmer the Gumbo. Add bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook at medium-low heat for 1 hour to thicken. You can simmer longer if you’d like. Taste and adjust for salt.
Parsley. Stir in parsley and cook 5 minutes. This adds a nice pop of fresh flavor.
Remove from heat and stir in filé powder, if using, for thickening. Or you can serve the filé powder on the side for your guests to use as desired.
Serve the Turkey Gumbo. Serve into a bowl, over steamed rice if desired, and garnish with extra parsley and green onions.
Boom! Done! Your turkey gumbo is ready to serve. Easy enough to make, isn't it? I usually make this with leftover holiday turkey, which is easy to pull from the freezer to make it any time we want it.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Leftover turkey is perfect for making turkey gumbo, and there is always so much turkey leftover from the holidays. To use leftover turkey, simply add it when you add the stock and simmer until done. Perfection!
- If you'd like to go the extra mile for delicious flavor, make a homemade turkey stock for this recipe. Take any leftover turkey carcass from your roasted turkey, set them into a large pot and cover with water. Simmer on low for several hours until you achieve a nice rich stock. Strain and you're good to go.
Leftover turkey gumbo will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. To enjoy it again, simply warm it in a pot on the stovetop.
You can also freeze it for 3 months or longer in vacuum sealed containers.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my leftover turkey gumbo recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you, and if you decided to spice it up!
If you enjoy Cajun cuisine, I recommend the following cookbook. It has a lot of great recipes.
- Louisiana Real and Rustic, by Emeril Lagasse (affiliate link, my friends!)
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
If you love gumbo, check out some of my other gumbo recipes.
- Seafood Gumbo
- Creole Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- Gumbo Z'Herbes - "Green Gumbo"
- Okra Gumbo
- Shrimp Gumbo
- Learn More with How to Make Gumbo - a Guide
- Turkey Stew
Check out my Shrimp Creole Recipe, too. Very delicious!
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. 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.
Turkey Gumbo Recipe
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound turkey breast chopped (if using cooked turkey, see recipe notes)
- 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 (use jalapeno peppers for a spicier version)
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium celery stalk chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 cup okra chopped
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning or more to taste
- 6 cups chicken stock or use homemade turkey stock
- 2 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 turkey breast 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. You can darker if you’d like for more developed flavor.
- Add peppers, onion, celery and garlic. Stir and cook about 5 minutes.
- Add cooked turkey 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.