Authentic Cajun Gumbo

5 from 23 reviews

The best authentic New Orleans style dark gumbo with chicken, andouille sausage, onion, celery, bell pepper, and okra.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs trimmed and cut in bite size pieces
  • 12 ounces andouille sausage
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups cut okra
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning (more or less to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme 
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon file powder
  • Cooked rice (for serving)


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch Oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add the chicken and andouille sausage, cooking until the chicken is cooked through and both meats are lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pot and place it in a bowl. Cover the bowl and set it aside. Remove the fat from the bottom of the pot.
  2. In the same pot, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in 1/2 cup flour. Continue whisking until you have a smooth sauce. Continue cooking and whisking almost constantly until the flour turns a dark brown. This can take up to 30 minutes and must be stirred continuously so it does not burn.
  3. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers, cooking for 3 minutes while stirring constantly. Add the garlic, cooking for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, okra, Cajun Seasoning, thyme, black pepper, and bay leaves. Bring it to a low boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. Then add the chicken and sausage back to the pot and simmer for another 30 minutes. Right before serving, remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and file powder. Served over cooked rice.


  • This stew works with either chicken thighs or chicken breasts. I prefer the chicken thighs as they do not dry out even with all this simmering.
  • For more protein, add a half pound of cooked shrimp. Stir the cooked shrimp in towards the end of the simmering period to keep it from drying out.
  • If you like, you can add a can of diced or fire-roasted tomatoes. Cajun food does not usually include tomatoes, so it would make it more Creole cuisine, which is also delicious.
  • Gumbo is best simmered for several hours, so if time allows, simmer a little longer. I wrote the recipe trying to keep the average person and their busy schedule in mind.
  • Season with Cajun seasoning to taste. If you like it with even more kick, try adding a little ground cayenne pepper.
  • File Powder or gumbo file is made from dried ground leaves of the sassafras tree. It is primarily used to thicken the gumbo, but its unique flavor and aroma also contribute to the recipe.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave at a reduced power or on the stovetop over low heat.
  • To freeze first, cool completely. Then, store in a sturdy freezer container or heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and heat in the microwave at reduced power or on the stovetop on low.

Keywords: what is gumbo, how to make gumbo, what's in gumbo, how to make roux for gumbo, chicken and sausage gumbo

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