One of the most popular recipes searched during Mardi Gras season, is New Orleans Gumbo.

It is a delicious stew traditionally made with chicken and sausage in a creole or cajun seasoned broth.

It also is made with the holy trinity of vegetables that consist of diced green peppers, celery and onions.

I fell in love with gumbo while visiting New Orleans a few years back and have tried to replicate that hearty taste ever since.

This recipe combines the flavors of chicken thighs and andouille sausage with tender vegetables in a thickened roux which makes the perfect New Orleans Gumbo!

chicken gumbo

Gumbo vs. Jambalaya

We get a lot of questions asking us to explain the difference between gumbo and jambalaya.

Gumbo is a soup/stew based dished that is thickened with roux, okra or file (pronounced Fil-A) powder. It is typically served in a bowl and a small scoop of rice is served on top or alongside the gumbo.

On the other hand, Jambalaya is a one pot meal that is rice based with a variety of meat, vegetables and cajun/creole seasonings incorporated in the dish. It is considered more like a casserole type of dish rather than a stew.

jambalaya
Jambalaya is a rice based dish with many of the same flavors of Gumbo.

Although the flavors in the two dishes can be very similar, there definitely is a difference in texture between the two recipes. However, we love to eat both!

In fact, we love several New Orleans inspired recipes besides just Gumbo. So much that we have added some of our favorites below:

New Orleans Gumbo Recipe

*Complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article.

Ingredients:

Olive oil
Andouille sausage, sliced 1/2 inch thick
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
Flour
Cajun spice
Onion, diced
Bell pepper, diced
Celery, diced
Garlic, minced
Kosher salt
Chicken stock
Diced tomatoes

*Our favorite Cajun seasoning is ‘Slap Ya Mama’ from Louisiana. You can find it online or at some large grocery stores. However there are milder blends as well for those who don’t like a lot of heat.

browning chicken thighs
After you brown your andouille sausage, brown the chicken thighs in the same oil.

Instructions:

The first step in making New Orleans Gumbo is to brown the meat. Begin by heating 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot.

Then add the sliced sausage and cook until well browned on both sides, which will take about 4 minutes.

Once the sausage is browned use a slotted spoon and transfer the sausage to a large bowl, leaving as much oil behind as possible.

Next add the chicken thighs to the pot and cook until well browned on both sides, approximately 6 minutes. Remove the meat from the pot and add to the bowl with the sausage.

Be sure to leave as much fat and liquid behind as possible.

gumbo roux
Although traditional Gumbo recipes call for Okra of File powder to thicken the sauce, we are using a standard flour roux mixture because not everyone has access to those Southern ingredients.

Thickening Agents

The next step is to make the roux which will help thicken the gumbo. Start by adding 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, flour, and Cajun seasoning to the stockpot.

*Side Note – traditional southern Gumbo will add sliced okra or file powder to thicken the roux. However, both of these ingredients aren’t readily available in all parts of the world.

Therefore, we have left out those two ingredients in this New Orleans Gumbo recipe and use a roux instead.

Whisk the ingredients together and cook, whisking constantly for 3-4 minutes or until a thick paste forms.

Then add the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic to the roux. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.

holy trinity
Many New Orleans based meals start with the Holy Trinity of vegetables which consists of diced green peppers, celery and onion.

Now it is time to add the sausage, chicken thighs, and any juices left in the bowl back into the pot.

Quickly pour in the chicken broth and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to make sure the roux isn’t sticking. Finally, stir in the diced tomatoes and it is time to get the New Orleans Gumbo cooking!

Traditional Stove Top Cooking Times:

Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

new orleans gumbo
Now that all the ingredients are in the pot, it is time to get it cooking!
Slow Cooker Cooking Times:

Follow above directions and cook in your slow cooker on LOW for 6 hours, or on HIGH heat for 2 hours.

Pressure Cooker Instructions:

You can use your electric pressure cooker to make this New Orleans Gumbo as well. Simply use the saute feature to brown the meat.

Then add the remaining ingredients as stated above. Except, the only thing that you want to do different is to place the diced tomatoes on top of the other ingredients and DO NOT STIR.

Next, lock the lid in place and move the valve to the sealing position. Pressure cook on High pressure for 10 minutes.

New Orleans Gumbo
The Gumbo has been cooked and is ready to be served with a little scoop of rice.

Then turn off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 minutes.

To serve: ladle the gumbo in a large bowl and add a scoop of cooked white rice on top or on the side of the bowl.

Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound andouille sausage sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun spice
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 3 celery ribs diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes

Serving Ingredients Per Bowl

  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1/4 cup cooked white rice per serving

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a large stock pot.

  2. Add the smoked sausage and cook until well browned on both sides, about 4 minutes. Remove the sausage to a bowl using a slotted spoon, leaving as much oil behind as possible.
  3. Add the chicken thighs to the pot and cook until well browned on both sides, about 6 minutes. Remove and add to the bowl with the sausage, again leaving as much fat behind as possible.
  4. Cook the roux: Add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, flour, and Cajun seasoning to the stockpot. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes or until a thick roux forms.

  5. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic to the roux. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the sausage, chicken thighs, and any juices in their bowl. Pour in the chicken broth and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Stir in the can of diced tomatoes.

Traditional Stove Top Cooking

  1. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

Crock Pot Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on Low for 6 hours or High for 2 hours.

Electric Pressure Cooker Instructions

  1. Use the saute mode and follow the above instructions to make the Gumbo. The only difference is when you add the can of diced tomatoes on top of the other ingredients, Do NOT stir. Lock the lid in place and move the valve to the sealing position. Pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 minutes.

  2. Serve the gumbo in a bowl with 1/4 cup cooked white rice per serving. Add salt/pepper and hot sauce per taste.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

New Orleans Gumbo – A Classic Mardi Gras Recipe
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