Shellfish-Free Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

chicken and sausage gumbo
Lauri Patterson/Getty Images
Total Time: 120 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 110 min
Servings: 8

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

344 calories
26g fat
12g carbs
16g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving  
Calories 344
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Sodium 1294mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 3g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 16g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 68mg 5%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 580mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

The goal with this recipe for shellfish-free chicken and sausage gumbo, besides creating a delicious soup that was shellfish-free, was to achieve that slow-cooked flavor without having to spend the hours and hours in the kitchen traditional gumbo recipes often require. And for those allergic to shellfish (or who don't care for it), they can still enjoy this quintessential Southern dish.

By partially cooking bone-in chicken in chicken broth, you get that signature mouthfeel and rich flavor of homemade stock with little effort. The roux—the cooked flour-and-oil mixture that almost all gumbo recipes rely on—takes about 15 minutes to make, less than many other gumbo recipes.

All of that taken into consideration, this recipe is simple and requires more time than it does effort. But it's worth it. Serve over white rice for a complete and filling meal.


  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken legs or thighs (or a combination)
  • 2 quarts chicken broth or stock
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium celery rib, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper (green or red), diced, about 1/2 cup
  • 10-ounce bag frozen okra, thawed, or 1/2 pound fresh, trimmed and halved
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound (4 links) andouille sausage (or other spicy smoked sausage), cut into small discs


  1. In a saucepan, heat chicken and broth over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to warm and simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes. (This is an ideal time to chop the vegetables and thaw okra if frozen.)

  2. About 20 minutes before the stock is done simmering, make the roux by heating the oil in the bottom of a large stockpot over medium heat until oil moves freely along the bottom of the pan. Add the flour gradually, stirring with a wooden spoon to remove any lumps. Lower heat slightly and cook roux, stirring constantly, for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mixture is nutty-smelling and copper-brown.

  3. Add onions, celery, garlic, bell pepper, and okra. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables are lightly browned and fragrant. Then lower heat to warm and let vegetables simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. While vegetables simmer, continue to next step.

  4. Remove chicken from broth with tongs and cut meat off bones and into bite-sized chunks. (Discard bones at this point.) Add chicken meat to vegetable-roux mixture and stir to coat with roux. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Slowly add stock to vegetables and chicken, stirring as you go. Add cayenne (if using), bay leaves, and thyme. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. When soup reaches boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

  6. Add sausage and simmer for 30 minutes more. Taste soup and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately over rice.

    Gluten-Free Variation

    To make this recipe gluten-free, use rice flour in place of all-purpose flour for the roux. The roux will still thicken adequately.

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By Victoria Groce
Victoria Groce is a medical writer living with celiac disease who specializes in writing about the dietary management of food allergies.