Crockpot Chicken Gumbo Recipe

A slow cooker is your best friend when you're looking for a hearty one-pot dish that develops deep flavor over several hours but mostly makes itself. Tasting Table recipe developer Julianne De Witt highlights just that with her crockpot chicken gumbo recipe. "Gumbo, a famous Creole-Cajun dish, is a thick, hearty stew that usually contains ingredients like chicken, sausage, seafood, okra, tomatoes and the 'holy trinity' of celery, onions, and green peppers," De Witt says.

These layered components build the foundation for this tasty dish, which pairs well with simple white rice or a rustic loaf of bread. "I love the complexity of the flavors in this recipe," shares De Witt. "It's a hearty, delicious stew — the perfect cozy meal for the colder seasons." When the temperatures cool down, there's nothing quite like digging into a warm bowl of meat, vegetables, and plenty of spices to nourish you from the inside out.

Gather the ingredients for crockpot chicken gumbo

This recipe starts with olive oil, yellow onion, green bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Next, you'll need tomato paste, all-purpose flour, chicken stock, a can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, chicken breasts, and sliced andouille sausage

"I like to use canned diced fire-roasted tomatoes because I feel the smoky flavor really complements the other ingredients," De Witt notes, adding that regular diced tomatoes make a suitable substitute. As for the andouille sausage, De Witt describes this "mainstay in Cajun cuisine" as "a chewy, smoky sausage flavored with cayenne and paprika." If you can't get your hands on it, try chorizo instead.

To season your crockpot gumbo, you'll need sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, Cajun seasoning, dried thyme, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves. "I use a particular brand of Cajun seasoning — Slap Ya Mama, from Louisiana — that contains cayenne, paprika, and salt in addition to other spices," De Witt says. Her recipe is intended to round out the Slap Ya Mama flavors, so if you use a different brand, "you may need to adjust the salt and cayenne levels a bit." Finally, this gumbo also contains fresh okra and can be garnished with chopped scallions and gumbo filé, if desired.

Step 1: Heat some oil

Place oil in saute pan over high heat.

Step 2: Cook the aromatics

Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Step 3: Add tomato paste

Add tomato paste and stir. Cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.

Step 4: Mix in the flour

Add flour and stir to combine.

Step 5: Add the ingredients to the slow cooker

Transfer contents from saute pan to the slow cooker.

Step 6: Add stock and tomatoes

Pour in chicken stock and tomatoes.

Step 7: Add the meat

Add chicken and sausage.

Step 8: Season and cook on high

Stir in salt, black pepper, Cajun seasoning, thyme, oregano, cayenne, and bay leaves, and slow cook on high for 3 hours.

Step 9: Finish cooking with the okra

Add okra to slow cooker and continue cooking for 30 minutes until okra is tender.

Step 10: Garnish and serve

Garnish gumbo with scallions and gumbo filé, if desired, before serving.

How should I serve crockpot chicken gumbo?

If you're all about the meat and vegetables, then you'll find this chicken gumbo to be perfectly satiating. Nevertheless, a few add-ons and sides can enhance it even more. "I like to serve my gumbo with some filé powder on the side for sprinkling on top," De Witt comments. If you're not familiar with Cajun recipes, you may not have encountered this ingredient before. "Filé powder, also known as gumbo powder, is made from ground sassafras leaves. Earthy and thyme-like in flavor, sassafras leaves were introduced to Cajuns by the Choctaw who began using the ground leaves as a thickener and flavoring in their soups and stews," she explains. Both savory and functional, this is a great option to sprinkle on top — especially if you plan to make more Cajun recipes in the future. 

Next, De Witt suggests adding sliced scallions for a fresh vegetal crunch. To plate the dish, she says, "Serve gumbo with rice and some crusty bread to soak up all the delicious sauce." There's no way you'll want to let any sauce go to waste. If you have a penchant for spice, she recommends using Tabasco to complement the smoky notes in the dish. 

How should I store crockpot chicken gumbo?

While some dishes taste best as soon as they're made, that's not necessarily the case with gumbo. De Witt remarks, "Gumbo will taste even better the next day," which is yet another benefit of this convenient and easy-to-make recipe. The meat and sauce will soak up the flavors over time, giving the dish extra depth and complexity and allowing you to make it a day or two before impressing your dinner party guests.

Once you've enjoyed your meal, you'll want to store extras in the fridge or freezer for longer-term storage. "Leftovers will last 3-4 days in the fridge and can be frozen for up to 3 months," De Witt says. You can heat the dish in the microwave or on the stovetop. Either way, De Witt recommends adding a little water to loosen up the gumbo before heating, if needed. This will prevent the sauce from drying out too much as you warm it up.

Crockpot Chicken Gumbo Recipe
4.9 from 102 ratings
Chicken, sausage, and vegetable gumbo typically cooks for hours to allow the flavors to develop, making it the perfect candidate for your crockpot.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
3.58
hours
Servings
6
servings
chicken gumbo in bowl
Total time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 8 ounces andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ cups fresh okra, diced
Optional Ingredients
  • Chopped scallions, for garnish
  • Gumbo filé, for garnish
Directions
  1. Place oil in saute pan over high heat.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste and stir. Cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
  4. Add flour and stir to combine.
  5. Transfer contents from saute pan to the slow cooker.
  6. Pour in chicken stock and tomatoes.
  7. Add chicken and sausage.
  8. Stir in salt, black pepper, Cajun seasoning, thyme, oregano, cayenne, and bay leaves, and slow cook on high for 3 hours.
  9. Add okra to slow cooker and continue cooking for 30 minutes until okra is tender.
  10. Garnish gumbo with scallions and gumbo filé, if desired, before serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 496
Total Fat 22.3 g
Saturated Fat 5.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 157.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.5 g
Dietary Fiber 5.4 g
Total Sugars 8.1 g
Sodium 1,132.4 mg
Protein 51.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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