Chicken, sausage, and shrimp gumbo is a Cajun-style stew that's loaded with a variety of flavors and textures. A dark roux forms the foundation to which onion, celery, and green bell pepper are added along with chicken, andouille sausage, and shrimp. Served over rice and topped with green onion and a sprinkle of filé powder, this gumbo is sure to be a favorite in your home!
Chicken, sausage, and shrimp gumbo, or gumbeax, has been one of my favorite dishes for years now.
I first had it some 20+ years ago while in New Orleans and knowing how much I loved it, Tara would often make it for me every year on Father's Day.
Cajun gumbo, or rather the roux that forms its base, is a labor of love requiring the cook to stir the roux over heat for anywhere from 45-60 minutes.
While gumbo requires time and patience, it is by no means difficult and is 1000% worth the wait.
While many Cajun-style gumbos do not include shrimp, we love adding it for additional flavor and texture.
How to make chicken, sausage, and shrimp gumbo
First, make the dark roux
- Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy pot to medium heat or a touch less. Add 9 tablespoons of vegetable oil and slowly whisk in 11 tablespoons of flour.
- Stirring continuously, cook the roux until it reaches a dark brown-chocolate color. Illustrated below you'll find the various stages of a roux before it reaches its final stage. Pictured here is a blonde roux.
- After about 20 minutes, your roux will reach the peanut butter color stage. Continue stirring over heat taking care to not allow the roux to burn.
- After 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the level of your heat, you'll reach the chocolate brown stage shown here. This is the color you want your roux to be for Cajun gumbo.
Meanwhile, prep the other ingredients
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Dice 1 medium onion, 1 large green bell pepper, and 2 celery ribs. Mince 3 cloves of garlic and slice ¾ pound of Andouille sausage. Mince ¼ cup of flat-leaf parsley.
- Heat a large pan to medium heat and pat dry 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Season both sides with a ½ tablespoon of Cajun seasoning.
- Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan and sear the chicken thighs for 4-5 minutes on each side until well browned. Remove the thighs and when cool enough to handle, slice into bite-sized pieces, and set aside.
- Add the andouille sausage to the same pan and sear until well browned (should only take a few minutes), then set aside on a plate.
- Add 5 cups of low-sodium chicken stock to the pan and with a wooden spoon, scrape the brown bits from the pan and turn the heat down to low.
- Add the peppers, onion, and celery to the dark brown roux and cook for 7-10 minutes or until very soft.
- Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add the warmed chicken stock, chopped chicken, andouille sausage, 2 large bay leaves, and a ½ tablespoon of Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Once boiling, turn the heat down and allow the gumbo to simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes add ¾ pound of large peeled and deveined shrimp along with the minced parsley and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp are fully cooked, then remove the pot from the heat.
- Taste test the gumbo and adjust any salt, pepper, or Cajun seasoning if needed. Serve the gumbo with white rice, a sprinkle of chopped green onion and parsley, and a sprinkle of filé powder. Don't forget the Crystal hot sauce. Enjoy!
Top tips for great gumbo
- The roux. Making a roux for gumbo takes time but is not difficult. The roux needs to be continuously stirred to prevent burning and it's important to not cook over too high heat. Using a flat-ended spoon, or roux spoon makes the job so much easier. Your roux can be made a few days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Refer to the process images above for the different stages of the roux, and keep in mind that depending on the heat level of your stove, it may take anywhere from 40-60 minutes to reach the dark brown/chocolate-colored stage.
- The Trinity. The holy trinity in Cajun cooking includes green bell pepper, celery, and onion and that's what is used for this gumbo. Try to stick to tradition here and opt for the trinity over the classic French mirepoix of carrots, celery, and onion.
- Cajun seasoning. We used Slap Ya Mama's original Cajun seasoning but any Cajun seasoning will work. Just bear in mind that some brands tend to be higher in sodium than others and additional salt may not be needed.
- Gumbo filé. Filé powder is used as a thickening agent for gumbo and isn't added until the very end when the pot is removed from the heat. We like to sprinkle some filé on top of our gumbo after it's served. Filé powder is made from ground sassafras and adds another layer of flavor to an already delicious dish.
- Andouille sausage. Pork andouille was used for this recipe but chicken andouille could be used as well. If you're unable to find andouille, you could use hot dogs or Polish kielbasa. We sliced and seared our andouille sausage, but you can cut it into chunks and skip the searing altogether if you prefer to just let it cook in the pot.
- Chicken. Boneless skinless thighs are preferred for this gumbo recipe since the thighs are more tender and flavorful than chicken breasts which tend to dry out. If opting for white meat chicken or pulled white meat from a rotisserie chicken, add it towards the end.
- Shrimp. Shrimp is not normally part of a Cajun gumbo and if you'd like to omit it, you can. We love the additional flavor and texture the shrimp lends to the dish and do recommend using it. Like the andouille, you can feel free to chop the shrimp into bite-sized pieces, removing the tails if you prefer.
More recipes we think you'll love
- Cajun shrimp and sausage pasta - the trinity, shrimp, and sausage tossed with pasta.
- Creamy Cajun chicken pasta - andouille sausage, bell peppers, and Cajun spiced chicken tossed with pasta in a tomato cream sauce.
- Blackened chicken Alfredo - pappardelle tossed with blackened chicken in a creamy Alfredo-inspired sauce.
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- 11 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 11 tablespoons flour
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 1 large green pepper diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- ¾ pound large shrimp deveined and shells/tails removed
- ¾ pound Andouille sausage sliced
- 5 cups low sodium chicken stock plus more if too thick
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley minced
- 2 large bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon filé powder for serving, optional
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning divided, plus more to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 green onions sliced
- Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy pot to a touch less than medium. Add 9 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Slowly whisk the flour into the oil and cook, stirring frequently, until the roux reaches a dark brown color (about 40-45 minutes). Make sure to watch the roux the whole time and stir frequently to avoid burning.
- Meanwhile, heat a large pan to medium heat. Pat the chicken thighs dry then season with a ½ tablespoon of Cajun seasoning on all sides.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan and add the chicken thighs. Sear for 4-5 minutes per side or until well browned. Remove the thighs to a cutting board and when cool enough to handle chop into bite-size pieces.
- Add the Andouille sausage to the same pan and sear until browned (about 4-5 minutes total) then set aside on a plate. Add the low-sodium chicken stock to the pan and with a wooden spoon scrape up all of the brown bits. Turn the heat down to low.
- Once the roux is dark brown, add the onions, pepper, and celery and cook in the roux until soft (about 7-10 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add the chopped chicken, Andouille sausage, chicken stock, bay leaves, and remaining Cajun seasoning to the pot and bring to a boil. Scrape up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Once boiling turn the heat down and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes stir in the shrimp along with the parsley. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp are fully cooked then remove the pot from the heat.
- Taste test and adjust salt and pepper and Cajun seasoning to taste if required. Serve the gumbo with white rice, a sprinkle of green onion and parsley, and filé powder.
- Slap Ya Mama original Cajun seasoning was used, but any Cajun seasoning will work. Keep in mind that some brands will have much more sodium than others so adjust salt accordingly.
- Filé powder is ground sassafras leaves and is traditionally used as a thickener and a slight flavor enhancer.
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge and can be reheated on the stovetop or microwave.
Used a little less chicken broth but it turned out great! A little thicker more like a stew
Hi Richard, so happy you enjoyed this one and really appreciate the comment!
I made this for the first time and added in okra as well. It was so good, I'm definitely making it again. Thanks for the recipe!
Hi Tori, so happy you enjoyed the gumbo and appreciate the comment!
Lynn C Grillo
Jim, please make a video of this one! I want to make it, but want to see you make it first, lol! Thanks. Your YT channel is the best.
Hi Lynn, the gumbo video has been filmed! It's in the process of being edited and will be up in a few weeks. Thanks for the support and hope you enjoy it when you do make it!
Hi Jim… The Lemon Garlic shrimp is OUT OF THIS WORLD and so easy! I made it 3 times in less than 2 weeks.
Thank you for our new Friday dinner. No more pizza.
(Great recipe for those who must eat Gluten Free.)
Hi Marilyn, thanks for the comment and so happy you enjoyed the lemon garlic shrimp. If you wouldn't mind leaving a comment on that recipe (since this one's for the gumbo), that would be appreciated!