Hello, Slow Cooker Gumbo!

In honor of Mardi Gras this week and all the fun times going on down in New Orleans, I decided to make some gumbo. Gumbo is a traditional Cajun dish – it can be made with chicken, sausage, or seafood (or, as I like to make it – with all three!). It is usually thickened with okra but, since okra is not in season right now, I thickened mine with rice. Either (or both) ingredient will do!

I can vouch for the deliciousness of this recipe but I cannot 100% vouch for its truly authentic taste … it has been many a year (B.C. – before children) since I have partied it up in New Orleans. If it’s been awhile since you have found yourself wandering the streets of the Big Easy, give this recipe a try and see if you can recreate some of the amazing flavors you experienced from those kitchens of the deep south…


1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1 bay leaf (add directly to the slow cooker)

Everything else… 
1 lb sausage (I used local chorizo, but you could use any flavorful sausage)
1 chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
32 ounces chicken broth
2 medium onions, sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 – 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 lb to 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
handful of parsley, chopped


Sausage, onions, and red pepper

1. Saute onion, sausage, and seasoning in a heavy bottomed pan until it is well cooked. If you need to, add a little bit of olive oil. Add the chopped celery, red pepper, garlic, and chicken to blend all of the flavors together. The chicken does not need to be cooked at all because it will cook in the slow cooker.

2. Transfer the chicken, sausage, onion, veggies, and seasonings into a slow cooker. Add the chicken broth. Stir to combine.

3. Cook on high for 3 hours. Add a large handful of rice. Let it cook for another 30 minutes.

4. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp. Let the gumbo cook for another thirty minutes until the shrimp is pretty and pink. Add the chopped parsley.

5. Serve in large bowls with crusty garlic bread. Enjoy!

Hello, Slow Cooker Gumbo! Ready to eat…

Chicken tip … It is easiest to cut chicken if it is still partially frozen! I like to wrap my chicken breasts individually and keep them in the freezer so I can take one out at a time as needed. Your chicken breast just needs to be thawed enough to cut through easily with a sharp knife. It is super easy to trim off any extra skin or fat or those skinny white tendons if your chicken is only slightly thawed. 

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

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