Classic Chicken Gumbo Recipe

chicken gumbo
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 85 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
467 Calories
20g Fat
42g Carbs
31g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 467
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 25%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 942mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 9g 32%
Protein 31g
Calcium 159mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This hearty soup is a basic Creole-style chicken gumbo made with tomatoes and the essential "holy trinity" of Cajun and Creole cooking: onions, bell peppers, and celery. The gumbo is flavorful and satisfying, and an excellent option if you're looking for an authentic yet uncomplicated Louisiana-style soup. 

Spicy sausage is an ingredient in many gumbos. Feel free to add about 1/2 pound of sliced andouille sausage to the soup along with the okra and seasonings. Or, if you like shrimp in gumbo, add about 8 ounces of peeled and deveined shrimp. 

The okra is the thickener for a good Creole gumbo, but if you like filé powder, offer it at the table. Gumbo can become unpleasantly stringy if the filé is added to the soup while it is still on the heat (or when reheated). It is best sprinkled over individual servings.


  • 2 onions (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3 ribs celery (about 1/2 cup chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening (or oil)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock (unsalted or low sodium)
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups okra (sliced, fresh or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless chicken breasts (or boneless thighs)
  • Garnish: fresh parsley (chopped)
  • Garnish: fresh green onions (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Peel and chop the onions.

  3. Cut the bell pepper in half lengthwise; remove the seeds and stem. Cut the pepper into 1/4-inch dice.

  4. Chop the celery. Set the vegetables aside.

  5. For the roux, melt the shortening in a large Dutch oven over low heat; add the flour and cook, stirring, until medium brown - about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir the roux constantly to avoid burning. If it burns, you will have to start over.

  6. Add the chopped vegetables to the roux and continue to cook, constantly stirring, until the onion is translucent.

  7. Slowly add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly.

  8. Add the diced tomatoes, okra, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, cayenne, and bay leaf; bring to a boil.

  9. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

  10. Meanwhile, cook the rice following the package directions. Set aside and keep warm.

  11. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces; add the chicken to the soup and cook, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes longer, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings with more salt and pepper, as needed.

  12. To serve, scoop a mound of rice into the center of each of the four large, shallow bowls. Ladle the soup around the rice. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley or green onion tops, if desired.

  13. Serve with crusty French bread or garlic bread and enjoy!

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