If you're looking for a way to use that leftover Thanksgiving turkey, look no further! This rich and delicious gumbo is an excellent choice. The recipe makes enough for about eight satisfying entrée servings, and much of the prep work can be done in advance. Don't worry if you have leftovers—the soup is even better the next day!
The majority of the required hands-on prep time is for stirring the roux. You can cut prep time significantly by preparing the roux a day or more in advance. Store cooked roux in a covered container in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the gumbo. Homemade is best, but ready-made Cajun roux can be found in stores and online.
- 8 strips bacon (diced)
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil (divided use)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pound smoked sausage (preferably Cajun-inspired, such as andouille)
- 2 cups onion (chopped)
- 1 cup green bell pepper (chopped)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 cup celery (chopped)
- 3 green onions (chopped, white and light green separated from dark green)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 to 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock (or turkey stock, low sodium)
- 3 to 4 cups turkey (cooked, chopped or shredded)
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley (plus more for garnish, if desired)
- Optional: hot sauce, for serving
- Optional: steamed rice, for serving
Gather the ingredients.
Put the bacon in a large skillet and place the skillet over medium heat. Cook until the bacon has rendered its fat. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon pieces to paper towels to drain. You should have about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of drippings left in the pan. Refrigerate the crumbled bacon to use as a garnish or save it for another use.
Remove 2 tablespoons of oil from the 3/4 cup and set it aside. Add the remaining oil—about 2/3 cup—to the bacon drippings. Add the flour to the bacon drippings and oil mixture and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring, for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the roux is the color of milk chocolate. Remove the roux from the heat and set it aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the smoked sausage and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the onions, celery, green and red bell pepper, and the white and light green parts of the green onions to the sausage; continue to cook for about 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
To the vegetables and sausage, add the reserved roux; stir to combine.
Gradually add 2 cups the chicken stock to the pot a little at a time, stirring constantly. Add the chopped turkey, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, salt, Cajun seasoning, thyme, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. If too thick, add more stock in small amounts.
Stir the parsley and chopped green onions (dark green parts) into the gumbo and serve it over hot steamed rice.
Garnish the turkey gumbo with extra green onions, parsley, and the crumbled cooked bacon, if desired.