This homemade slow cooker chicken gumbo features chicken, Andouille sausage, okra, and lots of fresh veggies! I’ve added in rice to make it a complete meal in one! It’s easy to set up and turn on before work, so you can have a family meal ready to go when you get home. 

two bowls of Chicken Gumbo made in a slow cooker

I shared this recipe originally in September of 2012. I have updated the recipe to make it more simple to prepare, and I have added new photographs and a video to share it with you again today.

Why We Love This Recipe For Chicken Gumbo Stew

If you’re looking for a crockpot meal that doesn’t fall short on flavor, then this recipe is for you! It has fresh herbs, spices and smoky and spicy andouille sausage to give it tons of hearty and savory flavor. The thick stew with veggies, chicken, sausage and rice is so satisfying it makes a complete meal in one!

This crockpot gumbo is great for weeknights because you can set it up the night before or in the morning and then it is ready to go when you get home. You can serve it with bread, rolls, whole-wheat cornbread or skillet gluten-free cornbread.

I have also used this recipe for casual entertaining with families because it can be left warm while everyone mingles, and then folks can just serve themselves.

Newly Improved Recipe

This Gumbo, as it was originally published in 2012 was both too complicated and had way too many ingredients in it. This new gumbo today is the new and improved Slow Cooker Gumbo Stew.

  • It’s has a shorter prep time
  • The steps are easier
  • It has far fewer ingredients too
  • Crazy enough, it is just as delicious!
Slow cooker Chicken Gumbo in two bowls overhead

What is Gumbo?

Gumbo is a thick stew that’s most commonly eaten in Southern Louisiana. Gumbo can be made with whatever meat you have on hand, but seafood gumbo, sausage gumbo, and chicken gumbo are the most popular takes on this dish. It should also be noted that gumbo is almost always made with okra and some kind of thickening agent like a roux and also gumbo file powder.

a close up into the slow cooker filled with gumbo

How to Make Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo Soup

Sear the Chicken First For More Flavor

To really make the flavor of this crockpot recipe rich tasting, sear the chicken on the stovetop first. It will brown which adds so much additional flavor to the gumbo.

Add Canned Tomatoes

  • Many gumbo recipes do not have tomatoes in them, but I really love the acidity that they bring to the overall taste profile. I love how the tomatoes help balance the salty andouille sausage. 
  • Use a whole can (28-ounce) of peeled tomatoes and then crush them by hand into the slow cooker. This will give the best rustic chunky texture to the gumbo. 
  • You can use fresh tomatoes if you have them on hand, but it’s better to peel and seed them. See notes in the recipe card how to do so. 

Use Andouille Sausage

  • Andouille is a traditional Louisiana sausage with a smoky spicy flavor and adds a flavor kick to the gumbo. I like the Andouille Sausage by Niman Ranch if you can find it.
  • If you have a hard time finding Andouille, you could use kielbasa, because that is also a smoky sausage. Or you could use a hot Italian or even chicken sausage if you want to. It won’t be traditional, but it will surely taste great! 

Bulk up the Serving with Vegetables and Rice

  • In Cajun and Creole cooking the Holy Trinity is a combination of bell peppers, onions and celery. It’s like what odori is to Italian cooking, and mirepoix is to French. This Gumbo is no exception and I used a heavy hand to bulk up the serving size.
  • In addition to the celery, onion and peppers, gumbo almost always has okra in it. Today I used frozen okra, but if you can find fresh, use that! Just make sure when you’re cutting it, if you come across a stalk of the okra that seems pithy, don’t use it. That’ll be tough and fibrous.
  • Usually Gumbo is served with rice, but in this case, to make it a complete one pot meal, I added the rice to the gumbo. It’s brown rice for additional fiber.

Skip the Roux (and Added Saturated Fat) and Instead Thicken with Okra and Gumbo Filé

  • Traditional gumbo is made with a roux which is a cooked mixture of butter and flour. In Cajun cooking, the fat is usually oil instead and the roux is darker. 
  • I tested this with and without the roux, and I didn’t think that it really added too much to the overall texture of the dish. This is very thick as it is, and the gumbo file really makes it nice and thick. So I opted to save the extra fat calories, and grams of saturated fat, and not use a roux at all.
  • If you’re not familiar with gumbo filé, it can be found in the spice section of good grocery stores, and with the bulk spices in natural food stores. It is made from ground sassafras. The flavor of it is actually not as strong as you would think, but it has a subtle slightly licorice and minty taste to it. It doesn’t need to cook, so you can just stir it in at the end.
  • The okra also adds body to the gumbo. Don’t worry they won’t be slimy at all! After cooking in the slow cooker, they are super tender and practically melt into the gumbo.


When you look at the ingredient list below, it’ll seem like this is a big one, but a lot of the ingredients are spices. I did pair it down for this new 2.0 version of this recipe to just sage, thyme, garlic and salt. I used a whole sprig of rosemary, which adds nice flavor without being overly bossy. Once the gumbo is done cooking, just remove the sprig. 

Slow Cook For 8 Hours

Once you have seared the chicken and stirred everything together in the insert of the slow cooker you are ready to let the appliance fo the rest of the work.

Turn to low heat for 8 hours or 4 hours on high. Allow the chicken gumbo to cook, covered and undisturbed until the timer goes off. Remove the rosemary sprig and stir in the gumbo file. Ladle into bowls and serve with Tabasco.

Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo

FAQs For This Recipe

How to store Leftovers

Cool the chicken gumbo and transfer it to individual serving storage containers or transfer to a pot and cover with a lid. Refrigerate up to 4 days.

Can it be frozen?

Yes! Freeze up to three months.

How to reheat

Reheat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally (it will be thick!) Or microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring once or twice. Microwave times may vary so heat until steaming hot.

Serving Suggestions

More Slow-Cooker Chicken Recipes:

a close up of a serving of gumbo from overhead

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a close up of a serving of gumbo from overhead

Crockpot Chicken Gumbo Recipe

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


This homemade slow cooker gumbo soup features chicken, Andouille sausage, okra, and lots of fresh veggies!



1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, or 3 large tomatoes, peeled and seeded

1 large onion, diced

1 sprig rosemary

4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

8 ounces Andouille sausage cut into 1/2-inch slices

2 cups sliced fresh or frozen okra

2 cups diced celery

2 cups diced green bell peppers

1/2 cup long grain brown rice

1 tablespoon rubbed sage

2 tablespoons chopped garlic, about 4 cloves

1 teaspoon dry thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon gumbo file

Tabasco for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to the insert of a large slow cooker.
  2. Hand crush tomatoes into the slow cooker and add any remaining liquid from the can. Add onion, rosemary, broth, sausage, okra, celery, peppers, rice, sage, garlic, thyme and salt in the insert of the slow cooker.
  3. Turn to low heat for 8 hours or 4 hours on high. Allow the gumbo to cook, covered and undisturbed until the timer goes off. Remove rosemary sprig and stir in gumbo file. Ladle into bowls and serve with Tabasco.


To peel and seed fresh tomatoes: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. Set aside. Core tomatoes and score an “x” on the bottom. Dip the tomatoes into the boiling water and boil until the skin starts to peel away, but the flesh isn’t mushy, 40 seconds to 2 minutes. Drain tomatoes and transfer to the ice bath to cool. Drain and slip skin off of the cooled tomatoes. Cut in half along the equator. Gently seed tomatoes over a bowl lined with a fine mesh sieve to catch any juices. Roughly chop the tomatoes. You’ll need 2 1/2 cups for this recipe

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2 cups each
  • Calories: 356
  • Fat: 16 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Protein: 26 g

Keywords: slow cooker gumbo, crockpot gumbo, healthy gumbo recipe, chicken gumbo

slow cooker with gumbo in it, text overlay
collage of Gumbo and Chicken