This Turkey Gumbo recipe is the perfect way to use up that leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. Big, tender chunks of turkey and smoked sausage are simmered together with spices to create a rich and hearty bowl of southern comfort food!
One of my favorite holiday traditions is making turkey and sausage gumbo the day after Thanksgiving . It's the perfect way to use left over turkey.
There are many recipes for gumbo but I'm going to show you how to make the best Louisiana gumbo ever!
- The Roux: The roux is made from combining equal parts fat and flour over heat until it turns a chocolate brown color. This is what thickens the soup.
- Vegetables: Onions, celery and bell peppers are the traditional vegetables used to flavor gumbo.
- Turkey: Leftover turkey from Thanksgiving is perfect for making gumbo. Use a combination of light and dark turkey meat.
- Sausage: Smoked sausage helps to give the gumbo a deep smokey flavor that compliments the turkey meat. Use smoked polish sausage or andouille sausage.
- Okra: Okra helps to thicken the soup.
- Chicken Stock: You can make a turkey stock using the carcass of the turkey or you can use chicken or vegetable stock. See recipe card for instructions for making homemade turkey stock.
- Seasonings: This is a "green" gumbo. The ground sage and thyme give the gumbo a green hue. Cayenne gives it a little kick of heat so feel free to omit cayenne if you don't like spicy food.
How to make the best turkey gumbo
In a heavy stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until the roux turns a light brown color. (Do not leave the roux unattended while it is browning to prevent it from burning.)
Add the diced onions, celery and bell pepper and saute until the vegetables are soft, about 7-10 minutes.
Add the sage, thyme, salt and cayenne and continue to cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
Stir the chicken stock into the mixture until there are no lumps and then add the turkey, sausage and okra. Simmer the gumbo for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
Serve the turkey gumbo over steamed rice and a side of french bread.
How do I store gumbo?
According to the FDA store gumbo in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. This soup is even better the next day!
Can I freeze turkey gumbo?
Yes. Freeze in a freezer-safe container up to 3 months. When ready to eat, let thaw in fridge overnight.
How do I know if my roux is burnt?
Cook the roux, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Do not leave the roux unattended while it is browning. If it starts to burn, you will smell a burnt aroma.
Do I have to put okra in gumbo?
No. Okra can be omitted if you do not like it.
What do I serve with gumbo?
5 easy homemade soup recipes
Turkey Gumbo Recipe
- 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
- ½ cup flour
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 2 stalks celery (diced)
- 1 small bell pepper (diced)
- 1 tablespoon ground thyme
- 1 tablespoon ground sage
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 10 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups okra (sliced)
- 1 lb. turkey (light and dark meat)
- 1 lb. smoked sausage (sliced)
- 6 cups steamed rice
- In a heavy stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until the roux starts to become a light brown color. Add the onions, celery and bell pepper and saute until soft, about 7-10 minutes.
- Stir the thyme, sage, salt and cayenne pepper into the pot and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour the chicken stock into the pot and stir until the roux and the stock have fully incorporated and there are no lumps. Add the okra, turkey meat and sausage and bring to a boil.
- Stir and simmer over low heat for an hour, stirring once every 20 to 30 minutes.
- Serve over white rice with french bread on the side.
- Homemade Turkey Stock: To make your own homemade stock, boil the carcass of the turkey in water with onions and celery for 1-2 hours. Strain the stock to catch any small bones before using.
- To Store: Keep in the fridge, covered for up to 4 days.
- To Freeze: Allow the gumbo to cool completely. Place in a freezer-safe container and keep frozen for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat: Thaw soup in the fridge overnight. Heat on the stovetop or microwave.
This recipe was originally posted in November 2014 and updated in 2019 with new photos and enhanced recipe card.