Healthy Gumbo Recipe

I know Mardi Gras is a day to let loose and imbibe before heading into the sacrificial season of Lent, but for those who would rather save their indulgences for a cocktail or dessert I thought I’d offer up my healthy gumbo recipe. You’ll find a lot of the familiar flavors in this version, with healthy substitutions that dramatically reduce the amount of fat and number of calories.


Healthy Gumbo


True Cajun chefs will shun this recipe since I skip the traditional roux base. Because I don’t start this gumbo with this characteristic brown sauce made from oil and flour, the color and flavor differ from classic gumbo. However, I find the red in the healthified version more appetizing than the typical brown of the classic. I also prefer the flavor (perhaps because the thought of a flour/oil paste just sounds unappetizing to me) of the leaner version.

I’ve had to play with this recipe quite a bit to achieve a flavor and heat level that works for my whole family. Thus, this recipe is pretty mild for a gumbo and thus, kid-friendly. If you like it spicy, you’ll want to add some hot sauce.

Healthy Gumbo 2

5.0 from 1 reviews
Healthy Gumbo Recipe
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Cajun
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 pkg smoked turkey sausage, cut into slices
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small green bell papper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (10 oz) pkg frozen okra
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb shrimp, cleaned, peeled, and deveined
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions.
  2. While rice is cooking, heat oil in large stockpot. Brown chicken and sausage in pot for 4-5 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent.
  3. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, okra, and spices. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.
  4. Reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Add shrimp and cook for 5-6 minutes more (until shrimp is pink).
  6. Serve gumbo over rice in a bowl. Add hot sauce if desired.



  1. Susan says

    Mmm, my family loves Cajun dishes. This looks delicious. And how timely that I’m sharing a Mardi Gras craft today at Organized 31.

  2. says

    Hi there! I’m stopping in from Let’s Get Real today. I like the sound of your healthier gumbo. It also sounds a lot easier than messing around with a roux. The colors of your gumbo are just beautiful. I really appreciate the kid-friendly version of this dish. What a great way to introduce my children to the magic that is gumbo.


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