This Vegan Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is a spin on my family’s authentic Cajun gumbo recipe. This vegan gumbo is hearty and full of flavor and tradition. In partnership with Success Rice!
Vegan Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here! I am so, so excited to bring you today’s recipe for Vegan Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. This gumbo recipe has been in my favorite for who-knows-how-many generations, and now I get to share a vegan version with you. This is the official Dumond-Chauvin-Trosclair (and now Hebert) gumbo. It feels very special!
One major reason why it has taken me so long to share this recipe with you is that no one had it written down. My grandma and mom have been making this for years solely from muscle memory. Finally, I convinced them that, yes, people will actually want to make a recipe that takes 6 hours. Shoutout to my grandma and mom for their contributions to this recipe.
Also, a big thanks to Success Rice for partnering with me on this vegan gumbo. A bowl of gumbo is not complete without a scoop of perfectly cooked white rice. For this vegan chicken and sausage gumbo, we’re using the Success Rice Boil-in-Bag White Rice!
What is Gumbo?
Gumbo a traditional soup served in Louisiana. It features a well-seasoned, deep-brown broth thickened by okra, roux, and/or filé (leaves of the sassafras tree). Also, gumbo typically includes meat or seafood. Chicken and sausage gumbo and shrimp gumbo are two of the most popular versions.
Gumbo is a dish that takes at least 4 hours to make and is traditionally served at holidays, parties, big gatherings, events, and (of course) Mardi Gras.
Also, there are two types of gumbo: Cajun gumbo and Creole gumbo. The gumbo recipe I’m sharing with you today is a Cajun gumbo, which does not use tomatoes. However, Creole gumbo does use tomatoes, so the broth is a bit more red.
Additionally, read this article to learn more about the difference between Cajun and Creole people and their cultures.
It’s important to note that every Louisiana family makes their gumbo a little differently. Some people use okra vs roux to thicken. In addition, some people might use the Cajun “holy trinity” (onion, celery, and bell pepper). For example, my family uses okra to thicken our chicken and sausage gumbo, and we don’t use the holy trinity (we just use onions).
Gumbo vs Jambalaya
First, Cajun gumbo is a soup with a deep-brown broth studded with meat or seafood and served over rice. The star of the show in a gumbo is the perfectly seasoned and flavorful roux. The rice is cooked separately and served on top of this chicken and sausage gumbo.
On the other hand, rice is the core of jambalaya. Jambalaya is similar to gumbo in its flavors and ingredients. However, in jambalaya, the rice is cooked alongside the meat and vegetables. It’s more of a one-dish meal. You can check out another of my family’s traditional Cajun recipes made vegan here: Classic Cajun Vegan Jambalaya.
Ingredients in Vegan Gumbo
Finally, let’s talk about this vegan chicken and sausage gumbo recipe that will literally change your life! Dramatic, but true.
First, let’s go through the ingredients in vegan gumbo:
- Success Rice Boil-in-Bag White Rice. The last thing I want to do after spending 6+ hours making Cajun gumbo is waiting another hour to cook rice! Success Rice Boil-in-Bag White Rice only requires 10 minutes of cooking time. This cuts my cooking time when everyone is impatient for a bowl of gumbo!
- Oil. Use a neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil
- Okra. I used frozen okra, but you could also use fresh or canned (NOT pickled).
- Sweet onions. The onions are the most important part of this chicken and sausage gumbo. You want to dice them very finely. Sweet yellow onions are ideal!
- Green onions.
- Cayenne pepper.
- Vegan chicken broth. I’ve never seen this in cartons. However, I would recommend looking for vegan chicken bouillon cubes or paste.
- Bay leaves.
- Soy curls. If you can’t find soy curls (I have to order them online), use your favorite vegan chicken alternative.
- Vegan sausage. Andouille is ideal here.
- Hot sauce. Every good chicken and sausage gumbo is finished off with a dash of hot sauce!
How to Make Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
First, you need smothered okra. You can do this before you start your gumbo. However, if you want to save time day-of, I recommend smothering okra (step 1) ahead of time and freeze it. This way, you can make a ton of smothered okra already done!
Next, it’s time to brown the onions. Okay, folks, this is the most important part of making this Cajun gumbo. Find a couple podcasts or an audiobook, because you’ll need to be at your stove for 2-3 hours. First, make sure your onions are very finely diced – we don’t want chunks in the broth. Then, cook them over just-below-medium heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
The trick with the onions is letting them caramelize on the bottom of the pan a little bit, but not to the point of burning. Because this is a slow process, please don’t be impatient and rush it. The onions provide color and flavor for the broth, so it’s important to get it right. Reference the photo below to see what color your onions should be (the third picture).
Next, we’re adding the rest of the vegetables and spices. Cook that for a few minutes, then use your spoon to smush them against the sides of the pot.
Finally, we’re adding broth, water, and bay leaves. 30 minutes before serving, add the hydrated soy curls and vegan sausage.
Of course, we have to serve this amazing vegan chicken and sausage gumbo with a scoop of Success Rice Boil-in-Bag White Rice and a dash of hot sauce!
I hope some of you will make this vegan chicken and sausage gumbo recipe and share it with the people you love. Please let me know how it turns out!
Vegan Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
This Vegan Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is a spin on my family’s authentic Cajun gumbo recipe. This vegan gumbo is hearty and full of flavor and tradition.
- 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 12 ounces frozen okra*
- 6 medium sweet yellow onions, very finely diced
- 2 bunches green onions, sliced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 quarts (8 cups) vegan chicken broth**
- 2 quarts (8 cups) water
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 cups dehydrated soy curls***
- 14 ounces vegan sausage, sliced (andouille, if possible)
- 1 box Success Rice Boil-in-Bag White Rice
- Hot sauce
For the smothered okra
- For the smothered okra: In a heavy skillet over just-below-medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil. When hot, add okra; stir. Cook for an hour, stirring occasionally. If it starts to burn or cook too quickly, turn the heat down a bit. You want to cook all of the slime out and get the okra to soften enough, almost to a paste-consistency. If you’re using frozen okra: at about the 1-hour mark, add a bit of water and cover the skillet. This will return some of the moisture lost in freezing so that the okra can soften enough. Smothering the okra should take 1-1.5 hours. When done, set aside.
For the gumbo
- In a heavy-bottomed pot over just-below-medium heat, add 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons oil. When hot, add onions; stir. Cook for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. You want the onions to caramelize low and slow – don’t rush it! Allow the onions to slightly brown in the bottom of the pan, then stir. If they start to burn in the bottom of the pan or caramelize too quickly, turn the heat down a bit. DO NOT walk away from the onions. They can burn too quickly, which will ruin your gumbo.
- When your onions are a deep chocolate color, use the back of a wooden spoon to smush them against the sides of the pot.
- When your onions are done, add 1 cup smothered okra (from step 1), green onions, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir. Cook on just-below-medium, stirring, for about 3 minutes (do not burn the garlic!). Use the back of a wooden spoon to smush the vegetables against the sides of the pot.
- To the pot, add broth, water, and bay leaves. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to slow, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
- In a large bowl of water, place soy curls. Set aside to hydrate. After 10 minutes, drain.
- In a skillet over high heat, add sausage. Quickly sear, stirring. It’s okay if it’s not completely cooked through. Set aside.
- After gumbo has simmered for an hour, add soy curls, sausage, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. When done, remove bay leaves.
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Ladle gumbo into bowls. Top rice and hot sauce.
*You can also use fresh or canned okra. I recommend making a lot of smothered okra (step 1) and freezing it. This way, the okra is already ready to go in the gumbo in step 4.
**I recommend using vegan chicken bouillon cubes or paste. Vegetable broth would do if you cannot find vegan chicken bouillon.
***This will make about 2 1/2 cups of hydrated soy curls. If you’re using another vegan chicken alternative, cook according to package directions and measure 2 1/2 cups for the gumbo.
Thanks to Success Rice for sponsoring this post! I love working with brands whose products I really love and would honestly recommend. Thank you for your support!