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How to make:

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.

Prep Time:
30 minutes
Cook Time:
6 hours
Total Time:
6 hours 30 minutes
white bowl of thin brown gumbo with rice and green onions
8 1x



For the smothered okra

  1. 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

  1. 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.
  2. When your onions are a deep chocolate color, use the back of a wooden spoon to smush them against the sides of the pot.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. In a large bowl of water, place soy curls. Set aside to hydrate. After 10 minutes, drain.
  6. In a skillet over high heat, add sausage. Quickly sear, stirring. It’s okay if it’s not completely cooked through. Set aside.
  7. 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.
  8. Cook rice according to package directions.
  9. 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.