My turkey gumbo boasts deep, rich flavors in every soul-satisfying spoonful, y'all. My very own Trinity Roux™ creates the authentic Cajun taste and texture base. Then, browned sausage, pulled leftover turkey, broth, spices, and okra are mixed into the roux. And, it all simmers on the stove together until it's one electrifying pot of deliciousness featuring familiar yet unique tastes and textures. Yep and yay...
It Ends on a High Note, Y'all...
Turkey gumbo uses leftover pulled turkey pieces as the main protein in a traditional-tasting Cajun gumbo base. All of the other classic south Louisiana gumbo elements remain the same, and turkey gumbo also includes the traditional sausage, okra, and Cajun seasonings.
I usually serve my spin on it a few days after Thanksgiving. It ends the long weekend on a high note, with each warm, super flavorful bowl the perfect transition from one holiday frame of mind to the next.
However, I sometimes use thawed, frozen turkey pieces in January or February to make a surprise turkey gumbo that knocks the chill out of our dead-of-winter bones. Indeed.
Ingredients Essentials & Substitutions
- You can use pulled white or dark meat turkey for this leftover turkey gumbo recipe. I used a mix of both, with a bit more white than dark. I've also used all white and all dark meat successfully. So, just use whatever you have on hand.
- I use beef smoked sausage, but you can also use andouille sausage. Any type of smoked sausage will do, really. I just highly suggest that you use a sausage that you are already familiar with so that there won't be any surprises in the final taste of the dish.
- I make turkey gumbo with dried seasonings to keep things simple. Feel free to use fresh garlic if that's what you have on hand. Use fresh parsley sparingly, though, and only at the end. Otherwise, it may burn and turn rancid in the gumbo.
- I use chicken broth in my original turkey gumbo recipe. I personally do not like turkey broth, as I find it incredibly overpowering and downright not good y'all. So, I believe that using chicken broth makes the gumbo-making process easier. And, it's also super delicious and enhances the flavors of the turkey and the browned sausage.
For best results, use the recommended frozen okra that's called for in this recipe. Fresh okra can get slimy and turn a good gumbo into a bad one. I always, always use frozen okra in my gumbo, and I've never had an okra slime problem.
Just give the okra a quick rinse to knock off any pesky ice crystals. Then, use it immediately.
Store the turkey gumbo leftovers in a covered dish in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also vacuum-seal the leftovers and freeze them for up to three months.
How to Make Turkey Gumbo
Start by browning the sausage in a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven or pot.
Add the butter to the pot, and let it foam a bit before stirring to help pick up some of the charred browned pieces from the bottom.
Add the Cajun trinity veggies to begin making the Trinity Roux™ in the buttery sausage drippings.
The finished roux should look similar to the picture below. It looks lighter in enameled cast iron than in regular cast iron or other types of cooking vessels, such as aluminum.
This is fine. The turkey gumbo darkens as it cooks, and will take on the perfect brown hue when done.
Now, add the turkey, browned sausage, okra, and spices to the pot. Give it all a good stir, then mix in the remaining broth a little at a time until it all becomes one.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until done. Finally, remove the turkey gumbo from the heat, and let it sit out uncovered for about 10 minutes. As it rests a bit, the turkey will further tenderize and the spices will continue to release their essence into the remaining ingredients.
And that's it, y'all!!
This turkey gumbo with sausage features bite after bite of flavor-popping deliciousness. The tender pulled turkey and browned sausage complement each other perfectly, while the okra adds an additional layer of earthiness that enlivens each bite.
And the warm, rich gumbo gravy, y'all. You can feel it all the way down to your toes!! It's so incredibly satisfying and flavor-layered from the Trinity Roux™ that you'll want to tip that bowl right over into your mouth to savor the very last drop. I promise!!
Share this turkey gumbo with those who make you want to laugh out loud as you dance around the table. Much south Louisiana food love, and see y'all on the yum side...
Similar South Louisiana Special Dishes
Here are some other of my original spins on Cajun and Creole dishes on the blog.
What to Serve with Turkey Gumbo
Make all the right fixings for this dish to balance and round out the flavors and textures. The cheesecake is the perfect finish!!
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil, if needed, see instructions
- 12 ounces smoked beef sausage, sliced then cut in half
- 1 Double-batch Trinity Roux™
- 1 pound pulled leftover turkey meat white and/or dark is fine
- 2 cups frozen okra rinsed under water to remove crystals
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried paprika
- salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
- 8 cups chicken broth Swanson & Clover Valley are gluten free
- Brown the sausage in a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- If needed, add one tablespoon of butter or oil to the pot so that the sausage does not burn or char the pot too much.
- Transfer the browned sausage to a paper towel-topped plate, then add the butter for the roux to the pot. Let it foam up and remove some of the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
- Add the vegetables for the roux to the pot, then continue making the doubled Trinity Roux™ in the Dutch oven or pot.
- Use 4 cups of chicken broth to pull the roux together during the last step of the process.
- When the Trinity Roux™ is ready, add the pulled turkey, browned sausage, Cajun spices, and frozen okra to the pot, and stir until well combined.
- Stir the remaining 4 cups of chicken broth into the mixture.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring almost constantly.
- Finally, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot ¾ of the way, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the turkey gumbo from the heat. Let it sit out for about 10 minutes before serving to let the residual heat continue tenderizing the pulled turkey and releasing all of the flavor from the spices.
The information shown is an estimate provided by a third-party, online computer-generated nutrition calculator, not a registered dietitian or certified nutritionist. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods and individual portion sizes, along with other factors.See our full nutrition disclaimer here.