This easy slow cooker gumbo with chicken and sausage is simple to prepare but bold in flavor. It’s full of protein from andouille sausage, chicken thighs, and red beans, and lots of good for you ingredients like veggies and spices! Instant Pot adaption instructions also included.
I first made this recipe years ago. I had just come home from the hospital after the birth of my son, so I wasn’t doing much cooking. However, as soon as I was able, I carried my little one into the kitchen and with the help of Michael, got to work! It was a fun first foray back into cooking!
We call this dish by all different names. Red beans and rice, gumbo, cajun stew. I’m not sure how perfectly traditional this "gumbo" is. But I do know all the right flavors are there! We have andouille sausage, smoked paprika, red beans, and even a little file powder.
Soup recipes in the crock pot are so easy and turn out full of flavor! Plus, they are perfect for the fall when you are looking for a hearty, warm you up meal. Another one of my favorites is crock pot chicken pho.
Crockpot Gumbo without Roux
One thing that isn't traditional about this crockpot gumbo recipe, is the lack of roux. Most gumbos you will find have a dark brown roux or a gumbo roux. By not having one in this slow cooker chicken gumbo, the dish is actually gluten free!
If you want to add a roux, you certainly can! After browning your chicken thighs and veggies, set those ingredients to the side and add ¼ cup of additional oil to the same skillet. Over medium heat, bring oil up to temperature. Whisk in ¼ cup of flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until the roux turns a rich brown color. This can take up to 30 minutes. Pour roux over ingredients in the crockpot and finish as usual. This will also serve to thicken the gumbo, so you may need to add additional chicken stock as well.
Not all gumbos have chicken, some have shrimp, sausage, crawfish, etc. I added chicken thighs to this crockpot version. I LOVE how chicken thighs come out in the slow cooker. They are fall apart tender and take on the flavor of whatever they are cooked in.
- package andouille sausage (I used andouille chicken sausage)
- boneless skinless chicken thighs
- canned red kidney beans
- chicken broth
- smoked paprika
- Cajun seasoning
- file powder
- bay leaf
- crushed tomatoes
More slow cooker chicken recipes
How to make gumbo in the slow cooker
These first two steps are optional but add a nice flavor to the dish!
In a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Brown chicken thighs on both sides to give them some color, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Place chicken into the slow cooker.
To that same skillet, add chopped veggies and diced chicken sausages.
Saute for 4-5 minutes to give them some color. Add to the crock pot.
Pour crushed tomatoes and chicken stock over top. Add drained and rinsed beans, bay leaf, salt, and spices. Stir.
Set to low and cook for 5-6 hours or high and cook for 3-4 hours.
Shred chicken and serve with a scoop of rice on top.
Instant Pot Instructions
This recipe works great in the Instant Pot as well! Here are the instructions adapted for the Instant Pot.
Turn Instant Pot to saute function and add in olive oil. Add garlic, onions, celery, jalapenos, and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
Slice andouille sausages into bite-sized pieces and add to pot to brown a little, about 5 minutes.
Turn Instant Pot off of saute function and add in remaining ingredients and stir.
Cover with lid and make sure the pot is in the sealing designation.
Set on high pressure for 20 minutes. It will take some time to come up to pressure and release it's pressure.
Allow pot to natural release before opening the lid.
Shred chicken (it will shred very easily), and serve with rice!
When making this, your Instant Pot may show the “burn” notice when cooking. This often happens to me when I am using tomato sauces in the Instant Pot. Don’t get scared if this happens!
You have two options:
- Turn it off and carefully do a quick release. Stir the contents and make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom. Place the lid back on and restart with whatever time was remaining.
- Don’t stir in the tomato sauce when you add it to the recipe. If it’s not touching the edges of the pot itself, you should hopefully be able to avoid the burn notice. Stir into the dish once it is finished cooking.
Variations and Substitutions
- There are 2 jalapenos in this recipe because we like the spice! You can use less if you prefer, or sub in a mild pepper, like a green bell pepper.
- While I love the flavor and texture of chicken thighs in the slow cooker, chicken breasts work great in this recipe as well!
Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Can you freeze gumbo?
You get you can! There are no ingredients in gumbo that would keep it from freezing well. Just like most soups, gumbo makes a fantastic freezer meal. You can either freeze it in individual containers for easy lunches and dinners, or all together. Just making sure to allow the chicken gumbo to cool completely before placing it in airtight containers and freezing.
Slow Cooker Gumbo with Chicken and Sausage
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 jalapenos minced
- 1 tbsp. neutral oil
- 1 10 oz. package andouille sausage 4 sausages
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 15 oz. cans red kidney beans rinsed
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tbs. smoked paprika
- ½ tbs. Cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp. file powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- In a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Brown chicken thighs on both sides to give them some color, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Place chicken into the slow cooker.
- To that same skillet, add chopped veggies and diced chicken sausages.
- Saute for 4-5 minutes to give them some color. Add to the crock pot.
- Pour crushed tomatoes and chicken stock over top. Add drained and rinsed beans, bay leaf, salt, and spices. Stir.
- Set to low and cook for 5-6 hours or high and cook for 3-4 hours.
- Shred chicken and serve with a scoop of rice on top.