I tend to forget about Cajun food. It’s pretty simple and straight-forward and always totally delicious, yet for some reason, I never think about making it. However, every time I do, I always think to myself, “I really should make this more often!”.  Just one of those things, I guess. But not anymore! I promise, dear Cajun food, that I won’t neglect you anymore!

Now, I know I already have a recipe for okra gumbo posted, but this one is a teensy bit more involved and more complex than the other. Plus, it’s pretty much an entirely different recipe, and I thought you should have both! This isn’t a real, honest-to-goodness ‘Nawlins style gumbo that starts with a roux. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of that “deep” (*cough* burnt) flavor it gives, so I started mine with some good ‘ol bacon grease (to all my gumbo aficionados out there, please don’t hate me). I sort of just threw some things together and ended up with one fantastic tasting gumbo! The great news is, this made a giant pot, so we had enough for 2 meals!

Sausage and Okra Gumbo

3 or 4 strips bacon
1 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 15-oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 bag frozen okra (I don’t actually know the size- it’s probably around 4-6 cups), thawed
1 package fully cooked turkey sausage (14 oz.), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup rice
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s seasoning
4 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste (you won’t need much salt at all since Tony C. has salt in it)

Cook rice according to instructions on packaging. In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat the bacon over medium heat and render fat. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add onion, pepper and celery and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until onions are slightly translucent. Add tomatoes (with their juice), okra, seasonings and chicken broth. Add the bacon back to the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Add sausage and rice. Cook for 10-15 more minutes (if it gets too thick for your liking, feel free to add a little more chicken broth or even a little water). Remove the bacon and bay leaves and serve.

*The okra can be a little “slimy” sometimes; adding a splash of white vinegar at the end helps to cut through the sliminess, and you’ll never know it’s there.



  1. Did you watch The Great Food Truck Race? They had a truck called Ragin Cajun and it made me want to make gumbo.


    Comment by Jen — August 16, 2010 @ 7:29 PM

  2. Good ‘ol bacon grease is the cure to all the world’s evils. This looks delicious.


    Comment by Eliana — August 17, 2010 @ 9:15 AM

  3. I made this the other night and my husband and I loved it! Thanks for a great recipe.


    Comment by Jenny@boxandb — October 4, 2010 @ 6:17 PM

  4. A true cajun gumbo is made with dark roux, which isn’t even used in this instance for it’s most well-known purpose (thickening), but to add color, a little bit of nuttiness, and that all around density that ties all of the flavors of the gumbo ingredients together. Oh, and also, true cajun gumbos never EVER have include tomatoes. Cajun cooking doesn’t use tomatoes in any recipe, whereas tomatoes are a staple in Creole cooking (this is the main difference between the two. 🙂


    Comment by Mary — November 20, 2010 @ 5:54 PM

  5. Mary, if you had actually read this post, you’d see that I clearly stated that this is not a “true” Cajun gumbo.


    Comment by amy — November 20, 2010 @ 6:36 PM

  6. Amy if you add the orka with the onions, peppers and celery it will reduce the amount of thickening


    Comment by Randy — September 8, 2011 @ 9:52 PM

  7. i think both creole and cajun food is awesome…so no matter what the fine details are, this was a damn good recipe! it helped my husbands evil head cold, and our kids ate several bowls each…so roux, dark roux, tomatoes, no tomatoes….its all home cookin’ and down home kinda folks chow, so thank you for sharing the recipe 🙂


    amy Reply:

    Thanks so much! I’m thrilled you and your family enjoyed it! 🙂


    Comment by Somana — January 17, 2012 @ 1:04 PM

  8. I agree about not starting with a roux, it just tastes so much lighter without it. Thanks for a great recipe.


    Comment by OrGreenic — August 14, 2012 @ 11:18 AM

  9. hay don’t forget to sprinkle a bit of cajun file’ when serving or at the end of cooking. Gumbo is always better after it sits for a bit also, JMO.


    Comment by alm — December 4, 2012 @ 12:31 PM

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