Paleo Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

This is a serious multi-tasking kind of recipe. I don’t typically make/write recipes that require dirtying lots of dishes or require multiple steps or too many ingredients, because I know most people (including myself, most days) just want to eat something a.) that tastes good b.) is good for us and c.) doesn’t require washing more than 3 dishes. I absolutely, positively abhor washing dishes. Let me get back on task here, what I’m trying to say is…I’m not trying to scare anyone off, but this should be made on a “I can’t wait to cook an awesome meal” kind of day. We didn’t need a roux for this recipe. I thought I would have to experiment with some arrowroot powder but the okra does a nice job of thickening the gumbo. Oh and let me mention, this makes a TON…get ready for leftovers!


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 T butter, cubed
  • s&p
  • 3 leeks*
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 lb. Andouille sausage, chopped
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped
  • 6 c shrimp stock** (any stock will work)
  • 1/2 lb. okra
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 T Old Bay
  • 2 t Quatre épices***
  • 3 green onions


Get your oven to 450°F. The food processor is going to be your BFF for this recipe. Get it out! Cut out the core and leaves of the cauliflower. Roughly chop and, in batches, process the cauliflower until it resembles rice. Place on a baking sheet. Toss it around with the butter and some s&p. Roast the cauliflower rice until it’s a nice pale yellow-ish color and doesn’t taste cauliflower-y, making sure to toss it one or two times while it’s roasting. About 25 minutes.

While the cauliflower is going, add the andouille sausage to a soup/stock pot, at least 5 quarts. Saute until it’s browned, remove from the pan and place on a “holding” plate. Add the chicken and saute until it’s done…if you’re a little shy of done, no worries, it’ll continue to cook in the soup. Remove the chicken and add to the plate with the sausage.

Add the green pepper, celery stalks and leeks to the food processor and blend until everybody is in small, itty-bitty pieces. Add to the stock pot and saute until everybody has softened. Pulse up the canned tomatoes in the food processor too–I don’t like when they’re too big in the soup, I like them evenly sized and textured within the soup. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the sausage and chicken, and simmer until the okra has softened, about 20 minutes. Don’t be afraid to taste the okra for the correct done-ness–soft, but still has a crunch to it.

To serve, place a scoop of cauliflower rice in the center of a bowl, ladle around the gumbo and sprinkle with green onions. You will have more gumbo than cauliflower. So leftovers will be “soup.”

*Leeks are dirty little suckers. To clean them: Cut off the root and to the top where it starts to get really, really green. Slice lengthwise and toss into a bowl of water. Use your hands to jiggle them around and that should remove virtually all the dirt.

**So here’s the deal with shrimp stock: I made the faux-viche one night and used shell-on shrimp. I saved the shells, added them to 3 quarts of water, simmered for 3 hours, strained and discarded the shells. Incredibly easily, and might I add, very resourceful.

*** Quatre épices is a french seasoning mix: white pepper, nutmeg, ginger, cloves. It’s not a necessary component, but it’s a nice addition. I found mine at World Market.


18 responses to “Paleo Chicken and Andouille Gumbo”

  1. Made this at home tonight and it was a hit! Great recipe.

  2. Kristen

    LOVED this recipe!! Cauliflower is my new love over any starch!

  3. Not to be Debbie Downer or anything but the base of any gumbo is the roux. You seem to have neglected this, so I wouldn’t call this a gumbo per say. A roux is typically made up of flour, oil, onions, celery, bell pepper, and a little garlic, all of which you basically slowly burn in a pan(the resulting brown colored paste is what gives the gumbo the flavor and color). While a roux does require flour to make you could maybe try almond flour instead of regular flour to make it, which would be more paleo friendly.

  4. i always fail to see how these comments are warranted or useful even if they are true (see below). as if every word must be set in stone…and every dish closed to interpretation or allusion.

    while it’s true that a french technique for thickening gumbo would be a roux…a gumbo can be various different types of stews thickened with various agents. okra being one of them…as evidenced by the fact that the word gumbo was likely derived from a native African word for the vegetable.

  5. @Brandon,
    I think my comment is very much warranted as it is paying respect to a cultural cuisine, mainly Cajun/Creole cuisine. And the author of this recipe is attempting to make a chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, which screams Cajun! Why do something half-assed when you can do it right/learn to appreciate how the foods you enjoy are made and pass that knowledge on. Your mentality is what is leading to the loss of unique cultures and their cuisines. You’re like the French Quarter restaurants at Disneyland, thinking it is okay to sell a disgusting concoction of ingredients and calling it gumbo, because it’s their “interpretation”, in essence doing an injustice to delicious, authentic Cajun gumbo and ruining the gumbo experience for people who have never tried it before.

    As for you essentially saying gumbo doesn’t require a roux, but that you can instead just use okra to thicken it, as any self respecting cajun chef, hell, even look up Emerill’s recipes and you’ll see that roux is what makes a gumbo! That’s like having tacos with no tortillas, it’s incomplete without it and won’t taste the same.

  6. I’m sure you do think it’s warranted.

    Clearly you do not grasp our point of view and I really feel no need to defend it any further. I obviously disagree with what you have to say and will leave it at that. The question is – If you had a free website dedicated to your perspective…would I insert my opinion by commenting on it…using words like half-ass and self-respecting…in order to “educate” you and attempt to prove how much better I am (more I know)?

  7. We made this tonight, and despite several substitutions, it came out great! Posted more on my food blog here:

    It was also the first time my dinner mates had cauliflower rice, and it came out beautifully from the oven roasting – their first time will not be their last. 🙂

    1. very cool. thanks pamela!

  8. Brando,

    A roux is not just used to thicken a gumbo. It is also used to darken and richen the taste of your gumbo. It is the essential element; the foundation of your gumbo. We take pride in our roux. Calling this a gumbo is most definitely an insult to me and the rest of the Great State of Louisiana. That being said, tonight, I created an almond flour roux that went into my leftover thanksgiving turkey, albeit deep fried turkey, and teal duck gumbo. Phenomenal. Whether or not its a lard roux, flour roux or an almond roux, you have to have a roux. You can not and I repeat cannot create a gumbo without a roux. Without it, life is meaningless.

    1. thanks for the “education”. but how do you expect me to take this, really? let’s try to see the forest and not just the trees. if a traditional and sanctimonious roux is wheat flour and fat…then you are insulting all french calling your almond flour concoction a “roux”. of course i don’t have a problem with that but by your own logic…where do you want to draw the line?

      “Lafcadio Hearn’s La Cuisine Creole, published in 1885, contains recipes for several gumbos made from a variety of ingredients—chicken, ham, bacon, oysters, crab, shrimp, and beef, among them. Some of the recipes are made with okra, others with filé. Although there is no mention of a roux in any of the recipes, some of them call for the addition of flour or browned flour as a thickener.”


      the key word here is some…but nonetheless before there was roux there was still gumbo…with okra or with file. i am aware that roux is in contemporary gumbos and what it does…but if we did everything by the book here the site wouldn’t exist. then you’d have to find somewhere else to pontificate the meaning of life.

      1. Hee hee… this is a great response! Well-researched, and funny too.

        Thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to get all the ingredients & try it.

  9. I love everything you’ll have done so far…just saying, the recipes are amazing. Im doing the GAPS diet right now though and okra isnt allowed…can you think of another subsitute? Im sure its needed for the thickening quality huh?

    1. alexis,

      you could substitute and veg you like or just leave out the okra and try “gumbo file” powder to thicken.

  10. Mine is just a question on servings, as I have a couple very hungry men to feed–and a few ladies.

    How many servings does this recipe make?


    1. I haven’t made this is so long –I can’t remember. But a good rule of thumb is to look at the amount of protein. Assume your peeps eat about 6-8 oz of it and do the math from there. Hope that helps!

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  11. Seriously, we made this last night. AMAZE. We just moved to the South and neither of us had ever tried Okra before. LOVE. Your recipe index has dominated our meal planning in the last few weeks, and totally expanded my horizons. THANK YOU.

  12. Old post here, but coconut flour makes a great roux, give it a try. If you do butter or ghee, use that, but if not, probably avocado oil or olive oil. If you do use the file powder, it is stirred in at the end, after the heat is turned off. Another thing that will thicken stews is pureed eggplant, though that won’t work for anyone avoiding nightshades. Making gumbo tonight, thanks!

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