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Turkey Gumbo

Smoked Turkey Gumbo with smoked sausage and shrimp is a slow cooked dish that is the kind of comfort food to warm you right up on a cold day.

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Gumbo is a rich and hearty stew-like soup served over rice and a staple of Louisiana cuisine. It has become one of our very favorite comfort food meals and the perfect way to enjoy leftover smoked turkey.

Bowl of smoked turkey gumbo with smoked sausage and shrimp. Served over rice.

Ingredients for Turkey Gumbo:

  • Olive oil
  • Onions
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Okra
  • Smoked Turkey
  • Smoked Sausage
  • Shrimp
  • Chicken Broth
  • Oil or Butter
  • Flour
  • Brown Sugar
  • Kosher Salt
  • Onion Flakes
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Black Pepper
  • Ground Cumin
  • Cooked Rice for serving
  • Parsley for garnish, optional

overhead view of bowl of gumbo with spoons, biscuits and red check napkin

How to Make Gumbo:

Blue bowl of chopped vegetables for gumbo

  • Dice the vegetables and cook in olive oil over medium heat. Carrots are not traditional in Gumbo but a few extra veggies won’t hurt anything and makes it a little more hearty.

Pan of cooked vegetables for gumbo with a wooden spoon

  • Cook until softened. Set aside.

Dark Roux for gumbo in a saucepan

  • Make the roux by combining oil or butter and flour in a heavy sauce pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until roux becomes a dark peanut butter color. This will take about 30 to 40 minutes. Do not leave the roux unattended, it will easily burn and you will have to start over.

Soup pan with vegetables, pouring in chicken broth

  • Add broth, cooked vegetables and roux to a dutch oven or soup pan and mix well, cooking over medium-high heat.

adding turkey to gumbo mixture

  • Stir in smoked turkey.

Adding smoked sausage slices to gumbo

  • Next, add smoked sausage slices.

Seasonings and brown sugar for gumbo in an orange bowl

  • Mix brown sugar, salt and spices together. Brown sugar is not typically added to gumbo, but we love it and you’ll just have to try it. It’s not enough to make the gumbo sweet, it just balances out the flavor.

adding spices to gumbo in a soup pot

  • Stir into gumbo, cooking until mixture comes to a low boil and starts to thicken, about 20 – 30 minutes.

Adding shrimp to gumbo

  • Lastly, stir in shrimp and lower to simmer.
  • Stir often and simmer about 10 minutes until shrimp is cooked through.

Bowl of gumbo with rice, spoon and red napkin next to the bowl

  • Serve over cooked rice.

Gumbo makes a big batch and gets even better the next day.

How to Store and Reheat:

Store in an airtight container like these handy deli containers in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Freeze gumbo in a deli container or zip top freezer bag up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator before reheating.

Reheat in a pan over medium heat, stirring often. Cook about 8- 10 minutes until heated through.

Bowl of gumbo with shrimp, turkey and smoked sausage. Served with biscuits

Gumbo Variations:

Gumbo is easily adapted to what you have on hand. It can be made with andouille sausage, brisket smoked sausage or smoked venison summer sausage is what we used in this recipe.

We used leftover smoked apple cider turkey but smoked chicken or any leftover turkey or chicken works great.

Shrimp, fish and crab meat are also common additions.

Spice up your gumbo with red pepper or add a little hot sauce when you serve it. We tend to prefer ours on the milder side but many folks like it spicy.

bowl of gumbo with rice - overhead view

We are sure this isn’t like your grandma’s gumbo recipe  and we wouldn’t dare to say that it is even a comparable version but it was delicious and filling on a cold day. So good that there might have been a scuffle over who got the last bowl the next day.

What to Serve with Gumbo:

We served our gumbo with Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits, cornbread or garlic bread are also great side dishes. I’ve heard that potato salad is another favorite to serve with gumbo.

gumbo in a bowl served with biscuits

If you are looking for some hearty and delicious comfort food, make a big pot of gumbo, it is so tasty and completely satisfying.




Smoked turkey gumbo in a bowl with rice, garnished with parsley
Print Recipe
4.60 from 5 votes

Turkey Gumbo

Smoked Turkey Gumbo with smoked sausage and shrimp is a slow cooked dish that is the kind of comfort food to warm you right up on a cold day. 
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Cajun
Keyword: classic gumbo, comfort food, shrimp gumbo, smoked turkey gumbo
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 1039kcal
Author: Milisa


for the roux

  • 1 ½ cups butter or oil
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour

for the gumbo

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups diced bell peppers
  • 3 cups diced onions
  • 3 cups diced celery
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced okra
  • ¼ cup minced garlic
  • 4 quarts chicken or turkey broth
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons onion flakes
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 pound smoked turkey
  • 1 pound smoked sausage sliced
  • 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 4 cups Cooked rice for serving
  • fresh parsley for garnish optional


  • Add oil or butter to a heavy saucepan with the flour. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continually. Cook until roux is the color of dark peanut butter, about 30 - 40 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a large dutch oven or soup pan, add olive oil, onions, celery, bell peppers, carrots, okra and garlic. Cook over medium heat until vegetables soften.
  • Mix in broth and roux, mixing until well combined,
  • Stir in smoked turkey and sliced smoked sausage and cook over medium- high heat until mixture comes to a low boil. Cook about 20 minutes or until thickened.
  • Add shrimp and lower to simmer.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until shrimp is cooked through.
  • Serve over rice and garnish with parsley.


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Gumbo can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator.
Heat in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often until heated through, about 8 - 10 minutes.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 1039kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 67g | Fat: 63g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 31g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 354mg | Sodium: 1907mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g

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Recipe Rating


  1. I agree with KJunn. Carrots and Brown sugar don’t belong in a real Gumbo. Don’t post recipes that will make people think Cajun food isn’t good. Real Gumbo is outstanding and BTW, spicy, never mild.

    1. This is an abomination against God. Brown sugar, carrots, how has no one mentioned cumin? The psychopath that wrote this recipe should be incarcerated immediately for the general safety of others.

  2. You don’t make a gumbo with butter and flour….that makes a blond roux, mostly used for etoufee. For gumbo you use oil and flour to make a choclate colored roux. And you surely don’t use carrots and brown sugar. The normal ratio of the greens is simple: 1 cup onion to a half cup bell pepper and half cup celery. And there ain’t NO carrots or brown sugar in gumbo!!!!