How to Make a Gluten-Free Gumbo

With the cold weather firmly entrenched, my heart calls for gumbo. But with celiac disease (or other gluten allergy / intolerance / sensitivity), that’s not always an easy desire to quench. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I was so relieved. I have had remarkably few “oh I am so sad I will never eat that again” moments, but the most memorable was with respect to my mother-in-law’s gumbo. My mother-in-law makes incredible gumbo. And in that moment, my heart continued to sink as I thought through all of the amazing roux-based foods that I love – shrimp etouffee, bechamel sauce, beef stew, the list goes on.

Only one thing for this gluten-free girl to do – figure out how to make a great gluten-free roux. And after many months of experimentation, I can finally boast that I now make gumbo, shrimp stew, etouffee, beef stew, and bechamel sauce that nobody knows is gluten-free. And every month I will be posting one of these recipes for you to enjoy. (And if you have great gluten-free recipes, PLEASE send them my way.)

I would like to thank the very lovely Daphne Olivier, RD, the Unconventional Dietician, who helped crack the perfect base for gluten-free roux. Check her out here.

Note: while I include a few links to gluten-free products I have found and like, none of these are affiliate links. I don’t get anything if you click on these or buy anything.

Gluten-Free Gumbo Recipe

1 cup ghee

1 cup Cassava flour (I’ve been digging Ottos’s)

Cajun vegetable blend (Personally I think chopping up fresh vegetables is better, but a container of Guidry’s will also do. For fresh, dice 4-5 stalks celery, 1 bell pepper, 1 onion, and a handful of garlic cloves.)

Gluten-free smoked sausage (Read your labels carefully!! I have been getting the Kiolbassa brand from Costco.)

1 lb chicken

6 cups chicken stock

Salt, pepper, cayenne, and Tony’s to taste

First, we make a roux. (And don’t forget to start your rice!)

Melt 1 cup ghee in your gumbo pot.

Whisk in 1 cup of cassava flour.

Now this may feel unnatural for traditional low and slow roux makers, but bump up to medium heat.

You want to see a nice collection of tiny bubbles. Continue whisking.

When the roux begins to darken, it will start to happen very quickly.

Stop cooking your roux when you have reached your desired level of darkness. (To get a really dark roux, it literally smells like I am starting to burn it a little bit.) Then the secret – take the pot off of the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Something magical happens to the texture during this time. And now you have 10 minutes to dice vegetables and chop up the meat.

Next, the add-ins.

Bringing your pot back to its burner, add in the diced vegetables and mix together. Cook over medium to medium-low heat until the vegetables are tender. In the meantime, brown the sliced sausage in a separate pan, and consider browning the chicken in the sausage drippings.

Add in chicken stock. (How much ultimately depends on the consistency you are looking for, but it will be 4-6 cups give or take.) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium to medium-low and add in the sliced sausage and chicken.

Cook until the meat is cooked through. Season to taste.

And enjoy. Happy winter everybody.

Jess Allain is a mom of two, an attorney, a triathlete, and a yoga teacher. She is a member of the Junior League of Lafayette and serves on the board of The Family Tree. When she isn't swimming, biking, running, reading, practicing yoga, litigating, or cooking something up in the kitchen, you will find her playing with her two beautiful girls. Adventure is out there!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here