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Paleo Gumbo Gluten-Free Chicken, Smoked Sausage and Okra

Paleo Gumbo Gluten-Free Chicken, Smoked Sausage and Okra

Yes, another Louisiana-inspired paleo recipe! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I love to do a lot of cooking with Cajun spices, as you can see in my Paleo Shrimp Recipe or my Paleo Swiss Chard and Mushrooms with Cajun’s Choice Blackened Seasoning.  And now I’m thrilled to share with you a clean and healthy paleo gumbo recipe packed with clean protein: gluten-free chicken and smoked sausage and of course okra!

This hearty recipe was originally contributed by the amazing, prolific writer, L.D. Sledge. I’ve made minor changes to make it paleo and gluten free. For instance, I don’t use the rice. Instead I serve this over spiral zucchini noodles as described below. (Sorry, L.D. . . .)

L.D. Sledge is a true Louisiana man. If you don’t know of him, do a Google search on him. With his background in law, his writing is loaded with mystery and excitement.

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Paleo Gumbo Gluten-Free Chicken, Smoked Sausage and Okra

  • Author: Tina Turbin


This hearty paleo gumbo recipe was originally contributed by the amazing, prolific writer, L.D. Sledge. I’ve made minor changes to make it paleo and gluten-free. For instance, I don’t use the rice. Instead I serve this over spiral zucchini noodles as described below. (Sorry, L.D. . . .)


  • 1 large fryer chicken (weighing between 1 ½ and 4 lbs)
  • To taste:
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Seasoned salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or oil of choice for frying, plus extra
  • 1/2 cup grain-free flour (a mixture of tapioca, coconut and almond flours)
  • 3 yellow onions
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 3 ribs celery
  • 3 gloves garlic (or add more)
  • 2 lbs. smoked sausage (homemade or hormone-free)
  • 1 can of tomatoes or even better, ripe, fresh tomatoes
  • 2 lbs. fresh okra (or 3 bags frozen okra), preferably cut up
  • ½ teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 12 bay leaves


  1. Cut up the fryer chicken and take the skin off.
  2. Wash the chicken and pat until only damp.
  3. Season liberally with all your seasonings.
  4. Rub in well.
  5. Place a couple tablespoons of oil in a skillet and brown the chicken on all sides.
  6. Set the chicken aside.
  7. Using the same skillet or pot where you browned the chicken, make a roux (pronounced “roo,” as in “too”). (Ask anybody from South Louisiana how to cook something and they will say, “First you make a roux.”)
  8. Heat ½ cup oil with ½ cup flour, (an equal mix of tapioca, coconut and almond) (LD prefers a cast iron skillet) until it is a deep golden brown.
  9. Do this slowly as the grain-free flours need slower heating than wheat flours!!! You’ll have to stir the roux steadily to keep it from caking up or burning.
  10. Cut up your vegetables (excluding the okra) and sauté them in the roux (you may have to add a bit of oil) until they are softened (they say to melt the onions).
  11. Do this for two to three minutes, but I usually take longer until they are no longer crisp.
  12. Add the sausage to the veggies and cook for another 5 minutes or so (in my last batch, I only had a pound of sausage, but I could’ve used some more).
  13. Add your tomatoes to the mixture.
  14. Use a cast iron pot if possible. Transfer the veggies and sausage mixture to the pot (try not to use an aluminum pot!!!)
  15. Add 3 quarts of water, and then add the chicken.
  16. Bring to a boil and then set to simmer.
  17. Heat up some oil in a skillet and dump the okra in, and cook it until all the slime is gone.
  18. Try to cook it until it is almost dry if you can without burning it. You need to constantly turn it to get most of the liquid out. Some people object to the slimy effect if you put it in the gumbo without cooking it like this first.
  19. Dump the okra in the pot.
  20. Add seasonings of garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and about 1 ½ teaspoons parsley flakes.
  21. Add a bay leaf or two.
  22. Simmer for a couple of hours. Some cook it for less time. I like to cook it down a bit until it’s soupy and thickened a bit and the chicken and sausage are well done.
  23. The chicken will usually become shredded and end up scattered throughout. I sometimes take the chicken out halfway through and remove the bones. This will give a good distribution of chicken.
  24. Taste as you go, keeping an eye on the gumbo as it cooks and see if it needs salt or anything else.
  25. I like it hot and I add Cajun seasoning like Tony’s or Cajun’s Choice or some other that gives a little heat and flavor.
  26. Serve over grain-free zucchini noodles.
  27. LD tops it off with a bit of Tabasco or hot sauce to make sure it’s hot enough to his liking.
  28. Enjoy!

From my kitchen to yours,

Tina Turbin

If you have any questions or suggestions just email me at Tina (at)

About Tina Turbin

I'm a cookbook-collecting, recipe-developing paleo junkie, and I live in the kitchen. I'm hooked on farmers' markets, traveling, eating healthy, and hiking until my legs scream at me. There's nothing better than hanging out with family and good friends. I have fun and sleeping is just plain boring. Read more About Tina Turbin.

12 thoughts on “Paleo Gumbo Gluten-Free Chicken, Smoked Sausage and Okra

  1. Mrs. Cote

    Made this tonight with a couple alterations. I’m sure it would be delicious as written but I didn’t have smoked sausage and was wanting to use up some organic Italian chicken sausage so I used it and added some liquid smoke. It worked! The thing that really made this recipe for me was finally learning how to deslime okra!! The one time I had authentic gumbo it wasn’t slimy but I had no idea how that was accomplished. I had avoided okra forever but picked some frozen chopped okra this week on a whim which led to thoughts of gumbo. Thank you!

  2. Sandi Bland

    Hello Tina, I followed this recipe as written, I guessed on the spices and the heat ended up perfect. The meal was a bit pricey as I purchased the chicken and smoked sausage at Whole Foods. De sliming the okra was interesting as the slime never all went away. We have enough for another meal which is a good thing. The Grandchildren ate their share, our son and my husband. A keeper. Possibly rewrite with adding the tomatoes to the ingredient list. Take Care and keep the recipes coming.

    1. Tina Turbin Post author

      Dear Sandi,

      I love your reply, and that you have enjoyed this dish so much. As far as adding tomatoes to this recipe, well here is a simple reply about that from another Cajun lover.


      The creator of this recipe is L.D. Sledge, a true Louisiana man who knows his Gumbo:

      “There’s no strict rules for making gumbo. Each family has their own special recipe passed down over the generations. Think of them as Cajun snowflakes, each unique in their own special way. That said, there are NO TOMATOES in a real Cajun gumbo! There are few things that can make a Cajun man’s blood boil faster than trying to pass off a fake gumbo. You might find tomatoes in a New Orleans, or Creole gumbo, but that is a very different beast than a Cajun gumbo. If a restaurant tries to serve a tomato gumbo, demand a refund, cause you been ripped off.”

      1. Tara

        Tina, if you don’t add the tomatoes (to keep it more authentic, apparently), do you add something else instead? Extra broth?

        1. Rosie Purden

          I would think some extra broth or another vegetable would be needed. Tomatoes add lot of moisture to recipes.

  3. Pingback: Paleo Chicken and Sausage Gumbo | The Best Paleo Recipes

  4. Pingback: Paleo Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo | The Best Paleo Recipes

  5. Margie Barlow

    Loved the recipe. Thought it was interesting to use the different flours to make the roux but it worked. For the oil I used avacado oil. I have always sautéed my okra to de-slime but you are talking to the person that would almost rather eat it raw than cooked. My cast iron dutch oven was filled to the brim. My husband went to Tulane so he knows his Cajun food and thought the Paleo version was top notch.

    1. Tina Turbin Post author

      Hi Margie,

      Wonderful! I’m glad that both you and your husband enjoyed this recipe. It’s one of my favorites. And I’m glad that the avocado oil worked well for you – I’ll have to try that. Happy holidays!


  6. Kristan

    I am from Louisiana and grew up eating gumbo but I never learned how to cook it.
    I followed your recipe except added leftover turkey (early Thanksgiving) instead of chicken and omitted tomatoes (never met anyone in Baton Rouge, LA who put tomatoes in gumbo). I am so proud of myself as a Louisianaian because it tasted awesome and was completely homemade!
    Thank you for posting such a wonderful and authentic Cajun recipe.

    1. Tina Turbin Post author

      Hi Kristan,

      That’s wonderful! Perfect recipe for you. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed it and you’re absolutely welcome for the recipe.



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