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!

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Tina Turbin

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