This Chicken & Sausage Gumbo Casserole recipe combines all the flavors of a traditional gumbo in an easy to prepare and even easier to port around casserole dish.
This recipe inspired my January 2019 inRegister column, Casseroles for Comfort. It came on the heels of saying goodbye to our beloved Stella. During that time, my neighborhood rallied around Brian and I like nothing I have ever seen.
There were endless deliveries of flowers, cards, and gifts (the Dog Heaven book will induce tears for hours but so incredibly kind). It seemed a little silly, given my Stella is a dog, but to Brian and I, she was so much more than that. And to our neighborhood, she was the mascot that would be no more.
Among the thoughtful gifts, one that stole my heart was the unexpected delivery of gumbo. Yes, gumbo. It’s something you’d do when someone’s family member had passed, but honestly, mourning Stella’s loss was entirely the same. This neighbor friend knew how impossible it would be to be near my kitchen without my sidekick beneath my feet….and delivered the most kind gift I could imagine.
If she hadn’t brought over the gumbo, I’m positive I wouldn’t have eaten that first night.
- Note: Okra is what makes this recipe gumbo and not jambalaya but if you have someone who doesn’t care for it, just omit it. I did!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound sausage, sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups rice
- 32-ounce chicken broth
- 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 1/2 cups fresh okra, sliced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- Garnish: chopped green onions, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the sausage, onion, celery and bell peppers; cook until onions and celery become translucent. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes; stirring constantly. Add the broth and tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat.
Add the chicken, okra, Worcestershire, Creole seasoning and garlic powder. Combine well.
Cover the Dutch oven with aluminum foil (or the lid if you have one) and bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with green onions.
**If you are gifting the casserole, transfer to a disposable dish prior to placing in the oven.
Note: Okra is what makes this recipe gumbo and not jambalaya but if you have someone who doesn’t care for it, just omit it. I did!
And while it was incredibly delicious, I couldn’t help but wonder how to make it more portable. My poor neighbor had one hand full of gumbo, another with a bag of crackers, and yet another container of rice.
So my head swirled with ways to simplify how many containers were needed and how to make something as comforting as gumbo…convenient. I thought, what if you combined everything together in casserole form so that when the time comes, you just hand over the meal in a casserole dish?
And voila. The Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Casserole was born.
And just as I said in my article, rather than resolutions this year, I’ve instead headed into the New Year full of gusto, hope and specific intention set on sharing the gift of food and hospitality even more throughout the year. Bring on the casseroles!