Oh. My. Gawd.  Are you as exhausted as I am after the holiday crush?  Whew.  And with all of the holiday cooking that I did (big Thanksgiving dinner, traveling for a huge meal at Christmas, and then a big New Year’s bash), I. Am. Beat.  That’s why in these fresh days of the new year I am so thankful for my crock pot!  Grab some great ingredients, toss them in, and let the slow cooker do all the work.  Now that’s what I’M talkin’ about.

Given all of the food that I had in the house over those hectic days and weeks, inevitably there were items that I either forgot about in the freezer, or ran out of time to use for one event or another.  This gumbo was the result of the latter.  I had quite the spread of hor’derves for New Year’s Eve, and per usual, I over-bought.  I have an illness, one that makes me over-plan the amount of food I need for a gathering.  I never want to run out of food, so there is always extra stuff lying around once I’m done.  I had PLANNED to make an elevated version of pigs in a blanket using andouille sausage.  Yeah, that didn’t happen.

With that sausage still in the fridge the day after the big shindig, I had to think quick about how to use it.  Luckily for me, I’d seen in one of my recent issues of Cooking Light a recipe for a Turkey & Andouille Sausage Gumbo.  And also per usual, I tweaked it based on what I had available.  Shocking, I realize.  So I came up with my version, Crock Pot Gumbo.

Crock Pot GumboAfter New Year’s, the weather finally began to get cold here in South Texas (which is right up my alley, as many of you know).  I was craving something warm, comforting, and not too evil given the splurges of the holiday season.  But I was also craving easy, which meant making some changes to the recipe I found based on what was in the freezer and pantry.  And what was in my pantry was my crock pot!  Yay!

This was so good on a cold afternoon, and was even better the next day for lunch.  So easy, so flavorful, and SO in line with trying to detox from the insanity of the holiday season.  I mean, look at this broth!  Those vegetables!  And yes, that poor, left out andouille sausage.  You know you want it.

Crock Pot Gumbo

And given that Mardi Gras is just around the corner (!), this would be a fantastic recipe to have at the ready for celebrations large and small.  I mean, just because we’ve finished one holiday food fest doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be ready for the next!

Break out your slow cooker and get this going now for a fantastic dinner (or lunch, or snack)Crock Pot Gumbo will be a favorite comfort dish for you and your family in the new year!

 

Crock Pot Gumbo
Crock Pot Gumbo
Print Recipe
Ah, gumbo. So many variations, so little time. I love that you can vary the spiciness level with a simple change in the type of sausage you use here. Also, given the variety in vegetables, I found that swapping out the okra (which my husband is not a fan of) with the fava beans kept the meaty texture expected in the vegetables while also ensuring that great pop of green. Regardless of the variations here, I assure you that this version will be a crowd pleaser!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Crock Pot Gumbo
Crock Pot Gumbo
Print Recipe
Ah, gumbo. So many variations, so little time. I love that you can vary the spiciness level with a simple change in the type of sausage you use here. Also, given the variety in vegetables, I found that swapping out the okra (which my husband is not a fan of) with the fava beans kept the meaty texture expected in the vegetables while also ensuring that great pop of green. Regardless of the variations here, I assure you that this version will be a crowd pleaser!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Instructions
  1. Chop the vegetables into same-sized pieces to ensure even cooking. Slice sausage into 1/2 inch slices.
    Crock Pot Gumbo Ingredients
  2. Heat skillet (or in my case, crock pot insert) over medium high heat. Melt bacon fat (or heat olive oil, if using instead).
    Bacon Fat for Saute
  3. Saute vegetables for 10 minutes, or until beginning to soften but not brown.
    Veggies for Crock Pot Gumbo
  4. Add garlic, salt & pepper. Stir into vegetables until garlic becomes fragrant.
    Garlic & Spices for Crock Pot Gumbo
  5. Add andouille sausage, tomatoes and frozen fava beans. Stir to incorporate into vegetables.
    Crock Pot Gumbo Ingredients
  6. Pour broth into pot. Stir to incorporate.
    Broth into Crock Pot Gumbo
  7. Cook over high heat for 4 hours (or low heat for 8 hours).
    Crock Pot Gumbo
  8. 15 minutes prior to finishing, stir in brown rice. Allow to cook until tender.
    Rice into Crock Pot Gumbo
  9. Serve immediately with sour cream biscuits (see below) or crusty bread.
    Crock Pot Gumbo
Recipe Notes

Yes, I keep a jar of bacon fat on hand.  Yes, I used it in this recipe.  Don't get all up in my grill about it--waste not, want not, right?  The depth of flavor this little bit of fat gives to the vegetables (and the resulting gumbo) is subtle but delicious.  But have no fear if you're not a bacon fat freak like me--another fat is perfectly acceptable.  Butter or olive oil work just fine.

 

I used brown rice here (a nuttier, deeper flavor), but you can certainly use white rice if that's what you have on hand.  Or if you don't want to put it right in the gumbo itself, feel free to make a separate pan of rice and serve the gumbo over it.  I like the one-pot nature of it here, but whatever works better for you is A-OK.

Crock Pot Gumbo

Finally, any crusty bread works well to sop up the rich broth.  I happened to have a few mini sour cream biscuits left from the holiday, and MAN are they good with this gumbo.  The tang from the sour cream is a great counter point to the gumbo.  Don't have any in your freezer yet?  Well, get on it!  You'll want these little gems around for this Crock Pot Gumbo as well as all other soups you may make this Winter season!

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