Quick Gumbo

I’m way behind with posting recipes due to being overwhelmed with work lately, but I just had to post this recipe in preparation for my next baking adventure.

Next Tuesday is Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday” and while I haven’t lived in a place that really celebrated Mardi Gras in almost 20 years, I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast where it is a really big deal (not as big as in New Orleans, but pretty big). It’s one of the things I miss the most about living there. Mardi Gras and my birthday (this Friday) are always closely linked me for since they are usually so close to each other. There have been a couple of years that they have even been the same day (the date of Mardi Gras changes every year depending on when Easter is since Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday which is 40 days before Easter). In the past, I’ve gotten King Cakes for my birthday, but this year I’ve decided that I’m going to attempt to make one myself. It’s basically like a big cinnamon roll, but I’m still very new at making breads with yeast, so I’m sure it will be an adventure. Plus I bought myself a shiny new KitchenAid Stand Mixer for my birthday, so it’ll be fun getting to use that for the first time. I’m going to make it this weekend and will post about it next week!

But I thought since I was going to post about a King Cakes next week that I should post this great Gumbo recipe first since Gumbo is as synonymous with New Orleans food as King Cakes are. This is another one of my Weight Watchers recipes, so while it doesn’t compare to real New Orleans gumbo, I thought it was a really good and very simple (and fast) version of it. It’s also very spicy even though when I was making it, I didn’t really think was going to be. If you are sensitive to spicy food, definitely use the cayenne pepper sparingly.

Quick Gumbo

Quick Gumbo

adapted from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

Dinner | Servings: 4
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 40 min | Total time: 1 hour


  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup trimmed sliced fresh or thawed frozen okra (I omitted this because I didn’t have any)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 cup long grain rice
  • 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
  • 1 (2-inch) piece kielbasa, but into 8 slices (I used turkey sausage instead)


  1. In a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Saute the bell pepper, celery, scallions and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, broth, okra, thyme, bay leaf and cayenne; bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the rice and simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp, chicken, and kielbasa; simmer, covered, until the shrimp is pink, the chicken is cooked through, and rice is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Discard they bay leaf and serve.

Nutrition info:

Serving size: 1/4 of the recipe
Calories: 295
Fat: 8g

Note: I assume the fat would be reduced even more if you substitute the kielbasa for turkey sausage like I did.