Cajun chicken gumbo

Cajun chicken gumbo

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(49 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 45 mins


Serves 6
An authentic Louisiana casserole with Creole spices, veggies, ham and a rich sauce - a one pot-with bite

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal315
  • fat11.3g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs16.5g
  • sugars3.3g
  • fibre2.6g
  • protein37.3g
  • salt2.7g
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  • 4 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 5 skinless chicken breast, cut into chunky pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 celery sticks, sliced



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 3 bay leaf
  • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tsp Cajun spice mix (or 1 each paprika, ground cumin, ground chilli and dried basil)
  • 600ml chicken stock (made with 2 stock cubes)
  • 2 green pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 300g thickly sliced ham, trimmed of any fat and diced
  • 3 spring onion, sliced
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 2 tbsp very roughly chopped parsley



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wide casserole or big frying pan and fry the chicken for a few mins to brown. Tip out onto a plate. Add the onion to the pan with 1 tbsp more oil and fry for 5 mins until almost softened. Add the celery and fry for another 2 mins, then tip out to join the chicken. Add the remaining oil, bay leaves and flour to the pan and cook into a paste. Carry on cooking, stirring constantly (with a splash of water if you need), until golden brown, then stir in the spices for 2 mins.

  2. Gradually stir in the stock until smooth and saucy. Return the chicken and veg to the pan, along with the peppers, cover and simmer gently for 15 mins. Stir in the ham, cover and simmer gently for 10 mins more. Check for seasoning, then serve, sprinkled with the spring onions mixed with the chopped parsley.

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Comments (50)

R knight's picture

Thoroughly enjoyed by the whole family, used the helpful tip and mixed the flour with water for the paste. Added garlic and used leeks instead of celery. Served with rice.

Brendantanton's picture

As shocked as I was to see a James Martin recipe with neither cream nor butter, I thought I'd give it a try. Really easy recipe that makes a very tasty supper. Just one tip that I found made it easier, cook the chicken first, remove, then the onion and celery, then put the chicken and remaining oil back in. Then I added the spices, cooked off for a couple of minutes, then the flour and about 250ml of the stock (I've always been taught to make stew this way and it always works). I continued adding the stock and found that I needed probably another 400-500ml of water to get to good consistency. After that, added the peppers and cooked for 15-20 minutes. Seemed to work perfectly and I shall definitely be cooking this again.

GinRomney's picture

I too got into some difficultly with this flour shenanigans, but after two minutes desperately mashing the lumps with the back of a spoon it seemed to all work out.

Didn't put in ham to make it a bit cheaper, and didn't put in celery because it's a horrible, horrible vegetable. And the result was very nice indeed.

lazywife's picture

With you on the celery - it is fit food for neither man nor beast. Only just beaten into first place as the Devil's vegetable by the malevolent parsnip!

Lovely recipe otherwise. Used smoked bacon instead of the ham - luscious!

fizzh89's picture

Made this last night, had a bit of trouble with the sauce, 5 tablespoons of flour with such a small amount of oil didn't work, I ended up using a lot more than a splash of water (200mls out the jug of stock in the end then topped the stock up to 600ml again) to get it to a paste. Once I got the consistency right, it was straightforward, and went down well with most of the family, 3 year old tucked into it, but 7 year old wouldn't even taste it (typical!) so didn't know if he liked it or not, hubby and I each gave it 9 out of 10. I didn't have Cajun spice mix, so made my own, the basil in it gave it a lovely twist. Served it with rice. Would definitely do it again!

styler104's picture

I loved this recipe. I swapped the ham for chorizo which gave the gumbo a much smokier flavour. I also added some prawns and chilli.

rosievimes's picture

Love this recipe, though I can never get the flour part to work and just do it without. Works just as well!

Thekittycat's picture

I made it yesterday and it was ok but it wasn't a great success. First of all i got the lumps but fortunately I got rid of them with blender. Better to cover chicken chunks with flour and fry it like this so it doesn't happen. However the receipe doesn't say it and I don't like it when you can't trust it 100%. The taste itself was pretty plain and boring like it was missing something. I ate it with white rice and later with pasta, it was ok but I didn't love it and I was thinking I am not cooking this again. Today I warmed it up for my boyfriend, added some slices of processed cheddar, much more Cajun to make it very spicy and sprinkled it with mature cheddar next to white rice. I must say it tasted very good when I tried it and my bf liked it too. Overall, I think the basis for this dish is good but its definitely missing some flavor and you probably gonna have to figure out what it is.

La84's picture

Found this recipe as I was curious as to what 'gumbo' was. My OH and I love it and have it probably once a week. I only add 1 spoon of spice as I find it a bit to hot. We have it with noodles don't think that's how your supposed to but we like it

la cuina de casa's picture

It's been my first time cooking something "so different" (Louisiana-style) and got lovely compliments from husband and dinner guests. I did not have the ready-made spices so had to buy them individually. I added one tbsp each but thought it was a wee bit too spicy (I must say I do not have a very high tolerance level for hot food, ) so I'll probably add only half a tbsp of chilli next time I make it. Overall, I'm very pleased with the result and shall try to cook it again.

Westcott1964's picture

I think the recipe states tsp not tbsp which is why it was so hot!

amylel9's picture

We really enjoyed this recipe. I confess I 'played with it a bit' as I wanted to use up what we had, so i used yellow peppers (not green), red onions and shallots (not white onion), double the spices based on other people's recommendations, and through in some extra smoked paprika. It had a lovely kick to it :)

lobsterpot1's picture

Partner loved this. I could take or leave it.

mandnlee's picture

Fantastic recipe. I doubled the veg, and doubled the spices, added several carrots, and served it with leftover pasta I had taken from the freezer to make it go further( 2 adults and 3 teenagers). Everyone enjoyed and will definitely make it again.

kitiaraa's picture

Boyfriend loved this recipe. I doubled all the spices and was quite heavy on the salt to get a good flavor.

deedee1818's picture

Loved this and so did the kids and their grandma
Very easy to prepare, cook and feed hungry mouths

lilithspain's picture

Always wanted to try making Gumbo, this is an excellent recipe and easy to follow. I did add a little too much cajun spice by accident however i like my food spicy so it made it extra tasty! Potted the rest up for the freezer :)

sharppayne15's picture

Forgot to put the ham in. Served with a mixture of red and wholemeal rice and some Mexican cheesy bread. Delicious, will be making again.

marshallshtaq's picture

Made this last night and it went down a treat. Use the flour tip, it really works

mammyjoy's picture

This dish was a massive hit with my family. My 2 young children cleared there plates. I used gammon.


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Tips (3)

mandnlee's picture

If the lumps in the sauce are too small to get rid of, you can always use a handheld blender, just make sure you keep adding stock as the flour will still be cooking out.

jmordal1's picture

2 stock cubes are WAY too much. I followed the recipe and used two - it tasted of stock cube and not much else. It's a good recipe, so I'd still recommend it, but I'd say use 1 stock cube and then add a second one if needed at the end.

marcus100's picture

Followed the recipe but sieved the flour small amounts at a time, no lumps. Loved the flavours, will be making again soon.