Weight Watchers Friendly Recipe: Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
I attended a fun cooking class class Wednesday night: Mardi Gras Magic, where the menu included a yummy Louisiana favorite – chicken & andouille gumbo.
As soon as I mentioned I was taking the class several readers asked for the recipe, which was delicious. You’ll find it at the end of the post.
While I was at it I thought it would be fun to offer up a lighter, healthier alternative also.
I found exactly what I was looking for – a healthy easy chicken and sausage gumbo – in Holly Clegg’s Trim & Terrific Gulf Coast Favorites!
The Skinny on Weight Watchers Friendly Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
It turns out the secret to a healthy gumbo is a healthy roux. Using browned flour saves both time and a ton of fat and calories, while keeping all the rich nutty flavor associated with traditional gumbo.
This light and healthy chicken and sausage gumbo is diabetic friendly and perfect for Weight Watchers.
The recipe calls for okra. If you’re not a fan, leave it out.
And it doesn’t include File powder (pronounced [FEE-lay]) powder, which I learned in my cooking class, is one of the key ingredients in making gumbo and has a distinctive “root beer” flavor. File powder is made from the dried ground leaves of the sassafras tree and is used to both thicken and flavor gumbo.
You should be able to find file powder in the seasoning section of most well-stocked grocery stores. It can also be purchased online at Amazon: Zatarain’s Gumbo File.
Good thickening substitutes for File powder included okra (which is usually included in Gumbo) or Cornstarch.
According to my calculations each serving has 3 SmartPoints.
You could easily divide the ingredients in half to make a smaller batch of gumbo or freeze the leftovers for future healthy lunches and suppers. Enjoy!
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pound reduced-fat sausage, sliced in ¼-inch pieces (I used chicken andouille sausage)
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 8 cups fat-free chicken broth
- 1 (16-ounce) package frozen cut okra or fresh cut okra (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- Preheat oven 400ºF.
- Place flour on baking sheet and bake, stirring every 6 to 8 minutes, until dark nutty brown color. This should take about 20 minutes. Set aside
- In large nonstick pot coated with nonstick cooking spray, cook the sausage over medium heat and cook until crispy brown. Remove any excess grease and set aside.
- Recoat the skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add the chicken and cook, stirring often, just until it begins to brown. Then add onion, garlic, green pepper, and celery, cooking until tender.
- Stir in browned flour until it coats the chicken and vegetables.
- Continue to stir while adding the chicken broth. Then add the okra, thyme, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to boil, and then lower the heat and simmer 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.
- Add sausage and green onions and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes.
- Serve with rice.
Source: Holly Clegg’s Trim & Terrific Gulf Coast Favorites
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
Traditional Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo Recipe
This recipe comes from the Mardi Gras Magic Cooking Class at Sweet Basil Gourmet & Cooking School (Instructor: Stephanie Riley)
- 3 TBSP butter
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 oz andouille sausage, diced
- 2 tsp Cajun seasoning blend
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 1-1/2 lbs chicken thigh or breast, diced
- 2 tsp gumbo file powder
- ¼ cup green onions, sliced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Hot sauce, to taste
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 1-3/4 cups water
- Heat a large pot over medium-low heat, then melt the butter and olive oil. Whisk in the four and cook on low heat until very dark brown, 30-60 minutes, whisking very frequently.
- Increase the heat to medium and add the onions, celery, green bell pepper, and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes more, until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute.
- Slowly pour in the chicken stock while stirring, then add the andouille sausage, Cajun seasoning, bay
- leaves, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes, half covered with the lid, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile prepare the rice: Rinse the rice in a few changes of cold water. Drain the rice well in a sieve. In a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine the rice, water, and a sprinkle of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook at a gentle simmer until the water is completely absorbed and the rice is tender, about 12-15 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit undisturbed with the lid on for at least 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice gently with a fork.
- Add the chicken to the gumbo pot and simmer for another 3-5 minutes, uncovered.
- Remove Gumbo pot from the heat and stir in the file powder, green onions, parsley, and a dash of hot sauce.
- Serve over rice.
Source: Mardi Gras Magic Cooking Class at Sweet Basil Gourmet & Cooking School (Instructor: Stephanie Riley)
You might also like:
Slow Cooker Chicken Sausage Gumbo – Based on a Betty Crocker recipe, this roux-free recipe won’t please cooking purists but turns out tasty and is Weight Watchers friendly.
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