This leftover turkey soup is a hearty meal with Andouille sausage and Cajun flavor. It’s a low carb gumbo you can make with leftover turkey!
Now, before you sit down to write me a mean-spirited email (haha), I’ll say right off the bat that this recipe does not make authentic New Orleans gumbo.
However, it is gumbo style. In flavor and technique, it is almost identical to gumbo, but there are a few things that make this soup/stew quicker to make, and more convenient for utilizing leftovers.
It’s incredibly hearty and flavorful, too. Plus, it’s a lower in carbs than most gumbo recipes. Let’s call it good for you comfort food! YES, easy low carb gumbo (gumbo style) soup does exist!
Leftover Turkey Soup Ingredient Notes
Here’s what makes this meal more of a thick soup/stew rather than a gumbo:
- It calls for medium-dark roux. Rather than using a cornstarch or arrowroot slurry, I use a roux because I LOVE how it add flavors and thickens the soup at the same time.
I did not use a traditional dark roux because of time and preference. 10 to 12 minutes is all you need for a peanut color roux. OR, you can use a slurry with arrowroot or cornstarch, which you would stir in at the end of the cooking time.
- No okra or tomatoes. I know, many people will argue on this, because after all, these are classic gumbo ingredients. I have do have a recipe for Instant Pot gumbo that uses frozen okra and it turns out great.
I don’t add okra to the turkey rice soup because it doesn’t need it. Instead, rice (or cauliflower rice) and the roux will thicken it nicely.
- The meat– If you have leftover Thanksgiving turkey, this recipe is calling your name! Oh my, and do yourself a favor… get your hands on some cooked SMOKED turkey or chicken. It will make your cheater’s gumbo SO divine. TRUE STORY!
In addition to the turkey, I also use Andouille sausage, for an authentic flavor. Feel free to use chicken sausage or another lean sausage if you prefer it.
- Creole seasoning– There are several creole seasonings available in the stores. Be sure to check the ingredients, as some do have gluten. I use Tony Chachere’s and it’s gluten free. Feel free to adjust the amount you use to increase or decrease the amount of heat in the dish.
- Tabasco sauce. Yep, it’s a must to PUMP up the flavor. I know, it’s not authentic, but it’s so good. You could even use green tabasco for a milder flavor.
- Cauliflower rice– Yes, I add cauliflower rice to the stew! It helps thicken it even more. Plus, it helps to keep it lower carb with cauliflower rice. You can definitely serve it over white or even brown rice if you prefer; but it will NOT be low carb!
How to make cheater’s gumbo
- Prep your ingredients.
Feel free to prep and chop a day or two ahead if you want to. I like to cook large batches of cauliflower rice. Then, I freeze them into smaller portions so that I can use them for recipes just like this one!
- Brown the sausage.
If you’re using a lean sausage, you’ll want to add a bit of oil to the pan to prevent the meat from sticking.
- Make the roux.
Roux is a thickener made from equal parts fat and flour. In this case, it’s a gluten free roux, but the process to make it is the same.
DO YOU KNOW?
There are actually 5 different “levels”, or colors, of roux, ranging from blonde to dark. The color of a roux is determined by the amount of time you cook it.
I chose to make a medium-dark roux, because cooking dark roux can take up to 30 minutes. Let’s face it, after cooking a big Thanksgiving meal, you deserve to sit down and relax a little bit!
- Saute the veggies, add the stock, and let ‘er simmer!
It does take about 30 minutes for the flavors to “marry”. Honestly, the longer you let the turkey soup simmer, the better the flavor will be. TRUST ME.
Alright my friends, let me know if you give this leftover gumbo recipe a whirl! Have a wonderful (and safe) weekend!