What Kind of Sausage to Use for Gumbo?

Gumbo is the most well-known dish in Louisiana cuisine. It can be documented back to the early 19th century, but it’s still a mystery as to its origins.

Most gumbo is made with pork sausage, but chicken and seafood gumbo are also popular. Some chefs prefer spicy sausage to milder sausages. 

Other cooks add ingredients such as onion, celery, green bell pepper, and peppers.

What kind of sausage should you use for gumbo, because it’s so unique and contains delicious smoked sausage? Any smoked sausage you have at home is the short answer.

If you want to make gumbo better, then you should consider types of sausage such as andouille, chorizo, and kielbasa.

This is a one-of-a-kind dish so let’s take a closer look at the best sausage options.

History of Gumbo


If I had to describe gumbo in two words, I would say that it is a type of stew. It is made with a variety of meats and seafood and comes with a variety of seasonings and vegetables.

There is a delicious representation of Southern food called gumbo. The history of the area can be found in a single bowl of gumbo, in many ways.

Three cultures, West African, Native American, and European are represented in that order.

While gumbo is associated with Louisiana nowadays, or more specifically with Cajun cuisine, its history goes back to the Middle East.

The name “gumbo” comes from several West African languages where the word for okra, an essential ingredient in gumbo, is called “ki ngombo.”

This one-pot dish offers a lot of flexibility for an adventurous cook. All bets are off after that when it comes to getting a source of vegetables, herbs, and nutrition.

If you want to make an authentic gumbo that resembles what people ate hundreds of years ago, you need several specific items.

What is in Gumbo?

Depending on your preference, gumbo can be a thick stew or a thin soup-like dish. Chicken, sausage, crab, oysters, and shrimp are some of the most popular animal-derived foods.

Most of the time, beef isn’t typically used. Unless it’s in sausage form, pork isn’t pork at all.

The holy trinity of vegetables are diced onions, celery, bell peppers, and gumbo needs to contain them.

It’s time for you to need a thickener for gumbo. A basic roux is commonly used for gumbo and is one of the ways you can do that.

This is flour that is cooked with butter or other types of oil and turns golden brown. filé powder and okra are optional and can be used as thickeners.

The powder is made from the leaves of the Sassafras plant, which is native to the southeastern U.S. Okra has a distinctive flavor and can be used either dried or fresh.

Types of Gumbo

There are two types of gumbo, Creole and Cajun, and this is relevant to gumbo. The only differences are that Creole gumbo uses tomatoes, and Cajun does not.

Tomatoes add a bit to the flavor and appearance, but other ingredients are still the same. It is only a matter of preference, the real deal is either one or the other.

Different Types of Sausages Used in Gumbo

It is still possible to make gumbo without sausage, but it is the best part of the dish for many people. The smoked sausage and the shellfish complement each other very nicely.

If you don’t know what kind of sausage is the best for gumbo, here are several options to consider.

Andouille Sausage

If you wanted to ask a Louisiana native which sausage to use in gumbo, they would probably suggest andouille.

A common ingredient in Creole and Cajun cuisines, this particular sausage has deep roots in the area.

It has a French name, which might seem odd since it has German origins.

When Louisiana was a part of France in the 18th century, early German immigration resulted in the creation of the sausage.

Venison and pork are the main ingredients of andouille sausage. You need a genuine smoked andouille sausage for gumbo, but there is a fresh version.

Many people enjoy its sharp, coarse, and smokey flavor of it.

Chorizo Sausage

If you can’t get andouille sausage, you can always use chorizo.

There are two versions of chorizo, one made from seasoned ground pork and the other from smoked paprika, garlic, and sometimes pimento.

Mexican chorizo is made from raw pork, and Spanish chorizo is smoked.

The taste is similar to andouille sausage, but the texture is different. It’s a fantastic option for gumbo.

Polish Sausage(Kielbasa)

Polish sausage is referred to as kielbasa, which means “sausage” in the language.

Pork, beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, and veal are just some of the types of meat that can be used to make a high-quality sausage called kielbasa.

Pork kielbasa is a great alternative to andouille sausage and can be used in gumbo or any other Louisiana region dishes.

Whatever You Like

You can still make gumbo from scratch, even if you don’t have any of the listed sausages at home.

If it has a smoky flavor, German smoked sausage or Italian salami is a good choice. The roux and other ingredients are what you should focus on if you want to use any sausage.

What Goes Well with Gumbo?

Chicken and sausage gumbo can be eaten with white rice. It’s also great with a side of cheese biscuits or corn muffins or cornbread.

Gumbo vs. Jambalaya

People unfamiliar with Creole and Cajun cuisines might not know what they are talking about. The same sound is made on the surface level.

Sausage, shellfish, and the Holy Trinity are divided into two different categories based on the presence or absence of tomatoes.

When rice gets involved, the confusion increases. There are two types of gumbo, one is a soup or stew and the other is a dish similar to a paella.

Rice is an important part of Cajun cooking. You cook it with meat and other seafood. While you can serve gumbo over rice, you can also not eat it without it.

Both dishes are a staple of New Orleans and rural parts of Louisiana.


The answer to what kind of sausage to use for gumbo is simple if you are committed to sticking to the most authentic gumbo recipe.

If it is possible, use andouille sausage. smoked pork kielbasa might be the next best thing, followed by Spanish chorizo.

Gumbo provides plenty of freedom for the cook, so you can experiment and use any sausage you want.

Most of your attention should be on the recognizable flavor of gumbo because that is where the thickener gives it.

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