Instant Pot Gumbo

Whip up easy and flavorful Instant Pot Gumbo to share with friends and family this season! Full of flavor, this twist on the classic Louisiana chicken and sausage entree is made easy using an electric pressure cooker with a quick cook time. Makes 8-10 servings.

Love Louisiana recipes and flavors? Be sure to check out my Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya for another easy entree option that’s great for sharing. You’ll adore this Crawfish Etouffee, too, should you have some crawfish tails on hand. And if you’re a seafood lover, I highly recommend Seafood Gumbo and Shrimp and Grits!

Small bowls of Instant Pot Gumbo, from above, garnished and ready to be eaten

In case you haven’t read my dissertation on a proper gumbo, let me give you the Cliff’s Notes version: If you’re gonna call something a gumbo, it better be right.

While I’m no Louisiana girl, I married a Louisiana boy, and I spent a lot of time in the state… so my Opinions are, well, pretty set in stone at this point.

That means no blonde roux (or heaven forbid, NO roux at all.) It also translates to no tomatoes or other ingredients that just don’t go in a classic Cajun gumbo. Because, you know, Cajun gumbos and Creole gumbos are a bit different. #themoreyouknow

There aren’t many shortcuts when it comes to making a gumbo… but I’ve found a way… and that way is in the electric pressure cooker.

Why we love this Instant Pot gumbo recipe:

So to start the year off strong, I wanted to share this magical easy gumbo recipe with y’all so that you can make this magic at home without working in the kitchen all day long.

Yes, it requires a substantial amount of chopping… but it doesn’t need nearly as much babysitting, it cooks faster, and it has my favorite gumbo shortcut, which my husband’s grandmother shared with us a long time ago: a jarred roux.

And if jarred roux is good enough for Mimi, it’s good enough for us.

In all honesty, I wanted to see if I could make a dark, chocolate-colored roux in the Instant Pot since I know jarred roux isn’t easily found in most non-Louisiana stores, but I could never get the roux dark enough… and again, if you’re gonna make a gumbo, it’s gotta be right. Also, the jarred roux cuts down on our time significantly, so let’s lean into it.

More Louisiana recipes we love to share with our friends and family: Turkey Sausage JambalayaGround Beef Meat PiesCream Cheese and Raspberry King CakeSlow Cooker Red Beans and Rice | Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Ingredients for the gumbo from above, including the meats and seasonings

What you need to make Pressure Cooker Gumbo

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  • Instant Pot or another electric pressure cooker
  • Sharp knife and cutting board

In addition to these tools, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, as well.

  • Oil—I use avocado oil, but any unflavored oil (like vegetable, canola or refined coconut) works here.
  • Chicken thighs—make sure they’re boneless and skinless for the quickest way to cook this gumbo.
  • Andouille pork sausage—purchase fresh Andouille, if you can, but if you can’t, feel free to grab the smoked kind.
  • Trinity—this is green bell pepper, yellow onions and celery stalks. It’s the base of many Louisiana recipes, and there’s a lot of chopping involved.
  • Garlic
  • Chicken stock—I like to use salt-free stock, but use whatever you’ve got on hand. If your broth is salted, leave out the salt from the recipe and give things a taste before adding extra, if needed.
  • Dark roux—while you can make your own we’re using with the excess oil strained out
  • Seasonings—this recipe calls for kosher salt (medium grain is my go-to) and salt-free Creole Seasoning (or your favorite Cajun seasoning because it’s the same thing). If you’re using a creole seasoning with salt, leave out the salt of the recipe, give it a taste and season to taste so that your broth isn’t oversalted.
  • Garnishes—for a classic gumbo recipe, we’re going to use chopped green onions, parsley and Gumbo file, which is ground sassafras leaves

How to make Chicken and Sausage Instant Pot Gumbo

Brown the meat and cook the veggies

First and foremost, plug in your Instant Pot (or electric pressure cooker), and click the Saute setting. I like to set mine to 30 minutes so I’ve got more than enough time to do the cooking. We’re going to brown the meat in the pan, then add the veggies to soak up their flavors before throwing the rest of the ingredients together.

Add oil to the pan. I used avocado oil, but you can use whatever type of oil you’d like. You can also use butter here, too!

Brown the chicken thighs and sausage. You might have to do this in batches. Look for good color on the outside—they don’t need to be cooked through.

Once they’re nice and brown, remove from the pan and place ‘em on a cutting board. Slice them, and set them aside for later.

When the meats are done, add the veggies. Cook ‘em in the leftover oil and meat juices until they’ve softened, about 5-10 minutes.

Make the gumbo base

Pour in the chicken stock, and add the roux. Make sure you’ve strained the excess oil from the jar, as you don’t want to add that to the gumbo pot. (To do this, I simply will pour the oil, which stands on top of the roux itself, into a bowl or a jar that I can easily discard when all is said and done.)

Add the salt and Tony’s, then gently place the meats back in the Instant Pot, too.

Pressure cook the gumbo

Close the lid of the Instant Pot, and seal the valve so you can cook it on high pressure.

Set it for MANUAL HIGH PRESSURE for 25 minutes. Make sure that it’s on the highest setting, and press start. Let that Instant Pot do it’s magical thing on this easy chicken and sausage gumbo.

Once the gumbo has finished cooking, let the pressure naturally release. Why? Because if you do the quick release, gumbo liquids will spray all over your kitchen, and it’s super messy. Please learn from my mistakes…

Once the pressure has naturally released, open the lid and shred the chicken. Stir it back into the gumbo, and then serve over white rice with your favorite garnishes, like parsley, green onions and gumbo file!

Frequently Asked Questions

I can’t find a jarred roux. How do I make one?

A roux is equal parts oil and flour. You could also use butter in place of the oil. For this recipe, you’ll need ¾ cup oil and ¾ cup flour. Unfortunately, you cannot make the roux in your Instant Pot, as it won’t get dark enough. (Trust me, I’ve tried. Several times.)

Heat a skillet over medium heat on your stovetop, and add the oil. When the oil is warm and shimmering, add the flour.

Cook the mixture until a dark brown color. You’ll need to stir it constantly so it doesn’t burn. And you’ll know it’s done when it smells nutty and delicious.

This can take 30-45 minute, just depending on how warm your skillet gets and how comfortable you feel cooking it. I always recommend starting out slowly because a burned roux is no good, and you’ll have to toss it before starting over.

I’ve been told that people will make a giant batch of a dark roux and put it in a mason jar in their fridge to hang out for months. You could do this, as well, if you’re against to jarred roux.

I don’t have an Instant Pot. Can I make this gumbo in a regular pot?

You absolutely can! I’ve written a tutorial for a more classic gumbo recipe, and you can certainly use that to make this smaller batch gumbo. 🙂

What can I prep ahead to make this gumbo as easy as possible?

Here are a few things you can do in advance:

Make the roux. You know, if you’re making your own. 😉

Chop all the veggies. We will sometimes do this 1-2 days before we make our gumbos. Store them in the fridge in a sealable food container. Make sure it’s sealed tight because those onions will stink up your fridge.

Chop the garnishes, too. Do this at the same time you’re prepping the veggies for the gumbo itself, and store separately.

Cook your rice. Warm rice is awesome, but it can certainly be reheated in the microwave easily.

What is the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?

A gumbo is a thick stew served over rice while a jambalaya is meat and veggies cooked with rice. While the two dishes have similar ingredients, their texture is very different.

What is the secret ingredient in gumbo?

A dark roux! It adds SO much flavor to the gumbo.

How much filé powder do I add to gumbo?

We always add a sprinkling to the tops of our gumbo bowls when the gumbo has been served. Don’t forget the green onions and parsley, too!

Four white bowls hold Instant Pot gumbo with rice and garnishes

Erin’s easy entertaining tips and tricks

Gumbo is one of our favorite dishes to make while entertaining because it can be done in advance and because it’s delicious and slightly different than a dish most of our friends have tried before.

Substitutions

  • Can’t find fresh Andouille? Smoked Andouille sausage works, too! Just brown it along with the chicken, even though the smoked sausage is already cooked through. That’ll give it some extra flavor.
  • If you can’t find Andouille sausage at all, you can substitute fresh hot Italian sausage. You can also use mild Italian sausage if you’re afraid of the heat.
  • Not into chicken thighs? Chicken breasts are tasty, too.

Make it easy on yourself!

  • Chop the veggies and garnishes in advance.
  • If you’re not into all that chopping, purchase your veggies pre-chopped from the store. I know most groceries have them, and I know some offer frozen chopped veggies, too.
  • You can cook the rice in advance, too, and simply reheat it whenever it’s time to eat your gumbo.

Cook your Instant Pot Gumbo a day before hosting guests.

We’ve found that gumbo is best when it sits overnight! If you have enough time to make it a day in advance, you absolutely should. To reheat the gumbo, pour it into a large Dutch oven and warm over low heat.

A person lifts a spoon of gumbo out of a bowl, with chicken spilling out of the spoon

You might want to pair this Instant Pot Gumbo with a classic cornbread or even a no mayo potato salad. While we serve ours with plain ‘ol white rice, you might want to jazz yours up by making Brazilian White Rice.

Three bowls of Instant Pot Gumbo, from above
Yield: 8 servings

Instant Pot Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Whip up easy and flavorful Instant Pot Gumbo to share with friends and family this season! Full of flavor, this twist on the classic Louisiana chicken and sausage entree is made easy using an electric pressure cooker.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 lbs. chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 1 lb. Andouille pork sausage, fresh (if possible)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup when diced)
  • 3 yellow onions, small, diced (about 3 cups when diced)
  • 4 celery stalks, diced (about 1 ½ cups when diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup Kary’s Roux, with the excess oil strained out
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon Salt-Free Creole Seasoning
  • Green onions, diced, for garnish
  • Parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Gumbo file, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Press the Saute setting on the Instant Pot, and add the oil to the pan while it warms. Set it for 30 minutes so you have enough time to cook the meat and veggies, even though this step might not need all 30 minutes.
  2. Add the meat to the pan, and brown. Don’t worry about them cooking through—you just want the meat to get good color on the outside. Depending on the size of your electric pressure cooker, you might have to do this in batches.
  3. Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the pan, and slice. Set aside.
  4. Add the veggies to the pan, and sauté for 5-10 minutes in the leftover oil and juices from the meat, cooking until soft.
  5. Pour in the chicken stock, and add the roux. Sprinkle in the spices, too, stirring until combined. Add the meats back into the pot, too.
  6. Close the Instant Pot's lid, and seal the valve so it can cook on high pressure.
  7. Set the electric pressure cooker on manual high pressure for 25 minutes, on the highest setting.
  8. Once it has finished cooking, allow it to naturally release the pressure. (Please note that the quick release will spray gumbo juices all over your kitchen, so give your pressure cooker some time to naturally release. It’s cleaner that way.)
  9. Once the pressure has naturally released, shred the chicken.
  10. Serve the gumbo with white rice and garnishes, and enjoy!

Notes

Quick tips and tricks for making the best gumbo

  • Substitutions: Can’t find fresh Andouille? Smoked works, too! If you can’t find Andouille sausage at all, you can substitute fresh hot Italian sausage. Not into chicken thighs? Chicken breasts are tasty, too.
  • Chop the veggies and garnishes in advance. You can cook the rice in advance, too, and simply reheat it whenever it’s time to eat your gumbo.
  • Cook your gumbo a day before hosting guests. We’ve found that gumbo is best when it sits overnight! If you have enough time to make it a day in advance, you absolutely should. To reheat the gumbo, pour it into a large Dutch oven and warm over low heat.

I can’t find a jarred roux. How do I make one?

A roux is equal parts fat (oil or butter) and flour. For this recipe, you’ll need ¾ cup oil and ¾ cup flour. Unfortunately, you cannot make the roux in your Instant Pot, as it won’t get dark enough. (Trust me, I’ve tried.)

Heat a skillet over medium heat on your stovetop, and add the oil. When the oil is warm and shimmering, add the flour.

Cook the mixture until a dark brown color. You’ll need to stir it constantly so it doesn’t burn. And you’ll know it’s done when it smells nutty.

This can take 30-45 minutes. I always suggest starting out on a low setting because you don't want to burn your roux.

If I don't have an Instant Pot, can I make this gumbo in a regular pot?

You absolutely can! I’ve written a tutorial for a more classic gumbo recipe, and you can certainly use that to make this smaller batch gumbo.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8 servings

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 837Total Fat: 69gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 51gCholesterol: 216mgSodium: 1880mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 43g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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11 Comments

  1. I made this gumbo a few days ago and my family absolutely loved it. We are from Louisiana and this is as authentic Cajun tasting as any I’ve had! My question is…have you made a seafood gumbo in the instant pot and if so, what is your recommended cooking time?

    1. Dorlena, Your comment brightened my day! Thank you so so so much for leaving this on my site. It’s so encouraging to hear that others enjoy this recipe as much as my family did… and it’s an honor to hear that y’all think this is as authentic Cajun tasting as any you’ve ever had!

      I actually have not made a seafood gumbo in the Instant Pot. Yet. That’s on my list of recipes to work on this winter. I know the cook time would be a lot less since we wouldn’t want to overcook the seafood, but I need to to some tinkering… and I’m sorry I don’t have the answer to your question. However, I will keep you in the loop as I work on it.

      Thanks, again, and happy Friday to you!

  2. Love your gumbo history and education! Who knew! This looks delicious and I love that you can speed it up on the Instant Pot. Plus your tips to making it all go faster are fabulous!

  3. This gumbo has the most perfect spice! We ALL loved it and it was the perfect meal after scooping that 2′ of snow we had on Monday!! Thanks!

  4. Tasted delicious when I managed to get it to cook. I kept getting the BURN notice and I don’t know what could be burning. I scrapped the bottom well when I added the broth and then added the roux and mixed that in.

    1. So glad you got it to cook finally, but I’m so sorry that you ran into BURN issues with the Instant Pot. I know that’s so frustrating. Happy to hear that you were able to make it work and scraped the bottom. Also, happy that the gumbo tasted delicious, too!

  5. I have now made this TWICE in two weeks and my husband has devoured seconds and thirds both times. I use the Ninja Foodi and it works great. I use regular Tony Chacheres instead of salt-free and add in a little extra garlic powder, then top with Tony’s, Cajun Chef hot sauce and gumbo file to taste. It’s PERFECT. My kids even love it!

    1. HOORAY for making this multiple times and your entire family enjoying it! I’m happy to hear this worked in your Ninja Foodi and that using regular Tony’s works, too. Here’s to all the gumbo this soup season!

  6. Dumb question, but what is meant by strain out the oil? When I opened the jar of roux the oil was all on top. Do I just pour it off and use the dark stuff at the bottom? I love gumbo, and would like to try this

    1. Hi Martha!

      This isn’t a dumb question at all, and I’m going to add a note in the post about it to clarify.

      Try to stir the oil back into your roux. (We’ve found that it always seems to have a lot of excess on the top of the jar.) Anything that simply won’t stir in (or would cause a mess if you tried) should be discarded.

      If you give this a try, let me know what you think! And if you’ve got any more questions, let me know.

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