10-Minute Microwave Roux for Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Sneak Preview: You won’t believe how easy it is to make this 10-minute microwave roux when you follow this recipe for Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. Enjoy this soup packed with tender chicken, smoked sausage, and okra, minus any tomatoes.

bowl of chicken gumbo without tomatoesPin

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Just like meatloaf, everyone has a favorite gumbo recipe, often their mother’s. Since my mom didn’t make gumbo, I had to learn on my own.

This recipe is a great starting point if you’re new to gumbo. The spices can be adjusted to your taste buds’ preferences.

Happy Cooks Speak Up

“I made this today and it was so good! Thank you for sharing.”GRETTA

Just so you know…

I’m not Cajun, nor do I claim to be an expert in the cuisine, although I did honeymoon with my husband in New Orleans. Does that count? 

I don’t remember much about the food on that trip, so I doubt it.

My brother-in-law introduced me to gumbo years ago. He was adamant about no tomatoes in his gumbo recipe. I loved his gumbo and no-tomato policy, so I do the same.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • ONIONS: White or yellow, fresh or frozen
  • GREEN BELL PEPPERS: Fresh or frozen
  • CELERY: Fresh or frozen (I’ve never seen frozen celery in the grocery store, but I like to freeze chopped celery and keep it on hand for soups.)
  • GARLIC CLOVES: Fresh, jarred, or frozen
  • OIL: Use vegetable oil with a high smoke point. Avocado oil is ideal.
  • FLOUR: All-purpose flour, bleached or unbleached
  • CHICKEN BROTH: Use bouillon, cubes, or canned broth. The best broth is what you make yourself, of course
  • SEASONINGS: Make sure you use relatively fresh seasonings, not old dusty seasonings that have lost their flavor.
  • HOT PEPPER SAUCE: Preferably Frank’s Hot Sauce or Tabasco
  • OKRA: Fresh or frozen sliced okra. Regarding okra in gumbo: We love it, but I don’t think the Cajun police will arrest you if you leave it out.
  • SAUSAGE: Andouille sausage is delicious, but I rarely have it. Otherwise, I use smoked sausage links.
  • CHICKEN: I use rotisserie chicken because it’s so convenient, both white and dark meat. Leftover turkey is a good substitute.

two bowls of Chicken Gumbo without tomatoesPin

Why Make the Roux in the Microwave?

1. Microwaved roux requires less oil.

Making a roux (the characteristic dark brown flour and fat mixture) in the microwave is not traditional. Nonetheless, it works and requires much less oil than on top of the stove. I use a 2-quart Pyrex batter bowl because it can withstand the heat. 

I used 1 part fat to 3 parts flour in this Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. Use two parts fat to 3 parts flour, or do 1:1 proportions if you prefer.

2. Less time is needed to obtain a dark color.

Microwave ovens vary. The roux goes from blond to medium-dark chocolate in my OLD microwave in about 10 minutes. It only takes 8 minutes in my 1000-watt microwave. Your timing may be different, so pay attention. If necessary, record how long it took to get the color you want so you will know for the next time.

3. When using less oil, mash the clumps of flour and oil against the side of the bowl as you stir.

Instead of just stirring like you can do when using 1:1 oil and flour, you may need to press the flour and oil against the side of the dish to distribute the heat evenly and ensure the roux browns without burning. You’ll see what I mean when you try it.

recommended bowl for making roux in the microwavePin
My favorite and much-used batter bowl is perfect for making a roux in the microwave. I don’t recommend using the whisk for this project. A wooden spoon works better.


Use only microwave-safe dishes like tempered glass. Avoid plastic or untempered glass.

How To Make Gumbo with Microwave Roux

Softening the veggies in a Dutch oven.Pin
Spray a large, heavy pan or Dutch oven with oil. Soften the chopped onions, green bell peppers, celery, and garlic. Cover and cook the veggies while making the roux (below). Stir occasionally.

Make the microwave roux while the veggies cook.

Adding the oil and flour to a 2-qt Pyrex bowl.Pin
Pour oil and flour into a 2-quart Pyrex microwave-safe batter bowl or round casserole dish.
Combine the oil and flour until smooth.Pin
Combine the oil (preferably avocado oil because of the high smoke point) and flour with a wooden spoon. If this mixture seems too dry, add a little more oil, but I never do.
Placing the flour and oil into a microwave oil.Pin
Place the bowl into the microwave and cook on HIGH for 8-10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon after every minute for the first 5 minutes and about every 45 seconds thereafter. Keep a hot pad handy because the glass handle will get hot.
The roux begins to brown within 2-3 minutes.Pin
The roux will start to brown within 2-3 minutes. Be sure to scrape all flour from the sides as you stir.
The roux is getting darker and will have a strong aroma. Stir well to prevent hot spots and burning.
This roux is dark enough for our family, without any black spots that indicate the flour has burned (leaving a bad flavor). This usually takes 8-10 minutes, depending on the oil you use and the power of your microwave.
Add the hot roux to the sauteed veggies in the pan. Stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add broth, all spices, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Simmer on low for forty-five minutes.
Add one 10-oz package (283 g) of frozen sliced okra (thawed) and two tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley. Cook another 10-15 minutes.
Optional: While veggies simmer, dice 1 pound smoked sausage
into medium size pieces. Saute it in a medium skillet until brown. (Helps to relieve the sausage of some of its grease.) Drain.
About 5 minutes before ready to serve, add sausage and 1 pound of diced cooked chicken
to the pot and heat through. Remove bay leaves, taste, and adjust seasonings.
Spoon cooked, long-grain rice into a bowl and cover with gumbo.

What Do I Serve with Gumbo?

I serve gumbo the traditional way, with rice at the bottom of the bowl. I’ve heard that some people put potato salad under their gumbo. Sometimes, I load my bowl with mashed cauliflower and then pour gumbo over the top.

Serve with French breadbread machine sourdough loaf, this crusty bread machine recipe, or a classic bread machine sourdough bread.

You might be like my husband. He likes saltine crackers with his gumbo.

Do You Enjoy Cajun food?

If you like Cajun food, you might enjoy my Easy Shrimp Étouffée, which is not authentic but delicious on its own merit.

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Cajun Chicken Fricassee with Mushrooms is a good make-ahead dish because the flavors get better when they can marry in the fridge overnight, just like this gumbo.

If okra is your jam, you’ll be delighted with this simple grilled and crispy smashed okra recipe. Yum!

Recipe Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

Yield: 10 servings

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with 10-Minute Microwave Roux (No Tomatoes)

You won’t believe how easy it is to make an authentic roux in the microwave. It saves time and calories because you won’t need to use as much oil. Because it’s our preference, there are no tomatoes in this delectable gumbo.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 6 votes


Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours


  • cups (180 g) yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup (120 g) green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2-3 (120 g) stalks celery, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup (90 g) flour
  • cup (60 g) vegetable oil I like avocado oil because of the high smoke point.
  • 6 cups (1362 g) warm chicken broth I boil the bones from a Rotisserie chicken to make broth.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 dashes hot pepper sauce I like Frank’s
  • 1 10 oz-package (283 g) frozen sliced okra (thawed) or 1 -2 cups sliced fresh okra
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound (454 g) smoked sausage
  • 1 pound (454 g) diced cooked chicken (I use a Rotisserie chicken, no skin)


  • Spray a large heavy-duty Dutch oven with a light coating of vegetable oil and saute 1½ cups (180 g) yellow or white onion, chopped, 1 cup (120 g) green bell peppers, chopped and 2-3 (120 g) stalks celery, chopped, and 2-3 garlic cloves, minced. Cover to sweat and cook vegetables while completing the roux.
  • Stir ¾ cup (90 g) flour and ⅓ cup (60 g) vegetable oil together in a microwave-safe bowl. A Pyrex 2-quart batter bowl works perfectly. (If the flour seems too dry, add extra oil, but I never do.)
  • Place into the microwave and cook on HIGH for 8-10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon after every minute for the first 5 minutes and about every 45 seconds thereafter. Stir and mash flour against the side to be sure the mixture is the same color throughout before returning to the oven. (If you see black specks, the roux has burned and should be thrown out. Start over again, being careful not to overcook by stirring frequently and thoroughly.) Cook until the oil and flour mixture is the color of chocolate. Some people like it even darker…not me. Set aside.
  • Add roux to softened vegetables in a Dutch oven.
  • Stir 6 cups (1362 g) warm chicken broth and 2 bay leaves, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon white pepper, 1 teaspoon seasoning salt, ¼ teaspoon thyme, ¼ teaspoon oregano, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and 2-3 dashes hot pepper sauce into the roux and vegetable mixture and stir until the roux is completely dissolved. Simmer 45-60 minutes.
  • Add 1 10 oz-package (283 g) frozen sliced okra (thawed) and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Cook another 10-15 minutes.
  • Optional: While veggies simmer, dice 1 pound (454 g) smoked sausage into medium size pieces. Saute it in a medium skillet until brown. (Helps to relieve the sausage of some of its grease.) Drain.
  • About 5 minutes before ready to serve, add sausage and 1 pound (454 g) diced cooked chicken to the pot and heat through. Remove bay leaves, taste, and adjust seasonings.
  • You can serve the soup immediately or store it in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to marry and meld. It will be even more delicious the next day.
  • Spoon cooked, long-grain rice into a bowl and cover with gumbo. Garnish with green onions and/or more parsley. Serve with saltines or toasted French bread.


*This is even better reheated after the flavors meld and marinate together. I recommend making it early in the day. Chill and reheat for dinner in the evening.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 1186mg | Potassium: 371mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 108IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

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Recipe Rating


  1. Chelsea Duenez says:

    5 stars
    Hi Paula, so happy you put this recipe in your email today! I have never had gumbo before until making it tonight. Everyone in my family loved this! Even the okra! The instructions for the roux made it so easy to come out perfectly! Thanks again for another delightful and affordable meal!

    1. Hi Chelsea,

      Your comment put a huge smile on my face. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with this recipe. This gumbo is beloved in our family, and I’m always excited to hear when other people like it, too. A special thanks for the 5-star review.

  2. D DeNavailles says:

    My grandma NEVER put okra in chicken and sausage gumbo, she called it File’ gumbo.
    She put giblets and oysters and chicken.
    Okra was for seafood gumbo.
    She was from around Houma and didn’t admit to being Cajun!
    Gumbo is African for okra!

    1. Yes, lots of traditions around gumbo. Fun to hear about your grandma’s gumbo.

  3. Kelly M James says:

    Do you have a seafood gumbo recipe?

    1. Hi Kelly,

      I do not have one on the blog. Seafood is pretty expensive where I live, so we don’t eat it much. Thanks for asking.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this today and it was so good! Thank you for sharing.

  5. I’ve got everything chopped and ready to go…but, noticed your ratios of flour and oil. I have always used equal amounts of each. Is this ratio due to putting it in the microwave??

    1. I used to use equal amounts, but when I was trying to eat less fat, I started experimenting to see what would happen if I used less fat. In my experience, as long as there is enough fat to moisten all the flour, that is all you need, especially when making roux in a microwave.

  6. My first attempt at Gumbo was about 5 years ago. I stood at the stove and stirred that roux for about an hour. The roux was almost the color I wanted and then my husband walked into the kitchen without me hearing him…so when he spoke to me, I was so startled and the roux that was on the wooden spoon ended up on fingers. I had four fingers with 3rd degree burns. The roux essentially “melted” my skin and flesh all the way down to the bone!

    We abandoned the roux and rushed to the ER because the pain was so intense I kept blacking out! Seeing the bones in my fingers probably contributed to the blackouts.

    I am finally ready to try again. I can’t decide if I am going to use the microwave for the roux, or use the oven. I’ve read that you can put the oil/flour in a dutch over and cook it in the over. Wish me luck!!

    1. Oh dear Tracee. Do be careful no matter how you decide to make it. You can also cook the flour by itself without oil in an oven for a much lower fat gumbo. But–it sure does smell up the house in a weird way. Good luck with your gumbo.

  7. This looks so delicious! I was wondering if this could be crock potted at all. I was thinking to go up to step 3 and brown the sausage, then throw everything in to simmer for a few hours. I’ve never used a roux before, would it be ok to use it that way or would this turn out horribly?

    1. Worth a try Courtney. Haven’t done it myself.

  8. Delicious! I just finished making your gumbo! This is the first time my roux turned out dark brown, and in the microwave!!!! I put it in the fridge to chill as I do with all soups. I can’t wait for dinner 🙂

    1. Hope you enjoyed your dinner, Cheyenne. I’ve tried many ways to make the roux, including the traditional way and baking the flour in the oven (which smells terrible). This is the easiest in my opinion.

  9. Carol Boyd says:

    I love this recipe!! It’s been the best Gumbo I have ever made.I added shrimp.

  10. Graham Byrne says:

    Hey Paula, just wanted to let you know what a huge hit your Gumbo recipe has been here at my home in Dublin, Ireland. I stumbled upon your recipe while on-line looking for a Gumbo recipe having heard it mentioned in the brilliant New Orleans set drama “Treme”. I’ll be checking our more of your delicious looking recipes very soon! Keep up the great work.

    1. Graham, I’m so glad to hear the gumbo recipe is a hit. Thanks for the testimony.

  11. Nice shades! I didn’t grow up with a family gumbo recipe, so your is perfect for me. Nice trick making the roux in the microwave.

  12. The Cajun police might arrest you for not using file powder in your gumbo. 😉 My father-in-law (who is as New Orleans as they come) always treats us to his killer gumbo the day after Thanksgiving. He uses turkey leftovers instead of chicken, which works just as well. Your recipe sounds delicious, Paula and it makes me homesick for New Orleans!

    1. I’m glad you mentioned file powder. I have used it before but it didn’t seem to make that much difference. Perhaps I didn’t use it in the right way. Any tips?

      1. Paula, I’ve only ever had gumbo with file in it, so I’m not sure how much of a difference it actually makes. The only thing that does make a difference is when you add the file. It’s always added to the finished gumbo, because if it is boiled the file’s consistency will become really funky.

        1. Kathleen Johnston says:

          Hi All, gumbo is basically a stew that can be thickened with either okra or gumbo file. Gumbo File is just ground sasafras leaves and can be added at different times to the gumbo mixture. Depending on when you add it the file can become somewhat stringy and you never want to add it to the fat and flour mixture. This will actually burn the file which is where the funky taste comes from. If you add the file after all the liquid and vegetables, ie the cajun trinity, which is just 2 parts onion to 1 part bell pepper and 1 part celery, then it will not become stringy or taste bad. A lot of times people just add to much file. So use it a bit sparingly at this point. After the gumbo is done you can also add the file as a topping on your gumbo. When you thicken gumbo with okra you generally do not use file. As for potato salad the old cajuns serve their gumbo with cornbread on potato salad when they make a country type gumbo that is a bit thicker than a New Orleans style. I hope this helps you all. I was born and breed in Louisiana and I love all of its style of cooking. I am so very happy to hear you all talking about and trying to cook it. “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”
          or as we say let the good times roll!.

  13. I haven’t made gumbo in a few years and just blew the dust off the gumbo cookbook I bought the last time I was in New Orleans. Your recipe has me thinking I need to go to the grocery store right. now.

  14. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit says:

    Those sunglasses are the bomb! My mom doesn’t do gumbo, so I’m always open to new recipes. This one looks really good, (and also really practical, with the microwave roux.)

  15. My dad was an Italian “cajun” and made what I thought was wonderful seafood gumbo but it was with a red sauce, not a roux. Talking of gumbo makes me remember how he would work so hard to cut up the onions, spices, add the seafood and tomatoes and make this wonderful concoction that we always called gumbo. Although I think your recipe is closer to the “true” gumbo, so much of what we consider the correct way to make dishes is what we grew up with. I will have to try your version as it sounds heavenly and more healthy!

  16. that photo is of you in 1976 is too funny! I remember my mom having glasses like that too.
    Your photos of the gumbo look very good!

  17. redmenace says:

    I have a brother-in-law named Phil too! He doesn’t cook, however. Bummer. I think I got the short end of that stick. Thanks for this great recipe. Who knew you could make roux in the microwave? Brilliant!

  18. Yummy!
    I love the honeymoon picture. Ellie has a coat similar to yours, and she almost looks as cute as you in it!
    We have been talking about roux because the word was in Tyler’s spelling bee. I am excited to show him these pictures so he actually understands what it is.

  19. Ah… so this is what the crusty bread is for! Perfect! Mom never made gumbo either and I’ve never even had okra! Sheesh….. time to find out I guess. This looks heavenly – along with your opening shot – stunning! Thanks for the recipe and the sunglass shot. Priceless!

  20. I have heard that your gumbo rates a number 11 on a scale of 1-10. You amaze me!

  21. The honeymoon picture is priceless! Had a good laugh and made my day.
    Actually, Elliott is more of a gumbo fan than I am, but it might be fun to try it.

  22. Wow – this looks fantastic! I just love to say the word gumbo. Gumbo.

  23. I am half French (not Cajun, though) and lived in New Orleans for 17 years. Your gumbo sounds very authentic. I love that you tried roux in the microwave! I’ll have to give that a try because stirring it on the cook top is very labor intensive. I tried a lower-fat way of making gumbo where you just brown (dry) flour at 350 degrees for about an hour or until medium brown, stirring periodically. Cool and mix it with (cold) broth when making gumbo. It turned out very tasty and didn’t have the oil “sheen” of traditional gumbo.

    1. Vicki, I’ve tried browning the flour only in an iron skillet in the oven before. It works. However, the smell in the house is something else. Did you also have that? Also takes too long for this impatient cook. But thanks for mentioning it. Other readers may want to try it for even less fat.

      1. Ha ha, well, yes, the smell is a little overpowering. It kind of smells like my mom’s kitchen at holiday time to me because browned flour was the base for a delicious duck with apple gravy we had at Christmas. I turn on the exhaust fans and make a pretty big batch at a time because you can keep the browned flour on hand in your pantry or freezer for other Cajun recipes that use roux (like crawfish etouffee’).

        1. Your comment about storing the flour reminds me. I forgot to mention I usually make double the amount of roux and freeze the extra. Very convenient.

  24. Kulsum at JourneyKitchen says:

    I’m not really into microwave cooking but this makes me change my mind! first time here and totally loving it!

  25. Marnie from 3pickles says:

    I am so in love with your blog!
    So far this weekend, I have made four of your recipes.
    Your photos are the shizzle!
    Can’t wait for more.
    x Marnie from 3pickles, Australia

  26. Hi there! Thank you for sharing your roux trick! I just made my own mock gumbo and the first time I burned the heck outta the roux! I will try your technique next time! Cheers! Keep up the great blog!

    1. Paige, I think burning the roux may be a prerequisite for beginners. I know I learned my lesson the first time it happened to me. Thanks for your kind words.

  27. Heather S says:

    Love this recipe, the lower fat option and the tip for making roux in the microwave. I will be trying this the next time I make gumbo. Thanks! P.S. Gorgeous photo of the gumbo! It makes me hungry just looking at it.

  28. Your recipe looks delicious – and very authentic (from a Louisiana girl who grew up on gumbo). Your brother-in-law is correct – tomatoes are not usually in gumbo. Tomatoes and/or tomato sauce make it more of a etouffee or creole sauce. I plan to try this soon.

    1. Sue, Since you grew up on gumbo, I should be making YOUR recipe.

  29. first of all, Paula I love your colourful whisk! that`s so uncanny and fun that I`d really like to have one but I`ve never seen similar. Maybe oneday 🙂 for me today`s recipe is interesting, because I`ve never eaten such meal. Looks yum!

  30. TheKitchenWitch says:

    I am wicked excited to try making roux in the microwave! You are a genius!

    And that picture is pure gold–you are channeling your inner Jackie-O!

  31. Paula, this is great! Wow, no tomato in the gumbo?! The roux in the microwave is priceless…thanks for that…and, am *lovin* the photo with the glasses–too cool! Have a great weekend. xo

  32. Hi
    I have made several of your recipes now and have loved them all! Thank you for what you do! My husband makes an AWESOME gumbo but it takes him about 45 min string constantly! So I am really excited about this recipe! Also wondering, I have seen your rainbow whisk in several pics now and curious do you know where you got it?
    Thanks again

    1. Hi Hollie, The whisk is a Le Creuset brand. Think I got it at Ace Restaurant Supply but you can probably find it wherever Le Creuset is sold, including online. I have seen it at Ashers Kitchen Store for those who live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. I love it not only because of the colors but silicone-coated whisks have spatula-like abilities too.