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Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo: Making Roux in a Microwave

Yes! You CAN make Roux in a Microwave. Try it with this Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo recipe. 

Updated 5/2020

two bowls of Chicken Gumbo made with microwave roux

Gumbo is like meatloaf. 

Everybody prefers their own mama’s meatloaf unless mama doesn’t make it.  Mine didn’t.  So I had to figure it out for myself. Same with me and gumbo.

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.


Why make a roux in the microwave?


Microwaved roux requires less oil.

Making a roux (the characteristic dark brown flour and fat mixture) in the microwave is not the traditional way. 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. 

In this Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, I used 1 part fat to 3 parts flour. If you prefer, use 2 parts fat to 3 parts flour or you can do one to one proportions.


Less time is needed to obtain a dark color.

Microwave ovens vary. But in my OLD microwave, the roux will go from blond to medium-dark chocolate in about 10 minutes. Your timing might 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.


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

Instead of just stirring like you can do when using 1:1 oil and flour, you must press the flour and oil against the side of the dish to evenly distribute the heat and make sure the roux browns evenly. You’ll see what I mean when you try it.


Do not use untempered glass or a plastic container for this method.  Fat and flour get extremely hot and could melt or break your dish.

How to make a roux in the microwave

recommended bowl for making roux in the microwave
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.
Making a roux in the microwave.

I first ate gumbo at my brother-in-law’s (Phil) house years ago.  He was adamant about the absence of tomatoes in his recipe.  I ended up loving his gumbo and no-tomato policy, so I do the same.

Regarding okra in gumbo: We love it, but the Cajun police will not arrest you if you leave it out.

What do I serve with gumbo?

Gumbo is meant to be served with rice at the bottom of the bowl. I’ve heard that some people put potato salad under their gumbo. I load my bowl with mashed cauliflower, then put gumbo over the top.

Serve with French bread. My husband likes saltine crackers with his gumbo.

More recipes for Cajun-food lovers

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Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Chicken and smoked sausage gumbo including instructions for making roux in the microwave.


  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 6 cups warm chicken broth (I boil the bones from a Rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 dashes Hot Pepper Sauce (I like Frank's)
  • 1 small package of frozen, sliced okra (thawed) or 1 -2 cups sliced fresh okra
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound smoked sausage
  • 1 pound cooked chicken meat, diced (I use a Rotisserie chicken, no skin)


  1. Spray large heavy-duty Dutch oven with a light coating of vegetable oil and saute onions, pepper, and celery. Cover to sweat and cook vegetables while completing step two.
  2. Making the roux: Stir oil and flour together in a microwave-safe bowl. A Pyrex 2-quart batter bowl works perfectly. Place in 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, it has burned and needs to be thrown out. Start over again being careful not to overcook by stirring frequently and thoroughly.) Cook until oil and flour mixture is the color of chocolate. Some people like it even darker...not me.
  3. Add roux to softened vegetables in a Dutch oven. Stir warm broth and remaining seasonings into roux and vegetable mixture until roux is completely dissolved. Simmer 45-60 minutes. Add okra and chopped parsley. Cook another 10-15 minutes.
  4. While veggies simmer in step three, dice sausage into medium size pieces. Saute in a medium skillet until brown. (Helps to relieve sausage of some of its grease.) Drain.
  5. About 5 minutes before ready to serve, add sausage and chicken to pot and heat through. Remove bay leaves, taste, and adjust seasonings. Spoon cooked, long-grain rice into a bowl and cover with gumbo. Serve with saltines or sliced and toasted Crusty French Bread or Crusty Round Bread


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

*I've been known to use mashed potatoes instead of rice and some people even serve gumbo over potato salad.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 446Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 1262mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 31g

Did you make this recipe?

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Kelly M James

Monday 12th of October 2020

Do you have a seafood gumbo recipe?


Tuesday 13th of October 2020

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.


Monday 9th of September 2013

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??


Friday 7th of June 2013

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 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!!


Monday 10th of June 2013

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.


Thursday 21st of February 2013

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?


Friday 22nd of February 2013

Worth a try Courtney. Haven't done it myself.


Wednesday 17th of October 2012

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