Turkey Gumbo Recipe….. The best thing to do with leftover turkey!

By the day after Thanksgiving I am turkey-d out!  However, one thing I look forward to after every Thanksgiving is Turkey Gumbo.  This is my Mom’s recipe, borrowed from La Bonne Cuisine Cookbook.  It’s fairly easy, makes a ton, freezes great, and best of all, leaves no shred of turkey wasted!  Enjoy and Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

I haven't made mine yet, so photo borrowed from Louisiana Cookin'.

What you need:
  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 2 turkey legs (or thighs)
  • Any leftover bits of turkey you have, toss them in too.
  • 1/2 cup bacon grease*
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil  (* or use 1 cup oil in place of bacon grease and that works fine too)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 8 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lb okra, sliced (frozen is fine)
  • 1 pound smoked sausage,  sliced
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • 12 ounces tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 slices bacon, slices cut into 1 inch pieces (cooked)
  • 1 -2 bay leaves
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • How to make it:

    Crack the turkey carcass into several pieces.  Place the turkey carcass and legs into a large soup kettle with 3 qts of water and 1 tsp salt.  Boil for one hour. Remove the carcass and legs and cool. Remove the meat from the bones, shred the meat, and discard the bones.  Reserve the stock and the meat.  In a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the grease and the oil.  Add the flour, stirring constantly, and cook until it turns a deep, mahogany brown.  Add the celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and parsley.  Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the okra and sausage and continue cooking for 5 minutes.  Add water to stock to make 2 quarts liquid,and add that to the pot.  Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, tomatoes, salt, bacon, bay leaves, and cayenne.  Simmer, covered, for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the turkey meat and simmer for 30 minutes. Just before serving, add the brown sugar and lemon juice.  Serve hot over cooked white rice.

    Jen’s Tips: When you are making the roux, a cast iron Dutch oven works best.  Don’t use a plastic spoon to stir it because it will melt, and stir CONSTANTLY.    The recipe calls for one pound of sausage but I add more.  I also brown the sausage before I put it in the gumbo.  I use a good 5-6 “shots” of Tabasco and very little Cayenne.  Keep tasting until you like it!  Enjoy!


    1. read the first paragraph of this recipe to make your roux in the oven. it works, and you don’t have to stand over the pot and stir. i start out stirring every 30 minutes, then 15 minutes the closer it gets too done. careful not to overcook! a nice chocolate brown is perfect. hope this helps!



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