Leftover Turkey Soup (Low Carb Gumbo)

Spread the love

This leftover turkey soup is a hearty meal with Andouille sausage and Cajun flavor. It’s a low carb gumbo you can make with leftover turkey!

overhead photo: bowl of leftover turkey soup made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey

Now, before you sit down to write me a mean-spirited email (haha), I’ll say right off the bat that this recipe does not make authentic New Orleans gumbo.

However, it is gumbo style. In flavor and technique, it is almost identical to gumbo, but there are a few things that make this soup/stew quicker to make, and more convenient for utilizing leftovers.

It’s incredibly hearty and flavorful, too. Plus, it’s a lower in carbs than most gumbo recipes. Let’s call it good for you comfort food! YES, easy low carb gumbo (gumbo style) soup does exist!

overhead photo:: pot of turkey gumbo

Leftover Turkey Soup Ingredient Notes

Here’s what makes this meal more of a thick soup/stew rather than a gumbo:

  • It calls for medium-dark roux. Rather than using a cornstarch or arrowroot slurry, I use a roux because I LOVE how it add flavors and thickens the soup at the same time.

    I did not use a traditional dark roux because of time and preference. 10 to 12 minutes is all you need for a peanut color roux. OR, you can use a slurry with arrowroot or cornstarch, which you would stir in at the end of the cooking time.

  • No okra or tomatoes. I know, many people will argue on this, because after all, these are classic gumbo ingredients. I have do have a recipe for Instant Pot gumbo that uses frozen okra and it turns out great.

    I don’t add okra to the turkey rice soup because it doesn’t need it. Instead, rice (or cauliflower rice) and the roux will thicken it nicely.

  • The meat– If you have leftover Thanksgiving turkey, this recipe is calling your name! Oh my, and do yourself a favor… get your hands on some cooked SMOKED turkey or chicken. It will make your cheater’s gumbo SO divine. TRUE STORY!

    In addition to the turkey, I also use Andouille sausage, for an authentic flavor. Feel free to use chicken sausage or another lean sausage if you prefer it.

  • Creole seasoning–  There are several creole seasonings available in the stores. Be sure to check the ingredients, as some do have gluten. I use Tony Chachere’s and it’s gluten free. Feel free to adjust the amount you use to increase or decrease the amount of heat in the dish.
  • Tabasco sauce. Yep, it’s a must to PUMP up the flavor. I know, it’s not authentic, but it’s so good. You could even use green tabasco for a milder flavor.
  • Cauliflower rice– Yes, I add cauliflower rice to the stew! It helps thicken it even more. Plus, it helps to keep it lower carb with cauliflower rice. You can definitely serve it over white or even brown rice if you prefer; but it will NOT be low carb!

How to make cheater’s gumbo

  1. Prep your ingredients.
ingredients on a sheet pan to make gluten-free turkey rice soup recipe

Feel free to prep and chop a day or two ahead if you want to. I like to cook large batches of cauliflower rice. Then, I freeze them into smaller portions so that I can use them for recipes just like this one!

  1. Brown the sausage.
    If you’re using a lean sausage, you’ll want to add a bit of oil to the pan to prevent the meat from sticking.
  2. Make the roux.

Roux is a thickener made from equal parts fat and flour. In this case, it’s a gluten free roux, but the process to make it is the same.


There are actually 5 different “levels”, or colors, of roux, ranging from blonde to dark. The color of a roux is determined by the amount of time you cook it.

I chose to make a medium-dark roux, because cooking dark roux can take up to 30 minutes. Let’s face it, after cooking a big Thanksgiving meal, you deserve to sit down and relax a little bit!

  1. Saute the veggies, add the stock, and let ‘er simmer!
    It does take about 30 minutes for the flavors to “marry”. Honestly, the longer you let the turkey soup simmer, the better the flavor will be. TRUST ME.
overhead image: large pot of gumbo made with leftover turkey


overhead photo: bowl of turkey rice soup made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey

Leftover Turkey Soup (Low Carb Gumbo)

  • Author:
    Lindsay Cotter

  • Prep Time:
    10 minutes

  • Cook Time:
    1 hour

  • Total Time:
    1 hour 10 minutes

  • Yield:
    4-5 servings

  • Diet:
    Gluten Free


This leftover turkey soup is a hearty meal with Andouille sausage and Cajun flavor. It’s a low carb gumbo you can make with leftover turkey. If you want to thicken the soup even more, feel free to serve it over cooked cauliflower rice. YUM!


Roux (See notes for alternative)

  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 5 tbsp gluten-free flour

For the Soup

  • optional: 2 tsp cooking oil (if using lean sausage)
  • 10 oz. Andouille chicken or pork sausage, sliced (I use pre-cooked (smoky Aidells Cajun andouille sausage) but uncooked works just as well.
  • 1 chopped white onion (1 medium onion)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 1 cup diced green or red bell pepper (1 bell pepper)
  • 23 cups leftover smoked turkey or dark meat roast turkey, diced
  • 12 tbsp creole seasoning ( I use Tony Chachere’s) – adjust to your liking
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsps smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cups chicken broth, or 2 cups water with 2 gluten free beef bouillon cubes in 4 cups boiling water.
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce, or cajun hot sauce of choice – optional
  • salt and black pepper. to taste
  • 2 + cups cooked cauliflower rice
  • Optional topping – chopped fresh parsley


  1. Add the oil to a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. When oil starts to shimmer, add sausage and cook for 5 minutes to brown, stirring occasionally. Remove sausage from the pot and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, reduce heat to medium and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the flour and whisk continuously for 10-12 minutes, until roux is a nutty brown color; it will smell similar to popcorn.  NOTE: Using roux is optional. If desired just stir in cornstarch slurry after cooking the soup.
  3. Add onion, bell peppers, celery, and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add sliced Andouille sausage back into the pan cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the creole seasoning, cayenne, paprika, and salt. Mix together and the pour in the 4 cups of broth. Stir until combined. Add the bay leaf, cover, and let the pot simmer for 10 minutes on medium low.
  5. After 10 -15 minutes, the gumbo should be nice and thick. Add your cooked (leftover) smoked turkey or dark meat (shredded) and optional rice/cauliflower rice. Alternatively, you may serve the gumbo over cauliflower rice or cooked white rice)
  6. Season with pepper and tabasco. Stir and let the gumbo simmer again for 10-15 minutes on low until ready to serve. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.


  • Roux Alternative: Instead of roux, you can make a slurry with arrowroot or cornstarch, which you would stir in at the end of the cooking time.
  • If you’re not looking for low carb option, feel free to swap out the cauliflower rice for cooked white rice.
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: stove
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: includes roux

Keywords: leftover turkey soup, cajun, gumbo, low carb, gluten free

close up image of low carb gumbo in a ladle

Alright my friends, let me know if you give this leftover gumbo recipe a whirl! Have a wonderful (and safe) weekend!