Day-After Turkey Bone Gumbo

Serves 8 to 10

This is my gluten-free take on my dad’s holiday classic “Day-After Turkey Bone Gumbo.” I would say most people have a turkey for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. Maybe your family has one for both. You haven’t lived a holiday season without some of this gumbo in your life! It’s the perfect comforting dish to have the day after all the holiday madness. My Dad would start making this first thing in the morning after Thanksgiving or Christmas day. We’d always have people coming in and out to visit and enjoy the holiday cheer, so he would always have a big pot of it bubbling on the stove for guests. We like to serve it in little coffee cups for everyone, which seems to be the perfect serving size. It’s a nice taste and leaves you room in the tum for all the other delicious things to come. Of course, you can serve this as a main meal in deep bowls; it’s totally up to you.

The beauty of this dish is that it utilizes so much of that leftover turkey meat as well as giving you another use for the leftover carcass. Win-win, I’d say. Typically we keep all the bones and carcass from the turkey to make a stock for the gumbo. It is really simple and great for using things up you’d most likely throw away. Simply put the carcass in a large stock pot with some celery, onion, garlic and carrots, season well with pepper and a bit of salt, cover with water and boil for an hour or two. Drain the liquid, dispose of the rest, and now you’ve got a beautiful, flavor-rich stock. You can also use a store-bought stock instead. Either will be fine.

As with other gluten-free gumbos, this won’t produce a very dark or chocolate-y roux with the gluten-free flour blends, so you will have a lighter gumbo. Perfectly fine, and perfectly delicious. This dish is gluten free, dairy free and nut free.


  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend of choice
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers, mix of green and red, preferably
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 pound gluten-free smoked sausage, either andouille or kielbasa, sliced into bite-size rounds
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, lemon thyme if possible
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, more if desired
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Pepper to taste
  • 6½ cups stock or water, preferably turkey stock
  • 1 pound leftover turkey meat pieces, both white and dark, shredded if needed
  • ½ cup green onions, finely chopped (about 5 green onions)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Steamed white or brown rice, to serve, optional


In a large 8- to 10-quart soup pan, combine the flour and oil over medium heat, stirring constantly and gently for 20 to 25 minutes, to make the roux.

Add the onions, bell peppers and garlic to the pot. Stir and cook until the vegetables soften slightly, about 5 minutes.

Add the sausage, thyme leaves, celery salt, cayenne, bay leaves and a bit of black pepper to the pot. Stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add the stock or water and stir until the roux mixture and liquid are well combined. Turn the heat to high and bring to a gentle boil.

Once the gumbo is boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring frequently.

After the hour’s cooking time, add the turkey meat into the pot and simmer uncovered for an additional 1½ hours, stirring frequently and skimming off any fat that rises to the top.

Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves if you can, and stir in all but a tablespoon of the green onions and parsley.

Serve in coffee cups, top with a bit of the steamed rice and garnish with a sprinkling of the remaining green onions and parsley on top. Alternatively, serve in deep bowls with a bit of rice on top.

Nutrition Analysis (not including optional rice): 400 cal, 31 g fat, 75 mg chol, 480 mg sodium, 14 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 18 g protein.

Jilly Lagasse began cooking as a child when her father, Chef Emeril Lagasse, gave her a set of chef’s whites and let her help in the pastry and dessert department in one of his restaurants. She was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2004 and has written two gluten-free cookbooks with her sister, Jessie Lagasse Swanson, as the duo The Lagasse Girls, She splits her time between New Orleans and New York doing special cooking events and gluten-free pop-ups.