We’re on the go tonight – homework, swim lessons and indoor soccer! It also appears that we are headed in three different directions!.I need a dinner that is quick and can be easily reheated to eat at three different dinner times tonight. As busy as this week has been, there are times I think it would be fun to partake in a traditional Mardi Gras celebration! I deserve it after keeping up with this crazy “krewe!” Since it is a school night, I will have to get into the spirit by a making a hearty Cajun Gumbo.
I love to make gumbo because I can make it all in one pot with ingredients I already have. It also reheats beautifully for a family on the go. Now before you worry about some of the unique spices in this recipe, I can tell you that this is pretty tame. This can be made more spicy by adding more pepper. Check out how we pulled this together for our own mini mid-week Mardi Gras! Thinking about having a Mardi Gras party? This is the perfect thing to serve (it’s also what my guests will be having at our Mardi Gras party this weekend!)
Start off with one Garlic & Herb Sauté Express® square. I keep these on hand for quick and easy dinners. Throw a Sauté Express® square into any pasta or veggies and add some chicken. Voila! You have a simple and easy dinner.
But let’s get back to the gumbo. Melt the Sauté Express® square in a 5-quart saucepan until the bubbles begin to form. I have doubled this recipe in a large stock pot to make it for larger Mardi Gras parties.
Add 12 ounces Italian sausage and break up and crumble it as you are cooking it.
Then add 20 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves cut into 2-inch pieces. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until meat is browned.
Slice one large onion. The recipe calls for thin slices, but I have kids and mine –don’t exactly love finding onions in their food. So I am kind to them and chop mine a bit bigger so they can eat around them. At least they eat gumbo!
Add a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes. Just dump the whole can in. The recipe calls for using whole tomatoes and then cutting them up – so I just chose diced tomatoes. It seems like less work which I am all about when we are on the go, like tonight!
Pour in 14 ounces chicken broth and 3 cups water. Everyone pitches in at our house when we have places to be! Thanks Ty!
Here are the spices to add that you probably already have in your pantry: 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 coarse ground pepper and 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper.
Of course, you have to have a bay leaf in a gumbo. Add one bay leaf.
What makes this a complete meal is adding 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice. It helps to thicken your soup mixture. This is also why this is a great on the go meal – it’s got everything in it! Sausage, chicken, rice, tomatoes and zucchini and it’s super tasty!
Cook over medium-high heat stirring occasionally for 6-8 minutes until mixture comes to full boil.
A traditional gumbo often has zucchini. This recipe calls for 2 cups chopped zucchini. Cut a zucchini into 1/4-inch thick slices, cut them in half and dump them into the soup. When you’re at the grocery store, make sure you double-check that you’re buying a zucchini and not an English cucumber! We’ve done that before. They sometimes look similar, but they have completely different tastes when you eat them.
Once you’ve added the zucchini, cook the soup for another 4-6 minutes or until the zucchini is tender.
At serving time, don’t forget to remove bay leaf. Dinner is served!
Who is this masked man who likes to eat gumbo? I guess it really wouldn’t be Mardi Gras season without a mask right? Throw some beads into the mix and we’re full-on ready for Mardi Gras!
I hope you decide to give this Cajun Gumbo recipe a try. It’s the perfect meal to make whether you’re hosting a Mardi Gras party or celebrating a mid-week Mardi Gras moment with your “krewe!”
Alexandra is paid to write for the Recipe Buzz® Blog.