A low FODMAP, Instant Pot version of a renowned Cajun / Creole stew, the bold, peppery, smoky flavors of this low FODMAP gumbo will take you straight to Mardi Gras! Making gumbo in the Instant Pot creates amazing depth of flavor in a short amount of time. Using gluten-free, garlic and onion-free sausage and homemade low FODMAP Cajun Seasoning, in addition to being low FODMAP, this gumbo is also gluten-free and lactose-free.
Please note: while low in FODMAPs, this gumbo contains some spicy ingredients, which can be an additional symptom trigger for some people with IBS.
Low FODMAP Gumbo in the Instant Pot
It's Mardi Gras season, the perfect time to post another classic Low FODMAP Cajun / Creole recipe! Plus, it's my late father's birthday this week, and he really loved Cajun food. I tend to lean towards developing recipes in cuisines I have an emotional connection to. Cajun / creole cuisine is definitely one of those cuisines, and gumbo is a hallmark of Cajun cuisine.
One of the most (in)famous characteristics of a gumbo is a roux, which is equal parts flour and fat mixed together to thicken the broth. I use the Instant Pot to sauté the proteins and veggies as well as to create the roux, which is a labor of love no matter what technique you use. The roux I make in the Instant Pot for this gumbo requires whisking it constantly for 15 minutes, which may seem like a long time. However, some gumbo recipes require much, much longer whisking time - some even as long as 45 minutes to an hour of constant whisking over a hot pot! I'm letting you off easy with my 15 minute roux, believe me. While my roux isn't a dark chocolate brown like some traditional, hard core gumbos, it's a nice peanut butter brown, which is enough for me.
What is Gumbo?
Gumbo is a thick, rich Cajun / Creole stew hailing from the US state of Louisiana. It commonly features chicken, sausage, and/or shrimp as well as veggies like okra, green bell pepper, celery and onions. Creole gumbo typically features diced tomatoes and tends to be seafood heavy; Cajun gumbo has little to no tomato element and focuses more on chicken and sausage and sometimes ham for proteins.
My low FODMAP gumbo is a combination of these two gumbo types as it contains tomatoes but no seafood. I included the things I like the best in gumbo, not trying to stick to either Cajun or Creole ingredients. While not a traditional gumbo, I feel it's the best of both worlds.
Gumbo is very similar to jambalaya in flavor and ingredients, while being a heavily spiced stew served over white rice instead of containing rice. You can eat this gumbo on it's own, but I highly recommend serving it with rice that's been boiled with some salt.
How is this Gumbo Low FODMAP?
Like with my Low FODMAP Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe, this low FODMAP gumbo uses a gluten-free, garlic and onion-free smoked sausage. See my jambalaya post for tips on finding a similar low FODMAP sausage near you. If you can't find low FODMAP sausage, you could use smoked ham instead.
Also, to keep this gumbo low FODMAP and easy, I use my homemade Low FODMAP Cajun Seasoning recipe. Store-bought Cajun seasoning blends tend to contain high FODMAP ingredients. My homemade Cajun spice mix uses low FODMAP substitutes for these ingredients in combination with using garlic-infused olive oil. It only takes 5 minutes to make. While low in FODMAPs, my Cajun seasoning blend contains spicy ingredients, which may not sit well for some people with IBS.
Additionally, I use low FODMAP quantities of green bell pepper and celery, leeks instead of onions, and gluten-free all-purpose flour for the roux to keep this gumbo low FODMAP.
The equipment I use to make this low FODMAP gumbo in the Instant Pot includes:
- 6-quart Instant Pot, 8-quart Instant Pot, or comparable electric pressure cooker
- Chopping board and knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2 large bowls
- Slotted spoon
- Plastic spoon, for stirring and scraping
- Large whisk - the lighter, the better
- Serving spoon or ladle, for serving
Low FODMAP Instant Pot Gumbo: Ingredients & Success Tips
I prep all of the ingredients per the recipe card below before starting to cook this low FODMAP gumbo recipe. Things go very quickly once you start cooking, so it's best to have all of your ingredients and equipment readily at hand.
Also, as mentioned, you will be whisking your roux constantly for 15 minutes, so it's best to prepare your "fun things to while whisking your roux" (see the section below for this list) before you start cooking. You will thank me later. 😉
Proteins: Chicken & Sausage
For this gumbo, I use 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I have tested this gumbo with chicken breasts and find the leanness of chicken breasts does not match the richness of the rest of the gumbo. The richer flavor that thighs bring is the best match. I chop the chicken thighs into ½-inch pieces and place them in a large bowl.
Then, I slice the gluten-free, onion and garlic-free low FODMAP sausage into ¼-inch thick slices and place them in a separate large bowl. Although andouille sausage is traditionally used in gumbo, it typically contains high FODMAP ingredients. Any smoked sausage will work as long as it is gluten-free as well as garlic and onion-free. I use Harvest Meats' Gluten-Free Double Smoked Farmer's Sausage, a Canadian brand of sausage which I verified with the company does not contain garlic or onion. See my Low FODMAP Instant Pot Jambalaya post for more tips on how to find a low FODMAP sausage near you.
If you absolutely cannot find a low FODMAP sausage, you can substitute smoked ham or ham steak. Just make sure the ingredients on the package label do not include any high FODMAP ingredients.
Homemade Low FODMAP Cajun Seasoning
Once the proteins are in their own large bowls, I add 1 teaspoon of my homemade blend of low FODMAP Cajun Seasoning to each bowl and toss with my hands to coat each protein in seasoning. Using a premade Cajun seasoning makes things like gumbo and jambalaya so much easier as these recipes typically contain tons and tons of spices. Having to measure each spice out every time you make the recipe is just a drag. Store-bought Cajun seasoning blends typically contain high FODMAP ingredients like garlic and onion.
Garlic-Infused Olive Oil
Once I'm ready to start cooking, I hit the "Sauté" button on my Instant Pot. To add garlicy flavor typical to Cajun cuisine without the actual high FODMAP garlic, I add 1 of the 2 tablespoons of garlic-infused olive oil after the display on the Instant Pot reads "Hot" and swirl the pot to coat. I add the chopped chicken and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Using a slotted spoon, I move the chicken back to its original bowl, leaving as much fat in the pot as possible.
Then, I add the remaining 1 tablespoon of garlic-infused olive oil to the pot and swirl to coat. I add the sausage and sauté for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Using the slotted spoon, I promptly remove the sausage back to its bowl. It's important to remove the sausage quickly or else it will overcook and become tough.
Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free Roux
Then, I add ¼ cup of ghee to the pot (or butter if not needing lactose-free), waiting a few seconds for it to melt, and then swirling the pot to coat in ghee. Once swirled, I add 4 tablespoons of gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking to incorporate the flour after each tablespoon, until all 4 tablespoons have been added. I whisk constantly for 15 minutes or until the roux turns the color of peanut butter.
Fun things to Do While Whisking Your Roux
- Listen to my fun Cajun Cooking Playlist on Spotify. It's sure to get you in the right mood for cooking (and eating) Cajun food!
- Listen to an audiobook. I listen to several dozen audiobooks per year while cooking, and it makes the experience so much more enjoyable. I highly recommend using wireless earbuds for this purpose.
- Listen to your music of choice.
- Watch something on Netflix, Prime, or another video streaming app, being careful not to get so distracted that you burn yourself or your roux.
- Make someone else whisk your roux for 15 minutes while you do something fun somewhere else (why not?).
Once my roux is the color of peanut butter, I add the green bell pepper, celery, and leeks (but not the okra) directly to the roux and sauté them for 3 minutes, stirring nearly constantly so that the roux doesn't burn. The roux will coat the veggies, and that's okay, so don't panic. You just want to make sure to stir them pretty frequently to prevent burning.
Chicken Bone Broth
Once the veggies have sautéed for 3 minutes, I hit the "Cancel" button on the Instant Pot. I add 1 cup of chicken bone broth, wait about 15 seconds, and then scrape the bottom of the pot clean with a plastic spoon. I add the remaining 3 cups of broth to the pot and stir well to incorporate the roux throughout the broth.
Then, I add the remaining ingredients: a 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes and their juices, coconut aminos or tamari (or soy sauce if not needing gluten-free), ½ cup of sliced okra, hot sauce (if using it), and the remaining 2 ½ teaspoons of Low FODMAP Cajun Seasoning to the pot and gently stir.
What is okra?
Okra is a plant that grows fuzzy, green edible pods. These pods are common to Southern US cooking and can be found at many mainstream grocery stores in North America.
Okra has been tested by Monash University for FODMAPs. According to their Low FODMAP Diet App, okra pods are low FODMAP in servings of up to 7 ½ pods or 75 grams. We're using a ½ cup of sliced okra pods (about 4 pods), either fresh or frozen, for 8-10 servings of gumbo.
I first tested this recipe with 1 cup of sliced okra, which is still well below the low FODMAP tolerable amount per serving, but I found that quantity a bit overwhelming as I'm not used to eating okra. If you are a big okra fan, feel free to add a full cup of sliced okra (about 8 pods).
Low FODMAP Hot Sauce (Optional)
For hot sauce, I use the brand Louisiana Hot Sauce, which is not only very fitting for this Cajun recipe but also low FODMAP. It's fairly mild as far as hot sauces go. If you're looking for something with a bit more heat, Tabasco Original Hot Sauce is also low FODMAP. It's typically a bit too spicy for my taste, but if you enjoy heat, have at it.
Please note: some people with IBS react poorly to spicy food regardless of FODMAP content. If your body reacts poorly to spicy food, omit the hot sauce. The low FODMAP Cajun seasoning mix also contains red pepper flakes, which you can also omit if you are concerned with the spiciness.
Once the remaining ingredients have been added, I add the proteins (chicken and sausage) back to the pot and stir to combine. Finally, I lay 1 bay leaf to the top of the gumbo without stirring.
I close the lid of the Instant Pot, set the pressure release valve to "Sealing," and set the timer for 10 minutes.
Once the cooking cycle has completed, I manually release the pressure and open the lid. I remove the bay leaf and discard. I stir the gumbo well and then taste it to see if it needs more seasoning or hot sauce. If it does, I add more, stir, taste, and repeat if needed until it's to my desired taste.
I serve my low FODMAP gumbo in bowls over long grain white rice, cooked separately with salt added to the water. When I don't salt the rice, it absorbs a fair amount of the saltiness of the gumbo, making it all taste under seasoned. I optionally garnish the gumbo with chopped scallions, the dark green parts only for low FODMAP.
Low FODMAP Instant Pot Gumbo (Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free)
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 375 grams about 13 ounces low FODMAP sausage, sliced into ¼-inch slices*
- 4 ½ teaspoons low FODMAP Cajun seasoning, divided
- 2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil
- ¼ cup ghee, or butter if not needing lactose-free
- ¼ cup low FODMAP gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 cup green bell pepper, about 1 medium pepper, chopped*
- 1 medium stalk celery, sliced*
- ½ cup leek, dark green parts only, finely-chopped*
- 4 cups low FODMAP chicken bone broth
- 14 ounce can diced tomatoes + their juice
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or tamari*
- ½-1 cup fresh or frozen okra, about 4-8 okra pods, sliced*
- 1 teaspoon low FODMAP hot sauce, optional (or more for more heat)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup scallions, green parts only, chopped, for garnish, optional
- Prep ingredients: Have all the ingredients gathered and prepared according to the list above before starting to cook.
- Hit the "Sauté" button on your 6-quart Instant Pot, 8-quart Instant Pot, or comparable electric pressure cooker. While the Instant Pot is warming up, add chopped chicken to one large bowl and the sliced sausage to another separate large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning to each bowl and toss the chicken and sausage with your hands until evenly coated in seasoning.
- Sauté proteins: Once the Instant Pot display reads “Hot,” add 1 tablespoon of garlic-infused olive oil and swirl the pot to coat. Add chicken in one layer and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. With a slotted spoon, remove chicken back to its original bowl. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of garlic-infused oil to the pot and swirl to coat. Add sausage to the pot and sauté for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove sausage back to the bowl.
- Make the roux: add ghee or butter to the pot, wait a few seconds for it to melt, and swirl the pot to coat. Add gluten-free flour, one tablespoon at a time, whisking after each tablespoon, until all 4 tablespoons are added. Whisk constantly until roux is a color like peanut butter, about 15 minutes (yes, 15 minutes. Read my post above for a list of fun things to do while whisking your roux, like listening to my Cajun Cooking Spotify Playlist).
- Sauté veggies: Add bell pepper, celery, and leeks (but not the okra) to the pot with the roux and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring very frequently so that the roux does not burn. It’s normal for the roux to coat the veggies while they cook.
- Deglaze and scrape: Pour in 1 cup of the chicken bone broth, wait about 15 seconds, and scrape the bottom of the pot clean with a plastic spoon.
- Add remaining ingredients: Add remaining 3 cups of broth, the can of tomatoes with their juice, coconut aminos or tamari, okra, hot sauce (if using it) and the remaining 2 ½ teaspoons of Cajun seasoning to the pot and gently stir well so that the roux is fully incorporated throughout the broth. Add reserved chicken and sausage and stir to combine. Place bay leaf on top.
- Pressure Cook: Close the Instant Pot lid, set the pressure release valve to “Sealing,” hit the “Pressure Cook” button, and set the timer for 10 minutes. Once the cooking cycle has completed, quick release the pressure.
- Open the lid. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir the gumbo well. Taste the gumbo and add more Cajun seasoning and/or hot sauce as desired.
- Serve: Serve low FODMAP gumbo in bowls over rice (salted). Garnish each bowl of gumbo with chopped scallions (optional). Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Sausage: I used Harvest Meats Gluten-Free Double Smoked Farmer’s Sausage, which the company verified is garlic and onion-free in addition to being gluten-free. See my Low FODMAP Instant Pot Jambalaya post for tips on how to find low FODMAP sausage. Smoked ham, chopped into cubes, could work as a substitute as long as it does not list any high FODMAP ingredients on the package.
- Green bell pepper: According to Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet App, green bell pepper is low FODMAP in quantities of up to ½ cup or 52 grams per serving. This recipe calls for 1 cup across 8-10 servings. Red bell pepper can also be used.
- Celery and leeks: both contain the FODMAP mannitol; however, in these quantities, is still below the tolerable amount stated by Monash University.
- Okra: low FODMAP in quantities of up to 75g or 7 ½ pods per serving.
- Coconut aminos: If not needing gluten-free, you can use soy sauce instead of coconut aminos or tamari.
- Low FODMAP hot sauce: I use Louisiana Hot Sauce, which is low FODMAP as well as free of harmful additives. Omit if your body reacts poorly to spicy food.
- Servings: Makes about 10 cups of gumbo. 8 servings at 1.25 cups per serving.
Cajun Cooking Music
Get in the mood for Cajun cooking by listening to my Cajun Cooking Playlist on Spotify while you cook your low FODMAP Gumbo (especially while you're whisking that roux)!
I don't have an instant pot. Could this be made on the stove or slow cooker? I also don't eat pork or beef so I'd need to make this with turkey, chicken or vegetarian sausage. Thanks.
Hi Julie, You could make it on the stovetop in a dutch oven or large pot, doing the sauté tasks similarly in the pot over medium or medium high heat and simmering on medium low for the pressure cook portion. I haven't tested it on the stove but I'd allow it to simmer at least 20 minutes on medium low and tasting to see if the flavors are developed or if it might need more time. Unfortunately, I don't know of a low FODMAP sausage brand that isn't pork.