College Student Thanksgiving Leftovers Gumbo

So it’s after Thanksgiving and if you’re like me, you have a lot of leftovers from Thanksgiving in your fridge/freezer. Personally I have a bag of leftover turkey, white and dark meat, and the whole carcass of a 16 lb bird cut in half, frozen in my freezer, plus the addition of things like onion, peppers, and celery that I just didn’t need to use.

So because I have sooo many leftovers and don’t really know what to do with them, I decided to make a gumbo!

Now I actually picked up some more ingredients just to make my gumbo more hearty which was the sausage and shrimp, however if you are trying to keep costs down you can actually get salad shrimps (which cost up to $2 depending on where you get them) and the sausage (which you can actually buy a 13 oz kielbasa sausage at Dollar Tree for a dollar and it is pretty tasty).  But anyways here is the recipe!

Thanksgiving Leftover Gumbo 

Serves: 4-6 people Time:1 1/2 hours


  1. 32 oz Chicken Broth
  2. 15 oz Tomato Sauce
  3. 6 oz Tomato Paste
  4. 4-5 Bay Leaves
  5. 1/2 Green Bell Pepper
  6. 1/3 Onion
  7. 2 Stalks of Celery
  8. Leftover Turkey Meat
  9. Kielbasa Sausage
  10. 12 oz 100-150 extra small Shrimp precooked
  11. Green Onion (optional, I only used it because I had it)


  1. White Pepper
  2. Paprika
  3. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  4. Cayenne Pepper
  5. Cilantro
  6. Black Pepper and Salt (to taste)


  1. First I set my burner to low and put my Chicken Broth, Tomato Sauce, and Tomato Paste into my pot and mixed it together thoroughly.
  2. Then I added in 4 Bay Leaves, white pepper, paprika, Tony’s, and cayenne. Now I’m not one to really measure spices exactly so I generally just do it to taste. For instance if you don’t want it to be spicy, don’t add a lot of Cayenne and White pepper. Really I just do a few good shakes of each (a few being 2 or 3) and stir it in, then cover my pot. ingredients5
  3. Time to cut your veggies!
    • I began with my pepper. Now the best way to cut your bell pepper is actually to cut off the top and bottom, then cut out the middle part with all the seeds attached to it. After that you should have the hollowed out middle. Just make a slice down one of the sides and you can cut the pepper into however small or large pieces you want for your dish.ingredients4
    • Next I cut my onion, I actually thought I had more white onion in my fridge but I didn’t so I used a purple onion. I like the color that it adds though and the taste was nice. Remember to also make sure you don’t cut off the end of your onion where the roots are (leave about an inch between your last cut and the roots), you could actually regrow it later, which is what I plan to do. I cut off 2 slices of onion about 1/2 inch thick and then cut them up pretty tiny. ingredients7ingredients8
    • Last was the celery. I’m not a huge fan of celery but I love cooking with it. I cut off the top and bottom of the celery then sliced it up as thin as I could.ingredients10 After cutting it I went back and cut all of the thin slices in half. ingredients11
    • After you finish cutting all of your veggies go ahead and add them into your pot and mix them in thoroughly, then recover. Personally I like having all of my veggies cut up really tiny because I like to get a little bit of everything in every bite, If you don’t have the time to do this, cut them up however you want. ingredients12
  4. After the veggies, I turned my burner up to medium high, then got out the bag of turkey leftovers from the fridge and got all the meat I could off of the bones. I cut them up fairly tiny like I did the veggies (picture if for reference of how small I cut it up).ingredients16I added it to the pot and stirred then covered once more.
  5. After that I cut my sausage. This is the only thing I actually like big in my gumbo. I only needed half so it so the other half will be used later to make something else. ingredients17Then I cut the sausage into slanted slices. I added them to the pot, mixed, and covered once more. ingredients19
  6. Lastly, I got the precooked shrimp out of the freezer. Generally I like to use fresh ingredients but to save some money I went with precooked. All I did with these babies was opened up the bag and tossed all of them into the pot, along with some cilantro, mixed, and covered again. ingredients20
  7. After this I brought my burner down to low and let it keep warm while I prepared some rice to serve it on top of. You could always mix your rice into your pot if you like, but I prefer to put it on top. Then I topped it with green onion and chowed down!

and there you have it! Delicious gumbo made from those pesky leftovers your family sent home with you!prettydelicious


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