Manchac Turkey Gumbo is a perfect alternative to typical Thanksgiving leftovers.

Turkey Leftovers? Try Manchac Turkey Gumbo

You prepped all week before Thanksgiving looking for the perfect smoked turkey recipe for Thanksgiving. And after the big day came and went, you find yourself with a heaping pile of leftovers.

Many will choose to just tough it out and make sandwiches all weekend and into the next week. Well, we have a tasty alternative to the leftover sammiches and we call it Manchac Turkey Gumbo.

Growing up in South Louisiana gave a unique perspective on how the locals prepared food. They used what they had and made it spectacular.

From crawfish dishes (an abundant supply of these freshwater creatures) to bread pudding with stale French bread, the culinary superstars of the bayou usually came from what was on hand.

And what do we have a ton of? Leftover smoked turkey. And what is a great way to utilize this rich, tasty protein? Gumbo, y’all!

Manchac Turkey Gumbo
Manchac Turkey Gumbo

Secret to Great Turkey Gumbo

The secret to this outstanding Manchac Turkey Gumbo dish is arguably the roux. Yes, the simple flavor maker can be the difference between a super hit and a colossal dud.

The recipe is similar in Southern regions of the U.S., but in the canals and sloughs near Manchac, kicking it up a notch is commonplace.

Dark roux reigns supreme in South Louisiana from spicy duck gumbo to traditional seafood gumbo. It’s that extra kick of nutty flavor that catapults the flavor of those dishes.

It’s the exact style of roux we use in our Manchac Turkey Gumbo.

The kicker that takes many at-home chefs out of the gumbo game is the time it takes to properly make a roux, especially a dark one.

It can take as much as 30 minutes of constant stirring on medium-low heat to reach the chocolate-colored stage of our roux. That, to some, is a deal breaker.

But don’t let that deter you because the flavor from all that work will outweigh the work … it’s a labor of love, y’all.

The Good Stuff

A simple turkey gumbo is fine, and will suffice as a good alternative for leftovers, but we don’t like to just get by with good food at Grillax. Oh, no, we like to give our people an explosion of flavor in every bite. That’s exactly what Manchac Turkey Gumbo will do.

This recipe adds fresh Gulf shrimp to the recipe, as well as a nice fatty smoked sausage.

The veggies include the Holy Trinity (onion, bell pepper and celery), garlic and okra. These are a big part of Louisiana cooking, and the same hold true with our Manchac Turkey Gumbo.

The last South Louisiana touch to this recipe is the rice. A Louisiana-grown long-grain rice is perfect for Manchac Turkey Gumbo and is preferred by chefs worldwide for this type of dish.

Happy Grilling, and Allons Manger!

Manchac Turkey Gumbo

The taste of South Louisiana is strong in this wonderful recipe for leftover Thanksgiving smoked turkey. To be honest, it's great anytime!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Style French
Keywords: gumbo, leftovers, smoked turkey, soup, turkey
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Serves: 12 people
The Grillmaster Lauren Cook

What’s In It?

  • 2 pounds Smoked Turkey pulled or chopped
  • 1 cup White Flour
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 4 cups Beef Stock
  • 1 cup Onion chopped
  • 1 cup Celery chopped
  • 1 cup Okra chopped
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup Green Bell Pepper chopped
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Paste
  • 2 Tbsp Hot Sauce
  • 1 pound Gulf Shrimp peeled
  • 1 pound Smoked Sausage coined, browned
  • 2 cups White Rice
  • 1 Tbsp White Vinegar

How to Make It


  1. Pour vegetable oil into stock pot and heat to medium. Slowly add flour, constantly stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue stirring once all flour is added. To get a nice, silky chocolate roux, you may continue to stir for 30-45 minutes.

  2. Once you get your desired color of roux, add your salt, pepper, cayenne, thyme and oregano to the roux and stir. Once combined, you can start to add your gumbo ingredients.


  1. Add your celery, onion, bell pepper and garlic paste and lightly stir 10 minutes on medium-low heat.

  2. Pour your beef stock into pot on top of roux and lightly stir until roux and stock are combined and smooth.

  3. After you add stock, increase heat to medium to bring up to a simmer temperature. Add your Worcestershire sauce, turkey, sausage and okra to the stock and reduce heat to simmer.

  4. After an hour of simmering, turn off the heat and add the shrimp, gently stirring. Put the top on the stock pot and let sit for 15 minutes.


  1. This Southern recipe for white rice is easy. No matter the amount of rice to make, the method is easy to remember and master. For two (2) cups of rice, bring four (4) cups of salted water to a boil.

  2. Once your water is boiling, add vinegar and rice. Stir constantly until the water returns to a boil.

  3. Cover your pot and reduce temperature to simmer up to 25 minutes. Be sure to check the rice at around 18 minutes to make sure all of the water is gone and the rice isn't burning on the bottom of the pot.

  4. Once the rice is done, remove the lid, fluff the rice with a fork and let it sit for another 2 minutes so that some of the excess moisture in the rice dissipates.

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Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook

Eating together, and finding joy in cooking, is in our genes. It’s part of being human. I strive to keep the most basic, simple aspects of grilling and bring it to a modern setting.

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Z Grills
Beef up the flavor! Brine, Inject, Soak!
Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook

Eating together, and finding joy in cooking, is in our genes. It’s part of being human. I strive to keep the most basic, simple aspects of grilling and bring it to a modern setting.

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