Slow-Cooker Freezer-Pack Gumbo

This shortcut gumbo eliminates the tricky step of cooking a roux for thickener. Instead, a small amount of rice cooked low and slow gives the stew just the right amount of body. With a bag of prepped ingredients in your freezer ready to go, you can serve this crowd-favorite even on a weeknight.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 8 hr (plus freezing and overnight defrosting)
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 pound andouille sausage, thinly sliced

1 large onion, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

2 stalks celery, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces

One 16-ounce bag frozen sliced okra 

1/4 cup long-grain white rice

3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Hot sauce and crusty bread, for serving

Directions

  1. Layer the chicken, sausage, onion, bell pepper, celery, okra, rice, and Cajun seasoning into a large resealable plastic bag. Pour the diced tomatoes over the ingredients in the bag. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Squeeze out the air from the bag and seal. Freeze until ready to use, up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before cooking.
  2. Pour the contents of the bag into a 6-quart slow cooker. Add 1 cup water. Cook on low until the chicken is tender and the flavors meld, 6 to 8 hours. Season with salt. Serve with hot sauce and bread.

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