Soups and Stews

{ Healthy Gumbo Recipe – Chicken and Sausage }

Don’t be scared by the term, “roux”! It’s just the flour and oil base of your gumbo.  Gumbo, a Louisiana staple, has so many great veggies and proteins in it.  With a few tweaks this dish is both satisfying, belly-warming, and a bit healthier than the traditional version.

If you make this a day or two in advance, then re-heat the pot a second time before serving, it gets better and better each time!

Gumbo is so versatile, you can change out your proteins and add in seafood or various types of chicken or sausage.

Some southerners like their gumbo thick, rich and brown, while others like it light and brothy. To make yours thinner, add more water or chicken stock.

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For 8-10 servings you will need:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp Creole seasoning (salt-free if you prefer)
1 T salt
1 T pepper
1/2 T chopped dried bay leaf seasoning
4 tbsp minced garlic
3 (14-oz.) cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound shredded rotisserie chicken
1/2 pound chicken sausage sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 cups brown rice
1/4 cup chopped green onion
Optional garnish: Hot sauce, added creole seasoning.

1. In a small pan, make your roux, which is equal parts flour and oil.  Over medium-low heat, whisk your flour with your oil until it becomes a milk chocolate color.  Careful not to burn, keep stirring.

2. In a large pot on high heat, brown your sausage, scraping up brown bits as you go.

3.  Add in and sweat out your  veggies and seasoning. Saute for about 5 minutes on medium heat.  Scrape up brown bits. Stir in your garlic – careful not to burn. Stir in your broth. Stir in chicken.

4. Bring to a low boil, then simmer on low for a minimum 3 hours – max about 8. The longer the better. Stir occasionally.

5. While your gumbo is cooking make your brown rice according to package.  Serve gumbo over brown rice and garnish with green onion.

More Posts:

{ Pumpkin Turkey Chili Recipe }

{ Healthy Crockpot Creole Turkey Meatballs in an Heirloom Tomato Sauce }

{ skinny New Orleans muffaletta chicken }

About the Blogger:

Shannon Gagnon is the healthy recipe developer, food stylist and food photographer behind Crawfish & Crunches. She often shares health tips and southern recipes that she turns slightly healthier. On her blog you can find just what the tagline says, “Realistic recipes, rich southern culture, and health conscious habits.”

For inquiries about positioning your brand in front of Shannon’s followers click here.

For the long version about how the site was born, read more.

For information on Shannon’s social media management business, click here.



{ Pumpkin Turkey Chili Recipe } 

To some, it may sound a little funky, but this pumpkin turkey chili recipe is one for the books. It’s so meaty and filling, yet it’s perfectly healthy! The pumpkin is not overwhelming or overpowering, it just makes the dish creamier.  You can make a huge batch, watch a football game, carve a pumpkin, and let it simmer all Fall day long.

As with most of my savory dishes, I always add a pinch of creole or cajun seasoning. It makes recipes so flavorful, and not too spicy!  For this recipe, SoLa Cajun Seasonings was generous enough to send me a sample of their product. What I loved most is that it is made with sea salt, which is often not in other seasonings because it is more expensive. I encourage you to try this cajun seasoning as an all-purpose seasoning salt for extra flavor.

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Ingredients for about 6 servings:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 4 T chili powder
  • 3 T oregano
  • 3 T cumin
  • 1 T pepper
  • 1 T salt
  • 1/2  T creole or cajun seasoning
  • 1 15 oz can white beans, rinsed, drained

Optional Garnishes: FF cheese, non-fat greek yogurt as “sour cream”, green onion, hot sauce, extra salt and pepper, extra creole seasoning

*Have low-sodium chicken broth on hand too add later if you like a thinner broth

1) In olive oil, saute onion about ten minutes on medium heat. Next add bell pepper and add all spices. Saute another five. Add to slow cooker (or large simmering soup pot).

2) Brown ground turkey in sauce pan. Drain liquid. Place in slow cooker.

3)  Meanwhile, toss your pumpkin, tomatoes with liquid, beans, garlic into slow cooker.

4) Stir then simmer covered (slow cooker on low) at least eight hours. It gets better if you let it cool and simmer 1-2 more hours the following day.

5) Top with optional garnishes.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili Recipe Crawfish & Crunches

More Posts:

{ Healthy Pumpkin Breakfast Recipes for Fall }

{ Spooky Recipe: Halloween Pumpkin Peanut Butter Banana Protein Bites }

{ Easy Thanksgiving Turkey for Two }

About the Blogger:

Shannon Gagnon is the recipe developer, food stylist and food photographer behind Crawfish & Crunches. She is known for turning delicious southern staples into slightly healthier versions that can be enjoyed all week long. On her blog you can find just what the tagline says, “Realistic recipes, rich southern culture, and health conscious habits.”

For inquiries about positioning your brand in front of Shannon’s followers click here.

For the long version about how the site was born, read more.

For information on Shannon’s social media management business, click here.



{ Healthy Turkey Pot Roast – Crock Pot Recipe }

Considering it dropped just a FEW degrees this week in the south, it was totally time to bust out a belly-warming recipe. This healthy turkey pot roast is great for a crowd since it simmers and stays warm in the crockpot all day, or you can make it Monday and eat it all week.

Make sure to check out crawfish.n.crunches on Instagram.

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Ingredients for 4-6 servings:

1/4 cup whole wheat or almond flour
1 T dried thyme
2 T paprika                                                                                                                               1 T creole seasoning (low sodium optional)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 4 -pound bone-in turkey breast
1/2 C chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons dried parsley
4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, diced                                                                                                           1 T olive oil
2 small sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cubed

1 ) Pat your turkey breast dry and season with salt, pepper, creole seasoning. In large skillet in 1 T olive oil, brown your turkey on high heat. Do not cook through. Place in crockpot.

2 ) In the same pan, brown your onion. Place in crockpot. Lower heat slightly, deglaze pan with chicken broth. Scrape up brown bits from pan. Transfer all liquid and brown bits to large bowl.

3) In the large bowl, allow chicken broth to cool. Place in fridge if necessary. Whisk flour with chicken broth. Add in and stir tomato paste, and remaining spices.  Add in Worcestershire and garlic.

4) Place sweet potatoes, carrots, and celery into crockpot. Pour all of your ingredients from your bowl into crockpot over vegetables and turkey.

5) Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Turkey should be tender enough to fall apart, vegetables should be tender.

6) Serve hot and with additional salt and pepper or creole seasoning if necessary.




{ Summer Sweet Corn & Crawfish Chowder }

We are about to embark on July and August in the south. I officially broke a sweat walking out the front door to my car, and then again leaving the grocery store. However, even though it’s hotter than heck out there, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this healthy summer soup recipe in the A.C. at night. The corn is plentiful in the south and even though it’s a long crawfish season, you can buy them frozen if need be. If you don’t have access to crawfish, shrimp would work great here too.

Don’t worry, no heavy cream or flour involved here! This recipe is super light and healthy.

Pairs well with { Honey Creole Baked Chicken Tenders } or { Super Simple Pound Cake Pudding Parfait } for dessert.

Make sure to check out my Pinterest for more recipes.

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Tag me on Instagram in your creations.


For four servings:

  • 2 T Olive oil or cooking oil of choice
  • 4 ears fresh corn kernels
  • 4 cups golden potatoes, chopped into bitesize pieces
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 T salt
  • 4 T black pepper
  • 1 lb crawfish tails (cooked, preferrably boiled) or shrimp (peeled)
  • 1 T Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 T paprika
  • 1/2 C greek yogurt
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • 4-5 C unsweetened plain almond milk
  • optional garnish: green onion, chopped tomato, paprika, additional cajun or creole seasoning

1) In a large stockpot saute your corn lightly in olive oil until golden on medium heat, about 15 minutes. Add your salt, pepper, Old Bay, paprika.

2) Chop your onion in food processor. Add to stockpot. Saute about 10 minutes. Chop your garlic in a food processor until fine. Stir into stockpot. Add your chopped golden potatoes, saute another ten minutes.

3) Lower heat and whisk in greek yogurt. Keep whisking as you add in chicken broth, then almond milk. I say 4-5 C almond milk because your liquid should fully cover your ingredients.

4) Bring pot back to a boil, then lower to simmer. If you are adding crawfish, add now. If you are adding shrimp instead, just stir them in at the last minute before serving until they turn pink. Simmer at least one hour. Your potatoes should be fork tender. The longer it simmers the better, the next day it’s even better!

5) Taste to see if it needs anymore seasoning. If your broth reduced down too much during the simmer, you can always add more almond milk or broth. If your crawfish were preboiled, they probably have some heat to them and the soup should not need to much extra seasoning. If they were steamed or frozen, you may need to add additional Old Bay, creole or cajun seasoning.

About the Blogger:

Shannon Gagnon is the recipe developer, food stylist and food photographer behind Crawfish & Crunches. She is known for turning delicious southern staples into slightly healthier versions that can be enjoyed all week long. On her blog you can find just what the tagline says, “Realistic recipes, rich southern culture, and health conscious habits.” For inquiries about positioning your brand in front of Shannon’s followers click here. For the long version about how the site was born, read more.

More Recipes:

{ gulf shrimp stuffed portobello mushrooms }

{ cajun caviar }

{ skinny New Orleans muffaletta chicken }

fall off the bone wine braised chicken{ fall-off-the-bone wine & bacon braised chicken }

This was my first time cooking in this gigantic cast iron dutch oven pot. It was passed down to me from my father-in-law and I hope he never wants it back. I fell in love. I finally had a pot big enough for all my meat and vegetables that could be covered then put in the oven. My night was made. This dish sounds so decadent, but really it’s in fact not too heavy with a few tweaks I made. You can drink the broth and it kind of winds up like a stew. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6-8 servings:

  • 3 T bacon fat, butter, or coconut oil if you are feeling healthy
  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken legs
  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 3 T seasoned salt
  • 3 T black pepper
  • 2 T thyme
  • 3 T whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 pound turkey bacon, diced
  • 4 cups chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped butternut squash
  • 2 4-ounce packages mixed mushrooms chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups red wine – cabernet would work
  • 2 cups chicken broth

1) Preheat oven to 300.

2) In a large enamel-coated cast-iron skillet dutch oven, heat your cooking oil of choice on very high heat. Pat your chicken dry and season liberally with seasoned salt, pepper, thyme. Sear each side of your chicken until browned and set aside.

3) While your chicken is browning chop your veggies.

4) Now you want to make your roux. Whisk in your flour into the bottom of the pan. At this point you may need to add more oil so that it combines. Whisk for a minute or two.

5) Brown your bacon.

6) Add in your carrot, saute for a few minutes. Add your squash, saute, mushrooms, saute, garlic, saute. fall off the bone wine braised chicken crawfish.n.crunches

7) Add wine to pan, bring to a simmer. Add broth, bring to a simmer.

8) Cover and bake about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes until meat is tender and falls off the bone.

9) Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve!

pulled chicken creole crawfish.n.crunches{ pulled chicken creole }

I’m a sucker anything Emeril. That’s why whenever I need to know the traditional New Orleans way of making something, I refer to him. Many of my recipes are adapted from him to be a little healthier and easier. With this dish, my husband and I were shocked at how much chicken were consuming ( in a good way ). It’s a great way to get protein in with clean veggies in the mix too. I ate it sans rice, but my big & tall hubby ate it with rice.
6-8 Servings
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup wheat flour
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 T creole seasoning
  • 2 T chopped bay leaves
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 2 lb chicken breast, trimmed of fat, veins
  • 2 T dried parsley
  • 1 T thyme
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 Cups chicken broth
  • 1 T pepper
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
1) In a large cast iron skillet or saute pan, over high heat, melt the coconut oil. Pat dry and season your chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper, creole seasoning, bay leaves, oregano, thyme. Sear each side of the chicken briefly, then set in empty crockpot. Do not cook through.
2) Add the onions, peppers, and celery to the pan. Sear them, don’t cook through. 6-8 mins. Add them to crockpot.
3) Pour 2 cups chicken broth over your hot pan, scraping up all the loose brown bits and seasoning off the pan. Whisk in your flour. Pour into crockpot.
4) To your crockpot add minced garlic, diced tomatoes, hot sauce, worcestershire, parsley, any leftover seasonings.

5) Cook on low 8-10 hours. Shred chicken lightly. Serve over brown rice. Check seasoning, may need more creole seasoning and my husband added more hot sauce.

shrimp ettouffe crawfish.n.crunches{ slimmer trimmer shrimp etouffee }

Shrimp etouffee is like a thick gravy over your rice, consisting of vegetables and shrimp. It’s often served at restaurants in Lousiana, but you can make it right in your own home without a doubt. Don’t feat the roux! Once you get that down pat, gumbo, etouffee, and creole dishes will all be a cinch.

I adapted this to be lighter, but it originates from the pro, my main man, my hero Emeril Lagasse

For about 10 servings:

6 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
4 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped green bell peppers
2 cups chopped celery
4 cloves minced garlic
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves 3 tablespoons creole seasoning
1 quart chicken stock or seafood stock if you have it
3 pounds medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 tbsp parsley
Steamed brown rice, for serving
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion tops, for garnish

1) Melt the coconut oil in a large stew pot on medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly to make your roux. Keep stirring until you see the color of peanut butter, about 5 to 7 minutes.

2) Add your “holy trinity” of celery, onion, bell pepper and stir 10 minutes. Add garlic.

3) Add the tomatoes and all of your seasoning, including bay leaves. Cook 5 minutes. Add in chicken stock.

4) Bring to boil. Simmer, cover on low for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

5) Add shrimp and stir about 5 minutes.

6) Remove bay leaves. Serve over brown rice, top with green onion. Top with more creole seasoning or hot sauce if you prefer it spicy. If you like it extra lean, it doesn’t even need the rice!

shrimp ettouffee crawfish.n.crunches 2

chicken and dumplings crawfish.n.crunches

{ lighter chicken & dumpling soup }

My mother-in-law cooks a big pot of chicken and dumpling soup when the family of 15 comes over. It’s heart warming and belly warming to all sit around the living room slurping our big bowls of goodness. I decided to lighten up an old favorite so my hubby and I could enjoy it during the week. What a great way to get our veggies and protein in, with just a little whole grain carb!
As with all my soups and stews, I recommend making this a day in advance, then serving the following day. It just tastes better!

For 6-8 servings

Soup ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast, fat and veins trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

5 celery stalks, thinly sliced

5 carrots, thinly sliced

1 Half Stick butter

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 T ground mustard

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 T chopped bay leaves (not that you chop them yourself, they should come in a little spice jar like that)

64 oz. low-sodium chicken stock

2 T dried parsley

Pepper to taste

For the Dumplings:

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

1 T salt

1 T ground pepper

3/4 c. whole milk

chicken and dumplings crawfish.n.crunches 2

1) In a large sauce pot, melt butter over low heat, stir in your flour. Mix on the bottom of the pan until it turns golden brown. On medium heat add onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Cook for 8–10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

2) Add the mustard, bouillon cube, bay leaves, parsley and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.

3) Mix your dumpling ingredients in a bowl with fork until they are wet and doughy.

4) Drop into the boiling soup by the teaspoon. Boil for about 3 minutes, then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for as long as possible. If you are in a pinch, simmer at least 30 minutes then serve. If you make this in advance, simmer for 5 hours the first day, then refrigerate over night, then heat up for 3 the next day on low. This thickens the soup and enhances the flavor.

I serve with a little creole seasoning on top. It makes everything better :)
hearty healthier pork stew crawfish.n.crunches{ hearty healthier pork and butternut squash stew }

This is actually a dish centered around wild game. My father-in-law got a big ol’ wild pig and I have been playing with different ways to cook it. The slow-cooker is absolutely fail proof for wild game! Try this dish with venison or pork, but if you don’t have it, throw in a store bought pork tenderloin. I highly recommend making this dish a day ahead, then reheating in the crock pot before serving. It thickens the sauce and the flavors intensify. If you prefer, serve with a warm crusty whole grain bread to slurp up all the extra juices.

For 8 Servings

  • 3 pounds wild game, such as venison, venison stew meat, wild pig, or if you don’t hunt, put in a 2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 8 carrots, sliced
  • 2 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 cups butternut squash, diced
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T crushed bay leaves
  • 1 T seasoned salt
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 T pepper
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 T thyme
  • 1 t nutmeg
  • 1 cup water optional
  • 2 beef boullion cubes

1) Pat your meat dry and season liberally with salt and pepper in a large HOT pan, sear all sides of the meat. Make sure it is brown, but don’t cook through. Place in your crock pot.

2) In the same skillet, make your roux. Turn heat to low. Combine your flour and coconut oil. Stir til golden or chocolately brown in color. At the end, pour a little broth, or wine if you have it (1/4 cup) into the pan and scrape up all brown bits. Pour every last dripping into your crockpot.

3) After all your veggies are chopped. Throw it all in the pot. Once your pot is full, stir around all the ingredients. You may need to add one more cup of water at this point. You want your veggies and meat to be fully submersed in liquid.

4) Cook on low for 10 hours, or overnight. If you make this dish in advance it gets better and better. Put it in the fridge for half a day, then heat back up on the crock pot for two hours.
Mexican style soup crawfish.n.crunches{ Super Bowl Slow Cooker Skinny Mexican Style Soup }

Chili Schmili. Why not mix things up this Sunday? You are probably going to be serving guac and chips anyways, so pair it with this skinny guilt free soup. The flavors will pair perfectly.

Throw everything in the crockpot in 20 minutes and your work is done for the day. Just create a little topping bar so your guests can play with their food a bit.

For about 6 servings:

    • 16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, vains and excess fat removed
    • 3 Tbsp minced garlic
    • 1 whole yellow or white onion, chopped
    • 16 oz can reduced-sodium black beans, drained + rinsed
    • 16 oz can kidney beans, drained + rinsed
    • 16 oz can mild enchilada sauce
    • 2 — 10 oz cans diced tomatoes with chilies
    • 1 packet reduced-sodium taco seasoning
    • 1 Tbsp chili powder
    • 32 oz reduced-sodium chicken broth
Topping bar ingredients:
  • FF plain Greek yogurt
  • sliced Jalapeño peppers
  • avocado
  • FF Mexican shredded cheese
  • cilantro
  • lime
  • seasoned salt
  • hot sauce
  • multigrain tortilla chips


1) If you can make this the day in advance, then reheat on low in the crockpot the day of the game, it gets sooo much better.
2) Place all ingredients into the crockpot.
3) Cook on low for 8 hours
4) Shred all the chicken with a fork, careful not to miss any large chunks. Stir and turn off crockpot so the chicken absorbs more moisture.
5) Serve with toppings!

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