Jambalaya Recipe

| |

Jambalaya is one of those recipes that I love to cook for dinner guests because it seems difficult and labor-intensive, but it really isn’t! This jambalaya recipe is easy to put together and requires minimal effort or prep time.

Jambalaya Ready to Eat

Even though it’s easy to make, it’s still a flavorful and rich-tasting recipe that will have your guests’ mouths watering as soon as they walk through the door. Keep reading for the steps to make this jambalaya and some jambalaya tips and alternatives.

Ingredients

Jambalaya ingredients see text for details
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 oz. andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 lb. large peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-¼ cup long grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

What is the Best Rice for Jambalaya?

Using the wrong rice in jambalaya can affect the texture of the finished dish. While it won’t completely ruin the meal or the flavor, the incorrect rice can turn jambalaya into a mushy mix rather than a delicious rice dish.

I think the best rice for jambalaya is long-grain white rice. It cooks perfectly in the jambalaya and doesn’t add too much starch to the finished meal. You can use short grain but just note that your jambalaya may be starchier and could come out a little on the gooey side.

Instructions

Here are all the steps you need to make this delicious shrimp and sausage jambalaya recipe. 

Step 1 – Cook the Chicken and Sausage

Cooking sausage and chicken

In a large, high-walled pot, add the olive oil and heat until hot. Add the cubed chicken and sliced sausage and season it with the cajun seasoning and a good pinch of salt and pepper. 

Cook until the chicken is cooked through. This will take about 6-7 minutes. The chicken should be 165°F (75°C).

When the chicken is done cooking, remove the chicken and andouille with a slotted spoon and set it aside. 

Step 2 – Prep the Veggies

Prepping / chopping veggies fo Jambalaya

While the chicken and sausage are cooking, you can start chopping up the vegetables into ½ inch pieces. 

I like that you can chop the veggies to your liking in this jambalaya recipe. I like my onion and celery to be relatively small and the peppers to be larger.

Step 3 – Cook the Veggies

Cooking Veggies

Once the meat is cooked and removed, add the onion, peppers, and celery to the same hot pan and another pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the veggies are tender, about 7 minutes. 

Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. 

Step 4 – Simmer the Rice

Simmering Rice with Jambalaya Veggies

When the vegetables are tender, add the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, rice, oregano, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.

Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until the rice is tender.

Step 5 – Add the Protein

Adding protein to Jambalaya pot

Stir in the shrimp, chicken, and andouille sausage then simmer for another 5-6 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp. 

You’ll know the shrimp are done when they turn completely pink. They’re overdone if they shrivel up really tight, so keep an eye on them.

Step 6 –  Serve It Up

If the jambalaya is a bit too thick, you can add some additional chicken broth or water. Serve it up in a big bowl and garnish it with parsley or green onions. If you’re brave, you can also add a few dashes of hot sauce!

Cookware Used

Large Stock Pot: I love using my enameled dutch oven for this recipe because it heats everything evenly and has high-walled sides to keep the mess and splatter to a minimum.

Flexible Cutting Boards: Whenever I make a recipe that requires quite a few chopped ingredients, I love to use a few flexible cutting boards. This allows me to chop multiple ingredients and then easily bring them over to my pot and scrape them in. 

Creole vs. Cajun Jambalaya Recipe

Jambalaya is considered both a creole and cajun dish. Both styles have protein, peppers, rice, and spices, but there are subtle differences.

Creole jambalaya, like this recipe, is a shrimp jambalaya recipe. It typically has both tomatoes and shrimp along with other proteins and vegetables. It is more often red in color and also includes celery.

A cajun jambalaya recipe, on the other hand, uses chicken, pork sausage, and often ham. There are no tomatoes or shrimp, and celery is often not used in the cajun version. 

Jambalaya with Okra Recipe

Many jambalaya recipes have okra in them to thicken the sauce. My family isn’t a fan of okra, so we leave it out and still think the dish is plenty thick. If you do want to use okra, the above recipe works well with ¾ cup fresh or frozen okra. 

Add the okra in step 5 above, along with the shrimp.

How to Thicken Jambalaya Without Okra

If you are also not a fan of okra but would like to thicken a jambalaya recipe, you can use filé powder. For this recipe, use 1 teaspoon to thicken the sauce.

Filé powder is made from ground leaves of the sassafras tree and is traditionally used to thicken gumbo.

Vegetarian Jambalaya Recipe

This jambalaya recipe is also flavorful when it’s made vegetarian. To make a vegetarian jambalaya, rather than a sausage and shrimp jambalaya, you would skip step 1 above and begin with step 2, sprinkling the vegetables with the cajun seasoning. 

Swap the 2 cups of chicken stock in step 4 for vegetable stock or water.

Lastly, omit the shrimp in step 5 and try adding one 15-ounce can of rinsed black or red beans instead.

Now, It’s Your Turn!

Now that you know the basics for a delicious jambalaya recipe, it’s time to make it your own! Add the proteins you like best, tweak the spices to fit your family’s taste levels, and serve them with one of your favorite sides.

Remember to use long-grain rice and to have a delicious baguette on hand to soak up some of that delicious sauce when you’re finished!

Print

Jambalaya Recipe

This impressive Jambalaya recipe is neither difficult nor labor-intensive. But it is tasty!

  • Author: Beatriz Garcia
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 68 Servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Cajun / Creole

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 oz. andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 lb. large peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1¼ cup long grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

Step 1 – Cook the Chicken and Sausage

In a large, high-walled pot, add the olive oil and heat until hot. Add the cubed chicken and sliced sausage and season it with the cajun seasoning and a good pinch of salt and pepper.

Cook until the chicken is cooked through. This will take about 6-7 minutes. The chicken should be 165°F (75°C).

When the chicken is done cooking, remove the chicken and andouille with a slotted spoon and set it aside.

Step 2 – Prep the Veggies

While the chicken and sausage are cooking, you can start chopping up the vegetables into ½ inch pieces.

I like that you can chop the veggies to your liking in this jambalaya recipe. I like my onion and celery to be relatively small and the peppers to be larger.

Step 3 – Cook the Veggies

Once the meat is cooked and removed, add the onion, peppers, and celery to the same hot pan and another pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the veggies are tender, about 7 minutes.

Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 4 – Simmer the Rice

When the vegetables are tender, add the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, rice, oregano, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.

Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until the rice is tender.

Step 5 – Add the Protein

Stir in the shrimp, chicken, and andouille sausage then simmer for another 5-6 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp.

You’ll know the shrimp are done when they turn completely pink. They’re overdone if they shrivel up really tight, so keep an eye on them.

Step 6 –  Serve It Up

If the jambalaya is a bit too thick, you can add some additional chicken broth or water. Serve it up in a big bowl and garnish it with parsley or green onions. If you’re brave, you can also add a few dashes of hot sauce!

Tried this Recipe?

Let me know how you did on Twitter: @clan_kitchen

Use of Photos

You may post 1 photo from this page on your website or blog (including social media), provided that you credit Clan Kitchen, including a link to this page.