Salty, spicy, and hearty, Jambalaya is a quintessential one-pot chicken, sausage, shrimp, and rice recipe. You don’t have to travel all the way over to the color and vibrancy of New Orleans because New Orleans comes to you with this dish.
Jambalaya is a pure comfort food filled with flavor to the brim. It is a heady combination of the Cajun and Creole cooking tradition with the aromatic trinity of onion, celery, and bell peppers. All of that beauty is sautéed with garlic, herbs, and Cajun spices in Andouille drippings!
Adding chicken and shrimp to this tomato rice pot will make this one wonderful meal you can make in the comfort of your own home. We’ve searched around for some of the best Jambalaya recipes out there and come up with a perfect balance of what a Jambalaya dish should entail up next.
Authentic Jambalaya Recipe
What happens in a jambalaya? This favorite one-pot dish from Louisiana varies from chef to chef, and the recipes passed down from older generations. Traditionally Jambalaya includes any of the following meats.
Chicken and Pork and Seafood
- Sausage – Chorizo, Andouille, or other smoked sausages.
- Seafoods – crawfish or shrimp are the preferred choices.
There are two Jambalaya types: Creole and Cajun. This recipe is the Creole version which is tomato-based.
What is a Suitable Replacement for Andouille Sausage?
- Mexican Chorizo sausage
- Any smoked Polish sausage
Cajun vs. Creole Jambalaya
Creoles make a ‘red jambalaya’ with tomatoes in their recipe, while Cajun cooks don’t. Another difference is the order in which the ingredients are prepared. Trying both while testing, in this final recipe, I combined a little of both, choosing to sauté the sausage first to release the ‘soffritto’ drippings into the pot.
What is the Difference Between Paella and Jambalaya?
While Jambalaya is very similar to a Paella and contains nearly the same list of main ingredients, the spices and seasonings vary. Saffron is the main spice component in Paella, and in the heat department, Paella is milder than Jambalaya.
What is the Difference Between Jambalaya and Gumbo?
Gumbo is typically a stew or soup made with a roux to thicken it, whereas Jambalaya is a rice-based dish. In Gumbo, Okra is usually used to help thicken the stew and add a pleasant taste. For the same reason, I use it in this Jambalaya!
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons Slap Ya Mama/Cajun seasoning, (adjust to suit your tastes/heat preference)
- 10 ounces (300 g) Andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
- 1 pound (500 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 onion diced
- 1 small green bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and diced
- 1 small red bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and diced
- 2 stalks/ribs celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 14 ounces (400 g) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon each dried thyme and dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup thinly sliced okra (or 1 teaspoon file powder)
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice (short grain or long grain)
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound (500 g) raw shrimp/prawns tails on or off, peeled and deveined
- Sliced green onions and chopped parsley, to garnish
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Season the pieces of chicken and sausage with half the Cajun seasoning.
- In hot oil, brown sausage; extract with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the remaining oil to the chicken pot and sauté until lightly browned. With slotted spoon remove; set aside.
- Stir in the onion, bell pepper, and celery until soft and bright. Add the garlic and cook (30 seconds) until fragrant.
- Season with salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes (or cayenne powder), hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and remaining Cajun seasoning. Stir in slices of okra, chicken, and sausage. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring.
- Add the rice and chicken broth, bring to a boil and then reduce to low-medium heat. Cover and let cook for about 20 to 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked.
- Place the shrimp on top of the Jambalaya blend, stir gently and cover with a lid. Allow occasional simmering while stirring until the shrimps are cooked through and pink (about 5-6 minutes depending on the size/thickness of the shrimp used).
- If necessary, season with a little extra salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Serve right away with sliced green onions and parsley
Jambalaya is THE perfect one-pot meal full of a variety of ingredients. You don’t really have to serve it with anything but cornbread or fresh baguettes, plus a salad with a simple dressing that doesn’t overpower all the spices in this Jambalaya. You’ve got to try out this recipe.