Jambalaya is a classic comfort dish that hails from Louisiana. It’s boldly seasoned and features a medley of filling and flavorful ingredients like andouille sausage, tender chicken thigh meat, shrimp, okra, bell peppers and more all served atop fluffy white rice. It’s guaranteed to make your mouth water!
It’s hard to forget your very first bowl of Jambalaya. The flavors are so bold, yet they meld together in a beautiful symphony of spicy and savory notes in each spoonful. Ever since I had my first perfect bowl at a NOLA restaurant, I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since!
Well, I think I’ve mastered it with this easy dinner recipe. It has all of the flavors I’ve been craving with no unnecessary frills!
Since we’re pretty much in the thick of Mardi Gras season, I’ve been making this comforting dinner recipe on a weekly basis. It’s just too good – after one serving, you’ll also be craving it over and over again!
While all of the ingredients in the mix are downright delicious, I think the one that really makes it taste like authentic Louisiana goodness is the addition of Cajun seasoning. I even sprinkle a little extra on top of my bowl.
Another huge thing I love about Jambalaya is that it’s a well-rounded meal all in one bowl. It’s got rice, three different proteins, and a medley of veggies in every bite.
No need to fret over side dishes when you’ve got Jambalaya on the dinner table! With that being said, I do like to serve Jambalaya with a crusty piece of bread to help soak up every last flavorful drop of broth.
What is Jambalaya?
Jambalaya is an American Creole and cajun recipe that’s rice based. It’s made with mainly meat or seafood and rice.
Often confused with Gumbo, Jambalaya and gumbo are similar but not the same. Gumbo is a thick stew that’s served over rice where Jambalaya is a rice dish cooked in stew.
How to Make Jambalaya
This New Orleans classic is easier to make than you may think!
- Cook the sausage and chicken. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Season both meats with Cajun seasoning. Sauté the sausage until browned then remove from the pot. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides before also removing from the pot.
- Add the veggies and seasonings. Sauté the onions, bell peppers, celery and garlic until tender. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, okra, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings.
- Add the meats back to the pot. Return both the chicken and sausage to the pot. Stir to combine and let cook for 10 minutes.
- Cook the rice. Stir in the rice and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat before adding the shrimp. Simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Tips and Variations to Try
- Change the consistency with rice. I like my jambalaya a little on the soupy side, but if you like it to be less liquid-y you can simply add an extra 1/2 cup of rice.
- You can use frozen shrimp. Yep, frozen shrimp work just fine! Make sure to let them completely thaw prior to cooking.
- Use homemade Cajun seasoning. The store-bought stuff is usually loaded with sodium. Get lots of flavor and way less saltiness when you use my favorite recipe for Cajun Seasoning!
- Make it spicy. Craving a little extra heat? Add more crushed red pepper flakes! You can also sprinkle in some cayenne powder if you really want to enhance the spiciness. For you real heat lovers, serve yourself a bowl with your favorite hot sauce drizzled across the top.
Storage and Reheating
Jambalaya will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just be sure to let it first cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container.
To reheat it, the microwave works just fine. However, I get the best results when I pop it back into a pot and let it warm through over medium-low heat. Stir often!
Celebrate Mardi Gras with more of my favorite Bourbon Street staples!
Get the Recipe: Easy Jambalaya Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 8 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 16 ounce can crushed fire roasted Italian tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen okra
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon file powder
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 dutch oven
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Season the sausage and chicken pieces with Cajun seasoning.
- Saute sausage until browned. Remove with slotted spoon, and set aside.
- Add remaining olive oil and saute chicken until lightly browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
- Add the onion to the pan and saute onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic until tender.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes, okra, red pepper, black pepper, salt, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce and file powder.
- Return the chicken and sausage to the pan stirring to combine. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the rice and chicken stock stirring to combine. Bring the jambalaya to a boil then reduce heat.
- Add the shrimp and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is almost full absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Serve immediately.