This one-pot jambalaya recipe is easy, delicious, and satisfying, thanks to the addition of chicken, shrimp, and spicy andouille sausage. You’re 30 minutes away from a Mardi Gras dinner that the whole family will love!
Easy Homemade Jambalaya Recipe
Jambalaya is my go-to winter stew! During the winter season, I make this jambalaya recipe about once a month. When the weather’s chilly, there’s nothing better than a hearty comfort food dinner with a little bit of heat to warm you up inside and out! My jambalaya is flavorful and filling, and it’s also the perfect casserole for feeding a crowd. It’s a versatile dish that can be adjusted to suit your personal flavor preferences, and it really is an excellent recipe for those who like to try new things.
What is jambalaya?
Jambalaya is a popular Creole and Cajun dish with African, Spanish, and French influences. Because it originated in Louisiana, it’s often associated with Mardi Gras, but there’s no reason you can’t eat it year-round. (And trust me, you will want to!) It is often prepared with chicken, shrimp or crawfish, andouille sausage, and rice, although there are all kinds of variations on the classic. The meat-and-rice combo is flavored with the Cajun holy trinity—onion, celery, and green pepper—along with herbs, spices, and diced tomatoes.
In addition to being the ultimate comfort food, this jambalaya recipe is also the ultimate one-pot dinner. You’ve got your veggies, your meat, and your starch all in one convenient pot. We’re talking a perfect weeknight dinner here, friends!
Ingredients For Jambalaya
- Yellow onion
- Celery ribs
- Bell peppers: Green is the classic choice for a jambalaya recipe, but you can use red, orange, or yellow if you prefer.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts: I like boneless skinless chicken breasts because they’re so easy to work with, but you can also use a different cut of chicken.
Sweet paprika: Sweet paprika is ideal, smoked paprika is delicious too, but avoid hot paprika unless you want your jambalaya super spicy!
- Andouille sausage: Cut the sausage into 1/4-inch rounds.
- Tomato paste: If you buy a can for this recipe, freeze the rest in 1-tablespoon portions, pop them in a freezer bag, and you won’t need to buy a new can next time you need tomato paste!
- Low-sodium fat free chicken broth: Chicken stock can also be used, but because stock is unseasoned, you’ll need to add more salt to the recipe.
- Diced tomatoes
- Long grain rice
- Cajun seasoning: Cajun seasoning can bring a lot of heat, so feel free to adjust to your liking.
- Shrimp: Peel and devein the shrimp.
What Kind of Sausage is Andouille?
Andouille is a Cajun smoked sausage made with pork, onions, pepper, and other seasonings. It’s coarse-grained, and it can be quite spicy, depending on the variety you buy.
How to Make Jambalaya
It’s time to roll up your sleeves and make this hearty jambalaya recipe! Here’s what you’ll need to do.
- Prepare. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat.
- Cook the trinity. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers to the Dutch oven and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes or until just softened. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken. Stir in the chicken, sweet paprika, and oregano and cook for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is nicely browned on all sides.
- Add the next several ingredients. Add the sausage and tomato paste; stir and cook for 1 minute, then add the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, rice, and cajun seasoning. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Finish. Add the shrimp and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it’s pink and cooked through. Remove from heat, garnish with sliced green onions and dried parsley, then serve.
Recipe Tips For Homemade Jambalaya
- Can’t find andouille sausage? You can use a different type of smoked sausage like kielbasa or chorizo.
- Keep an eye on the rice. After 10 minutes, lift the lid of the Dutch oven and take a peek. If it looks dry, add more chicken broth.
- Don’t overcook it. Jambalaya isn’t a saucy dish, but it isn’t a dry rice dish either, so don’t wait for all of the liquid to absorb. As soon as the rice is tender, you can move onto the next step of the recipe.
- Adjust it to your liking. Cajun food is known for being spicy, but you can always make this jambalaya recipe on the milder side and then let everyone adjust the heat for their own individual servings by adding Tabasco or extra Cajun seasoning.
Jambalaya is a complete meal with protein, vegetables, and grains all in one pot. Serve it as-is, or top it with extra green onions, parsley, or hot sauce. If you’d like to add a side, serve this jambalaya recipe with a small salad to keep it light and healthy or with some cornbread and an acidic red wine like Pinot Noir or Zinfandel.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Jambalaya
- Leftover jambalaya can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the jambalaya in a saucepan over medium-low heat with a splash of water or broth and gently stir until heated through—or just pop it in the microwave!
Can I Freeze Jambalaya?
- Yes, you can freeze jambalaya for up to 3 months. Store it in an airtight container or freezer bag; let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving, then reheat it over medium-low heat. If it’s dry, stir in a few tablespoons of broth or water.
More Cajun-Inspired Recipes
- Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- Sheet Pan Andouille Sausage with Potatoes and Veggies
- Slow-Cooker Cajun Jambalaya Recipe
- Cajun Shrimp and Guacamole Tortilla Bites
- Mom’s One-Skillet Sausage and Rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 2 bell peppers, diced (you can use red, green, yellow, orange, etc.)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 6 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning, or to taste
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- In a large Dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onions, celery, and bell peppers, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes or until just tender. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in chicken and add sweet paprika and oregano. Cook for 5 minutes, or until chicken is browned on all sides. Stir in the sliced sausage and tomato paste; cook for 1 minute.
- Add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, rice, and cajun seasoning. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes or until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Add the shrimp and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and cooked through.
- Remove from heat and garnish with sliced green onions and parsley.
- Chicken: I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but this tastes great with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, too.
- Andouille Sausage: If you can’t find andouille sausage or want to try something different, you can use polish kielbasa or chorizo.
- Rice: Long grain rice is the best choice for jambalaya as it cooks up fluffy and separate, creating a better texture.
- Broth: Use a rich chicken (or seafood) broth to cook your jambalaya. This will add depth and more flavor to the dish.
- Seasonings: Adjust the ingredients and seasonings to suit your tastes.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.