This jambalaya recipe is a mix of chicken, shrimp and sausage cooked with rice and vegetables in a zesty sauce. An easy one pot meal that takes like something you’d order at a restaurant!
I’m a big fan of Cajun style food, I regularly make New Orleans BBQ shrimp and gumbo for my family. This jambalaya recipe has become a new favorite in my house, it’s loaded with meat, seafood and veggies and has tons of flavor.
When I see jambalaya on a restaurant menu, I always have to order it. That combination of meat, seafood and tender rice just can’t be beat! I’ve created an easy version of jambalaya that can be made at home, yet tastes as good (or better) than the restaurant version.
What is jambalaya?
Jambalaya is a dish that is served primarily in Lousiana and has Spanish, African and French influences. Jambalaya is a one pot dish with meat and/or seafood that is simmered with vegetables and rice. This dish typically contains sausage, along with other proteins which may vary from chicken to pork to shellfish.
How do you make jambalaya?
The first step is to brown your vegetables and meat. The veggies and meat go into a large pot along with uncooked rice, tomatoes and seasoning. Everything simmers together until the rice is tender, then shrimp and okra are stirred in during the last few minutes of the cooking time.
Tips for Jambalaya
- You can use any type of bell pepper that you like in this dish – I use a combination of red, green and yellow peppers because I like the color contrast, but it’s fine to just use one color.
- Like your jambalaya on the spicy side? Add a seeded minced jalapeno into the mix when you’re cooking your vegetables.
- I use larger shrimp for my jambalaya, typically 16-20 count size.
- This dish calls for andouille sausage, which is a slightly spicy smoked sausage that can be found with the other pre-cooked sausages at most grocery stores.
- Make sure you use a large pot for this dish, either a deep soup pot or a large 12 inch deep skillet to contain all of the ingredients.
- You can either remove the tails from the shrimp, or keep them on for a fancier presentation. It’s totally up to you!
- I typically use frozen sliced okra because my store doesn’t always carry fresh okra. If you can find fresh okra, feel free to use it, but I think frozen okra works just as well.
What is the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?
Jambalaya is a rice based dish, whereas gumbo is more of a thick stew. Gumbo is often served with rice, but the rice is not simmered in the soup. Both gumbo and jambalya often contain a mixture of proteins such as chicken, sausage and seafood.
Once you try this jambalaya, you’ll find yourself making it on a regular basis. This meal is slightly spicy, about a medium on the heat scale. If you’re feeding children, you may want to use a mild smoked sausage such as kielbasa, and use a little less Cajun seasoning to tone things down a bit.
Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal on a weeknight, or celebrating Mardi Gras with friends, this jambalaya is sure to please!
More one pot meals
- Arroz con Pollo
- Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Salsa Chicken
- Greek Meatballs with Rice
- Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
- 4 teaspoons olive oil divided use
- 3/4 cup onion diced
- 1 cup bell peppers cut into 1/2 inch pieces. I use a combination of red, green and yellow bell peppers.
- 1/2 cup celery thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 pound cooked andouille sausage sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes do not drain
- 1 1/2 cups long grain rice uncooked
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 pound peeled large shrimp you can remove the tails, or leave them on for a fancier presentation
- 3/4 cup sliced okra fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell peppers and celery to the pan.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
- Remove the vegetables from the pot and place on a plate; cover to keep warm.
- Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pot. Season the chicken to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken to the pot and cook until browned, about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sausage to the pot and cook until browned, approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Pour the vegetables back into the pot. Add the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, rice, Cajun seasoning, dried thyme, salt and pepper to taste and bay leaf to the pot.
- Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and turn the heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir every 6-8 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf. Add the shrimp and okra to the pot and stir. Cover the pot and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until shrimp are pink and opaque.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve.