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.

Jambalaya Recipe | One Pot Meal | Chicken Dinner #chicken #shrimp #cajun #rice #onepot #dinner #dinneratthezoo #glutenfree Jambalaya Recipe | One Pot Meal | Chicken Dinner #chicken #shrimp #cajun #rice #onepot #dinner #dinneratthezoo #glutenfree

A pan of jambalaya made with shrimp, sausage, chicken, rice and vegetables.

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.

Bell peppers, onion and garlic in a skillet.

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.

A pan full of sauteed chicken pieces and andouille sausage.

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.

Vegetables, chicken, sausage, rice and tomatoes in a pan.

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.

A spoon serving up jambalaya with shrimp, okra and rice.

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

Jambalaya Video

5 from 33 votes

Jambalaya Recipe

AuthorSara Welch
A pan of jambalaya made with shrimp, sausage, chicken, rice and vegetables.
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!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course Main
Cuisine Cajun
Serves 6


  • 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.


Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 645mg | Potassium: 639mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1830IU | Vitamin C: 49.9mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2.3mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is THE BEST jambalaya recipe and we always have it in our rotation. We’ve tried so many different ones but none of them quite hit the mark until I found yours. I love the fact that it’s made in one pot. It is so flavorful and delicious, thank you for sharing something we plan to enjoy for years! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe, this was delicious! Even with some swaps as could not find andouille sausage or okra in British supermarkets. With love from London x

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious combinations and love that it is one pot. Perfect Happy Meal for the day. My family to love it.

  4. 5 stars
    so delicious!!! i made this tonight – loved the combo and the peppers and sausage! no okra for me though – hahah

  5. 5 stars
    A family favorite! So flavorful and easy to make! It’s such a cozy meal for all these rainy nights we’ve been having too. Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe is awesome, delicious and flavorful. I’ve made it a few times and used brown rice which makes the cooking time longer. It is a keeper and my family loves whenever I make it.

  7. 5 stars
    Getting up to pick up my ingredientes to make this i love southern cooking and im puertorican and live in alabama . thanks

  8. Should the oven be turned to high or medium high when adding the shrimp? We turned it to a boil a little bit before the shrimp would cook. Excellent recipe, it was definitely a hit!

    1. It should be fine that way, I typically don’t turn the heat up but your shrimp may have been larger than the ones I used which would mean they need a bit more heat!

  9. 5 stars
    THIS IS AMAZING BUT NOW I AM ON KETO, CAN YOU USE CAULIFLOWER RICE? If so im guessing you wouldn’t use as much broth?

    1. Just made the jambalaya and it was fabulous! Added extra jalapeño and used riced cauliflower (instead of rice) because we like spicy and low carb. Thank you!

      1. In the UK and just making this, using Chorizo. I’ll update you once we have tried it. Only ever tried Jambalaya once in a restaurant in Cairns whilst back packing