This authentic Jambalaya Recipe is a famous Southern staple right out of Louisiana! Loaded with layers of delicious andouille sausage, chicken, and shrimp all perfectly cooked together with tender white rice and a tasty mix of Cajun herbs and spices, this Creole classic is bound to please your palate!
What Is Jambalaya
Say hello to Jambalaya, the world-traveling, flavor-juggling dish from Louisiana! This one-pot wonder is like the United Nations of flavors. It’s got a French name tag, a Spanish paella vibe, and a hint of African jollof rice charm. The result? A mouthwatering mélange that’s too good to be true!
But hold your horses, Jambalaya isn’t just a rice dish! It’s a hearty trio of andouille sausage, chicken, and shrimp, all high-fiving under a shower of Cajun herbs and spices. And oh, that cheeky cayenne pepper, it sneaks a spicy surprise into every bite! Paired with my Cornbread Muffins or Hush Puppies, it’s a comfort-food fest that’ll have your family starting a fan club in your name. And the cherry on top? This flavor fiesta comes together in just an hour!
Why You’ll Love This Jambalaya Recipe
- Simple Recipe! You don’t need any fancy ingredients or special cooking skills to make this delicious creole recipe. It’s a one-pot meal that requires very little effort and comes together in just about an hour.
- Famous Southern Classic! This well-known Louisiana favorite is full of spicy andouille sausage, chicken, and shrimp that is perfectly cooked together with rice and plenty of herbs and Cajun seasoning.
- Crowd Favorite! You can’t go wrong serving this comforting and hearty dish that is bursting with layers of incredible flavor. It’s perfect for potlucks, parties, and family dinners.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil reigns supreme in my kitchen for its rich flavor, but you can swap it with any vegetable oil.
- Onion – Instead of yellow onion, often used in cooking, feel free to use whatever type of onion you’ve got.
- Green Bell Pepper – Green bell pepper traditionally stars in this dish, but any color bell pepper can steal the show.
- Garlic – In the battle of garlic, fresh minced cloves trump store-bought minced for their flavor and lack of bitterness.
- Sausage – Authenticity calls for spicy andouille sausage, but for those not fond of heat, smoked sausage can step up.
- Chicken – Either boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into chunks will do the job.
- Diced Tomatoes – Undrained canned diced tomatoes bring additional texture and a flavor punch.
- Long Grain Rice – Opt for white long-grain rice; I prefer jasmine rice. Stay clear of short-grain, brown, or wild rice though.
- Chicken Broth – Low-sodium chicken broth controls the salt level, but vegetable broth can also step in.
- Dried Herbs – The herby duo of dried oregano and thyme elevates the spice blend.
- Smoked Paprika – Smoked paprika, a Spanish spice, further intensifies the smokiness alongside the sausage.
- Cayenne Pepper – A touch (or more!) of cayenne pepper brings the essential heat to this cajun or creole dish.
- Large Shrimp – Don’t forget large raw shrimp, both peeled and deveined.
- Green Onions – And finally, garnish with green onions for a last pop of mild onion flavor. Chopped fresh parsley can also join the party if you’d like.
How To Make Jambalaya
For a dish that is so complex in flavor, you won’t believe how easy homemade jambalaya is to make! In just a few simple steps you can have a hearty and delicious one-pot meal on the table in about an hour!
Sauté The Vegetables And Meat
To begin, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Then add the onion, green pepper, and garlic to the pan. Now, sauté the veggies for about 5 to 7 minutes or until they have softened up a bit. After the veggies are tender, add the sliced andouille sausage and chunks of chicken breast to the skillet. Then cook them together with the veggies for about 5 minutes or until all the meat is evenly browned on all sides. It’s important that you occasionally stir everything around in the pan so that it can properly brown.
Add The Rice And Steam
This next step is where the jambalaya making really starts! First, stir in the canned diced tomatoes, uncooked white rice, chicken broth, oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Next, season everything with a bit of salt and black pepper to taste. Then bring the mixture to a boil before you turn the heat down to low and cover the skillet with a lid. Now, simmer the jambalaya for 20 to 25 minutes stirring it from time to time to make sure that the rice doesn’t stick. When the rice is done it should be tender and have absorbed the liquid.
Add The Shrimp
Once the rice is ready, add the shrimp to the skillet and gently stir them into the mixture. Now, cover the pan with a lid once more and let the shrimp cook for about 5 minutes or until they are cooked through.
Finish The Dish
To complete the dish, turn off the heat and remove the lid from the skillet. Now, garnish the jambalaya with the chopped green onions and serve it immediately with some extra Hot Sauce if you like!
Frequently Asked Questions
These two southern dishes may seem like they are the same thing, but they do have a few distinct differences. First off, gumbo is soupy and served over rice. Yet, the rice in jambalaya is cooked into the dish more like Paella. Also, gumbo almost always includes okra and gumbo file powder, but neither of these ingredients are commonly found in jambalaya.
Absolutely! While traditional jambalaya is meat-heavy, you can make a vegetarian version using vegetables, beans, and even tofu for protein.
Uncooked rice usually results from high temperature, lack of stirring, or insufficient liquid. Ensure you measure ingredients accurately and simmer rice on low with the lid on. Regular stirring also prevents sticking and burning. If the rice remains uncooked after 25 minutes with all liquid absorbed, stir in more broth and cook for another 5 minutes. However, this won’t rescue burnt rice.
- Pat the chicken dry. Before cooking the chicken you should remove the excess moisture by patting it dry with some paper towels. This helps the chicken to get a better sear and brown more evenly.
- Stir the dish. This is one rice dish that you actually do need to stir! Jambalaya cooks a little differently than just steaming rice and if you don’t stir it occasionally it can burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Immediately remove it from the heat. After the shrimp are cooked, turn the burner off right away so that they don’t get rubbery and the rice doesn’t burn. This is not a dish that you want to keep warm on low.
Leftover jambalaya will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container. It can then be reheated in the microwave for a few minutes at medium power or in a skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. However, if the leftovers have been frozen you will need to let them thaw out overnight in the fridge prior to being reheated.
Other Rice Recipes You’ll Enjoy
- Mushroom Rice
- No Peek Chicken Rice Casserole
- Vegetable Biryani
- Taco Stuffed Pepper Casserole
- Mediterranean Chicken And Rice Skillet
Craving More? Follow Along:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound andouille sausage sliced
- 1 pound chicken breast boneless and skinless, cut into bite size pieces
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
- 1 cup long grain rice such as Jasmine, uncooked
- 2 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 green onions chopped
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic, and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the sliced sausage and cubed chicken to the skillet and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the can of diced tomatoes, uncooked rice, chicken broth, oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, and dried thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet.
- Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
- Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.
- Garnish with chopped green onions and serve hot.
Tips & Notes:
- Variations: You can experiment with different types of protein like turkey sausage or even tofu for a vegetarian spin.
- Spiciness: Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to control the level of heat in the dish.
- Rice: Use long-grain white rice for best results. Short-grain, brown, or wild rice may alter the texture and cooking time.
- Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Garnish: Fresh parsley or green onions add a pop of color and fresh flavor as a garnish before serving.