There is nothing like a pot of Jambalaya to get your tastebuds going. This super flavorful dish combines chunks of chicken, andouille sausage, and shrimp with rice and Creole seasoning for the ultimate one-pot dish that’s surprisingly easy to make!

Pot of jambalaya with shrimp on top.


Since visiting New Orleans 20+ years ago, I’ve been obsessed with Cajun and Creole food.

From Jambalaya to red beans and rice, and from Ètoufèe to Gumbo, the flavors of Louisiana cuisine speak to me on a whole different level.

But where I live on Long Island, this type of food is lacking, so whenever I have a craving, I make my own.

This Creole Jambalaya recipe is one that I’ve been perfecting over the years and it’s not only easy to make but incredibly delicious while attempting to be as authentic as possible.

It’s great to serve around Mardi Gras time, but I make it all year long because it truly is a family favorite.

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: chicken stock, Cajun seasoning, spices, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, olive oil, celery, bell pepper, parsley, rice, Andouille sausage, chicken thighs, and shrimp.
  • The Trinity. Green bell pepper, celery, and onion make up the “trinity” of Cajun and Creole cuisine.
  • Chicken. While many jambalaya recipes use chicken breasts, I prefer to use boneless skinless thighs because they have better flavor and are more economical.
  • Andouille. This smoked sausage lends great flavor to jambalaya. I use pork andouille, but you can also use chicken andouille. If you can’t find andouille, you can also use chorizo, kielbasa, or hot dogs.
  • Shrimp. I used U26-sized shrimp but you really can use any size you like.
  • Creole seasoning. Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning is a good one. If you can’t find it, you can purchase another creole seasoning, or cajun seasoning, such as Slap Ya Mama. You can also make your own cajun spice blend which will also give you greater control over sodium levels.
  • Tomato sauce. I recommend using canned tomato sauce but you can also use crushed tomatoes. The addition of tomatoes makes this creole, not cajun.
  • Chicken stock. Use homemade chicken stock or a stock made from a low-sodium chicken base.
  • Garnish. Parsley and/or green onion (not pictured) can be used to garnish at the end and add freshness.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Dice one medium onion, 1 large green bell pepper, and 2 ribs of celery. Mince 3 green onions (if using), and 6 cloves of garlic. Slice 12 ounces of andouille sausage into 1/4″ (or thinner) slices. Cut 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and pat them very dry with paper towels, then season with 1 tablespoon of creole seasoning. (Photo #1)
Jambalaya recipe process shot collage group one showing seasoning and searing of chicken thighs in Dutch oven.
  1. Heat a large Dutch oven to medium heat with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and add the chicken. Cook until it’s browned on all sides, then remove it with a slotted spoon and place on a plate. (Photo #2)
  2. Add the andouille and cook for a few minutes or until browned, then remove and place on the same plate as the chicken and tent with foil to keep it warm. (Photo #3)
Recipe collage two showing searing of Andouille sausage and sauteing the trinity.
  1. To the same pot, add the onions, peppers, celery, and a pinch of salt and saute until soft, about 12-15 minutes. If the pot starts to burn at all, add a few ounces of water and use a wooden spoon to dislodge any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. (Photo #4)
  2. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or until fragrant. (Photo #5)
Recipe collage three showing adding garlic to the pot and white rice.
  1. Add 1 1/2 cups of long-grain white rice to the pot and mix well to coat each kernel with the oil/fat in the pot. (Photo #6)
  2. Return the sausage and chicken to the pot and add 2 large bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 14 ounces of tomato sauce, and 2 1/4 cups of low-sodium chicken stock. If you are using homemade cajun seasoning or creole season, add 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. If using a store-bought brand, you may want to omit the salt as these tend to contain a lot of sodium. Turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to dislodge the brown bits. (Photo #7)
Recipe collage four showing bringing pot to boil and covering pot with tight fitting lid.
  1. Once boiling, turn the heat to low. With a wooden spoon gently scrape the bottom to make sure there’s no sticking, then cover with a lid and cook the rice until just tender but not mushy, about 25 minutes. At the halfway point, remove the lid and gently stir the rice once more so there’s no sticking. Note: Overmixing will release starch from the rice and make the jambalaya sticky. That being said, one stir at the halfway point really is needed to prevent a ton of sticking. (Photo #8)
  2. While the jambalaya is cooking, season a 1/2 pound of large shrimp with 2 teaspoons of creole or cajun seasoning. Heat a large pan to medium heat and add the olive oil. Once simmering, add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute per side or until the shrimp are almost cooked, then remove the shrimp and place on a plate tented with foil. (Photo #9)
Recipe collage five showing sauteing of shrimp and addin the shrimp to the finished jambalaya in pot.
  1. Once the rice is tender, uncover the pot and add the shrimp. Fluff the rice with a fork, top it with parsley and green onion, and serve immediately. Enjoy! (Photo #10)

Top tips

  • Oven method. When making jambalaya you may notice the rice will stick to the bottom of the pot even when stirred at the halfway point. To help mitigate this, you may wish to use the oven method. Cook the rice in the oven at 325f with the lid covered for 20 minutes, then check the rice. If still hard, place it back in the oven and check every 5 minutes until done.
  • Stirring the rice. Jambalaya shouldn’t be over-stirred since it can yield mushy gelatinous rice. If you follow the instructions I provide here and do one gentle stir at the halfway point, you’ll be rewarded with perfect jambalaya rice! Some sticking will happen and that’s fine.
  • Creole and Cajun seasoning. Store-bought seasonings tend to have high levels of sodium. If using one of these, omit any additional salt in this recipe. If you choose to make a homemade seasoning or use a low-sodium seasoning, add 3/4 teaspoon of salt as indicated in the recipe.
  • Shrimp. I have made jambalaya both by cooking the shrimp along with the rice, and sauteeing separately as demonstrated in this recipe and have found the shrimp to taste better and have a better consistency when sauteed separately. If you’re a purist, fold the raw shrimp into the jambalaya a few minutes before it’s finished. The heat from the hot rice will cook the shrimp.

White bowl of jambalaya.

More Louisiana-inspired recipes

If you enjoy all the flavors of New Orleans, here are a few more of my favorite Cajun and Creole-inspired recipes.

If you’ve enjoyed this Jambalaya Recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

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Jambalaya

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6
Jambalaya is a flavorful rice dish that hails from Louisiana and combines chicken, andouille sausage, shrimp, and rice. This easy one pot meal is one you'll want to make over and over again!

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning can sub Cajun seasoning
  • 12 ounces andouille sausage sliced
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 1 large green bell peppers diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt see notes below
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 14 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3 green onions minced
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley for garnishing

For the shrimp

  • 1/2 pound large shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning can sub Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions 

Make the jambalaya

  • Pat the chicken pieces very dry with paper towels and season with 1 tablespoon of the Creole seasoning.
  • Heat a large Dutch oven to medium heat with the olive oil and add the chicken. Cook until browned on all sides then remove it to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add the Andouille and cook for a few minutes or until browned then remove to the same plate as the chicken and tent with foil to keep warm.
  • Add the diced onion, peppers, and celery along with a pinch of salt and saute until soft (about 12-15 minutes). If the pot starts to burn add a few ounces of water to scrape up the browned bits. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add the rice and mix well to coat each kernel with the oil. Return the sausage and chicken to the pot and add the bay leaves, oregano, salt, tomato sauce, and chicken stock. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil while scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to dislodge any brown bits.
  • Once boiling, turn the heat to low. With a wooden spoon make sure there is no sticking then cover with a lid. Cook the rice until just tender but not mushy (about 25 minutes). At the halfway point, quickly remove the lid and stir the rice so that there is no sticking. See notes below for oven method.

Meanwhile, cook the shrimp

  • Season the shrimp with Creole seasoning.
  • Heat a large pan to medium heat and add the olive oil. Once shimmering, add the shrimp and cook for roughly 1 minute per side or until the shrimp are almost cooked. Remove the shrimp from the pan to a plate and tent with foil.
  • Once the rice is tender, uncover the pot and add the shrimp. Fluff the rice with a fork and top with green onion and parsley. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

  • The rice can stick if the heat is too high and even if it is stirred at the halfway point.  You can cook the rice in the oven at 325f with the lid covered for 20 minutes.  Check the rice and if it is too firm, place it back in the oven, and check every 5 minutes until finished.
  • Sodium levels – If using a commercial Creole spice such as Tony Chachere’s or Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning, omit any extra salt.  If using a homemade version or low-sodium spice mix, add an extra 3/4-1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 600kcal | Carbohydrates: 39.3g | Protein: 35.5g | Fat: 34.4g | Saturated Fat: 9.1g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 1800mg | Potassium: 1130mg | Fiber: 4.8g | Sugar: 12.5g | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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3 Comments

  1. I want to make this for family, but one person won’t eat chicken. Can it be omitted or substituted with something else? Maybe just add more shrimp and sauusage?
    I love all your recipes.

    1. Hi Marie, thanks for the comment. Yes, you can omit the chicken and increase the andouille and/or shrimp. Hope you enjoy!