Jambalaya Easy Recipe

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Jambalaya Recipe

Main dish


Prep time

Cooking time

Total time


Jambalaya, a classic Creole dish that combines flavors from a multitude of cultures including French, Spanish, African, and Native American, is a staple in Louisiana cuisine. This one-pot meal, traditionally made with rice, meats (such as chicken, sausage, and sometimes seafood), vegetables, and a rich seasoning blend, offers a hearty and satisfying dish that’s both versatile and easy to prepare. Below is an easy recipe for making jambalaya at home, allowing you to bring a taste of the South to your table.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)
Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Green onions, sliced (for garnish)


Prep the Ingredients: Begin by preparing all your ingredients. Chop the vegetables, slice the sausage, cut the chicken, and measure out the spices and liquids.

Cook the Meats: Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the andouille sausage and chicken pieces, cooking until the chicken is no longer pink and the sausage starts to brown. Remove the meats from the pot and set aside.

Sauté the Vegetables: In the same pot, add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Combine Ingredients: Return the cooked meats to the pot along with the diced tomatoes, rice, chicken broth, Creole seasoning, smoked paprika, thyme, and oregano. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Add the Shrimp (Optional): If using shrimp, stir them into the pot in the last 5 minutes of cooking, or until they are pink and cooked through.

Garnish and Serve: Once everything is cooked through, remove the pot from the heat. Let it stand covered for 5 minutes. Then, fluff the jambalaya with a fork, garnish with chopped parsley and green onions, and serve hot.

Tips for Success:

Rice Selection: Use long-grain white rice for the best texture; short-grain rice can become too sticky.

Seasoning: Adjust the Creole or Cajun seasoning to suit your taste. Start with the recommended amount and add more if you like it spicier.

Meat Variations: Feel free to use other meats like turkey sausage or even omit the meats for a vegetarian version, substituting with more vegetables or plant-based protein.

This easy jambalaya recipe is perfect for a cozy night in or for feeding a crowd during a gathering. Its rich flavors and satisfying nature make it a beloved dish for many. Enjoy experimenting with this versatile recipe and make it your own by adjusting the ingredients and spices to your liking.

Enjoying the process of making jambalaya is just as important as the meal itself. As you become more comfortable with the recipe, you can start to play around with different variations and additions to make the dish uniquely yours. Here are some additional tips and variations to consider:

Variations to Explore:

Seafood Delight: For a more seafood-centric version, consider adding not only shrimp but also crab meat or even oysters during the last few minutes of cooking. Seafood adds a rich depth of flavor that’s particularly fitting for special occasions.

Vegetarian Option: To make a vegetarian jambalaya, omit the meats and add more vegetables such as zucchini, squash, and mushrooms. You can also incorporate a meat substitute or increase the amount of beans for added protein.

Spicy Kick: If you enjoy your dishes with a bit more heat, consider adding diced jalapeños with the vegetables or a bit of cayenne pepper with your seasonings. This will give your jambalaya a spicy kick that heat lovers will appreciate.

Cooking Tips:

Sautéing Spices: Sauté your Creole or Cajun seasoning along with the vegetables to deepen the flavors. This technique allows the spices to “bloom,” enhancing their flavor profile throughout the dish.

Deglazing the Pot: After removing the cooked meats, there may be bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Use a small amount of chicken broth to deglaze the pot before adding the vegetables.

This process lifts the flavorful bits into the dish, ensuring none of the rich flavors are wasted.

Resting Time: Allowing the jambalaya to rest covered off the heat for a few minutes before serving helps the flavors to meld together beautifully and the rice to settle and absorb any remaining liquid.

Serving Suggestions:

Jambalaya is a hearty and self-contained dish, but it can be complemented with a variety of sides. Here are a few suggestions:

Cornbread: A slice of warm, buttery cornbread pairs wonderfully with the spicy and savory flavors of jambalaya.

Green Salad: A simple green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette can offer a refreshing contrast to the richness of the dish.

Steamed Vegetables: For a healthier side, serve your jambalaya with a side of steamed vegetables like broccoli or green beans.

Jambalaya is more than just a dish; it’s a celebration of flavor and culture. Whether you’re making it for a weeknight dinner or a festive occasion, this easy recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Don’t be afraid to adjust the ingredients and spices to suit your personal taste. The beauty of jambalaya lies in its versatility and the joy it brings to those who share it. Enjoy crafting your own version of this beloved Southern classic.


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