Info

All demo content is for sample purposes only, intended to represent a live site. Please use the RocketLauncher to install an equivalent of the demo, all images will be replaced with sample images.

15 May 2020

This jambalaya recipe is the best Cajun comfort food and so easy to make, with loads of shrimp, smoked andouille sausage, chicken, and plenty of spices.

If you like your jambalaya extra meaty, with plenty of chunky chicken, seasoned and seared shrimp, and spicy andouille sausage, then this recipe is going to make you happy. Are you a jambalaya fan? I love it so much.

I’ve had jambalaya all over the United States, especially in Louisiana where it was made famous, and this version is definitely my favorite.

Jambalaya in a pot with lots of shrimp and andouille

The beauty of Cajun shrimp, chicken and andouille jambalaya is not only in the heat and awe-inspiring flavor, but also because it’s an easy to make one-pot meal.

I made this recently for a gathering and let it sit covered on the stove while everyone else scrambled with their meals. I just kept mine warm and it was certainly a crowd pleaser.

If you’ve never enjoyed jambalaya before, let’s discuss.

What is Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a famous recipe from Louisiana and south eastern United States typically made with a combination of meats, vegetables and rice. The recipe and techniques vary from region to region, with meats ranging from seafood like crawfish, oysters and shrimp to smoked sausage, chicken, turkey, wild boar, duck and even alligator, among others. 

Cajun and Creole versions differ somewhat, particularly in their use of tomatoes, seasonings and meats, but all together it is a highly popular and hearty dish.

My version is more of a Cajun version, with lots of Cajun seasonings, both chicken and smoked andouille, and I’m tossing in extra peppers because I like mine bit spicy, though the extra peppers are optional.

Let’s talk about how we make jambalaya, shall we?

Jambalaya with lots of shrimp and andouille

Jambalaya Ingredients Needed

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 serrano peppers, chopped (optional)
  • 2-3 jalapeno peppers, chopped (optional)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped
  • ½ pound andouille sausage chopped – if you want to get REALLY meaty, add a whole pound!
  • 3-4 tomatoes chopped – about a pound
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock (vegetable stock is good, too)
  • 1 cup white rice 
  • ½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 teaspoons spicy Cajun seasoning (or more, as desired)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Chopped parsley for garnish
  • Your favorite hot sauce for serving

Cajun jambalaya in a pot with lots of shrimp

How to Make  Jambalaya – the Recipe Method

  1. First, heat a large pan or Dutch oven to medium high heat. Add oil with onions, peppers and celery. Cook them down about 6-7 minutes, until they soften up.
  2. Add garlic, chicken and andouille sausage. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the chicken is no longer pink and the sausage starts to cook through.
  3. Add tomatoes and stir to break apart. Crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes are good here, too. Cook for 3 minutes. Add oregano, basil, salt and pepper, tomato sauce and chicken stock. Stir.
  4. At this point, if you’re looking for an EXTRA SPICY version, add in a few teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce. If not, omit. I would add it!
  5. Stir in the white rice. Long grain white rice is good. Bring to a quick boil then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and tender, to your preference. It could take 25 minutes to 30 minutes. Cooking time can vary, so keep an eye on it and test.
  6. Heat a small pan to medium heat and add oil. For the shrimp, season with salt, black pepper and Cajun seasoning and saute a couple minutes each side, until cooked through. Stir them into the Jambalaya pot and remove from heat.
  7. Serve your amazing Jambalaya into bowls and garnish with parsley or chopped green onions. Add in extra hot sauce if you’d like. Enjoy!

About the Peppers

With Cajun and Creole cuisine, green bell pepper is traditional. It is party of the Cajun Holy Trinity of onion, bell pepper, and celery. The regional food isn’t meant to be HOT, but is filled with wonderful spices and flavors.

However, if  you’re looking to spice things up a little, you can either swap the bells for hotter peppers, or just toss in those hotter peppers.

Jalapeno peppers are always a great addition. Nice bit of heat, excellent flavor. Serrano peppers are also quite nice. Try a combination!

Delicious jambalaya in a bowl with a fork

Recipe Tips

  • Stretch the Meal with More Rice. As mentioned, this is a thick and meaty version. I only added a single cup of rice and a single cup of chicken stock, with a focus on the proteins. I wanted those to stand out with huge chunks, but if you want this meal to stretch a bit further, double the rice and stock. I’ve done it both ways.
  • If you add more rice, up your simmering time to 45 minutes or so. Really just until the rice has properly cooked through. The rice will absorb all those flavors and fill up the pan, and it will still satisfy.

Delicious jambalaya in a bowl, ready to enjoy

Serving Jambalaya and Spicing It Up

This will serve a small group of people, but if you’re like us and only cooking for two, it is still an excellent choice of meal because it holds up AWESOMELY to leftovers.

Scoop the rest of the jambalaya into plastic containers and refrigerate for up to a week. The flavors will continue to meld and will work for your next lunch or super quick dinner. Or both! It’s the best comfort food, truly. Such great flavor.

Don’t forget the hot sauce. Another popular ingredient is Worcestershire sauce. If you enjoy the flavor, add some in while simmering.

You can add the Worcestershire and hot pepper sauce when you add the tomato sauce, but you’ll already get plenty of heat from the jalapeno peppers and serranos. A teaspoon or more of cayenne pepper will heat things up, too.

If serranos are too hot for you, you can omit those and add either more jalapeno peppers or bell peppers. Still tastes great! I like to dash hot sauce over mine either in the whole pan or over the serving bowl, or both!

But that’s the beauty of hot sauce, isn’t it? Use it whenever you want.

Patty’s Perspective

I am amazed at how fast Mike put this meal together. And, I have to say this publicly, I wish he would make it more! I’m excited that one of our favorite local grocery stores known for their deli makes their own andouille sausage. I love the flavor in this dish. If you can find a high quality andouille, that can make a huge difference in the final meal.

Cajun jambalaya in a pot

Check Out Some of Our Other Popular Cajun Dishes

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Jambalaya Recipe
Print Recipe
4.93 from 14 votes

Jambalaya Recipe

This jambalaya recipe is the best Cajun comfort food and so easy to make, with loads of shrimp, smoked andouille sausage, chicken, and plenty of spices.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cajun, creole, recipe, spicy
Servings: 8
Calories: 657kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 2-3 serrano peppers chopped
  • 2-3 jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped
  • ½ pound andouille sausage chopped – if you want to get REALLY meaty, add a whole pound!
  • 3-4 tomatoes chopped – about a pound
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup white rice I used a long grain - I only used 1 cup here, but you can fit 2 if you want the meal to feed more. If you do, add more stock.
  • ½ pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 3 teaspoons spicy Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Chopped parsley for garnish
  • Your favorite hot sauce for serving

Instructions

  • Heat a large pan to medium heat. Add oil with onions, peppers and celery. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, chicken and andouille sausage. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until chicken is no longer pink and the sausage starts to cook through.
  • Add tomatoes and stir to break apart. Cook for 3 minutes. Add oregano, basil, salt and pepper, tomato sauce and chicken stock. Stir.
  • At this point, if you’re looking for an EXTRA SPICY version, add in a few teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce. If not, omit. I would add it!
  • Stir in the white rice. Bring to a quick boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and tender, to your preference.
  • Heat a small pan to medium heat and add oil. Season shrimp with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning and saute a couple minutes each site, until cooked through. Stir them into the Jambalaya pot.
  • Serve Jambalaya into bowls and garnish with parsley. Add in extra hot sauce. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Heat Factor: Medium, though you can easily up the heat factor with extra Cajun seasonings, spicier peppers and fiery chili flakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 657kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 77g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 269mg | Sodium: 814mg | Potassium: 1530mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1450IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 4mg

NOTE: This recipe was updated on 5/15/20 to include new information, photos and video. It was originally published on 11/30/15.

 
Jambalaya Recipe

22 comments

  1. Jay Cardis

    5 stars
    Not enough rating stars!! Absolutely fantastic , Mike.
    Due to the pandemic I couldn’t find andoullie sausage so I used
    chorizo. Also used my homemade fish pepper sauce . I will definitely be
    making this again. Keep the recipes coming !!!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Excellent! Great to hear, Jay! Super happy you enjoyed it. I really love this recipe. Jambalaya!!!

  2. John Deaux

    4 stars
    Although I grew up eating a brown version I do enjoy both, the tomatoes in the red give it a different taste and sticky texture as opposed to the brown.
    True Cajun cooking, the way my ancestors created it, is using what you have to feed the family and friends…..

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, John. Yes, this is more of a Creole version, but I love both as well! So good! And so easy to customize to your own preferences. I greatly appreciate the comments.

  3. 5 stars
    Looks awesome Mike. I love jambalaya for a very long time now, But I have never eaten any other one than the one I make, because this dish is almost unknown in my country.
    My concern is that the andouille sausage cannot be found here (our andouille is something completely different); how can you replace it, without losing the authentic taste?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Jeremie. Yes, I love this stuff. You can use a good quality smoked sausage, if you are able to find it. Or try it with smoked ham.

      1. 5 stars
        I just made your recipe: it differs a bit from those I followed until now, but there’s not a unique jamabalaya recipe!
        The main differences were that, until now, I coated chicken with flour and cajun spices before adding it to the onions, and that the shrimps were cooked in the sauce and not sautéed.
        But I followed, step by step, your own recipe: it was gorgeous! many thanks Mike!

        1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

          Thanks, Jeremie! Yep, there are certainly different ways to make jambalaya. This is more of a Creole version. Authentic Cajun versions skip the tomatoes and use all sorts of different meats, but overall the concept is the same. You can definitely cook the shrimp in the sauce, no problem. I do that sometimes. It’s often easier to give them a quick saute then fold them in at the end, but either way! Great so many ways! I appreciate the comments. Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. alan sparks

    5 stars
    I made this recipe last night for my wife and I and we absolutely loved it! I even shopped around for some decent andouille sausage to use since it’s hard to find good sausage of any kind in northern Indiana. It wasn’t that hard to make, about on par with a good stir fry. We gave some to my son-in-law, who loves my cooking anyway, and I thought he was going to cry he loved it so much! I was a little confused about liquid to rice ratio but it turned out just moist enough. Two thumbs up!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Excellent, Alan! This is some great praise! Super happy you enjoyed it this much. Kudos for finding a good brand of andouille. A key element! Thanks for commenting!

  5. 5 stars
    This tasted SO good! Even my almost 2 year old had a second helping and some of a third – with the jalapeños and all!

  6. I’ve already rated this 5 stars, but wanted to add a small shortcut I found if you’re in a hurry. You can subsitute a 28 oz can of San Marzano peeled tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes and skip the can of tomato sauce and hardly tell the difference. I just break them up as it cooks.

  7. 5 stars
    I used roasted jalapenos and ripe Thai chiles! Also Spanish serrano ham and a generic sausage. The base was leftover crab soup. With some tweaks, it was the perfect jambalaya. For the rice, I used leftover from Chinese takeout. That worked well. Added homemade HOT sauce to take it over the top! It was great!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Sounds quite awesome, Ann! Glad you loved it!

  8. 5 stars
    I have made this 3-4 times since I discovered it, and I will be doing it again next week for the kids and I. I love it!! This time, I am going to try a Jamaican Jerk rub to season the shrimp and chicken.

  9. 5 stars
    My go to although I cut the hot peppers in half for the family. Lay some Crystal hot sauce on top and it’s just like I expect good jambalaya to taste.

  10. 5 stars
    Just cooked this up for the first time, absolutely fantastic, thank you will definitely be doing this again.

  11. 5 stars
    This was easy, delicious, and SPICY – perfect ‘rainy night in’ food! Thank you for sharing such a great recipe, I’ll definitely be making this again soon!






This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

15K Shares
Pin15K
Share132
Yum5
Tweet
Email