Homemade Jambalaya – Easy one-pot recipe! (2024)

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4.82 from 91 votes

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This one-pot jambalaya recipe is easy, delicious, and satisfying, thanks to the addition of chicken, shrimp, and spicy andouille sausage. You’re 30 minutes away from a Mardi Gras dinner that the whole family will love!

Homemade Jambalaya – Easy one-pot recipe! (2)

Jambalaya is my go-to winter stew! During the winter season, I make this jambalaya recipe about once a month. When the weather’s chilly, there’s nothing better than a hearty comfort food dinner with a little bit of heat to warm you up inside and out! My jambalaya is flavorful and filling, and it’s also the perfect casserole for feeding a crowd. It’s a versatile dish that can be adjusted to suit your personal flavor preferences, and it really is an excellent recipe for those who like to try new things.

What is Jambalaya?

Jambalayais a popular Creole and Cajun dish with African, Spanish, and French influences. Because it originated in Louisiana, it’s often associated with Mardi Gras, but there’s no reason you can’t eat it year-round. It is often prepared with chicken, shrimp or crawfish, andouille sausage, and rice, although many variations exist. The meat-and-rice combo is flavored with the Cajun holy trinity of onion, celery, and green pepper, along with herbs, spices, and diced tomatoes. In addition to being the ultimate comfort food, this recipe is also the ultimate one-pot dinner. You’ve got your veggies, your meat, and your starch all in one convenient pot. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner, friends!

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Jambalaya Ingredients

  • Yellow onion
  • Celery ribs
  • Bell peppers: Green is the classic choice for a jambalaya recipe, but you can use red, orange, or yellow if you prefer.
  • Garlic
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts: I like boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you can also use a different cut of chicken.
    Sweet paprika: Sweet paprika is ideal, smoked paprika is delicious too, but avoid hot paprika unless you like your jambalaya spicier.
  • Oregano
  • Andouille sausage: This is a smoked sausage made with pork, onions, peppers, and other seasonings. Cut the sausage into 1/4-inch rounds.
  • Tomato paste: If you buy a can for this recipe, freeze the rest in 1-tablespoon portions, pop them in a freezer bag, and you won’t need to buy a new can next time you need tomato paste!
  • Low-sodium fat free chicken broth: Chicken stock can also be used, but because stock is unseasoned, you’ll need to add more salt to the recipe.
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Long grain rice
  • Cajun seasoning: Cajun seasoning can bring a lot of heat, so feel free to adjust to your liking.
  • Shrimp: Peel and devein the shrimp.

How to Make Jambalaya

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  1. Prepare. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat.
  2. Cook the trinity. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers to the Dutch oven and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes or until just softened. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chicken. Stir in the chicken, sweet paprika, and oregano and cook for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is nicely browned on all sides.
  4. Add the next several ingredients. Add the sausage and tomato paste; stir and cook for 1 minute, then add the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, rice, and cajun seasoning. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Finish. Add the shrimp and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it’s pink and cooked through. Remove from heat, garnish with sliced green onions and dried parsley, then serve.
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Recipe Tips

  • Can’t find andouille sausage? You can use a different type of smoked sausage like kielbasa or chorizo.
  • Keep an eye on the rice. After 10 minutes, lift the lid of the Dutch oven and take a peek. If it looks dry, add more chicken broth.
  • Don’t overcook it. Jambalaya isn’t a saucy dish, but it isn’t a dry rice dish either, so don’t wait for all of the liquid to absorb. As soon as the rice is tender, you can move onto the next step of the recipe.
  • Adjust it to your liking. Cajun food is known for being spicy, but you can always make this jambalaya recipe on the milder side and then let everyone adjust the heat for their own individual servings by adding Tabasco or extra Cajun seasoning.
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Serving Suggestions

Jambalaya is a complete meal with protein, vegetables, and grains all in one pot. Serve it as-is, or top it with extra green onions, parsley, or hot sauce. If you’d like to add a side, serve jambalaya with coleslaw, tomato cucumber salad, and cornbread.


  • Leftover jambalaya can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  • Reheat it in a saucepan over medium-low heat and gently stir until heated through – or just pop it in the microwave! Add water or broth if it’s too thick.
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More Cajun-Inspired Recipes

  • Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
  • Sheet Pan Andouille Sausage with Potatoes and Veggies
  • Slow-Cooker Cajun Jambalaya Recipe
  • Cajun Shrimp and Guacamole Tortilla Bites
  • Mom’s One-Skillet Sausage and Rice

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Jambalaya Recipe

Katerina | Diethood

Enjoy the vibrant flavors of this delicious one-pot jambalaya packed with juicy chicken, zesty shrimp, tender rice, and fiery andouille sausage.

4.82 from 91 votes

Rate this Recipe!

Servings : 6 Servings

Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Cook Time 30 minutes mins

Total Time 40 minutes mins


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced (you can use red, green, yellow, orange, etc.)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning, or to taste
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


  • In a large Dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat.

  • Add onions, celery, and bell peppers, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes or until just tender. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.

  • Stir in chicken and add sweet paprika and oregano. Cook for 5 minutes, or until chicken is browned on all sides. Stir in the sliced sausage and tomato paste; cook for 1 minute.

  • Add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, rice, and cajun seasoning. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes or until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.

  • Add the shrimp and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and cooked through.

  • Remove from heat and garnish with sliced green onions and parsley.

  • Serve.


  • Chicken: I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but this tastes great with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, too.
  • Andouille Sausage: If you can’t find andouille sausage or want to try something different, you can use polish kielbasa or chorizo.
  • Rice: Long grain rice is the best choice for jambalaya as it cooks up fluffy and separate, creating a better texture.
  • Broth: Use a rich chicken (or seafood) broth to cook your jambalaya. This will add depth and more flavor to the dish.
  • Seasonings: Adjust the ingredients and seasonings to suit your tastes.


Calories: 365 kcal | Carbohydrates: 35 g | Protein: 27 g | Fat: 13 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g | Trans Fat: 0.1 g | Cholesterol: 73 mg | Sodium: 498 mg | Potassium: 839 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 6 g | Vitamin A: 1749 IU | Vitamin C: 62 mg | Calcium: 65 mg | Iron: 2 mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: American/Southern

Keyword: cajun jambalaya, chicken jambalaya, homemade jambalaya

Did you make this recipe?Leave a Rating!


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Homemade Jambalaya – Easy one-pot recipe! (2024)


What is the secret to a good jambalaya? ›

Black pepper, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and hot sauce are the backbone of a great jambalaya. You can also add in some tomato paste or tomato powder, which creates a little sweetness.

How many cups of rice to water for jambalaya? ›

Add 2 cups white rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is opaque and toast-y smelling, about 3 minutes. Add the liquid and meats. Pour in 2 1/2 cups water or chicken broth and bring to a boil.

What's the difference between Cajun jambalaya and jambalaya? ›

Cajun vs.

Creole jambalaya, also known as red jambalaya, contains tomatoes. Cajun or brown jambalaya does not. Jambalaya isn't thickened with roux, although some cooks do include a little skillet-browned flour.

What are the two types of jambalaya? ›

There are two types of jambalaya: Cajun and Creole. Cajun jambalaya originates from the bayous of Louisiana, featuring andouille sausage and various veggies. Creole jambalaya incorporates tomatoes and shrimp, using influences from Spain, France, and African locals.

What is the Holy Trinity of jambalaya? ›

The "holy trinity" in Cajun cuisine and Louisiana Creole cuisine is the base for several dishes in the regional cuisines of Louisiana and consists of onions, bell peppers and celery. The preparation of Cajun/Creole dishes such as crawfish étouffée, gumbo, and jambalaya all start from this base.

What is the difference between Cajun and Creole jambalaya recipe? ›

Creole jambalaya includes tomatoes—possibly a sub for paella's saffron (a once out-of-reach ingredient for southern Louisianans). Cajun jambalaya, found more frequently further outside of New Orleans, omits tomatoes, yielding distinctly cooked grains, garnished with chicken, sausage, and later, spring onions.

Do you simmer jambalaya with lid on or off? ›

Stir in the rice and simmer for 10 minutes, then turn the rice once, cover with a tight lid, turn down the heat and steam gently for 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and add the prawns and sausage, turn the rice once, then replace the lid and leave to sit for 10 minutes.

Should I Precook rice for jambalaya? ›

Add in the uncooked rice, chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, Cajun/Creole seasoning, thyme, cayenne and bay leaf. Give everything a good stir. Cover and cook. Then cook for 25-30 minutes, being sure to stir the mixture every 5 minutes or so (to prevent burning) until the rice is nearly tender.

Do you pre cook rice for jambalaya? ›

The best rice type of rice to use for jambalaya is a long grain white rice. Basmati is also a great alternative if you don't have long grain white rice available. Quick rice or any kind of short grain white rice is not recommended. Unless you cook the rice beforehand, set aside and mix in later.

What Southern dish is like jambalaya? ›

Today, jambalaya and gumbo can contain any number of meats and seafood, including crawfish, shrimp, pork, and chicken, with varying levels of spice. Throughout the South, it's hard to find any two cooks with the same recipe — to which we say “laissez les bon temps rouler!” The more variations, the better, y'all.

What makes jambalaya taste like jambalaya? ›

The one ingredient that seems to be fairly constant in all Jambalaya preparations though is some kind of sausage, and preferably a smoked one. Andouille, a spicy smoked sausage native to Louisiana, is the traditional choice.

Do tomatoes belong in jambalaya? ›

Two main categories of jambalaya exist: Creole (or red) jambalaya, which is associated with the city of New Orleans and contains tomato, and Cajun (or brown) jambalaya, which contains no tomato and is more common in other parts of Louisiana. The recipe I'm focusing on here is the former, with tomato.

What is a good substitute for andouille sausage? ›

If you haven't got any andouille at home, you will want to substitute the ingredient with another sharply flavoured smoked sausage. Chorizo Chorizo is a good substitute for andouille's distinctly smoky flavour. Polish kielbasa is another substitute that you can use.

What is the difference between Cajun and Creole seasoning for jambalaya? ›

Popular Cajun seasonings like Tony Chachere's and Slap Ya Mama get heat from red pepper, with black pepper, salt, and garlic powder in the mix to enhance the flavor of food. Creole seasoning rounds out spicy red pepper with herbs like thyme, oregano, basil, and bay leaf.

What gives jambalaya its color? ›

Cajun jambalaya usually has a brown colour due to the meat dissolving in the broth. It also has a smokier flavour because of the meat being allowed to brown first.

Does authentic jambalaya have tomatoes? ›

Two main categories of jambalaya exist: Creole (or red) jambalaya, which is associated with the city of New Orleans and contains tomato, and Cajun (or brown) jambalaya, which contains no tomato and is more common in other parts of Louisiana. The recipe I'm focusing on here is the former, with tomato.


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