Jambalaya

My friends taught me how to make their homemade jambalaya recipe. And it's a total winner.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Some people make popcorn to celebrate the Academy awards.  Some might whip up a fancy cocktail or two. My neighbors John and Cate?  They invite the whole neighborhood over for a massive jambalaya feast.

NBD.

Actually though, it was a big deal because his jambalaya was freaking amazing.  I went back for thirds, in between cheering on Lupita and watching Brad Pitt hand out pizza.  It was an epic night all around. So I asked John if he would teach me his ways.  And like a good neighborrrr, John and Cate were therrrrre.

Here’s what I learned…

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

First of all, I learned that these two make a pretty darn cute team in the kitchen.  They’ll both be the first to admit that John is more of the cook in the family, whose specialty is usually anything Italian.  But his family is from Alabama and have been making jambalaya for decades, usually with fresh shrimp from the Gulf, they are quick to note.  (Something we Midwesterners just dream about…)

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

For some reason I had always associated jambalaya with gumbo, thinking that the process required oodles of cooking time trying to make the perfect roux.  But John assured me that the whole dish can be made in under an hour.  My kind of meal. So last week, he and Cate came by for an afternoon cooking sesh.  John manned the stove and Cate peeled shrimp, and I basically cheered them on and took notes and photos.  And then dove in and (again) had thirds once everything was cooked. Here’s the how to:

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

You basically begin with the “holy trinity” of Cajun/Creole cooking — bell peppers, celery and onion.  You all know that I’m a sucker for color in cooking, so I picked up three different colors of peppers for this version.  Oh, and I accidentally forgot fresh garlic, so cheated and went with the refrigerated stuff.  Judge away…I use it all the time.  :) Saute the veggies up until they’re nice and soft.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Then add in your meat.  We went with chicken and andouille sausage for this batch, and then added in shrimp at the very end.  Feel free to swap out whatever proteins you like for this recipe.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Saute those up until mostly cooked.  (The chicken should not be pink on the outside.)

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Then pour in all of the crushed tomatoes, broth, seasonings, and rice, and give it a good stir.  Cover and let it simmer on medium-low for about 30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked, stirring occasionally so that the rice doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Once the rice is cooked, add in the shrimp and continue simmering until the shrimp are cooked through.  Season with additional salt and pepper and hot sauce, if needed.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Then serve it topped with a little fresh parsley and scallions for garnish.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

BAM.  So flipping good. And also, very easy to customize especially when it comes to heat.  I prefer jambalaya heavily seasoned and spicy, but if you like a milder version, just go easy on the Cajun seasoning and only use one seeded jalapeno.  If want to “kick it up a notch”, add lots of seasoning, pop in two jalapenos (with seeds), and maybe even add some hot sauce in at the end. John also likes to add in okra to the dish, which I love.  But if you’re anti-okra, hakuna matata, just leave it out.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Big thanks to John and Cate for Jambalaya 101.  I’ve already made the dish once more since our little lesson, so I think it’s safe to say I’m hooked.  ;)

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Jambalaya

Learn how to make this easy and delicious homemade jambalaya!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (*more/less to taste, see note below)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (14 ounces) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white or brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (**more/less to taste, see note below)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoons thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • (optional) 1 cup thinly-sliced okra
  • salt and pepper
  • (optional garnishes: chopped fresh parsley, thinly-sliced green onions, hot sauce)

Directions:

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, bell peppers, jalapeno and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and mostly cooked. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, chicken and sausage, and stir to combine. Continue sauteing for an additional 5 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink and mostly cooked.

Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, rice, Cajun seasoning, bay leaf, thyme, and cayenne, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked, stirring occasionally. (Don't forget to stir, or the rice may burn on the bottom of the pan.)

Once the rice is tender, add in the shrimp and okra and stir to combine. Let the mixture continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked and pink. Remove bay leaf and season the jambalaya with salt and pepper and hot sauce and additional Cajun seasoning if needed. Remove from heat.

Serve warm with optional garnishes if desired.  Or refrigerate and store in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

 

*If you like spicy jambalaya, I recommend adding 2 jalapenos with their seeds in. If you like it mild, I'd go with just 1 seeded jalapeno. Or you can go somewhere in between, and always add extra hot sauce at the end if it's too mild.

**I also like heavily seasoned jambalaya, so I go with a full 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning. If you think that might be too much, I recommend adding just 1 tablespoon and then taste-testing the rice before adding the shrimp. If you want to add more at that point, just stir some extra seasoning in when you add the shrimp.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

This post contains affiliate links.

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

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Comments

1 5 6 7
  1. Sabrina @ Familynano — December 4, 2016 @ 10:18 am (#)

    WOW Ali & Hayley
    Thanks for the recipe.
    I made it today and sharing in my website :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 9th, 2016 @ 2:49 pm

      You’re very welcome, Sabrina — we hope you enjoy! :) Just so you know, this is Ali’s blog and recipe (I just help out with stuff). :)

  2. Melissa — December 10, 2016 @ 8:07 pm (#)

    This was so good! I used this recipe as a guideline and customized the spice level and meats. Will definitely make again!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 15th, 2016 @ 11:40 am

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Melissa! :)

  3. Melissa — January 10, 2017 @ 5:26 pm (#)

    My boyfriend spent part of his childhood in New Orleans and was very skeptical when I told him I would be making jambalaya. He really enjoyed it and has asked for it a few times since. He rarely asks for a specific dish, so that is high praise in and of itself.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 10th, 2017 @ 8:48 pm

      We’re so glad he enjoyed it, Melissa! :)

  4. Maria — January 12, 2017 @ 3:56 pm (#)

    OMGOSH so easy and yummy!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 12th, 2017 @ 7:28 pm

      We’re so glad you liked it!

  5. JOHN — January 16, 2017 @ 4:17 pm (#)

    Made this yesterday as per, except I halved the jalepeno and cajun seasoning for a couple of the diners. It is great and although it takes some time to do all the chopping and cleaning of the shrimp, it was very tasty and all was eaten by the 4 of us.Maybe I should serve it in smaller bowls as you showed rather than the larger ones I used. Anyway, it was a success! Thanks.

  6. Karen — January 19, 2017 @ 10:25 am (#)

    This looks so SO good, and I want to make it for dinner tonight!! :) I actually have everything on hand except the bay leaf…. probably a dumb question, but will that make a big difference in the flavor? Would you do without or make a run to the store?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 19th, 2017 @ 8:06 pm

      Thanks, Karen — we hope you enjoy it! And no, you would be fine to skip the bay leaf if you don’t have it. :)

  7. Alex — January 25, 2017 @ 9:07 am (#)

    This looks amazing, just like what my mom made while growing up! If I can only find frozen okra should I still add it in the same time as the shrimp? Or earlier?

    Thanks so much!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 25th, 2017 @ 1:06 pm

      Thanks, Alex — we hope you enjoy it! And yes, we would add the frozen okra in when you add the shrimp.

  8. Michelle — January 26, 2017 @ 6:00 pm (#)

    I made this as close to per as I could based on what was already in my house and it was fantastic!! The only meat I used was smoked turkey sausage (thought I had shrimp and didn’t and forgot to thaw chicken). Had tomatoes to use up, so fresh pureed those in lieu of canned. Lots of veggies, lots of spice and so much yum.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 26th, 2017 @ 10:04 pm

      We’re so happy you enjoyed it, Michelle, and we bet it was awesome with the fresh tomatoes you used!

  9. Cindy — January 27, 2017 @ 1:37 pm (#)

    Have you made this in a slow cooker?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 30th, 2017 @ 11:01 am

      We haven’t, but you’re welcome to give it a try, as we have seen some slow cooker jambalaya recipes out there!

  10. Michelle — January 27, 2017 @ 8:55 pm (#)

    This recipe just rocks!! I’ve printed a hard copy for emergencies!! Has the perfect amount of heat. I’ve made it on several occasions and it comes out perfect every time.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 30th, 2017 @ 11:24 am

      Thanks, Michelle — we’re happy you enjoy the recipe!

  11. Polly — January 30, 2017 @ 8:18 pm (#)

    Delicious, but one major omission: brown rice takes so much longer than white. I cooked this darned dish for hours with brown rice … rice still isn’t quite cooked and everything else is overcooked.  Next time, I’ll make the rice separately and mix it in. Otherwise, on point!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 2nd, 2017 @ 9:07 am

      We appreciate your feedback, Polly — we’re sorry the rice took longer but if using brown, we do think cooking it separately will help next time! :)

  12. Lori — February 3, 2017 @ 7:41 pm (#)

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit with my family. Delicious! Will definitely make this again!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 5th, 2017 @ 9:02 pm

      Thanks for sharing with us, Lori — we’re so glad it was a hit!

  13. Bob — February 5, 2017 @ 12:59 pm (#)

    Question,,, since I try to expand the use of basic components, I would like to know the constituents of a basic, generic Cajun spice. I suspect it has the variability of a “curry”but does it have a common backbone like the “holy trinity”?

    A suggestion; if someone has a herd time finding Andouille sausage. I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to find a decent Chorizo. Slice this in thin small pieces, about 4 oz worht and add it in the first stage, with the onions. Then you can use a less assertive and easily available sausage like a Farmers sausage. The small amount of Chorizo will infuse the smoky, rich wine flavours you are looking for.

  14. Sarah — February 5, 2017 @ 1:05 pm (#)

    Made this tonight in place of my old jambalaya recipe and it was so good I am going to keep this one. Got the right amount of heat by using 2 tbsp of cajun seasoning, 1 seed-in jalapeno and skipping the 1/4 tsp of cayenne.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 5th, 2017 @ 9:23 pm

      We’re so happy you enjoyed the recipe, Sarah! :)

  15. Felecia — February 8, 2017 @ 1:52 pm (#)

    Can I keep the jambalaya longer than 3 days if I didn’t use shrimp? It’s just me, so I have a lot left over and don’t want to freeze it all just yet.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 8th, 2017 @ 8:15 pm

      Hi Felecia! Yes, you definitely can — we hope you enjoy! :)

  16. ChefV — February 13, 2017 @ 12:14 pm (#)

    I made this for my family of 7 and they loved it! I bookmarked the page for later reference. I absolutely L.O.V.E the pictures, they are amazing. Thanks for the recipe!!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 13th, 2017 @ 1:23 pm

      We’re so glad to hear that! :)

  17. Meredith — February 14, 2017 @ 10:31 am (#)

    Hi, do you use minute rice or regular non fast cooking rice? And you spout the rice in uncooked, right?
    Thanks!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 14th, 2017 @ 10:52 am

      Hi Meredith! We didn’t use Minute Rice, we used regular long grain white rice, and yes, you add the rice in uncooked. We hope you enjoy!

  18. Sheila — February 16, 2017 @ 9:39 pm (#)

    This was really good! One word of caution, if you make it with brown rice it takes a LONG time to cook. It took an hour before the rice was done through & I ended up having to add about 4 cups of water. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 17th, 2017 @ 10:14 am

      Thanks for sharing, Sheila — we’re sorry the brown rice took so long, but we’re glad you enjoyed it!

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