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


Learn how to make this easy and delicious homemade jambalaya!


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 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 lb. andouille sausage, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (14 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white or brown rice
  • 2 Tbsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning (**more/less to taste, see note below)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb. 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)


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 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 spice, 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 no longer pink. Remove bay leaf and season the jambalaya with salt and pepper and hot sauce and additional Cajun/Creole seasoning if needed. Remove from heat and serve with optional garnishes if desired.

*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 Tbsp. If you think that might be too much, I recommend adding just 1 Tbsp 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!

Jambalaya Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Leave a Comment:


  1. KIM @ KIM'S HEALTHY EATS — March 17, 2014 @ 8:58 am (#)

    Dang! That looks amazing and also my favorite kind of meal to prepare… one dish!

  2. Marie @ Little Kitchie — March 17, 2014 @ 10:04 am (#)

    This looks crazy good!!

  3. Carolyn — March 17, 2014 @ 11:30 am (#)

    Very similar to a recipe I use (and love!) but I have one extra step that really adds to it and takes little time – bring the chicken broth and the shells from the peeled shrimp to a simmer and then strain the broth into the pot with tomatoes and rice. Adds a nice depth to the flavour. :)

  4. Amanda — March 17, 2014 @ 12:20 pm (#)

    What great neighbors! Sounds perfect :)

  5. Sandy @ Reluctant Entertainer — March 17, 2014 @ 12:38 pm (#)

    Awwww, yummy! I remember when they were coming over to cook with you. Looks fantastic, Ali!

  6. Maria Haines — March 17, 2014 @ 12:44 pm (#)

    Love your recipes, is there any chance you could add nutrition facts
    to all your recipes?
    Thank you.

  7. Susan — March 17, 2014 @ 3:33 pm (#)

    Your neighborhood sounds like ours, a lot of fun! We’re going to have a hamburger cook off this saturday but I think our next cook off should be jambalaya!

    Printing out the recipe!

    Thank you!

  8. Cate's Aunt Moe — March 17, 2014 @ 5:07 pm (#)

    They are a cute couple & John’s a great cook. Cate’s learning.

  9. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — March 17, 2014 @ 5:45 pm (#)

    Um, can I get a skillet to go? Looks amazing, Ali!

  10. Laura (Tutti Dolci) — March 17, 2014 @ 6:18 pm (#)

    I love jambalya and this looks incredible – the flavors and colors are so inviting!

  11. Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog — March 17, 2014 @ 8:06 pm (#)

    Wow! This looks absolutely delicious! I’ve always wanted to make Jambalaya and cannot wait to try the task with this recipe!

  12. Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats — March 17, 2014 @ 9:19 pm (#)

    Ok, I was just talking to my mom about how I needed to try and make jambalaya because well.. its amazing especially if you get it right. Thank you for reading my mind and thankful that your neighbor is a jambalaya wizard in the kitchen. :) Can’t wait to try it Ali. Awesome pics too girl!

  13. Tieghan — March 17, 2014 @ 10:56 pm (#)

    Looks perfect, Ali! You have the best friends!

  14. Katie | The Surly Housewife — March 17, 2014 @ 11:39 pm (#)

    I love simple, authentic dishes like this. Totally going to make this soon. Thanks for sharing. Pinned!

  15. Lauren@sweetenough — March 18, 2014 @ 5:15 am (#)

    Hi Ali. Lovely blog and what a yummy looking dish. Will keep this one in mind for next time I have friends over. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Tereza — March 18, 2014 @ 8:40 am (#)

    I love Chorizo sausage in jambalaya, adds great flavour and spice


  17. Kathi @ Deliciously Yum! — March 18, 2014 @ 10:02 am (#)

    Wow – this looks soooo good! I have never had jambalaya, but always wanted to try it! This dish definitely looks like a winner – you’ve got some amazing neighbors!

  18. Angie | Big Bear's Wife — March 18, 2014 @ 11:24 am (#)

    As always your photos are beautiful! I have always loved jambalaya and I’ll be making this soon!

  19. Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — March 18, 2014 @ 11:45 am (#)

    this jambalaya looks SO inviting, I am loving all the gorgeous colors!

  20. Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — March 18, 2014 @ 1:16 pm (#)

    LOVE Jambalaya! My brother-in-law makes a mean version, but I don’t have the recipe. Must try this one. So beautiful Ali!

  21. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — March 18, 2014 @ 7:35 pm (#)

    Can I just tell you how much I love and appreciate your diagonally sliced scallions? <3

  22. Sommer @ASpicyPerspective — March 18, 2014 @ 8:45 pm (#)

    Oh your pictures are making me drool all over my keyboard! I must try this jambalaya recipe very, very soon!

  23. Carole M — March 18, 2014 @ 11:00 pm (#)

    That looks wonderful! I think it will need to go on the menu soon.

  24. amy — March 19, 2014 @ 7:27 pm (#)

    What is the jambo seasoning of which you speak is it a special spice you buy at the store?

    • Ali — April 5, 2014 @ 9:27 am (#)

      Hi Amy,

      It’s Cajun seasoning, and should be in the spice section. Any sort of Cajun/Creole/Blackening seasoning would work.


  25. Melissa — March 22, 2014 @ 4:33 pm (#)

    I am cooking this right now Ali. :) hopefully I won’t mess it up. Thank you so much for your hard work and great recipes.

  26. Judy H — March 24, 2014 @ 7:00 pm (#)

    I found you through Pintrest, and can I just say thank you for sharing this recipe! My husband has said that this might be one of the best things that I’ve ever made, and that’s a HUGE compliment when it comes from him :) I’m definitely going to be looking around and seeing what other gems you have on your site.

  27. Corina — April 27, 2014 @ 6:11 am (#)

    I love one pot meals like this. It looks really tasty.

  28. Cara — April 27, 2014 @ 9:07 pm (#)

    Rice takes forever to cook! It’s been 1 1/2 hours and it’s still not done. I’m at high altitude. Does that make a difference?

    • Ali — July 19, 2014 @ 3:52 pm (#)

      Hey Cara! Oh no — sorry about that! The altitude could play a role. Your burner temperature also might — different stoves seem to not always be consistent. I’d try cranking up the heat a notch or two next time to see if that speeds things up. Good luck!

    • PattyB — July 27, 2014 @ 7:18 pm (#)

      Cara.. I live in Denver and rice cooks okay for me at the same time as the directions say. The only difference is that it takes a bit longer for water to get to 212* because it boils at a little bit lower temp. But, every time you lift the lid it lets out the heat and it will take forever to cook.

  29. Emily — May 19, 2014 @ 9:20 pm (#)

    I made this tonight for my family. I just omitted the celery because for some reason that sounded weird to me. My family loved though! They just said it was pretty spicy but they would eat it again :)

    • Cassafrass — August 13, 2014 @ 3:04 pm (#)

      Celery is part of he holy trinity of Cajun cooking, so I think it must blend well with e flavors of bell pepper send onion. Curious if you’ve tried it with celery to see if you like or dislike the difference?

    • Ali — August 15, 2014 @ 8:23 pm (#)

      We didn’t use celery that time around, but it’s certainly included in many jambalaya recipes out there. So go for it if you’d like!

  30. Amanda — June 26, 2014 @ 5:02 pm (#)

    Found this on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. It’s simply amazing. I Ionic went with 1 tablespoon of creole seasoning as suggested at the end of the recipe, it was a good choice. Plenty of space and great flavors. Thanks!

  31. Val Stanley — August 4, 2014 @ 3:18 pm (#)

    This is my husbands fav dish so I thought I would attempt to make it.. Sooo glad I found this recipe..WOW.. It was delish !! Thanks for sharing..

  32. Victoria — August 26, 2014 @ 1:44 pm (#)

    My husband loves Jambalaya, he’s going to be so excited when he walks in from work and smells this cooking on the stove! I used Rotel tomatoes because they’re spicier and sub’d ham for the shrimp. It smells sooooo good!!! Thank you for sharing:)

  33. Bukky — October 20, 2014 @ 2:23 pm (#)

    If you don’t have the can of crushed tomatoes, is there anything else I can use instead?

    • Ali — October 28, 2014 @ 9:19 pm (#)

      You could substitute in diced tomatoes, or even diced fresh tomatoes.

  34. Eileen — November 2, 2014 @ 4:51 pm (#)

    Made this tonight, it was excellent!! We’ll be making it again for sure!!

  35. Lucy Hernandez — November 6, 2014 @ 5:32 pm (#)

    Hey! Loved your jambalaya! SO GOOD! My sausage started to crumble when I went to slice it into rounds though, any suggestions? What brand did you use?

    • Ali — November 9, 2014 @ 9:39 pm (#)

      Oh no! So sorry about that. Hmmm, it’s hard to know based on the type of sausage, but most brands I’ve worked with should hold together pretty well. If you use the same brand and make the recipe again, you could also slice the sausage beforehand and then cook it. Either way, though, it should still be good to eat even if it falls apart. Best wishes!

  36. M — January 19, 2015 @ 6:13 pm (#)

    I just made this. It tastes delicious, however mine is a little watery….? Maybe I just needed to let it simmer longer?

    • Ali — February 5, 2015 @ 8:48 am (#)

      Yep, that could be. Sometimes slightly different cooking temperatures will adjust cooking time for the rice.

  37. Zou Zou @ Sunflowers and Succotash — January 20, 2015 @ 12:35 pm (#)

    My hubs and I LOVE Jambalaya and I am always looking (and cooking) for the ultimate recipe. Well, holy creole, my search is over! This is the most delicious Jambalaya we have ever eaten! I certainly understand why you went back for thirds! I modified it a tad for dietary reasons, but it was still delightfully delectable!! I will be blogging about it later this week, so expect a pingback! 

  38. carmen veenstra — January 30, 2015 @ 6:21 pm (#)

    I just made this tonight and it was amazing!!  Thank you so much

  39. Dani — January 31, 2015 @ 8:29 pm (#)

    Question – how should I tweak the recipe if I don’t plan to include rice? Less chicken stock? Thanks!

  40. Emily — February 3, 2015 @ 12:39 pm (#)

    Thanks for the great recipe! I made this for Super Bowl Sunday and ended up with some nice leftovers for work lunches.

    Interesting, though, I basically halved everything that could make it spicy, and the dish still has quite a kick. I only used one jalapeno with no seeds, one tablespoon of Creole seasoning, and about 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper. My husband didn’t eat very much of it because he has such a low spice tolerance. Maybe I just happened to get a really hot jalapeno. Just something to keep in mind for those thinking of making this. :)

  41. Elaine Boby — February 20, 2015 @ 7:55 pm (#)

    just made it, it turned out wonderfully! Thanks so much!  

  42. April weaver — February 22, 2015 @ 8:13 pm (#)

    I think this jambalaya was awesomely delicious 


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