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. Tim Byrnes Jr — August 14, 2015 @ 10:47 pm (#)

    This is a really good recipe for people that do not know how to cook Cajun/Creole food. I followed your directions nearly to a T. I changed the amounts of certain items to suit my tastes. 

    Here is my critique. 
    Using thighs will give you more flavor than breasts. You can get the boneless skinless, or do that part yourself. When cooking this, you should saute the Andouille at the very beginning then remove it from the pan. Then you saute the chicken in the Andouille fat (and added oil), and remove it afterwards. After that, you can follow your recipe completely. Add the chicken and sausage once you add the tomatoes. The carmelization on the sausage and chicken adds a complexity you don’t achieve otherwise. Using diced tomatoes is more traditional than crushed, but either could work. I used tomatoes from my garden, but I understand everyone doesn’t have that option. Making your own Cajun seasoning will allow you to alter it to your own tastes, but if you’re just going to pick something up from the store; Emeril’s is decent.

    Overall, this is pretty damned good. I enjoyed it, as did my wife; but cooking your protein first brings this to another level. 


    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 17, 2015 @ 9:27 am (#)

      Tim, we’re so happy you and your wife enjoyed the recipe, and we really appreciate you sharing these helpful tips with us! We will follow your lead next time. :)

  2. Mez — August 15, 2015 @ 1:49 pm (#)

    Love it. I just finished a vegi version and it was great. Your water quantities were way off but it was great. I just added the extra water and it was good. Tasted great.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 16, 2015 @ 6:38 pm (#)

      We’re glad to hear you enjoyed the jambalaya! :)

  3. Dianne — August 22, 2015 @ 7:52 pm (#)

    Made this for dinner . My husband said it was a little spicy but he kept going back for 2nds and 3rds and invited our neighbor to have a bowl. I’d say it was a success. :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 24, 2015 @ 7:44 pm (#)

      Thanks for sharing Dianne, we’re happy to hear it was a hit! :)

  4. Danielle — September 1, 2015 @ 2:09 pm (#)

    Just graduated from Tulane in May and have been really feeling the New Orleans blues. Made this today with homemade cajun seasoning becuase I couldn’t find any in the local grocery store. Couldn’t be happier! Learned that I need a bigger pan with a lid… ended up having to use a wok and aluminum foil! Thank you for the recipe :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 2, 2015 @ 11:17 am (#)

      Congrats Danielle, that’s awesome! We’re so glad you liked this! :)

  5. Samantha wilkinson — September 3, 2015 @ 8:06 am (#)

    i was just wondering could you put all the ingredients into a slow cooker/crockpot. And allow it to cook that way. Or does it have to be done on a stove top

    • Ali — September 15, 2015 @ 11:18 am (#)

      I haven’t tried this in a slow cooker, but I’d be a little worried that the rice might burn. If you try it, I’d recommend adding a little extra broth.

  6. Sarah — September 4, 2015 @ 7:49 pm (#)

    We love this recipe! Soooo yummy and pretty easy to make. I’m working my way through your recipes on Pinterest and have loved them all!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 7, 2015 @ 1:44 pm (#)

      Thanks Sarah, we’re so happy to hear that! :) Thank you for being a fan!

  7. Kay — September 7, 2015 @ 4:07 pm (#)

    What to serve with jambalaya???

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 8, 2015 @ 10:18 am (#)

      Hi Kay! You can serve this with some crusty bread or cornbread, and some okra, squash, or cucumber-tomato salad, or just a simple salad. We hope this helps!

  8. Hali — September 9, 2015 @ 9:23 pm (#)

    Second time I’ve made this and it’s been awesome both times! Thanks for taking a dish I was somewhat intimidated by and making it easily doable. Definitely going into the permanent recipe rotation.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 9, 2015 @ 10:36 pm (#)

      Thanks Hali, we’re glad to hear you love it! :)

  9. Aileen — September 12, 2015 @ 8:54 am (#)

    Omg I should try this! Drools. Thanks guys! :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 15, 2015 @ 11:35 am (#)

      Thank you Aileen, we hope you enjoy!

  10. Theron S. — September 13, 2015 @ 5:56 pm (#)

    I saw this on Filpboard and was amazed because this is what I did the first time I made Jambalaya. This is a very good recipe. I used spicy anduille and regular to add the extra kick to it. I love Jambalaya because you can customize it to how you eat. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 14, 2015 @ 8:00 am (#)

      Thanks for sharing Theron, we’re glad you liked it! And yeah, jambalaya is one of those things that’s super fun and easy to play with. :)

  11. Ryan — September 13, 2015 @ 7:18 pm (#)

    A terrific recipe. I’m not super confident in my skills in the kitchen so I followed the recipe to the finest detail. It turned out exactly like the pictures and it was delicious. Will definitely make it again. Thanks!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 14, 2015 @ 8:40 am (#)

      Yay, we’re happy to hear that Ryan!

  12. Annie — September 19, 2015 @ 1:28 pm (#)

    I just made this, and it is simply delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 22, 2015 @ 11:33 am (#)

      Thanks Annie, we’re glad you liked it! :)

  13. Klee — September 26, 2015 @ 3:09 pm (#)

    That’s pretty much how I make mine. I’m English but I love Cajun/Creole. My herbs and spices are bay leaves, thyme, oregano, smoked paprika, black & white pepper, celery salt, cayenne and a dash of smoked tabasco. Tomatoes are fresh out of the garden – canned stuff doesn’t even compare, so I implore people to look up how to grow their own tomatoes and give it a go. Okra is good !
    I usually make a huge batch of jambalaya when I’m half way through the meat from a big smoker batch, so chicken, pork, sausage all goes in there perfectly – I’d add shrimp but my wife doesn’t like them so I’ve adjusted. This meal is astounding, and makes people do the “happy food dance”. That’s a good thing :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 27, 2015 @ 8:47 pm (#)

      That’s awesome, and oh my goodness that smoked meat sounds amazing! And yes, jambalaya definitely makes us do a happy food dance as well. :)

  14. Sherwood — September 29, 2015 @ 8:07 pm (#)

    So as I was going through my collection of recipes on Saturday looking for something to cook over my weekend, I was eyeballing this jambalaya. The ingredient list intimidated me, though. I mentioned such to my boyfriend and he encouraged me to make it (as it sounded delicious). I went with it. There were A LOT of ingredients I had to gather, and it took me a while to prep all the cut stuff (I’m still pretty much a n00b in the kitchen… that coupled with having a ridiculously tiny and under-equipped kitchen). I then had to make this in a pot rather than a pan due to the amount of stuff being used. Both the vegetables and (brown) rice took way longer to cook than the recipe said it would (still not quite sure why). Turns out I should’ve checked the shrimp before throwing them in ’cause even though I bought peeled and deveined ones, some still had some shell on them (I tried to convince myself it was vegetable matter, but alas…). There was also some either undercooked or burned rice lurking in the giant mass of yum I created. Regardless, this was a real hit in my apartment! The only reason my roomies stopped eating it was ‘casue it was getting too hot. I only used one seeded jalapeno, but they’re not really used to heat. Apparently that is how I can make food last longer. lol

    Thanks so much for the recipe! This is probably the most complicated, ingredient-heavy recipe I’ve made so far… Sad but true. :D

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 29, 2015 @ 10:59 pm (#)

      Thanks for sharing with us, we’re glad you liked it! And don’t feel bad about this taking you awhile or being complicated — the more practice you have, the more at ease you’ll get with more involved recipes. :) Keep cookin!

  15. Amanda — October 1, 2015 @ 7:07 pm (#)

    I made this tonight and OMG is it good! The best jambalaya recipe I’ve tried. Thank you Ali! Will definitely make again and again. :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 1, 2015 @ 10:22 pm (#)

      We’re so happy you liked it Amanda – thanks for letting us know! :)

  16. Elizabeth — October 3, 2015 @ 5:24 pm (#)

    My husband and a group of our friends really enjoyed this recipe!  We were short chicken broth, so we substituted some red wine. It changed the flavor dramatically, but it was amazing all on it’s own!

    Also, we really enjoyed the bite. We put in one seeded jalapeno and of course the seasonings. I don’t think they want me to change it from using the red wine base haha.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 4, 2015 @ 9:44 pm (#)

      We’re glad to hear that Elizabeth! Also, that’s good to know red wine works in this! :)

  17. Bailey — October 3, 2015 @ 6:12 pm (#)

    This was really good!! I needed a one pot meal for a busy Saturday and this was perfect. Thanks for the recipe!! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 4, 2015 @ 9:44 pm (#)

      Thanks Bailey, we’re happy you liked it! :)

  18. Anna — October 5, 2015 @ 4:21 am (#)

    Thank you so much for the recipe! It turned out absolutely delicious — and not hard to cook at all. It’s already freezing where I live, so that hearty spicy pan of hot jambalaya was perfect to enjoy on a cold evening. Will be definitely making it again.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 6, 2015 @ 8:41 am (#)

      You’re so welcome Anna! We’re happy you liked it so much! :D

  19. Katherine — October 5, 2015 @ 7:13 am (#)

    made this last night and can’t wait to have leftovers tonight! I used brown rice so it took about 45 minutes once it was added. It was delicious! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 6, 2015 @ 8:41 am (#)

      That’s great Katherine, we’re so happy you liked it! And it definitely makes some killer leftovers!

  20. Javier Carvajal — October 9, 2015 @ 8:15 pm (#)

    Made it at the fire house for 9 guys.  Huge hit ! I tripled all the ingredients and have a ton of leftovers for our next shift.  Used spaghetti squash instead of rice for some of the guys on diets…. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 9, 2015 @ 10:36 pm (#)

      That’s so awesome Javier! We’re thrilled that it was a hit with everyone, and we love that you tried it with spaghetti squash instead of rice! :)


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