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 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)

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 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

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Comments

  1. Leah — March 25, 2015 @ 5:25 pm (#)

    Made this and loved it! Thank you do much for sharing! 

    • Ali — March 25, 2015 @ 5:27 pm (#)

      Awesome — so glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Judy C — March 26, 2015 @ 8:49 pm (#)

    made this tonight and even my picky 87 yr old Mom loved it. Thanks so much for sharing. 

    • Ali — March 26, 2015 @ 9:48 pm (#)

      Judy, that’s fantastic! Thanks for sharing that, I’m so glad she loved it! : )

  3. Sean — March 30, 2015 @ 2:32 am (#)

    Thank you for this! Your pictures made this jambalaya look so incredible that I just had to try it immediately! I followed the recipe pretty closely because it looked so good, and I am normally a big improviser. (And I really liked John’s t-shirt!)

    Mine turned out delicious! I used brown rice, extra green pepper, omitted the red pepper and jalapeno, used a can of stewed tomatoes and a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, and added a few chiles de arbol. I don’t think it was as gorgeous as the one shown here, but I can’t imagine it tasting any better! I will use the extra tomatoes next time, but cut back the chicken stock by a half cup. I always try to take the spirit of a recipe and make it work with what on hand, and this one is so good that it lends itself to improvisation.

    • Ali — March 30, 2015 @ 11:52 am (#)

      Thanks for making it Sean! I’m so glad you liked it! And I love what you did with it. Being able to improvise is key — the mark of a good natural cook! : )

  4. Sadie — March 31, 2015 @ 9:56 am (#)

    Wow, this was delicious!  My son and I made this last night for dinner.  It  was a huge hit with most of us, 3 out of 4 can’t be wrong. : ) My middle son is not into spicy foods whereas the rest of us are.  I added extra rice and a big glass of milk for him to tolerate the spice the rest of us love; he survived but didn’t go back for seconds, sorry to say!  We will be making this again for sure!  Thanks for the great and simple recipe!

    Sadie 

    • Ali — March 31, 2015 @ 11:48 am (#)

      Thanks so much Sadie, I’m glad you guys enjoyed it!

  5. brandon — March 31, 2015 @ 5:01 pm (#)

    I followed the recipe pretty close I used one jalapeno seeded, four ribs of celery, 1LB of chorizo sausage (can’t find andouille in my area), the meat from one whole chicken, and didn’t add shrimp (personally I dislike shrimp), two tablespoons of Cajun (can’t find creole seasoning in the area), for rice I used basmati, did not add okra as either. The only thing I would change is using diced tomatoes over crushed tomatoes, very tasty though thank you so much for sharing.

    • Ali — March 31, 2015 @ 10:13 pm (#)

      Thanks Brandon, glad you enjoyed it! And I love chorizo, good idea! : )

  6. Maria cameron — April 2, 2015 @ 4:17 pm (#)

    Oh my! Yum! I just made it! It’s a hit for sure. It’s definatly got a kick to it but I love spice so it’s all good :) thank you so much!!!

    • Ali — April 2, 2015 @ 10:00 pm (#)

      Awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!

  7. Marcy Fogarty — April 4, 2015 @ 3:00 pm (#)

    Making this today smells yummy

  8. Kit10garza — April 6, 2015 @ 9:31 pm (#)

    When do you add the okra?

  9. Mike — April 7, 2015 @ 12:07 am (#)

    Me and my girlfriend made this for my family tonight. It was amazing! First time making jambalaya but i will be using this recipe again, but next time a little more spicy!

    • Ali — April 7, 2015 @ 8:52 pm (#)

      Thanks Mike, that’s so great to hear!

  10. BYURAZORBACK — April 8, 2015 @ 2:28 pm (#)

    I love this recipe!  I’ve made it twice now, one time in a dutch oven for Boy Scouts (I’m an asst scoutmaster) and it was a hit!  I add shrimp to this recipe.  One thing I like to do different is to cook the sausage and chicken in a separate pan and add some creole seasoning and cayenne to it, it really makes the sausage and chicken kick!  
    Keep up the good work!  I also saw that you posted a spaghetti sauce recipe that has no added sugar!

    • Ali — April 9, 2015 @ 10:39 am (#)

      Thank you! I’ll have to try this with shrimp next time! : )

  11. Dee — April 8, 2015 @ 9:11 pm (#)

    Can I omit the okra? 

    • Ali — April 9, 2015 @ 10:37 am (#)

      Sure, not all jambalayas have okra, so it’s not going to dramatically change the taste or texture. Enjoy!

  12. Monika — April 8, 2015 @ 9:51 pm (#)

    I am making this tomorrow and was curious about the rice. You put it in uncooked? 

  13. Cindy T. — April 9, 2015 @ 5:35 am (#)

    I made this last night and it was soooooooooooooo YUMMY! a bit to spicy for my husband, but he loved it nonetheless!

    • Ali — April 9, 2015 @ 10:28 am (#)

      Thanks Cindy, I’m so glad to hear that!

  14. Rob — April 10, 2015 @ 6:10 am (#)

    This is one of my favorite recipes out there!  I’ve been making a half batch of it monthly, and will probably switch to the full batch size soon, because I’m slowly finding the balance between my spice preference and my wife’s tolerance.  Thank you very much for sharing, Ali!

    • Ali — April 11, 2015 @ 11:57 am (#)

      Thanks so much Rob, that’s awesome! Have a great weekend! : )

  15. Stacey B — April 18, 2015 @ 5:18 am (#)

    Omg! All I can say is delicious and it was so easy! The depth of flavor was amazing! I will definitely be making this again in the near future! 

    • Ali — April 18, 2015 @ 12:03 pm (#)

      Thanks Stacey! So happy you enjoyed it. : D

  16. Emily — April 23, 2015 @ 8:28 am (#)

    Your recipe looks spot on! I can’t wait to make this for a crowd!

    • Ali — May 1, 2015 @ 12:57 pm (#)

      Thanks Emily, I hope you love it!

  17. Matt — April 27, 2015 @ 4:11 am (#)

    Made this last night here in Manchester, UK.

    Still don’t get Cups as a measurement but this was a damn fine recipe. 

    I made with Wild Rice Mix which was a nice addition I thought.

    Thanks again!

    • Ali — April 30, 2015 @ 8:19 pm (#)

      Thanks Matt, so glad you enjoyed it, and I bet it was super yummy with the wild rice! Cheers!

  18. Katie — April 27, 2015 @ 7:58 pm (#)

    Wow,  just wow. I’m not really a jambalaya fan, but my husband requested it. Boy, did this change my mind! It was amazing!

    • Ali — April 30, 2015 @ 2:38 pm (#)

      Thanks Katie, so glad you liked it!

  19. Sophie W — April 28, 2015 @ 7:41 am (#)

    This is literally my favourite meal now, the spices and the taste of everything was phenomenal, I can’t thank you enough for this delicious bowl of heaven, it was absolutely luscious. This is so amazing, everybody in the world has to try it otherwise you haven’t lived. Jambalaya=<3 

    • Ali — April 30, 2015 @ 2:32 pm (#)

      Thanks Sophie, I’m so glad to hear you loved it — thanks for the kind words!

  20. Julia Eldridge — May 1, 2015 @ 6:19 pm (#)

    Making this tonight because it looks a lot like the Jambalaya I used to order at Boston Pizza when I was closer to one. We have yet to eat it but the ingredient list is very promising….and like a true dork…I had to play a little Hank Williams while I was making it… 
    “Jambalaya (On The Bayou)”
    Goodbye Joe me gotta go me oh my oh
    Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou
    My Yvonne the sweetest one me oh my oh
    Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou
    Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and fillet gumbo
    Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
    Pick guitar fill fruit jar and be gay-o
    Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou

    • Ali — May 1, 2015 @ 9:58 pm (#)

      Haha, I love it! Hope you enjoy the jambalaya : D

  21. Emmanuelle — May 3, 2015 @ 7:43 am (#)

    I was looking for a jambalaya recipe and this one seemed just perfect to me. Just made it for our lunch today and we all loved it! My in-laws found it delicious and we all had a second serving! Many thanks for sharing, this recipe is a keeper.

    • Ali — May 3, 2015 @ 9:49 am (#)

      Thanks Emmanuelle, I’m so happy your family enjoyed it!

  22. Christina — May 3, 2015 @ 6:02 pm (#)

    Made this tonight. We absolutely love it!! Marinated the chicken for about 5 hours in olive oil and the Cajun seasoning, and used two seeded jalapenos. Seasoning is perfect. Husband is in heaven.  

    • Ali — May 3, 2015 @ 6:15 pm (#)

      So happy to hear that Christina!

  23. Ashley — May 3, 2015 @ 6:44 pm (#)

    Do you have a recipe for the spice blend? I live on the east coast of Canada and don’t think I’ve ever seen it on our shelves. 

  24. Mary — May 5, 2015 @ 12:33 pm (#)

    How do you think this would be if frozen and then re heated??

    • Ali — May 5, 2015 @ 9:22 pm (#)

      Hey Mary, unfortunately the shrimp doesn’t hold up well in this, if frozen. It will get very mushy.

  25. Lindsey — May 7, 2015 @ 1:25 pm (#)

    I made this and LOVED IT!!! It froze/reheated very well too!

    I am going to make this for a Memorial Day weekend getaway with a bunch of friends – I was wondering if anyone has tried doubling the recipe??

    Let me know, thanks!
    Lindsey

    • Ali — May 8, 2015 @ 9:45 pm (#)

      Thanks Lindsey! I haven’t tried doubling it, but should think it would still turn out great (just make sure you have a large enough pan)! : )

  26. Kathy Furneaux — May 10, 2015 @ 5:14 pm (#)

    I made this last night and it’s really good !!  Love the shrimp/chorizo/chicken combo ~~ Yes, it’s a keeper.

    • Ali — May 11, 2015 @ 7:15 am (#)

      Thanks Kathy, so happy you liked it!

  27. Sharon Tavares — May 14, 2015 @ 8:15 am (#)

    Excellent! I would not recommend the brown rice as it takes forever to cook. I would however suggest doubling the white rice. This tastes even better the next day as the flavors perk.

    • Ali — May 14, 2015 @ 1:13 pm (#)

      Thanks for sharing, Sharon!

  28. amber — May 14, 2015 @ 12:36 pm (#)

    I multiply this recipe by six for a buffet restaurant I cook for.  Everyone loves it!!!!  I get ppl asking when I’m having it next!  I follow the recipe exactly except no okra, it doesn’t hold well on a buffet.  And I use diced tomatoes.  Absolutely amazing

    • Ali — May 14, 2015 @ 1:10 pm (#)

      That’s awesome Amber, very cool to hear! : )

  29. Joanne — May 18, 2015 @ 2:02 am (#)

    great flavor but when i used short grain brown rice it took too long to cook and the peppers were pretty mushy – next time I will use white or cook the rice in my rice cooker with the broth then add it in :) thanks for sharing

    • Ali — May 18, 2015 @ 6:58 am (#)

      Oh no, sorry that happened Joanne!

  30. Julia — May 18, 2015 @ 7:17 am (#)

    Is andouille sausage available at local supermarkets?
    Can I use any other types of sausage?

    • Ali — May 18, 2015 @ 7:47 am (#)

      Hey Julia! It should be! You could use any other spicy sausage you like, if you’re unable to find it though, but I wouldn’t use Italian.

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