Jambalaya

This authentic jambalaya recipe is surprisingly easy to make, and full of bold Cajun flavors that everyone will love!

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…

Easy Jambalaya Recipe | 1-Minute Video

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

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.

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.  ;)

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Jambalaya

This authentic jambalaya recipe is surprisingly easy to make, and full of bold Cajun flavors that everyone will love. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 small bell peppers, cored and diced (I used a yellow, red and green bell pepper)
  • 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 short grain white rice (you can use brown if you prefer, but you’ll need to cook it separately if you do, otherwise it takes significantly longer to cook than white 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:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a stock pot (or a very large/deep 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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762 comments on “Jambalaya”

1 8 9 10
  1. Amazing flavor. We loved it!!!

    Rating: 5
  2. It was delish! This is my second time making it! Thanks

    Rating: 5
  3. Pingback: Jambalaya

  4. What a wonderful easy to do recipe. Thanks a lot.
    Will do it for my housband tomorrow.

  5. Amazing! This recipe is great for a week night or when you have family coming over. It’s always a hit!
    Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  6. Excellent! Next time i’ll do it without okra… Makes it a bit too slimy for me.

    Rating: 5
  7. How many would this serve?
    Dave

  8. Wonderful, full-flavoured dish! Easy to make and tastes great the next day. Thank you for this gem!

    Rating: 5
  9. Whoahhhh, this was/is amazzzzzinggg. I left out the okra (personal pref) and subbed chicken thighs for breasts and it was outrageously awesome!!! Thank you, thank you for such a homerun recipe!!!

    Rating: 5
  10. Love this recipe! Have made it three times over the last 18 months and keep coming back to it. Thanks very much!

    Rating: 5
  11. Pingback: Jambalaya | Hangry Hansen

  12. I have no idea why I suddenly decided to be ambitious for dinner today, but I was like, “what can I make for dinner that I can freeze and have next week too? Some kind of soup would be nice”, and ten minutes later I was reading this recipe and totally thought that I, who usually can manage a very basic stirfry, could make jambalaya.

    An hour and a half later, and, uh… it turns out I can make jambalaya. And it’s DELICIOUS. (which is good because this recipe is huge and I’m going to be eating it for the next sixty years and I have no clue why I didn’t halve it)

    A couple minor alterations I made: didn’t have cayenne pepper, so I subbed in chili powder. Also started from frozen peeled shrimp, but that worked out well–I let the shrimp thaw in a bowl of cold water while everything else cooked, and they were thawed when it was time to add them. I also loathe celery, so, sorry authentic Cajun cooking, but I left it out. In the end, it still tastes amazing! The balance of heat to flavor is stupendous (I did one mostly-seeded jalapeno, but both tablespoons of cajun spice), and the ratio of broth to meat and veggies is perfect–enough liquid to qualify as stew, but just barely.

    Soooo filling, so delicious. I may never get the ambition to make it ever again, but BOY is it good!

    Rating: 5
  13. Pingback: Jambalaya - The Weird Life of Us

  14. My kitchen smells wonderful! I can hardly wait until it is done. Thanks for the recipe, super easy and I think it will be delicious if the smell is any indication!

    Rating: 5
  15. Followed the instructions to a T and it was amazinggggg. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it was quite the crowd pleaser!

    Rating: 5
  16. This WOULD have been amazing for me if I hadn’t gone balls-to-the-wall with the spices. I did two jalapeno peppers (fully seeded), both tablespoons of cajun seasoning, and I made my own cajun seasoning but messed it up and put in WAYYYY too much cayenne pepper. Like, all of the cayenne pepper. I’m basically going to have to re-make this as a second batch without any spices and merge with my first batch to get it to a semi-reasonable heat level. However, those were all my mistakes and wanted to share my learning experience, because all things considered this is a great recipe.

    Rating: 5
  17. I’m just leaving a review now, but over the last 2 years this recipe has become a favorite and is in our mix of dinners. I cook the rice sausage and chicken all separate then just add at the end. Its just personal preference. The flavor is great and i can always adjust the spice based on who I have at the dinner table. My fiancé and brother always get so excited when I tell them I am making this for dinner and it’s great to make at night to have for lunches during the week.

    Rating: 5
  18. Pingback: 11 Father's Day Recipes Your Dad Will Absolutely Love