Jambalaya Recipe- The greatest jambalaya recipe by far! It’s surprisingly simple to prepare, adaptable with your favorite meats (I used chicken, shrimp, and Andouille sausage), and bursting with robust, spicy Cajun jambalaya flavors that everyone will like. This traditional southern dish has three proteins: delicate shrimp, chicken, and sausage, as well as substantial rice and a vibrant array of healthy veggies. And it’s all seasoned with delectable Cajun flavors. It’s delectable comfort cuisine suited for any occasion! This authentic Jambalaya recipe is for one of New Orleans’ most famous and well-loved meals! A jumble of juicy plump shrimp/prawns, seared smoky sausage, and delicate chicken is scattered among fragrant, Creole-spiced tomato rice and crisp veggies in this dish. This simple Jambalaya is filled with huge punchy Louisiana flavors and is probably the finest one-pot dish in the world! Yes, it’s chicken and rice.
What Is Jambalaya Recipe?
Jambalaya is a well-known New Orleans cuisine with influences from Spain, France, and Africa (inspiration coming from dishes such as paella, jollof and jambalai). It’s a one-pan homestyle meal with a long history.
It is often made out of andouille sausage, chicken, and seafood like as shrimp or crawfish. A so Frito combination of veggies (bell pepper, onion, and celery) and white rice are also included. And because everything cooks together, it’s a quick and tasty meal.
You may be asking what the distinction between jambalaya and gumbo is. The two recipes are extremely similar, but the key difference is that gumbo is served over rice, whereas jambalaya is incorporated right in and cooked with everything else. Gumbo is more stew-like and requires hours of boiling, but jambalaya cooks in less than an hour and is drier.
You can’t go wrong with either, but it’s all about the jambalaya today! Isn’t it amusing to say? I mean, with a name like that, it had to taste fantastic!
Let’s get started with the components. To prepare traditional jambalaya, you’ll need:
- The Cajun/Creole “holy trinity”: celery, onion, and green bell pepper (but I’ve also used red and yellow bell peppers for color).
- For heat, use jalapeno and cayenne pepper. Depending on your heat preferences, feel free to add more or less of either.
- Some of my favorite seasonings include garlic, Creole or Cajun seasoning, bay leaf, and thyme.
- Andouille sausage, chicken, and shrimp: Alternatively, use whichever proteins you like. You can select one or two, or you can utilize all three, as I do.
- If the rice need extra liquid while it cooks, feel free to add more.
- Tomatoes, crushed: for taste.
- White rice: Long grain white rice is typical, although short grain white rice can also be used.
- Fresh or frozen okra will be used to thicken the jambalaya.
- Black pepper and salt are essential! Don’t forget to season to taste with salt and pepper towards the end.
Feel free to garnish with whatever you like! I like to add sliced green onions, chopped fresh parsley, and lemon wedges.
How To Make Jambalaya Recipe?
- Brown the sausage and set aside: In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Cook, turning periodically, until sausage is browned, about 5 – 6 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, leaving the oil in the pan.
- Sauté the vegetables: Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery to the saucepan. Cook for 6 minutes. Cook for 1 minute more after adding the garlic.
- Combine liquids, spices, raw rice, and cooked sausage in the following order: Pour in the chicken broth, smashed tomatoes, paprika, thyme, oregano, and cayenne pepper, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine the cooked sausage and rice in a mixing bowl.
- Bring the mixture to a light boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is almost soft, about 20 – 25 minutes. As required, add a bit more broth.
- Stir in the shrimp and okra, cover, and simmer until the shrimp are cooked through, about 4 – 5 minutes.
- Cooked chicken and fresh greens to finish: Combine the chicken, green onions, and parsley in a mixing bowl.
Cajun Vs Creole Jambalaya:
Creole cooks use tomatoes in their recipe for ‘red jambalaya,’ but Cajun cooks do not. Another distinction is the sequence in which the components are prepared. After experimenting with both, I decided to include a bit of each in this final recipe, sautéing the sausage first to release drippings into the pot for the So Frito.’ We discovered that doing so produced the greatest flavor!
Jambalaya Recipe Customization Options:
Do you want to shake things up? You are free to:
- Add more/less heat: If you want a milder jambalaya, leave off the jalapeno and only mix in more cayenne at the end if desired. Use two jalapenos for a spicier jambalaya. You may always add extra cayenne pepper at the end if you like.
- Choose your protein: Traditional jambalaya ingredients include chicken, shrimp, and Andouille sausage. However, depending on your protein preferences, you may use just one, two, or all three. Other types of seafood might also be considered (i.e. cod, mussels, clams, crawfish, etc.).
- Make it vegetarian: Do you want to avoid eating meat? No problem! I also enjoy preparing a vegetarian version of this with vegetable stock and a variety of hearty vegetables (such as carrots, squash, mushrooms, broccoli, etc). Some vegetables can tolerate the rice’s lengthy cooking period. If you’re using softer vegetables, feel free to set them aside after sautéing at the start and then bring them back in towards the end.
- Make use of file powder: Not a fan of okra? You can substitute 1.5 tablespoons file powder instead.
Finest Jambalaya Rice:
I cook with both long and short grain white rice. You may also use brown rice, but you’ll need to add more liquid and boil it for a longer period of time than white rice.
Tips And Tricks:
- Allow the outside of the sausage to brown. This really enhances the taste.
- Don’t scrimp on the spices. These add a genuine taste to the meal. You may even add more to your liking (or add additional spices like chili powder and cumin).
- Use frozen and thawed shrimp (unless you have access for fresh caught). The shrimp at the meat/seafood counter might have been sitting there for days, and it’s already frozen; obviously, old seafood doesn’t taste well.
- As required, adjust the amount of broth used. Every pot permits steam to escape in a different way; if you use a tight-fitting cover, 3 to 3 1/2 cups should be plenty, but add extra as needed to prevent the rice from becoming dry and overcooked.
- Use seasoned bone-in cooked chicken, such as rotisserie chicken. It tastes better than boneless chicken.
How To Adjust Spicy Cajun Flavor?
If you don’t like spicy food, you may still enjoy a moderate jambalaya by making a few changes. Don’t use Cajun smoked sausage; instead, use a milder kind and leave off the cayenne pepper.
If you want it really spicy, add 1 or 2 seeded diced jalapenos or a can of chopped hot green chilies. Alternatively, simply increase the cayenne pepper and keep it simple.
Is It Okay To Use Store-Bought Cajun Seasoning?
Yes. However, if you use a pre-mixed Cajun spice, you won’t be able to alter the heat to your liking. If you don’t have paprika or cayenne pepper, start with 2 tsp Cajun seasoning and add more to taste.
Can You Use Pre-Cooked Shrimp?
Yes, it would be OK, but because it’s already cooked, you wouldn’t want to add it until after you’ve added the pre-cooked chicken (and just let it warm through if cold). Nobody wants overdone, rubbery shrimp.
Can I Use Raw Chicken?
Yes, raw diced chicken (1 pound) will work here if cooked first, before everything else (cook separately from sausage). If you take this way, I only recommend using chicken thighs (not breasts!) since if you continue to cook with the rice and everything else, the chicken breast flesh will surely get overdone and dry.
What Is The Distinction Between Gumbo And Jambalaya?
Gumbo is a stew or soup that is typically thickened with a roux, whereas Jambalaya is a rice-based meal. Okra is commonly used in Gumbo to thicken the stew and provide a delicious flavor. For the same reason, I use it in my Jambalaya dish! If you dislike okra, you may substitute File Powder.
Serving Suggestions For Jambalaya:
Because this meal is already very filling, I would serve it with something light and refreshing, such as:
- My go-to recipe for an Everyday Salad
- Seasonal fruit, freshly sliced (or this Berry Fruit Salad or Winter Fruit Salad)
- Iced Tea
MORE DELICIOIUS RECIPES HERE:
- 3 tbsp. cooking oil
- a couple of tablespoons (modify to taste/heat desire) Slap Ya Mama/Cajun seasoning
- 10 oz. andouille sausage, cut into rounds
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 diced onion
- 1 seeded and chopped tiny green bell pepper
- 1 small seeded and chopped red bell pepper
- 2 celery stalks/ribs, chopped
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 14 oz. smashed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup okra, finely sliced (or 1 teaspoon file powder)
- 1 1/2 cups white uncooked rice
- 3 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
- 1 pound raw shrimp or prawn tails, peeled and deveined
- Toppings: sliced green onions and chopped parsley
In a big saucepan or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Half of the Cajun spice should be applied to the sausage and chicken pieces.
Brown the sausage in the heated oil, then remove it with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Sauté the chicken in the remaining oil until it is gently browned. Set aside with a slotted spoon.
Cook until the onion, bell pepper, and celery are tender and translucent. Cook until the garlic is aromatic (30 seconds).
Season with salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes (or Cayenne powder), hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and the remaining Cajun seasoning; stir in the tomatoes. Combine the okra slices (or file powder), chicken, and sausage in a mixing bowl. Cook, stirring periodically, for 5 minutes.
Bring the rice and chicken broth to a boil, then lower to a low-medium heat. Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, stirring periodically.
Place the shrimp on top of the Jambalaya mixture, gently toss, and cover with a lid. Allow to boil for 5-6 minutes, tossing periodically, until the shrimp are cooked through and pink (depending on the size/thickness of the shrimp used).
Remove from fire and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Add more spicy sauce, Cayenne pepper, or Cajun flavor to taste. Garnish with chopped green onions and parsley and serve immediately.
You may use either fresh or frozen okra. If you're using frozen shrimp, make sure to defrost them before adding them to the jambalaya.
If you enjoy spicy jambalaya, I recommend adding 2 jalapenos. You may leave out the jalapeno entirely if you want it milder.
Nutrition InformationServing Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 699Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 227mgSodium 2418mgCarbohydrates 53gFiber 3gSugar 7gProtein 52g