This homemade Jambalaya is a one dish meal that's loaded-up with chicken, shrimp, andouille sausage and rice. It's perfectly seasoned and one of the quintessential Creole and Cajun dishes that hails from New Orleans.
Easy Jambalaya Recipe
Rice based dishes are always a hot favorite in the South. Historically, rice was grown in the low country region of South Carolina and Coastal Georgia. Smaller amounts of rice were cultivated and grown in my state of North Carolina as well as Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. Rice is a staple and an integral part of many different dishes we love in the South. My family is just as fond of rice as a side dish or an ingredient in a casserole making Jambalaya a regular in my kitchen.
How to Make the Best Jambalaya Recipe
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Jambalaya: Boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, andouille sausage, shrimp, long grain rice (i.e. Uncle Ben's), olive oil, garlic salt, pepper, diced onion, celery and red and green bell pepper, garlic, Cajun or Creole Seasoning, cayenne, bay leaves, chicken stock, Rotel tomatoes, fresh thyme, hot sauce, sliced green onion or parsley for garnishing.
- Kitchen gadgets you'll need: A large 12 inch skillet (A deep skillet with a lid works best) or 6 quart Dutch oven, measuring cups and spoons, a sharp knife and cutting board.
- Diced onion, celery and green bell pepper is known as the "holy trinity" when making Creole and Cajun style food. I also add red bell pepper to the mix in this Jambalaya recipe.
- I use long grain rice in this recipe. You could adapt using a different rice but keep in mind rice varieties all have varying levels of starch and cook differently. When changing the type of rice, you will need to make adjustments to the cooking time, too.
- The best Cajun or Creole seasoning to use is one that you already enjoy. Please note, the amount of sodium varies from brand to brand and the amount of salt in the recipe may need to be adjusted. Tony Chachere's and Zatarain's are typically readily available in most grocery stores and either one will work in this recipe.
- The shrimp should be peeled and deveined. I use tail on shrimp as that's my preference. You can use shrimp with the tails removed, if preferred.
- Store leftover Jambalaya chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave, paying attention to the shrimp, they will need to be reheated separately.
Southern Side Dishes to Serve with Jambalaya
What do you serve with Jambalaya? Essentially, it's a one dish meal. That said, if you'd like to add to the menu you may enjoy a side of cornbread muffins, buttery corn on the cob or a tomato cucumber onion salad. You may also like a side of homemade hush puppies, a salad or Cajun collard greens. I can tell you firsthand that a batch of firecracker fried okra would really hit the spot.
More Cajun and Creole Inspired Recipes to Make
- Chicken and Sausage Gumbo starts with a rich dark roux and ends with your fork.
- Cajun seasoned Air Fryer Salmon will have dinner on the table in no time flat.
- Easy Shrimp Creole is another seafood dish that pairs beautifully with rice to soak up the tomato gravy.
- Crawfish Etouffee is packed with flavor.
- Cajun Dirty Rice is a family pleasing side dish to make.
- Cajun 15 Bean Soup with Turkey and Andouille is a kicked-up way to use leftover holiday turkey.
- Crawfish Boil recipe from Emeril.com.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
- ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 5 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 10 oz smoked andouille sausage sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- 1 small yellow onion finely diced
- 1 small green bell pepper seeded and finely diced
- 1 small red bell pepper seeded and finely diced
- 1 rib celery finely diced
- 3 medium cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups uncooked long grain rice
- 2 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 small bay leaves
- 1 10 oz can diced Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock additional as needed
- 1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined (tails on)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- hot sauce, sliced green onions and chopped Italian parsley for serving
- Sprinkle chicken lightly with garlic salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage and chicken. Saute for 2-3 minutes, just until chicken and sausage have some color and beginning to brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a plate. (The chicken doesn't have to be cooked through)
- To the skillet add 3 tablespoons oil. Add onion, bell peppers and celery. Saute for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, or just until softened and beginning to brown. Add garlic, rice, Cajun seasoning, salt, paprika, cayenne and bay leaves. Continue stirring until oil has coated all of the rice and garlic is fragrant (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add 3 cups stock and tomatoes to skillet. Cover and simmer on medium low for 10 minutes. Uncover and return chicken and sausage to pan with reserved 1 cup chicken stock, mix well. Replace lid and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
- Uncover, add shrimp and thyme. Simmer covered for an additional 5-10 minutes or just until all liquid is absorbed. (You may add additional chicken stock, if needed at the end of cooking.)
- Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve garnished with parsley and hot sauce.