Enjoy the flavors of Louisiana with this one-pan Jambalaya! Perfectly seasoned rice pairs with sausage, chicken, and the “Cajun Holy Trinity” for a delicious dinner.
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Authentic Jambalaya Recipe
I’m not sure what it is about rainy or cold weather, but it kinda makes me want to eat spicy food. In particular, spicy food that I can have cornbread with.
Two particular meals come to mind for me – chili or this jambalaya recipe. If it’s cold or wet where you are, it needs to be on your menu soon, too!
And if you’ve never had Jambalaya before, it is a popular dish in Creole cuisine originating from Louisiana in the southern United States and is often served as a main dish. It is popular in Louisiana for Mardi Gras and other festivities.
Authentic Jambalaya is a one-pot meal that combines rice, vegetables, and protein, typically seafood, chicken, or sausage. The dish is believed to have originated from the Spanish paella, which was introduced to Louisiana by Spanish settlers.
Jambalaya is a versatile dish that can be prepared in different ways, but the traditional recipe includes celery, bell peppers, onions, and garlic, which are known as the “holy trinity” of Creole cooking.
Tomatoes, chicken broth, and a combination of spices, including cayenne pepper, paprika, and thyme, are added to the mixture to create a rich and flavorful base. The protein is then added to the pot, along with uncooked rice, and the entire mixture is simmered until the rice is cooked and the flavors have melded together.
One of the unique aspects of jambalaya is that it can be made with whatever ingredients are available, making it a perfect dish for using up leftovers or for incorporating seasonal produce. Some variations include using shrimp or crawfish instead of chicken or sausage or adding okra for extra flavor and texture.
Jambalaya Recipe: Ingredients & Equipment
For this Jambalaya recipe, you will need …
- vegetable oil – to cook your meats and veggies, of course.
- smoked sausage – chopped. Traditionally people use pork sausage, but you can use your favorites.
- chicken breasts – boneless and skinless, cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Cajun seasoning – you’ll find this with the other spices at the grocery store! (Or you can make your own with ingredients you may already have.) It’s a mixture of paprika, cayenne, thyme, garlic powder, and a few other spices.
- onion, bell pepper, celery – the “Cajun holy trinity” that provides an immense amount of flavor to any dish just by itself! You’d be hard-pressed to find any Louisiana meal without these three veggies.
- garlic and tomatoes – minced/diced for more flavor.
- Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, and Tabasco sauce – for that smoky, zesty, savory goodness in every jambalaya dish.
- long grain white rice
- chicken broth – a final bit of liquid to help cook the dish and bind all the flavors together.
NOTE: Jambalaya is traditionally made with sausage and some sort of other meat. Feel free to substitute an equal amount of seafood, pork, crawfish, or shrimp in place of (or in addition to) the chicken in this recipe.
- large/deep skillet or Dutch oven – all you’ll need to make Jambalaya. No extra clean-up!
How to make the Best Jambalaya Recipe
First, cook your sausage. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place the sausage in the skillet and sprinkle it with half of the Cajun seasoning. Cook the sausage until browned. Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
Second, cook your chicken. Add the chicken to the same pan and sprinkle the remaining Cajun seasoning over the top. Cook the chicken until slightly browned on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
Third, add some veggies and sauce. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery to the same pan and cook it for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper flakes, pepper, and Tabasco sauce.
Fourth, mix it all together. Stir the cooked sausage, cooked chicken, and rice into the pan. Bring it all to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
Finally, fluff the rice and enjoy! Remove the Jambalaya from the heat and allow the rice to steam for 5-10 minutes before fluffing it with a fork. Then serve it up!
Easy Jambalaya Recipe: FAQs
Traditionally, plain white long-grain rice is used for Jambalaya, and I think it pairs the best!! You can also use jasmine or basmati rice. However, you can’t go wrong with short-grain rice or brown rice, either.
Not using enough liquid causes crunchy rice or cooking it over too high of heat. Remember to use the correct ratio of rice to liquid, as stated in the recipe. Also, be sure to bring the liquid just to a boil, cover the pan, then reduce the heat to low.
Too much stirring can cause mushy rice as it releases starch. Don’t be tempted to stir too much. Also, overcooking rice can lead to mushy rice. You want the water to be mostly absorbed, then remove it from the heat and let it steam to make the perfectly sauced rice.
I firmly believe that this is one of those dishes that is best made when you’re going to eat it. Sure, you could make it ahead if you *really* want to, but you risk eating dried-out or mushy rice. I’m personally not a fan. My kids don’t mind eating the leftovers, but I think Jambalaya is best when it’s first made. I don’t think I would try a big batch and then save it for later. Honestly, this recipe is so easy, take the time to enjoy it at its freshest and best.
Other recipes you may enjoy
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound smoked sausage, chopped
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite-diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1-1/4 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
- 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
- Heat the oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Place sausage in the skillet and sprinkle with half of the Cajun seasoning. Cook the sausage until browned. Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the chicken to the same pan and sprinkle the remaining Cajun seasoning over the top. Cook chicken until slightly browned on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery to the same pan and cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper flakes, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Stir the cooked sausage, cooked chicken, and rice into the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from the heat and allow the rice to continue to steam for an additional 5-10 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.
- Jambalaya is traditionally made with sausage and some sort of other meat. Feel free to substitute an equal amount of seafood, pork, crawfish, or shrimp in place of (or in addition to) the chicken in this recipe.
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Calphalon 5-Piece Nylon Kitchen Cooking Utensil Set
Glass Measuring Cup Set (3-Piece, Microwave and Oven Safe)
Stainless Steel Metal Measuring Spoons, Fits in Spice Jar, Set of 6 with bonus Leveler
Stainless Steel Measuring Cups - 5 Piece Stackable Measuring Set
Oversized Cutting Board, 3 Piece, Non-Slip, Extra Large Thick Chopping Boards, Dishwasher Safe, Non-Porous, Set of 3
Calphalon Classic Nonstick Saute Pan With Cover, 5 Quart, Grey
Contemporary Self-sharpening 20-piece Knife Block Set
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 426Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 1476mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 28g
Please note that the nutritional information listed on this page is an estimation based on the products I used. Ingredients and nutritional information can vary significantly between brands. Always be sure to read labels. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Nutrition info may contain errors, so please verify it independently. Likewise, recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them.
Originally published on September 10, 2013. Updated on April 24, 2021, and February 7, 2023.