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    Jambalaya Recipe

    Published October 26, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Learn how to make this authentic Creole jambalaya recipe that is jam-packed with chicken, shrimp, and andouille sausage. You will be blown away at how simple this is to prepare and the amazing flavors that it has.

    Southern fare is one of my all-time favorite cuisines. It is comfort food at its finest. If you are looking to explore some classic recipes from this region of the US, then you must try Shrimp and Grits or Hoppin’ John.

    jambalaya in a bowl

    Jambalaya

    Jambalaya is a versatile dish that consists of cooked rice with other ingredients including tomatoes, onions, and peppers, with protein such as chicken or shrimp. You can use other meats like beef, pork, or other shellfish as well. This dish will absolutely vary depending on who is cooking it. The name supposedly comes from the French word jambon, which means ham, which was the main ingredient in the original jambalayas.

    Cajun Vs Creole Jambalaya

    The main difference between Cajun and Creole Jambalaya is that creole uses tomatoes while Cajun does not. The Cajun version tends to be browner as the meat is caramelized with the trinity before adding the rice and stock.

    My version is creole as it uses fresh tomatoes, and the protein is cooked in the stock. However, I do spend some time caramelizing the onions as I believe this will help bring out wonderful flavors in the jambalaya.

    Ingredients You’ll Need

    • Spices and Seasonings – I use my tasty Cajun seasoning recipe. However, you can use your favorite pre-made or store-bought seasoning blend.
    • Bacon – Use some good smoked bacon which you will use in the recipe as well as the rendered fat to sauté in.
    • Butter – Always use unsalted butter in your cooking and baking so you control the salt content.
    • Onions – You can use white, sweet, or yellow onions in this.
    • Celery – A few ribs of celery are an important part of the Trinity.
    • Peppers – I like to use a combination of red and green bell peppers. You can additionally use yellow or orange.
    • Tomatoes – Vine-ripe or Roma tomatoes are great to use in this.
    • Sausage – Andouille sausage is what you will need. You can substitute but it will take the authenticity away from this dish.
    • Chicken – thighs, and drums are what should be used, but you can use breast meat.
    • Stock – Use good chicken stock or vegetable stock in this jambalaya.
    • Shrimp – I like to use 16/20 shrimp, but any size shrimp will work for this.
    • Rice – Long-grain rice is what should be used.

    How to Make Jambalaya

    Make your Cajun spice blend and set it to the side.

    making a spice blend

    In a large Dutch oven pot over medium heat add in the bacon and cook until the lardons are crispy. set them aside.

    sautéing bacon in a pan

    Add the butter to the pot over low to medium heat and cook the onions until they are browned, which takes about 20 to 25 minutes.  

    caramelizing onions

    Once the onions are brown add in the cooked bacon, celery, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and 2 teaspoons of the spice blend.

    adding tomatoes to a pot

    Stir and sauté the vegetables over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until the outside edges of the veggies start to turn light brown.

    cooking tomatoes with peppers and onions

    Next, add in the sausage and chicken and stir over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes to coat it.

    adding chicken to a pot

    Add a lid to the pot and cook it for 8 to 10 minutes over low to medium heat or until the chicken is cooked through.

    cooking chicken with vegetables

    Pour in the chicken stock, rice, shrimp, and 2 more teaspoons of the spice blend.

    adding rice to a pot with liqud

    Stir and cover and cook over low heat for 15 to 18 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

    placing a lid on a pot

    Serve with optional garnishes of chopped fresh thyme, parsley, and green onions

    cooked rice with vegetables

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: This Jambalaya is meant to be served and eaten as soon as it is done cooking.

    How to Store: Cover and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can cover and freeze this for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating and serving.

    How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of jambalaya to a medium-sized saucepot with a ¼ to ½ cup of chicken stock. Heat while constantly stirring over low to medium heat until warm.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • If you are out of season, feel free to substitute the 4 tomatoes for 4 individual whole peeled tomatoes that are canned.
    • You can use thawed frozen shrimp in this recipe.

    More Southern Recipes

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Jambalaya Recipe

    5 from 3 votes
    Learn how to make this authentic Creole jambalaya recipe jam-packed with chicken, shrimp, and andouille sausage.
    Servings: 12
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 8 strips of chopped bacon
    • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
    • 2 peeled and small diced sweet onions
    • 6 small diced stalks of celery
    • 1 each seeded and small diced red and green bell pepper
    • 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
    • 4 slices vine ripe tomatoes
    • 4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning recipe
    • 4 slices andouille sausage links
    • 3 each sliced chicken thighs and tenders
    • 2 cups chicken stock
    • 2 1/2 cups long grain rice
    • 1 pound peeled, deveined and diced shrimp
    • optional garnish: chopped parsley, green onions, and thyme

    Instructions

    • In a large Dutch oven pot over medium heat add in the bacon and cook until the lardons are crispy. set them aside.
    • Add the butter to the pot over low to medium heat and cook the onions until they are browned, which takes about 20 to 25 minutes.  
    • Once the onions are brown, add in the cooked bacon, celery, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and 2 teaspoons of the spice blend.
    • Stir and sauté the vegetables over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until the outside edges of the veggies start to turn light brown.
    • Next, add in the sausage and chicken and stir over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes to coat it.
    • Add a lid to the pot and cook it for 8 to 10 minutes over low to medium heat or until the chicken is cooked.
    • Pour in the chicken stock, rice, shrimp, and 2 more teaspoons of the spice blend.
    • Stir and cover and cook over low heat for 15 to 18 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper or more Cajun seasoning.
    • Serve with optional garnishes of chopped fresh thyme, parsley, and green onions

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: This Jambalaya is meant to be served and eaten as soon as it is done cooking.
    How to Store: Cover and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can cover and freeze this for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating and serving.
    How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of jambalaya to a medium-sized saucepot with a ¼ to ½ cup of chicken stock and heat while constantly stirring over low to medium heat until warm.
    If you are out of season, feel free to substitute the 4 tomatoes for 4 individual whole peeled tomatoes that are canned.
    You can use thawed frozen shrimp in this recipe.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 386kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 19gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 1694mgPotassium: 397mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 695IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 101mgIron: 2mg
    Course: Main
    Cuisine: American