Homemade Jambalaya is one of my all-time favorite dishes and the ultimate comfort food!
Simple ingredients including chicken thighs, andouille sausage, and shrimp are combined with rice and lots of seasoning for a beautiful dish. While the ingredients seem simple, the flavor of this dish is anything but!
What is Jambalaya?
When I travel I always take cooking classes and go on food tours to learn the culture of the foods from the region. I learned to make Jambalaya in New Orleans and along with gumbo, they’re two of my absolute favorites.
Jambalaya is a dish made with rice, sautéed vegetables, meat, and seafood. It can be cooked for an ordinary supper but is typically a celebratory meal or a dish prepared for large groups of people. As this is a cajun jambalaya it contains no tomatoes.
Jambalya vs. Gumbo
Jambalaya and gumbo are totally different dishes.
Jambalaya is a rice-based dish jam-packed with flavor from sauteed meats (in this case, chicken & sausage), a beautiful fond (brown bits in the pan) and great seasoning.
What’s in Jambalaya?
SEASONING A great seasoning is really important when making Jambalaya! You can use a premade seasoning or homemade Cajun Seasoning. I’m partial to Andy Roos seasonings because they pack a huge flavor punch without being overly salty. Depending on where you live, you might need to order them but I can assure you it’s worth it!
PROTEIN This recipe has chicken thighs, andouille sausage, and shrimp. The chicken and sausage are browned in oil to great tons of flavor in this dish. The shrimp is added at the very end and cooks from the steam from the rice to become perfectly tender.
VEGGIES Just like in our etouffee recipe, the veggies in this recipe are celery/onion/green pepper (aka the holy trinity).
How to Make Jambalaya
Jambalaya cooks the best right in a large skillet or Dutch oven, so it’s easy to make the whole dish in just one pot.
- Cook chicken & sausage until brown with a deep crust, this adds flavor! Avoid stirring until it’s deeply browned.
- Add onion, celery, & bell pepper and scrape up any brown bits.
- Add garlic, seasonings, rice, & stir. Add broth, bay leaf, cover, & bake. Don’t be shy with the seasonings!
- Add raw shrimp, green onions, & parsley to the hot cooked rice. Cover and rest (per recipe below- the shrimp will cook from the heat of the rice).
- Discard bay leaf & serve warm.
- Keep Jambalaya covered in the refrigerator and it will keep about 4 days. Stir it well and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
- Freeze Jambalaya in zippered bags with the date written on the outside and it will keep about 2 months.
More Southern Favorites
- Homemade Cornbread Recipe
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- Shrimp and Grits
- The Best Sausage Gravy Recipe
- Homemade Biscuits
- Pimento Cheese
- Cheese Grits (personal favorite)
Did your family love this Jambalaya? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 boneless chicken thighs cubed
- ½ pound andouille sausage or smoked sausage, chopped
- ½ small onion diced
- 1 rib celery chopped
- ½ green bell pepper chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon low sodium cajun seasoning I prefer homemade
- 1 cup parboiled rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ pound raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 green onions sliced
- 1 tablespoons parsley chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven or large oven-proof pot with a lid. Add chicken and sausage. Cook until you get a deep crust. Do not stir too much.
- Add onion, celery and bell pepper. Cook 5 minutes scraping up any brown bits in the bottom of the pan.
- Add garlic, seasoning, and rice and mix very well to ensure the rice is seasoned.
- Add broth and bay leaves. Cover and bake 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven, add raw shrimp, green onions, and parsley. Stir well, cover, and rest 15 minutes.
- Discard bay leaves. Serve with french bread.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)