This Easy Jambalaya Recipe is packed with spicy andouille sausage, shredded chicken, sweet shrimp, and of course, plenty of vegetables and rice. It’s the perfect one-pot meal for busy nights!
For more easy one-pot meals, check out this One Pot Beef Stroganoff, this One Pot Mexican Pasta, this One Pot Cream Spinach Mushrooms Artichoke Chicken, and this Honey Chipotle BBQ Chicken.
Easy Jambalaya Recipe
Jambalaya is one of those sort of daunting dishes most people think is really difficult to make. But I’m here to tell you it’s most definitely not! It’s basically just a one-pot meal – literally everything from the meat to the veggies to the rice cooked in one pot, so it’s really great for busy weeknights.
This version is packed with plenty of shredded chicken, spicy andouille sausage (I used chicken), plump shrimp. I upped the vegetable ratio above what you’d normally find, and of course, there’s plenty of rice and cajun-influenced seasoning. This is spicy, smoky, filling, and most importantly, SO delicious!
What is Jambalaya??
Jambalaya originated in Louisiana, and like a lot of creole cooking, has a little bit of Spanish and French influence. At its most basic explanation, it’s a one-pot dish with meat, vegetables and rice. Typically it’s tomato-bases somehow, and always included plenty of cajun spices.
Cajun holy trinity
In almost all cajun cooking, you’ll find a base called The Holy Trinity. It’s a vegetable combination of celery, bell pepper, and onion, and it’s also the base in all jambalaya recipes. My version also includes plenty of garlic, and green onion.
Shortcuts for Easy Jambalaya
- You don’t have to, but I like to use shredded chicken instead of diced chicken you cook. Leftover chicken works great, or you can buy a rotisserie chicken breast.
- Use quick-cooking brown rice. I like to use the quick-cooking brown jasmine rice from Trader Joe’s.
- Use peeled and deveined shrimp. You don’t want to mess with peeled and deveining shrimp!
Spices in this Easy Jambalaya Recipe
You could use a pre-packaged cajun blend, but I usually have all the spices on hand, so here’s what I used.
- smoked paprika
- bay leaves
- dried thyme
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- black pepper
How to Make this Easy Jambalaya Recipe
- Brown sliced andouille sausage in a little bit of olive oil. It’s already cooked, so it shouldn’t take too long to brown!
- Add in a little bit more olive oil along with the green pepper, onion, celery and garlic. Sauté until slightly softened, about three minutes,
- Add in tomato paste, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, a little bit of salt, spices, and rice, Stir to combine.
- Bring the mixture up to a boil, and then reduce to a low simmer and cover, Let the stove do the work! Cook the rice and veggies until the rice is puffed and cooked, about 20 minutes.
- When the rice is juusst shy of being done, add in the shrimp and shredded chicken. Cook for 4-5 minutes until pink.
- Garnish with green onion and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Does is matter what kind of rice you use?
This recipe is written for quick-cooking brown rice, but white rice tends to have the same cook time, so you could swap that out. If you don’t use a quick-cooking brown rice, you’ll probably need to increase the liquid and definitely the cooking time, as brown rice takes about 40-45 minutes to cook.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Make sure to buy peeled and deveined shrimp
- Use regular andouille sausage or chicken sausage. (I can’t taste the difference)
- Rinse the rice several times under cold water. This helps is cook up fluffier.
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper before adding to the pot.
- For an extra kick of heat, add in a little bit of cayenne pepper.
Easy Jambalaya Recipe
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 3 links chicken andouille sausage
- 1 1/4 cups diced green pepper
- 1 1/4 cups diced celery
- 1 1/4 cups diced onion
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 14 oz can canned tomatoes
- 1 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 cup quick-cooking brown rice or white rice
- 1/2 lb peeled and deveinved shrimp. (Any medium or large size works great)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken
- green onion for garnish
- Heat a large skillet to a medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add sausage and cook until brown on both sides.
- Drizzle in remaining tablespoon of olive oil along with green pepper, celelry, onion, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to medium and saute until veggies are slightly softened, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in tomato paste. Stir and cooke for 1 minute. Pour in canned tomatoes, chicken stock, remaining salt, smoked paprika, oregano, bay leaves, thyme, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, adn rice. Stir to combine everything. Bring the mixture until to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until rice is cooked all the way through, 15-20 minutes.
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper. When the rice is done, add the chicken and shrimp. Stir and then cover. Cook another 4-5 minutes until shrimp is cooked through and pink.
- Season dish with salt and pepper. Garnish with sliced green onion.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Absolutely spectacular meal, I made it the other night for my friends. The spice nearly killed them, but all in all it was wonderful!
Made this tonight for dinner and it was simple and amazing!! I used chicken breasts cut in bite sized pieces and cooked with the sausage. Made your Cajan spice recipe and used in lieu of other spices, but added bay leaves as stated. I served it with your recipe for Homemade Cornbread which was super yummy and simple to make. Both are new family favorites, thanks as always for the incredible recipes!
I’m so glad you loved it!! Thanks for trying out all of my recipes!
The oregano and other missing ‘Cajun’ spices made it not taste right. Also it didn’t have enough rice. Next time I’ll use old bay and more rice
20 minutes and 1 3/4 cups of chicken broth are not enough to cook brown rice. I ended up with uncooked rice and overcooked shrimp. This was not my first time cooking jambalaya. It usually tastes great. This was however my first time using brown rice. These measurements are not accurate. A good meal was ruined. Very disappointed!
I’m so sorry that it didn’t turn out! Did you use quick-cooking brown rice as suggested in the recipe? Regular brown rice definitely takes longer to cook.
Love a good, easy skillet meal! This had wonderful spices and came together quickly. Two swaps: I used an envelope of precooked rice to speed it along even more, and I used a 14oz can of crushed tomatoes as I prefer their texture over whole tomatoes. Family enjoyed it…will make again!
So soooo good! This is the only recipe thats practical for Jambalaya in my opinion. We make the rice separate so it cooks faster, and i use a regular chicken breast, not rotisserie chicken. But the rest of the recipe i follow to a T and it is so yummy. We have made it twice now in a short span. We also like to make cornbread for a side and they pair so well together.
So good. I made it pretty much like the recipe, except for subbing chicken Italian sausage, canned tomatoes with basil and oregano, and more shrimp. Don’t skimp om the smoked paprika. This is my new go-to Jambalaya recipe. Thanks so much.
Soooooooooooooooooooooo good. Did not use “Smokey Paprika” though. Did not use Andouille Sausage, used a beef sausage instead.
I made this for my mother-in-law. And it was good she even took some to go. This is also my first time cooking for her. Also, my first time cooking JAMBALAYA I’ll be using this recipe again.
My family loved this! I used raw chicken breasts instead of rotisserie. Browned it in the pot before adding the veggies. Took it out after browning and cut into small pieces. Added back in at the end. Used about 3 cups of chicken broth. Also substituted brown cooked basmati rice so added that at the end also. I put the shrimp in and after turning off the stovetop and let it cook with the lid on. Will make this again!
There is no black pepper listed in the ingredients list, but in the directions it lists to add black pepper. I added 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Hopefully that’s not too much.