Slow Cooker Jambalaya is loaded with tasty sausage, chicken, and shrimp that gets cooked low and slow to activate the bold spices. This hearty dinner is an effortless meal that is ready with only 10 minutes of prep!
One-pot meals are the perfect solution for busy nights! Cajun alfredo, shrimp creole, and foil packets are more easy and flavor-packed meals that will liven up a normal weeknight.
Easy Slow Cooker Jambalaya Recipe
Slow cooker jambalaya is delicious, satisfying, and comes together with hardly any effort at all! Our family favorite slow cooker recipes are normally honey garlic chicken or beef tips, but this jambalaya is so good we’ve been adding it into the regular rotation. The way the spices play with the tasty flavors of sausage and shrimp is so addictive. Savory, spicy, meaty, and juicy, I know this is a dish you and your family won’t be able to resist getting second helpings of!
Jambalaya doesn’t have to take a lot of work. You can just prep and toss all of the ingredients together and let the slow cooker do the work. Or, for an instant flavor boost, brown the sausage with the onions and peppers before adding the ingredients to the slow cooker. Either way, with this recipe you save a lot of time and effort. You can go about your day, being able to return to a dinner packed with terrific New Orleans flavor. This dinner is guaranteed to be a hit!
Ingredients in Slow Cooker Jambalaya
This shortlist of classic cajun ingredients comes together flawlessly. Various spices blend together to create a warm, spicy meal that is hearty and incredibly delicious!
- Chicken Breasts: Boneless, skinless chicken cut into chunks will fit perfectly on your spoon.
- Andouille Sausage Links: I slice these into bite-sized pieces.
- Raw Shrimp: I like to use shrimp that is large, peeled and de-veined.
- Diced Tomatoes: Adds to the color and enhances the jambalaya’s sweet and salty flavor.
- Onion, Red Bell Pepper, Celery: These are the three essential flavors that can be found in almost any cajun dish.
- Chicken Broth: You need this liquid to cook your meat. I like using chicken broth because it adds a hint of savory flavor.
- Dried Thyme: Thyme pairs well with the tomato and adds a bit of a minty taste.
- Dried Oregano: Adds a bitter and earthy spice to balance out the flavors.
- Cajun Seasoning: This rustic and bold seasoning blend adds a punch of spice.
- Cayenne Pepper: Adds even more earthy and spicy flavors.
Making Slow Cooker Jambalaya
This jambalaya will be a new family favorite, and it is the quickest and easy to prepare. Simply combine all the ingredients and let your slow cooker work its magic! Honestly, the hardest part is waiting for it to be ready because the smell of this cooking is amazing!
- Combine Ingredients: First, add all the ingredients except the shrimp into the slow cooker. Then, simply stir to combine.
- Cook: Next, set the cooker to low for 7-8 hours (high for 3-4 hours), and in the last 15 minutes add in the shrimp.
- Serve: Serve over rice and enjoy!
Easy Jambalaya Tips and Tricks
This dish can easily be customized to match your individual tastes. With these easy tips and suggestions, you will create the best jambalaya around!
- Gumbo or Jambalaya: The difference between gumbo and jambalaya is that gumbo typically contains a roux which is cooked to a deeply flavored brown stage. It contains more liquid like a stew and is filled with vegetables like okra, bell peppers, celery, and onions. Jambalaya is a traditional rice dish made in one pot with more meat than vegetables.
- Brown Your Meat: Do this before adding it into your crock pot. Browned meat is traditionally a key flavor in jambalaya. Don’t skip this step if you want the most authentic flavor!
- Quality Sausage: Seasoned sausage is one of the most important parts of this recipe. A good quality sausage can really uplevel your jambalaya’s flavor.
- Using Other Meats: This dish is super versatile and changing up the meat will not interfere with the delicious results! Beef tastes great in this, too, so I also like to add in chuck roast. You can also add in crawfish or crab meat.
- Add Enough Spice: If you are planning on serving up your jambalaya with rice, make sure it is heavily seasoned! Rice tends to soak up flavor. Don’t be afraid to add in an extra dash of cajun seasoning!
- Add Garnish: For an extra pop of flavor, top your jambalaya with chopped green onions or parsley. It gives it an aromatic finish.
- Serve With: Serving your jambalaya with rice is the traditional way of having it. I also like to pair it with homemade cornbread or corn casserole for a sweet, creamy contrast to its spicy flavor. Additionally, hush puppies and fried okra are some of my other favorite Southern sides!
Storing Leftover Jambalaya
I love how easy and delicious this recipe is, but also how amazing leftovers taste! Jambalaya is the perfect thing to have on hand for simple weeknight dinners.
- In the Refrigerator: In an airtight container, jambalaya will stay good for up to 3 days.
- Reheating: You can easily microwave jambalaya in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 second intervals until warm. My personal favorite way of reheating jambalaya is on the stove. I feel like it helps retain all of the delicious texture of the meat and shrimp. Heat on medium, stirring frequently until warmed through.
Slow Cooker Jambalaya
- 2 chicken breasts skinless, boneless, cut into chunks
- 1 pound andouille sausage links sliced
- 1 can diced tomatoes 28 ounces
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup uncooked long grain rice (see notes*)
- 1 pound raw shrimp 13-15 count
- Add all the ingredients except the shrimp into the slow cooker and stir.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours (high for 3-4 hours). Add int the uncooked rice about 1 hour before finishing.
- Add the shrimp in the last 15 minutes add in the shrimp.
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.
There was no kick to this at all. Disappointing
Can you freeze it ?
Yes! You sure can! Store them in an airtight container and they will last about 2 months in your freezer. When you are ready to eat it, thaw it overnight in your fridge and then reheat it on the stove just before serving.
Great flavor, thanks for sharing. I seared the sausage and it helped to render out the fat.
Can I use regular sausage?
You can! The flavor will be a bit stronger if you use the Andouille sausage.
Hubby doesn’t like left overs.
Any chance I could switch it up for day 2, perhaps add cream cheesand serve over noodles??
Yes, that sounds delicious!
If I halve the ingredients, will the cooking time be halved too?
I would reduce the cooking time to about 5-6 hours on low if you are cutting the recipe in half.
This sounds like a really fun dish to make as a group.
I would love to try your slow cooker jambalaya, but I have a food allergy to all fowl. What protein could I substitute for the chicken?
I would just leave the chicken out. The sausage and the shrimp will be ok on their own!
How large should each chicken breast be? 1lb each? and do you brown these first?
Yummy & easy to make
Can you use frozen raw shrimp or does it have to be defrosted?
For this recipe, you need to defrost the shrimp before adding it to the jambalaya.
Can I buy Andouille Sausage in the uk? Or what is a good alternative? thank you x
I would think so! But if not, you can try looking for some Polish kielbasa instead!
This will be a dumb question for many, but do you eat the tail on the shrimp when fixed like this?
No, I just leave the tails on for presentation! Take them off before eating!
Is the sausage pre cooked?
Andouille sausage is typically precooked and just needs to be warmed up before eating.
Can uncooked rice be included in the crock pot?
I normally stove top the whole dish one pot.
Add in 1 cup of uncooked long grain rice in the last hour of cooking.
Will this recipe work in the InstaPot if I cut the time from 4 hours on high in a slower cooker to 2 hours in the InstaPot?
Unfortunately, instant pot times vary quite a bit depending on the recipe so I would have to try it out before recommending any cooking times for it! If you are looking for a simpler recipe, here is my easy jambalaya that is cooked on the stove instead! Easy Jambalaya Recipe
Can you add uncooked rice to the slow cooker or does it have to be cooked?? I like my jambalaya cooked all together.
You can add 1 cup of uncooked, long-grain rice into the slow cooker during the last hour of cooking.
I’ve been wanting to try this but I don’t like peppers. Is there anything else I could substitute instead of peppers. Thanks in advance.
You could try zucchini or another vegetable instead!