Slow Cooker Jambalaya

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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.

Seafood and sausage cooking in a slow cooker.

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.
  • 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!

  1. Combine Ingredients: First, add all the ingredients except the shrimp into the slow cooker. Then, simply stir to combine.
  2. 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.
  3. Serve: Serve over rice and enjoy!
Vegetables, spices, chicken, and sausage in a slow cooker.

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.
Scooping up shrimp and sausage in jambalaya.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

4.60 from 87 votes
Slow Cooker Jambalaya with andouille sausage, chicken and shrimp cooked low and slow with bold spices and vegetables with just 10 minutes of prep.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 8 People

Ingredients
  

  • 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 rice see note
  • 1 pound shrimp 13-15 count

Instructions
 

  • 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 the rice in 1 hour before finished.
  • Add the shrimp in the last 15 minutes add in the shrimp.

Notes

Adding the rice to the slow cooker is optional.  You can also just serve over cooked rice. 
Updated on August 7, 2021 
Originally Posted on April 10, 2018

Nutrition

Serves: 8

Calories141kcal (7%)Carbohydrates4g (1%)Protein25g (50%)Fat3g (5%)Saturated Fat1g (5%)Cholesterol179mg (60%)Sodium797mg (33%)Potassium449mg (13%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar2g (2%)Vitamin A1025IU (21%)Vitamin C30.9mg (37%)Calcium106mg (11%)Iron2.4mg (13%)

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.

Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Jambalaya, Jambalaya Recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic
 

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 5 stars
    I made this jambalaya today and it is absolutely delicious and my whole family loved it! It is definitely a keeper.

    I made as written but added more shrimp (only because my son likes lots of shrimp) and doubled the rice that I cooked separately on the stove. Added the rice to the slow cooker towards the end of the cooking time.

    Wonderful recipe and thank you for sharing it!

  2. 5 stars
    Oh my God, I made this today for Fourth of July dinner and definitely I am not disappointed. Flavor is so good I even added extra bag of rice and one more extra pound of shrimp Lord have mercy this is so good.Thank you Alyssa Rivers for sharing this recipe. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

    1. The other ingredients still need that time to cook so I would not adjust the cooking time. I would add the cooked chicken in later into the cooking process, when there is about an hour left. Let me know how it turns out!

    1. Hi , I’m on a keto diet so should I reduced the fluids as I don’t eat rice , but it would go well with garlic and turmeric cauliflower rice on the side

  3. 5 stars
    This was so delicious, I would just add more rice if you want a true jambalaya to meat ratio but either way it is so darn good!!!!

  4. 3 stars
    The flavors are there and it would have tasted so great, but putting the rice in the slow cooker cooked so unevenly in that last hour. Tons of hard, uncooked rice. Tried to fix it by cooking it longer and adding more broth, but it just broke the half the rice while the other half was still hard and uncooked. I regret putting the rice in at all. Any advice to save this? I wasted so much ingredients 🙁

  5. 5 stars
    Let me start by saying, I love your recipes. They are magnificent. I always cook them the first time through with no changes. That having been said, I disagree with the amount of liquid or the lack of rice. I am from Louisiana born and raised a coon ass and live outside of the jambalaya capital of the world. And Jambalaya is not liquid-y dish. It is a dry rice dish like dirty rice. Using 28 ounces of diced tomato and 2 cups of chicken broth to one cup of rice made the dish to much like a soup which jambalaya is not. So I doubled the rice and that made it correct according to Louisiana jambalaya standards. The flavor was fabulous. But there should be more rice to be a true Cajun jambalaya.

    1. You can serve this with any rice or noodles that you prefer. I typically cooked up some long-grained rice but I’ve used minute rice when I’m in a hurry!

  6. Your tips say to brown the meat first but it doesn’t say that in the instructions and your pic doesn’t look like the chicken or sausage is browned. Do we need to brown first?

  7. Hi! Just wondering if the shrimp is cooked or uncooked for this. Tail on/off? Making this tonight and looking forward to a yummy dinner!

    1. Hello! The shrimp should be raw and added to the Jambalaya during the last 15 minutes of cooking. I make sure to get large shrimp that is already peeled and deveined but I leave the tails on because I think the presentation looks better 🙂 But that’s totally up to you!

  8. Very tasty recipe, I’ve made this many times over the last few years. Kudos to anyone who can prep this in 10 minutes!

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