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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.
  • 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!

  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.

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Slow Cooker Jambalaya

4.61 from 118 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
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
Servings: 8 People



  • 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 of cooking.



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


Calories: 357kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 25gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 777mgPotassium: 645mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1136IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner. It was a big hit .
    I did do two modifications. I added 1/2 jalapeño pepper finely chopped and increased the cayenne pepper to 1 tsp. At hour 3 there was plenty of fluid to cook the cup of raw rice .
    Paired w buttermilk cornbread and sweet butter.

    1. I like to add the cooked rice in at the same time as the shrimp but you can add it in a little before that so it has time to soak in the flavors. Or, you can not put the rice in at all and you can serve the jambalaya on top of cooked rice when you serve it.

  2. I see that you say it can be cooked separately and served over the rice…no mame. I’m from South Louisiana and jambalaya is a staple around here. You need to cook the rice with the meats and vegetables and seasoning so it will and become infused, otherwise you have a gumbo of sorts. I love cooking in my slow cooker and will definitely try your jambalaya recipe, with the rice cooked in…🐾🐺💜

  3. 5 stars
    It was delicious. I did make a change though and it turned out great. What I did was to add Rotel and Fire Roasted tomatoes, in place of a can of diced tomatoes. That’s it!! Yummy!!

    1. You can mix in some cooked rice to the jambalaya just before serving. Or, you can just serve it on top of some rice instead!

  4. 5 stars
    I made it today exactly as the recipe stated and it was fabulous! I made a double batch and will vacuum pack and freeze. Great recipe! Thank you!

  5. Just a real quick question for those of us that need smaller serving sizes would splitting the recipe in half work?

  6. 5 stars
    This was fantastic. I agree that the chicken should be browned first; I find that if you skip that step the meat tastes like “school food.” I didn’t change a thing and I will absolutely make this again. It’s great for a crowd and requires very little prep or labor.

    1. You can mix in some cooked rice to the jambalaya just before serving. Or, you can just serve it on top of some rice instead!

    1. 5 stars
      I made this for dinner tonight and it turned out amazing. This will most definitely be put into our meal rotations at home.

  7. Should the sausage be cooked before adding? I added it raw but doesn’t look like it’s cooking very fast and only 45 minutes until this should be ready.