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

4.58 from 69 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


  • 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


  • 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.


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


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. I added rice to the crockpot. Traditionally jambalaya isn’t soupy. So by adding rice, it makes it just perfect. Great taste

      1. I did rice as well in a rice cooker. 2 cups rice and 3 cups of water. Rice in a bowl then poured jambalaya on too. Delish recipe!!

    1. That’s true it isn’t soupy how much rice did you add and did you cook it before then added it in or did you cook it with the Jambalaya. and what kind did you add long grain?

  2. 4 stars
    I made this for the first time today. I thought it was good and flavorful but I agree with many others that it’s too soupy. I simply added rice to the crock pot near the end of the cooking to absorb the liquid and I didn’t have to make rice separately in another pan. Also, since the price of shrimp was so high, I substituted ham and it’s still very tasty.

      1. I found some biscuit ham. It’s thick sliced and was easy to dice. I used 3 cups of minute rice. It was just a guess but worked out nicely. It only took about the last 10-15 minutes for the rice.

    1. I have not tried it with rice in the slow cooker. I will cook the rice separately in a rice maker or over the stove. Then add the rice to a bowl with the jambalaya overtop or on the side of it.

  3. What you have here is more like a gumbo than jambalaya. Jambalaya will not have tomatoes in it, gumbo either but the consistency of this is definitely more of a gumbo. Both of the Cajun versions of these dishes are roux based. It’s the Creole versions that have tomatoes.

    1. As a Cajun- tomatoes go in shrimp gumbo and not chicken gumbo. Gumbo has roux and jambalaya doesn’t nor does shrimp creole but it has tomatoes. Shrimp
      Scampi doesn’t have tomatoes either.

  4. 4 stars
    I made this today. I did make my rice separate and I didn’t add shrimp I’m not a fan of sea food!! My husband and I loved it.

  5. The Rise must be cooked with the mix for flavor if not you have gumbo.
    I am from south Louisiana and know the proper way for jambalaya.
    Other wise great recipe 😊

  6. 5 stars
    I made this with a little chorizo as I could not find any of endouillie sausage and paprika rather than cayenne pepper and fresh thyme rather than dried ditto, I added fresh after the prawns, stuck brown rice in the bottom of the bowl to serve. It was lovely and well received by my foodie guest. Will definitely be making again. Many thanks for the idea.

    I have never tried either jambalaya or gumbo before but want to again, mine had more sauce but delicious.

  7. Made this tonight served over jasmine brown rice. I followed the recipe exactly to see how hot it would be. Delicious’ will definitely make again. I slow cooked it for 7.5 hrs. Thanks for this fun meal!

  8. 4 stars
    So delicious! My one complaint is that saying prep time is only 10 minutes when you have to do all that chopping/slicing is incredibly misleading.

    1. If you want a shortcut to the veggies, you can buy frozen “Seasoning Blend,” which is chopped onion, celery, and bell peppers. I keep it on hand for quick recipe additions.

  9. My husband has issues with onions, celery and peppers in his food, if he can see them? Can I puree them and add to crockpot for the same output?

  10. 5 stars
    This was really good, easy and flavorful. For the Cajun seasoning I used a spice blend that I got at one of my favorite places to eat in NOLA (The Gumbo Shop) and did not put cayenne pepper in it because the mix already had it in there.

    This made enough for 3 meals for us (2 people) when we put it over rice.

    Wondering if it freezes well or not?

  11. For the people that put rice into the crockpot — what kind did you use? I thought if I made rice separately that I might use Zatarans yellow rice…. Thank you

  12. 4 stars
    I used one can of low sodium chicken broth so it wouldn’t be too soupy. My husband enjoyed it!

  13. 4 stars
    Good recipe but too soupy. After it cooked for about 4hrs, I took 2 cups of the broth from my crockpot, heated it up a bit in the microwave and added 2 1/2 spoons of flour. Mix well add back to the crockpot. This will thicken the sauce.

  14. 4 stars
    I made it per the recipe. I think it should be called “Gumbolaya,” as there is a lot of liquid. Tasted good, with a nice kick. I think next time I make it I’ll add more vegetables. Thanks!

  15. I loved that there was a lot of liquid in this recipe. Mostly because I took the liquid out at the end and made my rice with it as opposed to just using water. It made the dish perfect! I’ve made this recipe so many times I’ve lost count and EVERYONE gets a second helping when I do make it. (I do add just a little more Cajun seasoning as my family LOVES heat)

    1. I made my rice with the liquid from the crockpot as well an it was delicious! Whether you call it gumbo or jambalaya, I don’t care. It’s a very good dish!

  16. I followed this recipe exactly. The end result was too soupy. I made rice on the side to compensate for the liquid. Next time I will use a smaller can of the diced tomatoes and only 1 cup of chicken broth.
    My husband enjoyed it . I would give it a 3 out of 5. I will work on thickening it tomorrow.

  17. I know you already said that we can add raw shrimp, but what if what I have at hand are precooked shrimp? I don’t know if they’ll be rubbery or what. Thanks!

  18. Hi Sabrina: I made your Crock-Pot Jambalaya and I must say it was wonderful. I made a double portion and my large crockpot was filled to the top. It turned out wonderfully! Thanks for sharing! Sam

  19. This looks good, but it’s not Jambalaya. I’ve lived in South Louisiana for 60 years, so trust me, Jambalaya resembles rice dressing (no, it’s not rice dressing, but it’s similar).

    I’d still cook this, since it looks good. Just call it something else. It resembles gumbo more than it does Jambalaya.

  20. I want to add crawfish tails to this. Should I add them at the same time that I add the shrimp? Or earlier?

  21. I made it and it’s DEFINATELY soupy. It’s not real Jambalaya as in Louisiana, but it’s still good. I call it “Jambo”…. I serve it OVER jasmine rice! I’ve made it my own recipe.👍🏻

  22. I am making this as I type! Haven’t gotten as far as adding rice or the shrimp but the cayenne pepper is like a firecracker in your mouth! Burst of flavor and Soo good! Making corn bread muffins to go with. Can’t wait until the end and it’s all put together!

  23. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for the first time and it was so tasty. I didn’t have Cajun spice so I used Old Bay. I did notice other comments about it being soupy? It was soupy however I liked it and while I didn’t add rice I put it over rice and the extra liquid was needed specifically because I served this with a loaf of crusty bread. My recommendation. If you want it less soupy I would reduce the diced tomatoes a bit and not the chicken broth however the recipe is so tasty you may want to make it as is….I will

  24. I’m from Louisiana. Jamabayla has rice mixed into already. Not separate. Pouring this over rice is considered gumbo. Either way, this looks delicious 😋!

    1. I too have always seen it with rice already mixed in. That’s what I’m going to do. I wanted to make this yesterday for Fat Tuesday, but got a late start, so I guess it’ll be Fat Wednesday instead! 😂 Just learning to cook, so crossing my fingers it turns out!

  25. 5 stars
    Great recipe and flavors! I added 2 cups of uncooked Arborio rice with 30 mins left when cooked on high. Came out just like jambalaya!

  26. 3 stars
    This is very good but spicy! I had to eat it with out the sauce. Consider adjusting the spices to your liking.

  27. 5 stars
    Just had this with my fiancé. It was delicious ! Perfect amount of spice . Like mentioned above it is very saucy so we used the sauce to make the rice on the stovetop .

  28. 5 stars
    Made this tonight did a tad bit of my own lil tweaking to the recipe and served over rice as the recipe says was a HUGE hit will make this again .

  29. Made this tonight but tweaked this recipe a whole lot so it had a more flavorful taste. Browned sausage, onions and peppers. minced garlic,bay leaf,a squeeze of lemon juice and tomato paste. Cut the stock to 1 cup. Added fresh parsley and scallions as garnish when done. Still served over rice my family like spicy so cayenne was bumped up too with the Creole season too.

  30. Great recipe! It’s freezing cold here right now so serving it over rice instead of putting the rice in will be perfect for this cold weather!

  31. Love this! Perfect mix of spice!
    I added tomato paste to thicken the broth and a small amount of diced jalapeño and garlic. We skipped the rice and opted for crust bread to dip in the broth! Yummy 😋

  32. Have the crockpot going now. I had to reduce the recipe for a 4qt pot. I too have always seen the rice added in. I’m going to try adding 1 cup 30 minutes before the end. Wish me luck!!!

  33. 30 min in a pressure cooker.
    I cook the chicken separately, spread it, and put it in a plastic bag, add Cajun seasoning and toss. Then I add it at the end and stir it in.
    I do the same with the shrimp.

  34. I’m making this for the first time and don’t have any cayenne pepper, so I am using regular. Also I’m going to add scallops in with the shrimp. Crossing my fingers it turns out as good as everyone else that is posting.

  35. Wonderful taste. Took the bell perrers out and added poblano peppers instead. The chicken is a little over powering, so next time I will take that out and add scallops and a white fish. Put a jalapeño instead of the Cheyenne and added a tablespoon of smoked paprika.

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