Jambalaya Recipe

There are a lot of different ways to make Jambalaya, and here in the Deep South, every household has a favorite. When asking for a jambalaya recipe, you’ll often hear something like this “Well, the real way to make jambalaya is like my great granddaddy used to make it…” or “First, you gotta get yourself a duck…”

For this version, you can use any combination of the following; chicken, sausage, shrimp, duck, alligator or crawfish. My suggestion is to pair a spicy smoked sausage with the milder flavor of chicken or shrimp. This is a great dish for leftover chicken or meat. Creole style or “red jambalaya” is made with tomatoes and stock, while Cajun jambalaya or “brown jambalaya” is made using only stock.

Another very popular variation of traditional jambalaya is to substitute pasta for rice and call it “pastalaya”. Jambalaya is a VERY forgiving dish, and it’s hard to mess it up – don’t be afraid to experiment based on your own household tastes and what you have on hand.

Chicken (or Shrimp) & Sausage Jambalaya Recipe 

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour (less if using white rice)

Total time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes (Can be made ahead and warmed)

Servings: 4-6


2 tablespoons butter

10 ounces Andouille sausage, cut into ¼ -inch slices

1 pound cooked chicken cut into pieces or whole peeled shrimp

1 large red or green bell pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1 cup uncooked long grain rice (can substitute short grain or brown rice, see cook time note)

1/2 cup diced tomatoes with juice

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons ground paprika

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

3 cups chicken (preferred), beef or vegetable stock

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 or 5 green onions for garnish


  1. Melt butter in large heavy bottomed stockpot.
  2. Add sausage and cook until sausage begins to brown, about 6-7 minutes. Remove sausage from pan and set aside.
  3. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and bay leaf. Cook until onions are clear and vegetables are just softened, scraping in all the brown bits from the pan, about 6-7 minutes.
  4. Add cayenne, cumin, paprika and cook for about a minute.
  5. Add tomatoes with juice, rice, reserved sausage, and chicken if using (if using shrimp or seafood do not add at this point).
  6. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring once, reduce heat, and cover.
  7. If you are using white rice, cook for 20 minutes until rice is tender. If you are using brown rice, cook for 45 minutes or until rice is tender.
  8. *if using seafood, add to pot after rice is cooked, recover and cook for 5 minutes until shrimp is opaque, check seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in individual bowls, topped with green onion for garnish.