This is truly the best jambalaya recipe ever! It’s seasoned to perfection with ideal proportions of chicken, sausage and shrimp. The rice is just right – never overcooked or undercooked.
Is this a classic jambalaya recipe?
Like so many much-loved recipes everyone has their own ideas about the right or wrong way to make Jambalaya. Additionally, there are as many opinions about what ingredients should be in a “classic” or “traditional” recipe.
We like to think that they’re all right. Not just in the case of jambalaya, but with gumbo, with she crab soup, biscuits and tomato gravy. We like to embrace the differences and the people who made them different.
In the end we will leave the answer to that question up to you. One definition of the word classic is “remarkably and instructively typical”. I guess time will tell, but this jambalaya recipe seems to check that box nicely.
Is it Creole or Cajun?
That’s an age old question, too. In general, Creole food is “citified” and is more common around New Orleans. It’s also heavier on the tomatoes. While we do have some tomatoes in our jambalaya, it’s brownish color would make it more Cajun, or “country-fied” (if that’s a word).
One recipe that is traditionally considered to be Creole is Red Beans and Rice. It can be a vegetarian side or you can add andouille sausage and make it a meal!
To confuse matters even more we use our beloved Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, but we do tend to add it to so many of our recipes – whether they’re considered Creole or Cajun. Check below for a list.
If you love learning about the various regions of the south and the recipes and ingredients they produce you need to check out Southern Food: Then & Now.
Get the rice cooked perfectly
We’ve found this to be a problem over the years as have many jambalaya cooks. It can not be cooked enough by the time the liquid is absorbed. In that case, you’ll have a crunchy middle and nobody likes crunchy rice, right?
Or, it gets mushy and overcooked. That’s not good either.
After lots of frustrating attempts to get it just right we hit on the solution for this problem and that solution is converted rice. Some purists will argue that it’s not classic jambalaya if it’s made with converted (or parboiled) rice, but we will argue right back.
All of the requisite flavors are there and just sing out to be enjoyed. If mushy or crunchy rice would get in the way of the that enjoyment, then we believe it’s a problem to be dealt with. So we have dealt with that problem by bringing you the best jambalaya recipe ever!
BE SURE TO WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW FOR A QUICK LOOK AT HOW THIS EASY JAMBALAYA COMES TOGETHER!
Don’t save this jambalaya recipe just for Mardis Gras
Some people tend to save the recipes from this region and only make them during Carnival season or Mardis Gras.
We enjoy them all year round and we would encourage you to do the same. We love our jambalaya, Creole Cream Sauce, Cajun potatoes, hurricane cocktails and shrimp etouffee too much to only have them at certain times.
If you want to get the great flavors of jambalaya without making a big pot, try this Jambalaya Dip. It gets rave reviews every time we make it.
Best Jamblaya Recipe
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 boneless chicken thighs cubed
- ¾ pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- ½ pound smoked sausage cut into ¼ inch slices, (traditionally Andouille)
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 green onions chopped
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- 1 cup diced canned tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning we prefer Tony Chachere's Original
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- cayenne pepper to taste, optional
- 1½ cups converted rice
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley optional, for garnish
- Heat oil in large dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add chicken and sausage and cook, stirring, about 8-10 minutes or until chicken is done.
- Add onions and continue cooking and stirring for about 8 minutes.
- Add celery and cook, stirring another 2-3 minutes.
- Add bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring about 8 minutes.
- Add rice, stock, tomatoes and all seasonings. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add shrimp and green onions and stir. Cover. If shrimp are medium size the heat can be turned off and allowed to sit for 5 minutes, covered. If shrimp are large, allow to cook, covered for 2-3 minutes and then turn heat off and allow to sit another 2-3 minutes.
- Before serving remove bay leaves and garnish with parsley, if desired.
Packed full of amazing flavors! This is such a filling meal!
Thank you so much, Toni!
I love jambalaya. It’s such an easy yet so delicious family dinner. I will give your recipe a try. Looks really good!
Hope you enjoy Natalie!
Jacque H says
This sounds perfect for this week! I can’t wait to make this and surprise my cajun loving family. Thank you for sharing this delicious jambalaya recipe.
Yay! Our group loves Cajun too!
A great recipe that is full of flavor. Yum!
Thank you, Angela!
This is definitely a loaded rice dish. We love!
Thanks so much!
sandra gibbons says
I have always loved Jambalaya , this recipe is delightful!
Thanks so much, Sandra!
Laura Ludington says
This is the first time I’ve ever made this. But due to our favorite Cajun restaurant closed for Fat Tuesday we decided to celebrate home. This was FABULOUS. Even my 86 year old mother loved it. Served it with cornbread and the clementine salad recipe. Thank you for a couple of very special celebratory recipes.
Oh wow Laura, thank you so much for letting us know!
I love the balance of the three different proteins. There are so many different flavours going on that it’s a fantastic stand alone dinner!
What a yummy and delicious recipe! We’ve made this a couple times now and we absolutely love this! I will definitely be making this again very soon!
Thanks so much for letting us know!
This jambalaya looks so comforting and hearty. The flavors sound marvelous and I can’t wait to try this out.
Hope you love it like we do, Julie!
This looks seriously amazing all those spices in the ingredients sound heavenly!! I love a great dinner like this and can’t wait to give the recipe a go, thanks for sharing!
Hope you enjoy. Thanks, Adrianne!
I cannot get enough of this jambalaya! My whole family enjoyed it for dinner and we all agree, it’s the best jambalaya recipe we’ve tried!
Yay! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment and for rating our recipe.
Emily Flint says
I’m always looking for a recipe where I can use shrimp. I love that I could make this in my dutch oven and it was all from scratch. I will definitely be making this again!
This has always been a favorite at my house! Really good!
Thank you, Toni!
This turned out so flavorful and it was a hit with the whole family! Making it again for friends coming over soon and I know they’ll all love it too.
Thank you for taking the time to comment and leave a star rating, Marlynn!
Jessica Stroup says
Exactly what I was looking for! We had jambalaya for the football games last weekend and this recipe was so easy and a BIG hit!
Yay! Thanks for letting us know.
This was so flavourful and tasty! We didn’t have a premade Creole seasoning mix so we made our own. We will definitely be making this again.
Awesome – thank you! It’s a favorite around here.
The recipe looks good. Definitely creole. Cajun jambalaya is brown and has no tomatoes. Also cajun jambalaya uses chicken and/or pork and sausage. No seafood.