This easy Jambalaya recipe is full of bold cajun flavors, and made in just one pan. It’s the kind of healthy comfort food I crave, since it’s hearty but also loaded with protein, and veggies.

Check out my other favorite cajun and creole inspired dinner recipes, including Gumbo, Cajun Kebabs and Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta.

A bowl of homemade Jambalaya with chicken and sausage, ready to enjoy.

Why I love this meal:

  • One-Pot Meal means minimal mess in the kitchen, and no sacrifice of flavor, for the best sausage jambalaya recipe.
  • Easy – it’s simple enough for anyone to make. My kids often choose it when it’s their turn to cook dinner.
  • Adaptable: We like to add jumbo shrimp, or extra diced veggies from the fridge that need to be used. You can use any kind of sausage, or omit the meat and use chicken broth, to make it vegetarian.

Gumbo vs Jambalaya:

Jambalaya and gumbo are both popular dishes made in Louisiana but the dishes and cooking methods are different. Jambalaya is a rice dish, similar to Paella (in appearance, but not taste), and Gumbo is more of a stew that’s often served over rice. Both contain the “holy trinity” of cajun cooking, which is bell peppers, onion and celery. Both also often contain sausage and shrimp.

How to Make Jambalaya:

Brown Meat: Add the chicken to a large pan with a little oil over medium high heat. Cook, flipping once or twice to brown on all sides (don’t cook chicken through). Remove to a bowl then add sausage and cook until browned on both sides. Add to the bowl with the chicken.

Two images showing chicken and sausage being sautéed in a pan for an easy Jambalaya recipe.

Sauté Veggies: Reduce heat to medium and add butter and flour to the pan then stir well, scraping up any leftover browned bits from the pan. Add onion, garlic, celery, and bell peppers then sauté for a 3 minutes.

Onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper being sautéed in a pan.

Combine: Add basil, cajun seasoning, diced tomatoes, salt, then pepper. Stir well to combine then add chicken broth and rice. Bring mixture to a gentle boil then add reserved meat to the pan. Reduce heat, cover pan with fitted lid, then cook for 20 minutes.

Two images, one with basil, cajun seasoning, diced tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a pan and then after chicken broth and rice is added.

Serve: Remove from heat and rest with the lid on for 10 minutes. Then gently fluff jambalya rice with a fork and rest again for 5 minutes before serving.

A pan filled with the best Jambalaya recipe with chicken, sausage, and vegetables.

Recipe Variations:

  • Sausage: Andouille sausage has a little bit of a kick. If you’d like mild sausage, substitute a Polska Kielbasa, or other pork sausage.
  • Add Shrimp: Jumbo, uncooked shrimp could be added in the same time as the rice and cooked with everything together. Or you could cook the shrimp separately (or thaw frozen cooked shrimp) and add it at the end.
  • Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe.

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Recipe

An easy Jambalaya recipe in a white bowl, ready to serve.
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 35 minutes
Total 55 minutes
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Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 Tablespoon oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1 pound andouille sausage* , cut into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow or white onion , chopped
  • 4 green onions , chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic , finely minced
  • 3 ribs celery , chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional, add more for spice, if desired.
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cup long-grain white rice

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet with a fitted lid, add the oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook, flipping once or twice to brown on all sides (don't cook chicken through). Remove to a bowl. Add sausage and cook until browned on both sides. Add to the bowl with the chicken.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add butter and flour to the pan and stir well, scraping up any leftover browned bits from the pan. Add onion, garlic, celery, and bell peppers and sauté for a 3 minutes.
  • Add basil, cajun seasoning, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Add chicken broth and rice bring mixture to a gentle boil. Add reserved meat to the pan. Reduce heat, cover pan with fitted lid and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, and rest with the lid on for 10 minutes. Then gently fluff with a fork and rest again for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Sausage: I substitute Polska Kielbasa sausage when cooking for my family, because it’s less spicy for my kids. 
Shrimp: Jumbo, uncooked shrimp could be thrown in the same time as the rice and cooked with everything together. Or you could cook the shrimp separately (or thaw frozen cooked shrimp) and add it at the end.
Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 628kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 45gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 1222mgPotassium: 1103mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 788IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 3mg

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*I originally shared this recipe April 2015. Updated January 2019 and August 2023.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    I use beef sausage Hungarian kielbasa dark meat chicken and fresh shrimp. It just up the quantities on everything and it was awesome!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was delicious! I used Polska Keilbasa instead of the andouille. Great flavors and loved that it truly was a one pot meal. Will probably add 1/2 cup more stock next time since rice took a bit longer than anticipated.

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