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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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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One Pan Jambalaya
- 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
- 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.
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*I originally shared this recipe April 2015. Updated January 2019 and August 2023.