This Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya dinner is healthy comfort food that is made in just one pan! It’s loaded with veggies including celery, bell pepper, onion, diced tomatoes and bold cajun flavors that I know your family will love.

I have several favorite cajun and creole inspired dinner recipes on my site, including this one! You may also like Authentic New Orlean’s Gumbo, Cajun Chicken and Sausage Kebabs and Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta.

Overhead photo of a large skillet filled with Jambalaya, including rice, chicken and sausage, with a wooden spoon in the skillet for serving.

Jambalaya

One pot meals are all the rage lately, and it’s one trend I don’t ever see going away! And why would it? A simple dinner you can cook all in one pan, usually in less than 30 minutes?  Umm, yes please.

As long as I’ve got a family to feed, one pan meals are my BEST friend. (Check out some of my other one pan meals here and here)

I’m particularly love this Jambalaya recipe. I’m a HUGE lover of cajun/creole food, and my mom’s authentic New Orleans Gumbo recipe could be my all time favorite meal.

Speaking of one pan meals, if you have an INSTANT POT, try this same recipe converted to Instant Pot Jambalaya!

What is jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a Southern recipe (originating in Louisiana) that is essentially a rice dish with vegetables, cajun seasoning, and sausage.

The ingredients in this jambalaya recipe include the “trinity” of green bell pepper, onion and celery, rice, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, spices, chicken and andouille sausages.

Feel free to add shrimp to this dish if you’d like. 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.

A white bowl filled with chicken and sausage jambalaya and a spoon in it.

What is the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?

Although jambalaya and gumbo are both popular dishes made in Louisiana, they are different, and their cooking methods can be different as well, depending on whether they’re prepared cajun or creole style.

Jambalaya is a rice dish, similar to paella (in looks, but not taste). Gumbo is more of a stew that’s often served over rice. Both contain what’s called the “holy trinity” of cajun cooking which is a base of bell peppers, onion and celery. Both also often contain sausage and shrimp.

Ingredients in jambalaya:
  • Andouille sausage or Polska kielbasa
  • chicken
  • flour
  • butter
  • onion
  • green onion
  • garlic
  • celery
  • bell pepper
  • dried basil
  • cajun seasoning
  • diced tomatoes
  • sugar
  • chicken broth
  • long grain white rice

Overhead photo of the ingredients needed to make jambalaya, including raw chicken breast, sausage, white rice, diced tomatoes, celery, onion, green bell pepper, green onion, garlic cloves and a small bowl with spices in it.

How to make jambalaya:
  • Brown the sausage and chicken in a large skillet.

Pieces of chicken and slices of sausage in a skillet on top of a marble board.

  • Remove the meat to a plate and add butter and flour to the pan.
  • Add onions, garlic, celery, and bell pepper and saute.
  • Add basil, cajun seasoning, diced tomatoes, and sugar.
  • Add chicken broth, rice, and meat back to the pan.

Four process photos for making jambalaya including a photo of butter and onion in a skillet, a photo of chopped veggies added to the pan, a photo of diced tomatoes and spices added to the pan, and a photo of rice, chicken and sausage added to the pan with chicken broth being poured in.

  • Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving.

Before and after photos of jambalaya in a skillet, ready to be cooked, and the jambalaya in the skillet after it has cooked.

After I fluff the mixture with a fork I like to let the jambalaya cool for another 10-15 minutes before I serve it. If you stir it too soon you’ll end up with a mushier texture of rice.

A wooden spoon lifting a spoonful of jambalaya out of the skillet it was cooked in.

Consider trying these popular dinner recipes:

 

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Recipe

Overhead photo of a large skillet filled with Jambalaya, including rice, chicken and sausage, with a wooden spoon in the skillet for serving.
Prep 20 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 55 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Tablespoon oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1 pound andouille sausage , cut into thin slices*
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion , chopped
  • 3-4 green onions , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely minced
  • 3 ribs celery , chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper (green or red), chopped*
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup long grain white rice

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet with a fitted lid, add the oil over medium high heat. Add the kielbasa and chicken and brown well, flipping once or twice to brown on all sides. 
  • Remove to a plate. (The chicken doesn't need to be cooked all the way through).
  • 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 saute for a few minutes. 
  • Add basil, cajun seasoning, diced tomatoes and sugar and stir well to combine. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. 
  • Add chicken broth, rice, and reserved meat. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pan with fitted lid and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. 
  • Remove from heat, stir gently just to toss, and then allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

*I usually use Polska Kielbasa sausage because it's less spicy for my kids. 

Nutrition

Calories: 465kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 18gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 746mgPotassium: 542mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 510IUVitamin C: 9.8mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 2.4mg

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

 

 

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About The Author

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. 4 stars
    It was a little bland for me, so I added a lot more cajun spice, and used chorizo instead of kielbasa. That did the trick! I also used brown sugar instead of regular 🙂 So good!

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe . The only thing I do different is cook rice before or use left over cooked rice about 5 minutes before

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