Creole Style Jambalaya is a flavorful dish made with chicken, sausage and shrimp mixed with rice, tomatoes, celery, onion and green pepper.
Update: This recipe was originally shared in April 2013. The recipe and photos have been improved and republished in May 2021.
When we visited New Orleans a few years ago, I was most excited to try all of their foods, with Jambalaya being one dish that I absolutely had to try.
What's the difference between Cajun and Creole Style jambalaya?
Jambalaya is both a Cajun and Creole dish. The Creole version has a reddish hue from the tomatoes that are used and shrimp may or may not be included. This version is cooked over time, browning the meats, caramelizing the onions and sweating in the other vegetables before the tomatoes and rice are added.
The Cajun version has a brown hue because it does not include tomatoes. The Cajun version is often more of a "dump and go" recipe where all of the ingredients are added to a pot and cooked together, vs. layering in the flavors like the Creole version does.
But no matter which version you make, jambalaya is a delicious dish!
🥘 Ingredients for this recipe
- smoked sausage such as andouille
- chicken breasts or thighs
- shrimp, tails removed and deveined
- long grain white rice
- green bell pepper
- canned tomatoes
- tomato sauce
- Cajun seasoning
- chicken stock
- Worcestershire sauce
- spices: salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, thyme and oregano
🔪Instructions for this recipe
- Start by sautéing your vegetables. Add the bell pepper, onion and celery to a large pan with olive oil and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Next, add in the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Then add in the chicken. Cook the chicken until it is lightly browned and cooked through.
- Follow that with the sausage, tomatoes and seasonings. Stir in the sausage, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, Cajun seasoning, crushed red pepper, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Once that is mixed in, add the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and rice. Stir until well combined to make sure the rice is fully submerged in the liquid.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and let the rice cook for 20-25 minutes, until most of the liquid has absorbed. Taste test and add more Cajun seasoning if needed.
- Finally, add in the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes more until shrimp are pink and cooked through.
- To serve, divide jambalaya into shallow bowls or onto plates and season with parsley.
FAQ's for Jambalaya
- What's the difference between jambalaya and gumbo? Gumbo differs from Jambalaya in the cooking method. Gumbo is made with a roux and the rice is cooked separately.
- What is the best rice to use in jambalaya? Long grain rice, either white or brown is best for this dish. Short grain rice cooks too quickly and would turn into mush.
- What is the holy trinity? It's a Cajun and Creole term used for a combination of vegetables used together in many recipes. It's made up of green bell pepper, celery and onion.
- Can you make jambalaya in the instant pot? I have not tried this, but I believe you easily could.
More Cajun/Creole Recipes You'll Love
- Goan Chorizo Pulao by Sneha’s Recipe
- Creole Style Jambalaya by Cookaholic Wife
- Sausage Dirty Rice by Making Miracles
- Smoked Sausage with Dirty Rice by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Vegan Jackfruit Seed Pulao by Magical Ingredients
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Creole Style Jambalaya
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium green pepper diced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 lb chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 lb smoked sausage cut into ¼ inch rounds
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups long grain white rice
- 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon parsley to garnish
- In a large pan with a lid, add the olive oil and heat to medium heat. Add in the green pepper, onion and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Then add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add the bite sized pieces of chicken to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes more, until the chicken is cooked through and lightly browned.
- Then stir in the sausage, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, Cajun seasoning, thyme, oregano, crushed red pepper flake, salt and pepper.
- Follow that with the chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and long grain rice. Mix in until the rice is submerged in the liquid. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with the lid.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed nearly all of the liquid. Taste test and add more seasoning as needed. Then stir in the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until the shrimp is pinked and cooked through.
- Divide the jambalaya into shallow bowls or on plates and top with parsley for garnish.
Recipes on Cookaholic Wife are for information purposes only. Nutritional Data provided has not been evaluated by a nutritionist.