New Orleans Jambalaya Recipe

5 from 10 votes

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My NOLA jambalaya recipe is a quick and painless one-pot meal that’ll feed everyone at your dinner table — and then some! Bursting with diced vegetables and three kinds of protein, it’s a perfectly spiced Creole dish featuring all the best flavors from New Orleans.

side view: jambalaya recipe in a bowl with a spoon with shrimp and andouille sausage showing

No one does comfort food quite like the Southern U.S. — it has all the textures and flavors to make sure no one leaves the table unsatisfied. Jambalaya is the perfect example!

My New Orleans jambalaya is a Creole-style jambalaya recipe, so it’s more on the fresh and herbal side. There’s a bit of heat, but you’re immediately hit with zesty and savory flavors from the sausage, shrimp, and chicken.

That being said, you can always throw in some cayenne to get that spice level up.

side view: a bowl of jambalaya with shrimp, meats, and green onion showing

Soulful Louisiana flavors will bolster any average meal. You can make an amazing, zesty dipping sauce for fries and potatoes or add some heat to cheesy crab dip, for example.

And if you’re a fan of shrimp, there’s way more where this came from! Check out my recipes for shrimp and sausage, shrimp and rice, and shrimp etouffee.

overhead: bowls of rice, seasoning, oil, and broth needed for jambalaya

Tip From Kevin

What’s the Holy Trinity in cooking?

The Creole/Cajun Holy Trinity is a culinary staple, comprising equal parts finely chopped onions, bell peppers, and celery. This aromatic trio forms the base of numerous Creole/Cajun dishes, infusing rich and robust flavors into stews, jambalayas, and gumbo. It is a foundational element, contributing to the distinct taste of Creole/Cajun cuisine.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Shrimp – Keep the tails on if preferred, but peel the rest and remember to devein. 
  • Chicken – I’m using boneless chicken breast, but make it with boneless dark meat if preferred
  • Andouille Sausage – Slice into ¼” rounds for searing. Other than andouille, spice kielbasa, boudin, or other hot sausage works just as well. 
  • Rice – The best rice for a New Orleans-style jambalaya recipe is something long-grained, like basmati, to make sure it doesn’t get mushy. 
  • Diced Vegetables – Diced into small pieces to keep a measured texture, New Orleans jambalaya features what is known as the “holy trinity” of vegetables in Cajun and Creole cooking:
    • White Onions – I also throw in diced green onions for good measure. 
    • Green Bell Pepper – Feel free to use either yellow or red bell peppers if that’s what’s available to you. 
    • Celery – Don’t skip celery in your stewed and simmered recipes — it has more flavor than you think! 
  • Crushed Tomatoes – They add flavor, moisture, and are the defining ingredient in a Creole-style jambalaya recipe. 
  • Creole Seasoning – This blend is savory, herbal, and just slightly spicy. I make my own low-sodium Creole seasoning at home so I can get all the seasonings just how I like them!
overhead: new orleans jambalaya cooking in a large saucepan

How to Make This Jambalaya Recipe

  1. Sear Sausage. In a large saucepan or stockpot — something large enough for all ingredients since this is a one-pot recipe — sear the sausage on medium heat, browning on both sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 
  2. Prepare Roux & Diced Vegetables.  Add the flour to the pan and stir until lightly browned. Now, add the diced vegetables and garlic and continue stirring for several minutes. 
  3. Add Meat & Tomatoes. Add the raw chicken and cooked sausage to the pan. Stir into the vegetables before adding the tomatoes, Creole seasoning, thyme, and oregano. Stir everything together and bring to a boil. 
  4. Add Rice. Pour the uncooked rice into the pan and stir. Season with salt and pepper, then add water or broth as needed to reach desired consistency.
  5. Simmer & Add Shrimp. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the shrimp and simmer for another 10 minutes until the shrimp are pink and the sauce thickens — it will still be slightly soupy.
  6. Serve. Dish this up while still warm, dividing into bowls and garnishing with green onions.
  • Stockpot or Large Saucepan – My jambalaya recipe makes a whopping 8 servings. As a one-pot recipe, it requires a large enough cooking tool to hold all of the liquid, meat, veggies, and rice. 

Storing and Reheating

If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. 

You can reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. I recommend adding a bit of water or chicken broth to it to revitalize the rice and bring back some of the sauce.

extreme closeup: my jambalaya recipe in a pot with a wooden spoon with shrimp showing

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between paella, gumbo, and jambalaya?

Paella is actually a dish with Spanish roots, while New Orleans jambalaya takes more inspiration from French cuisine. Paella has less heat and doesn’t contain as many bold flavors. Another differentiator is that paella uses short-grain rice.

Gumbo is another New Orleans classic but is still a bit different from jambalaya. The biggest difference is that gumbo is more of a stew with added okra that’s spooned over cooked rice whereas jambalaya cooks all ingredients together in one pot.

Should New Orleans jambalaya be wet or dry? Thick or soupy?

It depends if you’re making a Creole or Cajun-style jambalaya recipe. Cajun tends to be drier, as it contains less tomatoes, but this recipe should come out somewhat wet.

It certainly shouldn’t be soupy but a bit porridge-like in consistency. It’ll be thick and dry out a bit as it finishes cooking, cools, and is stored.

More water or broth can be added to make it thinner and wetter if desired.

Can you freeze jambalaya?

Yes! This is a very easy dish to freeze, thaw, and reheat. Once cooled, transfer to a freezer-safe baggie and remove as much air as possible before closing, dating, and freezing. 

Eat within 3 months for the best quality and let thaw in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave.

closeup: jambalaya in a bowl with meat and shrimp showing

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New Orleans Jambalaya Recipe

5 from 10 votes
This jambalaya recipe cooks shrimp, chicken, sausage, and the holy trinity of New Orleans veggies all in one zesty, Southern one-pot dish.
Servings: 8
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour


  • 1 lb large shrimp tail on, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts diced (See Note 1)
  • 1/2 lb andouille sausage (See Note 2)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white onion diced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 1 cup green onions diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 16 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder optional
  • 4 cups chicken stock or more if needed for desired consistency


  • 1/2 cup green onions chopped


  • Sear the sliced sausage in a stock pot or large saucepan. Brown on both sides and remove from pan. Set aside.
  • Make a light brown roux. Heat the oil in the stock pot or large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned.
  • Add the onion, green bell pepper, celery, green onions and garlic. Cook, stirring for several minutes.
  • Add sausage and chicken and stir. Add the tomatoes, Cajun/Creole seasoning, thyme, oregano and bring to a boil. Stir in the uncooked rice and season with salt, pepper and add the broth or water.
  • Reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the shrimp and stir. Simmer another 10 minutes longer until shrimp are pink and sauce has thickened, but is still slightly soupy.
  • Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped green onions.



  1. Feel free to use boneless dark meat if you prefer.
  2. Cut sausage into 1/4″ slices. If you can’t find andouille sausage use a spicy kielbasa or sausage of choice.


Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 203mg | Sodium: 971mg | Potassium: 591mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 700IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 4mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Dinners
Cuisine: American, Southern
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): how to make jambalaya (in 60 minutes)


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. When I click on jump to video it never works for me. What do I do in order to watch the video? This looks lile one of the best jambalaya recipes I’ve ever seen. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

      1. I don’t have an ad blocker but I will check it out on YouTube. I wasn’t aware you had a channel there so that’s exciting.

  2. 5 stars
    Absloutely amazing! I added okra b/c I have some I need to use. I did not have crush tomatoes BUT I did have fire roasted. Thats the awesome thing about cajun cusine…. use what you have! Thank you for sharing. I just came across your site so I will be looking at what else you are cooking. 🙂 merci beaucoup

  3. 5 stars
    Ok, Just made it… I have to give it 5 stars. it is now my goto Jambalaya recipe. It was delicious. I did brown the dark meat chicken too. My roux probably took 25 minutes to make 🙂 Used mild chorizo sausage as store didn’t have andouille.