Sausage Jambalaya is a simple Louisiana classic that delivers deep, rich flavor in every bite! An easy one pot meal anyone can make, jambalaya simmers smoked sausage, bell pepper, onion, celery, creole seasonings and diced tomatoes with long grain rice to create an undeniably delicious comfort food hearty enough to feed the whole family!
What is Jambalaya?
Sausage Jambalaya isn’t just a taste of Mardi Gras; it’s feeding your family, every day living, big pot meal kind of cooking! Just what you’d expect from an easy, savory rice dish loaded with smoked sausage (sometimes other proteins too) and chopped vegetables.
Like all Louisiana cooking, it doesn’t have to be spicy, but a good one pot jambalaya recipe is always well-seasoned and packed with flavor! Impossible to achieve all that savory goodness in just 40 minutes?
Absolutely not. The beauty of one pot cooking is that everything is layered in and cooked together to achieve as much rich flavor as possible. Oh, and did I mention easy?
Sausage Jambalaya Recipe Ingredients
- long grain white rice
- smoked sausage (beef or pork)
- yellow onion, & green onions
- green & red bell pepper
- can of diced tomatoes & green chiles (like Rotel)
- chicken broth (or chicken stock)
- minced garlic (or clove garlic)
- all purpose Creole seasoning (contains basic spices like salt, black pepper & paprika)
- dried thyme, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, dried oregano
- olive oil or butter
The Engineer loves all things rice. And anytime he gets the chance to eat jambalaya, he jumps at it. All that to say, he has eaten jambalaya in more places and at more restaurants than I can count. Always on the hunt for the delicious.
So when I cook up a big pot at home and that first bite is met with a moment of silence followed by the sentiment, “I am so glad I married you,”… well, you know you’ve hit the jackpot. There’s nothing better than comfort food done just right.
How to Make This Easy Jambalaya Recipe
Jambalaya is full of beautiful color and gorgeously aromatic. The key to a good jambalaya is the key to any good one pot dish- layer in the flavors.
- What does that mean? It means not everything goes into the pot at once. With a little patience, you build layers of flavor by adding ingredients or groups of ingredients and allowing their flavors to infuse the dish before adding more. It’s easy! Just follow the recipe.
- This recipe looks like it has a long ingredients list, but it really doesn’t and it isn’t hard to make at all. There’s a little knife work in the beginning to chop some vegetables, but after that it’s simply feeding ingredients into a pot, putting on the lid and letting the simmer do all the work.
- Be creative. When it comes to a regional dish, every family has its own twist or version that they’ve made for years. Jambalaya is extremely versatile. Make it your own by adding different proteins. Andouille sausage or Kielbasa, shrimp, crawfish, and shredded chicken thighs are all excellent additions or substitutions to this recipe.
Creole vs. Cajun Jambalaya
- While both are associated with southern Louisiana, Creole and Cajun aren’t the same things. There are a variety of differences in the peoples and in their foods. But for jambalaya, the difference is the use of tomatoes.
- Creole jambalaya has a tomato base, using crushed tomatoes or sometimes a tomato paste. As a result, Creole jambalaya has a red appearance.
- Cajun jambalaya is more brown in appearance. It gets its color and flavor from scraping the browned bits of sausage from the bottom of the pan when the broth is added. No tomatoes.
Are Jambalaya and Gumbo the Same Thing?
Jambalaya and gumbo share some of the same delicious flavors, but they definitely aren’t the same dish.
- Gumbo has the consistency of a soup or stew and is served over rice or with rice. Jambalaya, on the other hand, is a rice dish.
- Okra is one of the veggies included in gumbo and is used as a thickener. Okra isn’t traditionally included in jambalaya.
- Even though jambalaya is a seasoned rice dish, it shouldn’t be confused with Louisiana Dirty Rice either.
What to Serve with Sausage Jambalaya
- Southern Slow Cooker Black Eye Peas & Ham
- Green Salad with Creamy Mayo Vinaigrette
- Easy Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
More Classic Louisiana Recipes You’ll Love
- Louisiana Dirty Rice
- Easy Louisiana Gumbo with Green Chile Rice
- Mini Natchitoches Meat Pies
- Classic Muffuletta Sandwich
- Louisiana Red Beans & Rice
- BBQ Shrimp & Smoked Gouda Grits
IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE, BE SURE TO LET ME KNOW!
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Louisiana Sausage Jambalaya
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced green bell pepper
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 pound smoked sausage (beef or pork), sliced
- 14.5 ounces can of diced tomatoes & green chiles
- 3 cup chicken broth (or chicken stock)
- 2 teaspoons all purpose Creole seasoning (or creole seasoning)
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cup long grain rice
- 4-5 green onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Heat 1-2 Tbsp olive oil in large cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic. Stir while garlic lightly browns. Add onions, bell pepper and celery. Sautee until softened but not quite translucent. Add in smoked sausage. Sautee for 1-2 minutes or until sausage begins to cook.
- Add in canned tomatoes and broth. Stir to remove any browned bits of sausage from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in dried herbs and spices. Let come to a low boil. Add rice and stir to incorporate. Turn heat down to low, cover and let cook for 25-35 minutes or until rice is fluffy. Stir occasionally to make sure rice does not stick. There should be little no liquid left.
- Remove from heat. Stir in chopped green onions and parsley and serve.