Cajun Jambalaya Recipe
Busy week? Still need something satisfying, tasty and soul-fulfilling? Try this easy jambalaya. It is a perfect one-pot meal that is ready in about 40 minutes and leaves you the time to be doing other things while it cooks.
This Cajun Jambalaya is a mouthwatering recipe that can be ready in less than an hour. Andouille turkey sausage and shrimp give this recipe so much flavor!
Cajun jambalaya is one of our family’s favorite weeknight meals. We both love sausage, we absolutely love shrimp, and we can’t get enough spice in our food. Seriously, we are addicted to it.
Since there are only two of us, I make the whole batch, pack up the rest in airtight storage containers and have lunch for the rest of the week! Not only that, but you can easily freeze single servings of this for later.
I used shrimp and chicken andouille sausage, but you can use any type of protein you want, or none at all and make it a vegetarian dish. Poached or shredded chicken breast or even rotisserie chicken is a great add-in.
You can also use white rice if you prefer the texture or taste, but make sure it is a “minute” version. This will help you to save that all-important thing, time.
This recipe uses the stovetop. If you prefer using a slow cooker, also check out my award-winning Slow Cooker Jambalaya!
What is the difference between jambalaya and gumbo?
Well, first off, they are both staples from the great state of Louisiana. Jambalaya is influenced by the West African, French and Spanish people who settled there. It is almost like a casserole or a distant relation to paella, the rice-based dish from Spain.
Jambalaya is made up of a mixture of meats, vegetables mixed with rice and stock. Everything in jambalaya is cooked in the same pot. Hence my one-pot meal comment.
Meats that are sometimes included are chicken, ham, crawfish, shrimp and smoked sausage like andouille.
Gumbo, on the other hand, is a mixture of vegetables and meat cooked in a thickened stock. Think of it more as a soup or stew.
The vegetables that are often used include okra, onions, celery, and green pepper. Meats and proteins vary by region, county, and household for that matter, but sausage, chicken, ham, crawfish, and shrimp are all very popular.
The main difference here is that it is two pots. The rice is cooked separately. Gumbo is served with rice while the rice in jambalaya is cooked and incorporated into the dish.
And while those are the main differences, there are so many variations within all of that that sometimes you feel like your head could spin. This goes for both jambalaya and gumbo.
For example, there is Cajun gumbo, Creole gumbo, and Gumbo z’herbes. In the jambalaya category, there is Cajun jambalaya, Creole jambalaya, and even white jambalaya. Each one has its own subtle difference from the other.
And it’s no wonder. Louisiana is a big mixing pot of people, cultures, and cuisines! Whatever your preference, you won’t be disappointed with this jambalaya recipe. It will be part of your weekly routine in no time.
Check out these other easy Cajun recipes:
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- 2 teaspoons light extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 4 inch ribs celery cut into quarter sections
- 1 cup bell pepper chopped, can be one color or assorted
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 cups uncooked minute brown rice
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 14.5- ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes un-drained
- 5 links andouille turkey sausage sliced into 1/2 rounds (fully cooked)
- 1/2 pound large shrimp cooked, peeled and de-veined
- Heat Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add onion and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add celery, bell pepper and garlic. Continue to saute for 5 minutes.
- Add brown rice through canned diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cover. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Fluff with a large fork or spoon, add shrimp and and sausage. Cover and continue to heat on low for 5 minutes.
- Remove bay leaves and thyme springs. Mixture will have a little bit of liquid, but not be soupy. Taste test rice, as brown rice can sometimes be finicky. Allow to rest for a few minutes uncovered before serving.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!