Cajun Jambalaya

Busy week? Still need something satisfying, tasty and soul-fulfilling? Try this easy jambalaya recipe. 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! #cajunjambalaya #healthyjambalaya #easyjambalaya www.savoryexperiments.com


 

Cajun vs Creole

Did you know there is also a difference between the commonly interchangeable terms Creole and Cajun? My understand, which is oversimplified immensely, is that Cajun is “country” and Creole is “city”.

Cajuns are the indigenous people and therefore, locavores, using only the ingredients readily available to them. Therefore their roux doesn’t have butter, instead using oil and flour, and you also won’t find tomatoes in their jambalaya. Tomatoes don’t grow well in that climate.

Creole cooking is a mixing pot of cuisines. The city folk also had access to imported items, like tomatoes and butter. It was also more sophisticated with French and Caribbean influences.

This is a Cajun jambalaya, noted for a more rustic and basic preparation, however more jambalaya are actually creole in nature. They hail from an African rice dish and Spanish paella, where rice cooks down with stock. Tomato is added to give it flavor, moisture and balance other savory flavors.

Healthy Jambalaya Recipe- you won’t believe how easy this jambalaya recipe is! Throw out the box mix and make your own in under an hour with whole, healthy ingredients. www.savoryexperiments.com

Protein

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.

True andouille sausage, pork, clams, mussels and even scallops are all acceptable. Use one main protein or a combination of your favorites.

Rice

You can also use long grain 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.

Brown rice is simply less processed but certianly has a different texture than some folks don’t like.

Cajun Seasoning

You read correctly, this recipe doesn’t use the bottled cajun spice mix. I’ve had enough people ask that I had to address it.

What is in Cajun seasoning? Garlic powder, onion powder, seasoning salt, oregano, thyme and then something spicy like paprika, cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes. Since this recipe uses those elements, but some fresh, it doesn’t need it. But you like having a big POW, add 2 teaspoons.

For mine, I like to add additional hot sauce.

Jambalaya Vs Gumbo

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.

Healthy Jambalaya Recipe- you won’t believe how easy this jambalaya recipe is! Throw out the box mix and make your own in under an hour with whole, healthy ingredients. www.savoryexperiments.com

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.

Authentic New Orleans Gumbo is a rich and hearty sauce mixed with vegetables, Andouille sausage, chicken and even seafood. Serve over rice for the perfect Creole meal.
Gumbo

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.

Easy Jambalaya Recipe

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.

For example, there is Cajun gumbo, Creole gumbo, and Gumbo z’herbes. In the jambalaya category, there is Cajun, Creole 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.

bowl of jambalaya with fresh thyme

More Cajun recipes:

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Red Beans and Rice Recipe

The BEST Red Beans and Rice with Sausage Recipe with authentic creole instructions and ingredients. Smokey and delicious- the ultimate comfort food.
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Cajun Chicken Alfredo

Ready in less than 30 minutes, this Cajun Chicken Alfredo is simple and delicious. Perfect for weeknight dinners or even date night at home!
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Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe – A giant sweet roll stuffed with brown sugar, raisins and pecans and decorated with icing and purple, green and gold sparkling sugar. Perfect for breakfast or dessert during carnival or on Fat Tuesday!
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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! #cajunjambalaya #healthyjambalaya #easyjambalaya www.savoryexperiments.com
Healthy Jambalaya Recipe- you won’t believe how easy this jambalaya recipe is! Throw out the box mix and make your own in under an hour with whole, healthy ingredients. www.savoryexperiments.com

Cajun Jambalaya

4.16 from 13 votes
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!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 5

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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! 

Nutrition

Calories: 550 kcal, Carbohydrates: 67 g, Protein: 37 g, Fat: 13 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 199 mg, Sodium: 1299 mg, Potassium: 870 mg, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 4 g, Vitamin A: 1165 IU, Vitamin C: 58 mg, Calcium: 155 mg, Iron: 4.9 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 550
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Creole
Keyword: easy jambalaya
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.16 from 13 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Questions and Reviews

    1. Hi Ana! Thank you for the feedback, I just reviewed the recipe and accounted for all the ingredients. Which one do you feel was missing?

        1. Hi Shireen, step #2 reads: “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.” That would include anything in the list between those two ingredients and that is where thyme, bay leaves and chicken stock are on the list.

  1. 4 stars
    Recipe calls for chicken broth and red pepper flakes but you don’t explain what to do with that in the directions

    1. Step #2: <> Which means (I assume) to add those things in the ingredients list from the brown rice through the tomatoes (<>) ope that is more helpful.

  2. Totally drooling! I love Jambalaya, and I love that your version is Skinny 🙂 My favorite part is probably the fact that it’s super easy and hands-off!

    1. Yep- taking all of the oils out and changing the sausage to turkey sure does make a difference to your waist line, but not to your taste buds!

  3. yum! those flavors sound like they would be really yummy together. I’ve has something similar to this and it was really good! Emily