Easy, authentic Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya is a family favorite. Ready in 40 minutes!
This recipe for Cajun chicken and sausage jambalaya is simple to make and full of Cajun flavors. You'll enjoy every spicy, savory, bite of chicken, sausage, rice, and the perfect blend of seasonings.
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs and smoked sausage are simmered with onion, bell pepper, and celery (trinity), rice, with lots of Louisiana flavors.
Perfect for any meal, this fantastic one pot dish is spicy, savory, and downright delicious!
Welcome to My Kitchen Serenity! I'm very proud to share with you my Cajun jambalaya recipe. This authentic chicken and sausage jambalaya is a family tradition.
Jambalaya is a classic Mardi Gras meal; along with Red Beans and Rice, Dirty Rice, and King Cake! However, I will gladly eat any of these foods on any day of the week!
Check out my Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Cajun Sauce! Wow, it's super good!
Tip: If you're looking for a great recipe with andouille sausage, then use it in this jambalaya recipe, or use it for my quick and easy red beans and rice!
Why You'll Love This Jambalaya
My family loves it when I make this jambalaya! They say it's the best jambalaya recipe. I'm honestly not one to argue with that sentiment.
This made-from-scratch recipe tastes superior to any boxed version, and it is ready to eat in under one hour!
I also love that this Louisiana jambalaya recipe is completely packed with flavor and has all of the elements of a complete dish in a single, scoopable meal. I can make a batch at the beginning of the week and be set with microwavable lunches or dinners for several days!
Made in just one pot, this Cajun recipe requires just a few simple ingredients, a little bit of prep and almost no clean up. This jambalaya is an easy weeknight dinner, potluck, office party, tailgate, or holiday meal.
Tip: If you're a fan of one-pot, one-pan meals, check out my Sheet Pan Cajun Chicken and Potatoes. Or give my Cajun Shrimp Stew a try. Both are very easy to put together and has lots of Cajun flavor.
While recipes for this popular rice and meat dish are as various as leaves on trees, this jambalaya recipe is based on my Dad's version. However, I tweaked the recipe a little, to make it my own version and to suit my family's taste preferences. We receive so many requests for this one!
please scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full ingredient list
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs - I highly recommend going with dark meat in this recipe. Thighs don't dry out as much as breasts do, and they are basically impossible to overcook.
Spicy smoked sausage - I recommend Conecuh or Andouille sausage where possible. If you do not eat pork, feel free to substitute a beef or chicken sausage instead.
Diced trinity (onion, bell pepper, and celery) - I personally don't like chunky vegetables in my jambalaya, so I prefer smaller "diced" vegetables over the larger "chopped" vegetables. But if you prefer chunky, then chop on!
Time Saving Tip - You can also opt to use the frozen onion, bell pepper, and celery "seasoning blend" to get dinner on the table even faster. The frozen seasoning blend is a great shortcut that I often choose when needed.
Canned diced tomatoes - If possible, get the kind with garlic, basil, and oregano already added. One less step for you! If you only have regular diced tomatoes available, add an extra ½ teaspoon each of dried garlic, basil, and oregano.
Chicken broth - I use canned broth for convenience, but feel free to use homemade instead!
Extra-long grain rice - Do NOT use instant rice, or you'll end up with a mushy mess. "Extra Long Grain" is best since it won't get sticky, but you can also use other popular kinds of long grain rice like jasmine or basmati instead.
Cajun Seasoning - I prefer Tony Chachere's or Slap ya mama brands. You could use plain ole cayenne pepper, if you prefer.
Parsley - I use dried parsley since I literally always have it in the pantry. You can substitute 3 tablespoons of fresh if you prefer.
Basil - Like parsley, I always keep dried basil on hand. If using fresh, sub in 1 tablespoon for the dried.
Remaining pantry ingredients: olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper are pretty self explanatory.
How to Make It
Be sure to follow the actual recipe card below while making this recipe as there are many tips and helpful information.
(1) Add oil to a heavy 5-quart sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Sprinkle chicken pieces with some extra Cajun seasoning to taste. Brown the cut-up chicken that has been seasoned for 3-5 minutes. Do not cook the chicken through. Remove chicken from pot and set aside.
(2) Add the sliced sausage to the pot and brown for 5 minutes.
(3) Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Mix well and scrape bottom of pan to remove and incorporate any browned pieces of chicken and sausage. Cover and simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
(4) Add the tomatoes, broth, and seasonings. Mix well and taste for seasoning. Adjust salt as necessary, then return the chicken back to the pot. Add raw rice and mix well. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes and then stir mixture to bring rice to the top.
(5) Cover and lower heat (very gentle simmer) and cook another 30 minutes or until rice is done.
Tip: Do not lift the lid while the jambalaya is cooking, as the rice needs to absorb all the liquid!
Alternative Method: The recipe can be doubled and baked in the oven at 350 for 1 hour. The pan needs to be covered tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil.
Serve this chicken and sausage jambalaya with buttered, toasted french bread and you've got yourself a winning plate of authentic Cajun bliss. Enjoy!
Looking for a little something different? Try my black-eyed pea jambalaya! Made with ham, sausage, and canned black-eyed peas for a super easy one-pot, one-pan "Hoppin John." A must-have food for New Year's Day (or any day of the year)!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! In fact, some say jambalaya tastes even better the next day! This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Mushy rice is the worst! The key to avoiding mushy rice in your jambalaya is using Extra Long Grain Rice or Long Grain Rice. It remains separate and firm even after absorbing the liquids. I use Riceland Extra Long Grain Rice. I've also used Zatarain's Long Grain Rice with great results. Both available now on Amazon.
Absolutely! I'm all for time saving tricks, and that's one of the easiest ones around. Check your freezer aisle for frozen chopped trinity (also marketed as "seasoning blend") and get dinner on the table in a flash.
While there are some similarities in the ingredients, the main takeaway is that gumbo is more of a stew that is often served over rice, and jambalaya is a rice-based dish.
Gumbo also calls for the making of a roux, which we don't require for jambalaya. It also often uses filé powder and okra, both of which are omitted from jambalaya.
As with most recipes, getting the ingredients laid out and prepped before you begin cooking makes it simpler. And, if you have a helper, then it's even easier! My husband usually does all the chopping. 🙂
Do not lift the lid while the jambalaya is cooking, as the rice needs to absorb all the liquid!
Other Amazing Cajun Recipes
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Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Cutting board
- heavy, 5-qt pan with lid
- measuring cup(s)
- measuring spoons
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1" chunks
- 1 pound smoked, spicy sausage (such as conecuh or andouille), cut into 1" discs
- 1 cup diced onion (see recipe Note for time-saving step)
- 1 cup diced bell pepper (see recipe Note for time-saving step)
- ½ cup diced celery (see recipe Note for time-saving step)
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano
- 1 14.5-ounce can chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere's or Slap Ya Mama)
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups uncooked, extra long grain rice (or long grain) do NOT use instant rice
- In a heavy 5-quart saute pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and brown the cut up chicken that has been seasoned with Tony's (NOTE: this is not the amount in the ingredient list; simply sprinkle the cut-up chicken with a little [or a lot] Tony's) for 3-5 minutes. Do not cook the chicken through. Remove chicken from pot.
- Add the sliced sausage to the pot and brown for 5 minutes. Then add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Mix well and scrape bottom of pan to remove and incorporate any browned pieces of chicken and sausage. Simmer covered on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
- Return chicken to pot and add the tomatoes, broth, and seasonings above. Mix well and taste for flavor. Add raw rice and mix well. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes and then stir mixture to bring rice to the top.
- Cover and lower heat (very gentle simmer) and cook another 30 minutes or until rice is done. Do not lift the lid while the jambalaya is cooking.
- Alternative Method. Recipe can be doubled and baked in the oven at 350 for 1 hour. The pan needs to be covered tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil.
- Time-saving step: Use 1 (10-oz) bag of frozen chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery "seasoning blend." I almost exclusively use this now, and I promise the recipe will still turn out fantastic!
- I personally don't like "chunky" vegetables in my jambalaya, so I prefer smaller "diced" vegetables over the larger "chopped" vegetables. But if you prefer chunky, then chop on!
- Use long grain rice or extra long grain rice otherwise, the rice may be too soft and soggy.
- Serve with crusty french bread and a side salad.
- Any leftovers should last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight, covered container.
This recipe was previously published and was updated in 2022.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy to my readers. I'm not a nutritionist and I don't guarantee the accuracy of this data. The data may differ according to the brands I used versus the brands you use. To calculate the data yourself using your brands, try using an online nutrition calculator or app.
Do you think the rice could be substituted for brown rice to make it slightly healthier? Thinking of making this for my lunches for meal prep.
Hi Jess! Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I have not tested this recipe with brown rice so I can't say for sure. What I do know is brown rice takes longer to cook and requires more liquid. Sounds like I need to experiment with the recipe using brown rice! If you decide to give it a go, please let me know how it turned out. Again, thank you and best of luck with the jambalaya!
Hi there! If I wanted to add shrimp, when would be the best time to do so?
Hi Amanda! I would add the shrimp after the jambalaya has finished cooking. So, after Step 4, stir in the shrimp, cover the pot and let the jambalaya cook for another 5 minutes then check the shrimp to make sure they are no longer pink. Add a few more minutes if needed. I hope you enjoy the jambalaya -- let me know what you think. Thank you!
I made this and used 2 cups of brown rice and simmered it for an hour. It turned out perfectly! I also threw some frozen okra in. It was delicious! I will definitely be making this again! Thanks for such a great recipe!
Great to hear from you, Janet. I must try the okra addition. Sounds delish! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Hi there! Do you have to extend the cook time when Cooking in the oven instead of on the stove ?
Hey there! It takes an hour to cook in the oven. Just make sure the pan is tightly covered with foil. Thank you!
I didn't have canned tomato, bell pepper or long grain rice so I substituted with 2c fresh tomato, a poblano pepper and boil in a bag rice and it turned out excellent! Great dish! Thanks!
Great substitutions, Rhonda! I'm happy you liked the jambalaya 🙂 Thank you for letting me know!
Absolutely delish!!! I used the frozen onion/pepper/celery and added extra celery ( I love celery). Added a little oregano and thyme. It is now on our list for Mardi Gras. My New Irleans great great grandmom would be proud! The best. Thank you
Wow Kim, this makes me so happy! I’m honored to be on your Mardi Gras list. I’m making it, too. Thank you
Love jambalaya and this recipe is so easy and has very common ingredients.