Easy, authentic Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya is a family favorite! Boneless skinless chicken thighs and smoked sausage simmered with onion, bell pepper, and celery (trinity), rice, and lots of Cajun flavors.
This fantastic jambalaya is a delicious one pot dish. Perfect for any meal, not to mention, Mardi Gras wouldn’t be the same without this wonderful Cajun food!
You’ll enjoy every spicy, savory bite of chicken, sausage, rice, and the perfect blend of seasonings.
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Welcome to My Kitchen Serenity! I’m very proud to share with you my jambalaya recipe! This authentic chicken and sausage jambalaya recipe is a family tradition!
First, a little family background: My family’s roots run deep in south Louisiana. Perhaps you’ve heard of Gramercy, Lutcher, and Convent? This area of Louisiana is where many generations of my family were born and raised. Cajun country is the southern part of Louisiana.
People in this part of Louisiana usually have that authentic Cajun accent and my relatives were no exception! My family often refers to jambalaya as “Jang” although I have no reason why!
We grew up on jambalaya, etouffee, shrimp creole, and all kinds of delicious meals. And if you’re looking for a great andouille sausage recipe, then use it for this recipe. Or use it for my quick and easy red beans and rice recipe!
Family Favorite Jambalaya Recipe
My family loves it when I make this jambalaya! They say it’s the best jambalaya recipe. Who can argue? It’s a special treat for them since I don’t make it near enough times; which is a shame because it’s super easy to make.
This jambalaya is an easy weeknight dinner, potluck, office party, tailgate, or holiday meal. 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.
If you’re a fan of one-pot, one-pan meals, check out my Sheet Pan Cajun Chicken and Potatoes. It’s very easy to put together and has lots of Cajun flavor.
History of Jambalaya
According to https://www.mccormick.com/zatarains/jambalaya, “Like so many great things, jambalaya started with a problem. The problem? There was no saffron in south Louisiana in the 1700s, which meant Spanish colonists were unable to make their beloved paella.
Necessity was the mother of invention, and jambalaya was the result of attempts to make a variation of paella using ingredients available locally.
Like so many other great things, jambalaya is also the result of a collision of cultures. A single bowl reflects many of the numerous diverse cultures that planted roots in and around New Orleans in the 18th century.”
This jambalaya is our family version; my dad’s to be exact. However, I tweaked the recipe a little, to make it my own version and to suit me and 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 and photos
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (thighs don’t dry out as much as breasts do)
Spicy smoked sausage (Conecuh or Andouille)
Bag of frozen chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery blend (or use fresh veggies)
Canned diced tomatoes with garlic, basil, and oregano
Canned chicken broth
Extra-long grain rice (do not use instant rice. “Extra Long Grain” is best since it’s not sticky or mushy)
Parsley, basil, garlic powder, cajun seasoning*, salt, pepper
*Cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere’s or Slap ya mama)
Step by Step Directions
STEP 1: In a heavy 5-quart saute pan, 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) in oil for 3-5 minutes. I recommend using a heavy 5-quart pot. I’ve been using the same pot for many years because the jambalaya always turns out perfect. Here’s the Calphalon pot that I use and love! Do not cook the chicken through. Remove chicken from pot.
STEP 2: 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 for about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
STEP 3: 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.
STEP 4: 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.
Recipe Note: Time-saving tip: You can use the frozen chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery. I promise, the recipe will still turn out fantastic!
So delicious and worth the wait, I guarantee!! Serve this chicken and sausage jambalaya with buttered, toasted french bread and you’ve got yourself a winning authentic plate of Cajun bliss!
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Cutting board
- heavy, 5-qt pan with lid
- measuring cup(s)
- measuring spoons
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1" chunks
- 1 pound spicy sausage (such as conecuh or andouille), cut into 1" diagonal slices
- 1 cup diced onion (see recipe Note for time-saving step)
- 1 cup diced bell pepper (see recipe Note for time-saving step)
- 1/2 cup diced celery (see recipe Note for time-saving step)
- 1 each 16 oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano
- 1 each 16 oz can chicken broth
- 2 cups uncooked, extra long grain rice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere's or Slap Ya Mama))
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a heavy 5 qt saute pan, 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) in oil 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 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.
- Recipe Note. Time-saving tip: You can use the frozen chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery. I promise, the recipe will still turn out fantastic!
COMMON QUESTIONS RELATED TO THIS POST
What is the Difference Between Jambalaya and Gumbo?
This is an easy answer if you grew up in the south, but for those of you who didn’t, the answer is still very simple. Jambalaya is a rice-based dish. It’s thick and can be made out of any kind of meat or seafood (usually leftovers). The meat and rice are cooked together with onions, bell pepper, and celery (trinity) The liquid is usually broth, and almost always contains spicy seasonings. Whether or not it contains tomatoes depends on what part of Louisiana your family is from (and personal preference)!
Gumbo is more like a stew or thick soup that begins with a roux and sometimes has okra in it and file powder to thicken it up. It too is made out of any kind of meat or seafood and includes the trinity. It’s usually served with a scoop of rice.
Everybody’s jambalaya and gumbo recipes are unique and special. No two family recipes are the same, yet some are adamant that their recipe is more authentic than the others!
Storing Jambalaya in the Fridge
Any leftovers should last 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight, covered container. I like to use the BPA-free glass containers with locking lids. Check out this 20 piece set of glass food storage containers with snap locking lids. Love these!
Reheating Cooked Jambalaya
Cold jambalaya can easily be reheated in the microwave. Place your desired amount of jambalaya on a plate or in a bowl. Cover, and heat for 1 to 2 minutes or to your desired level of heat.
Here are some other recipes you may like. By the way, the chocolate chess pie recipe is super crazy good.
Please leave me a comment if you make this recipe. I’d love to hear from you.