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, homemade 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.
Quick Notes: This post was originally published in May 2018. I updated the post with fabulous new pictures in January 2021. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure statement for details. Thank you.
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!
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya from Scratch
My family loves it when I make this jambalaya! They say it’s the best jambalaya recipe. Who can argue? This made from scratch recipe tastes superior to any box version. This easy recipe is ready in under one hour!
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!
Ingredients for Cajun Jambalaya
please scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full ingredient list
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (thighs don’t dry out as much as breasts do)
- Spicy smoked sausage (Conecuh or Andouille)
- Diced* onion, bell pepper, and celery (or use the frozen onion, bell pepper, and celery seasoning blend)
- 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 won’t get sticky or mushy)
- Olive oil
- Parsley, basil, garlic powder, cajun seasoning**, salt, pepper
*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!
**Cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere’s or Slap ya mama)
How to Make Jambalaya with Chicken and Sausage
Be sure to follow the actual recipe card below while making this recipe as there are many tips and helpful information.
STEP 1: In a heavy 5-quart saute pan over medium-high heat, 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. 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 on medium heat 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.
STEP 4: 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 5: 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!
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!
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!
Can you Make Jambalaya the Day Before
Yes! In fact, some say jambalaya tastes even better the next day!
How do you Keep Jambalaya Rice From Getting Mushy
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.
If you tried this chicken and sausage jambalaya recipe, please rate and review it below so I know how it turned out. If you’d like more recipe inspiration delivered straight to your inbox, you can sign up for my email newsletter below.
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Cutting board
- heavy, 5-qt pan with lid
- measuring cup(s)
- measuring spoons
- 1/4 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)
- 1/2 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
- 1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere's or Slap Ya Mama)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups uncooked, extra long grain rice (or long grain) do NOT use instant rice
- In a heavy 5 qt 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.
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.