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 Alternative: Chorizo sausage
- 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 350F for 1 hour. Looking at the recipe card, you still do steps 1 and 2. BUT for step 3, you will place the browned chicken, browned sausage, onion, bell pepper, and celery into a large roasting pan and add the tomatoes, broth, seasonings, and raw rice. Mix well and taste for flavor. Step 4, bake in the oven for an hour or until the rice is tender. The pan needs to be covered tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil or have a lid that fits well.
- 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.
Anne and Steve this looks SOOO good! One of my faves really. True; I go veggie when I travel most of the time, since it is me and wifey and she does the veggie thing. But in the same regard, I need a little bit of meat here and there to energize myself, and to raise my iron levels too I believe. Feels like it at least. So jambalaya has that perfect mix of meat, protein, some saltiness and some world class satiating qualities that is right up my alley.
Thanks for sharing 🙂
Ryan, please do try this recipe next time you are in need of some meat and iron 🙂 Then let me know what you think! Jambalaya is always a treat. Y'all take care! Anne and Steve
Delicious!! Everybody wanted the recipe! I love how easy the recipe is and perfect seasoning.
So happy to hear everyone enjoyed it!
Sounds exactly like my Mom’s! They had a great teacher for cooking just about anything!
They certainly did! My dad added a small can of V8 to his jambalaya. I love everything they cooked!
In step 2 it says to simmer for 5 minutes, but simmering requires some sort of liquid in the pan. There is no liquid added until after this step, so I find it confusing.
Hey Kim. The onion, bell pepper, and celery will release a little liquid as they cook with the sausage. It’s not a lot of liquid but it happens. Hope this helps! Thanks for visiting my blog.
I committed to making jambalaya for an outing with up to 30 people. Any suggestions?
I see you you have the oven alternative. I assume I would follow all steps, then put in oven for Step 4.
You can provide is appreciated.
Hi Kay. Wow 30 people! My recipe makes 4-6 servings so you would need to double the recipe twice (two “double batches” each baked in a large container such as a foil pan you can tightly cover with foil). OR you adjust the recipe card by changing the number of servings but it only goes up to 20 servings. You can stretch it out with lots of French bread, maybe a green salad or another filling salad, add a veggie such as corn. If you don’t serve with sides, you’ll probably need to make more jambalaya. As far as baking it, after you brown the chicken, sausage, onion, bell pepper and celery, pour them along with the remaining ingredients into the pans, stir, and bake as directed in the recipe card. Please let me know if you have any more questions! Let me know how it turned out, too.