Deliciously Spicy Southern Jambalaya Recipe for Any Occasion

Welcome to my southern-style Jambalaya recipe! I’ve been perfecting this recipe for years, and I can confidently say that it’s a crowd-pleaser every time. Jambalaya is a traditional Louisiana dish that combines savory meats, spicy seasonings, and fluffy rice. It’s like a party in your mouth!

If you’re looking to impress your friends and family with an easy yet delicious recipe that transports them to the flavorful streets of New Orleans, this is it. I promise you won’t be disappointed with the outcome of this dish.

But why stop at just any Jambalaya recipe when you could have one that is authentic, easy to make, and bursting with flavors? My recipe is perfected with the right blend of spices and proteins to achieve an excellent taste. I can assure you that this southern-style Jambalaya recipe will become one of your go-to meals for busy weeknights or even special occasions.

So get ready to add some spice to your kitchen by following my recipe step-by-step, and discover why this is the best Jambalaya recipe you’ll ever make!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Jambalaya
Southern Jambalaya

Listen up everyone, and let me tell you why you’ll love this Southern Jambalaya recipe!

First of all, this is not just any ordinary jambalaya recipe. This is a Southern-style jambalaya recipe that’s packed with bold and robust flavors that are unique to this region’s cuisine. Trust me when I say that this dish will take your taste buds on a culinary journey through Louisiana!

Secondly, the ingredient list for this recipe is incredible. Imagine boneless skinless chicken thighs, andouille sausage, shrimp, diced tomatoes – all cooked in one pot with rice and a blend of spices! The combination of these ingredients results in a delicious and savory dish that’s perfect for any occasion.

But wait, there’s more! This recipe is also very versatile. You can easily add or substitute ingredients to suit your preferences or whatever you have available in your pantry. If you like it spicier, add more Tabasco sauce or pepper. Looking for something different? Try using smoked sausage instead of andouille sausage.

Furthermore, this jambalaya recipe is easy to make even for those who don’t consider themselves great cooks. The instructions are clear and concise, making it difficult to mess up the dish.

Finally, serving this Southern Jambalaya dish is one thing that everyone will love about it. Whether you’re having friends over for game night or hosting a dinner party at home, jambalaya is a great one-pot meal to share with others – Pair it with peach cobbler for dessert and you’re sure to have a memorable evening.

So what are you waiting for!? Give this delectable Southern Jambalaya recipe a try – I guarantee it’ll become your new go-to meal!

Ingredient List

 This Southern Jambalaya will have your taste buds dancing the two-step!
This Southern Jambalaya will have your taste buds dancing the two-step!

Get the best ingredients for a perfect jambalaya

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this savory Southern-style jambalaya:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 lb of andouille sausage, sliced
  • 10 ounces of shrimp
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup of diced celery
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil (divided)
  • 2 cups of uncooked rice, best if long-grain or jasmine
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning
  • A few dashes of Tabasco sauce or hot sauce (optional)

This ingredient list might seem long, but with these fresh ingredients and spices, you will achieve a delicious and authentic Southern jambalaya. You will also want to make sure to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in place of chicken breasts for the most flavorful dish.

The Recipe How-To

 A colorful mix of Creole spices and savory ingredients come together in this one-pot wonder.
A colorful mix of Creole spices and savory ingredients come together in this one-pot wonder.

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

Before we dive into making this authentic southern jambalaya, let’s start by gathering all the necessary ingredients. For this recipe, you’ll need boneless, skinless chicken thighs, Andouille sausage, cooked ham, shrimp, rice, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, celery, onions, and bell pepper.

Begin by washing your hands thoroughly and prepping your vegetables. Peel and dice one large onion and 1 cup of celery. Core and dice one green bell pepper. Lastly, mince 2 tablespoons of garlic.

Step 2: Season and Brown the Meat

For best results with this Southern Jambalaya recipe, it is essential to properly season and brown the meat. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with a lid over medium-high heat, heat up 1 tablespoon of oil.

Once the oil is hot enough, add in 1 pound of sliced Andouille sausage and cook for about 5 minutes until browned. Remove the sausage from the pot using a slotted spoon and set it aside.

Add in one more tablespoon of oil to the same pot and let it heat up again. Season your boneless skinless chicken thighs with salt and pepper before adding them to the pot.

Cook the chicken for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until browned. Once done remove the chicken from the pan using tongs.

Step 3: Prepare Vegetables

Using the same pot add in 1 cup of diced onions followed by one cup of diced celery and minced garlic. Let this cook for about five minutes or until they become soft then add in one can of diced tomatoes (14 ounces)

Add a sprig of fresh bay leaf followed by Cajun seasoning [Substitute for cajun seasoning is creole seasoning]. Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce if you prefer your jambalaya to have an extra kick to it.

Step 4: Add Rice and Broth

Add one smack diced tomato can (16 oz) followed by 1-1/2 cups of rice. Stir it gently making sure all rice is blended within the mixture. Keep stirring for 1-2 minutes to let the rice coat every ingredient in the pot.

Now its time to add in 3 cups of chicken broth, bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Let it simmer for around 25 minutes or until the rice has cooked through.

Step 5: Add Meat and Shrimp

After your rice has been cooked sufficiently, it’s time to incorporate the previous cooked ingredients. Start by adding your browned Andouille sausage, then your cut chicken pieces, and chopped cooked ham.

Finally, you can now put in the raw shrimp into the pot! Once everything’s combined, cover and cook until shrimp becomes opaque for about 10 minutes

Substitutions and Variations

 This dish is perfect for feeding a crowd or meal prepping for the week ahead.
This dish is perfect for feeding a crowd or meal prepping for the week ahead.

Are you looking to switch things up for your Southern Jambalaya? Fear not, for there are many substitutions and variations you can make within this recipe.

Firstly, feel free to experiment with the type of meat you use. If you’re not a fan of shrimp or andouille sausage, you can always use cooked ham or chicken thighs cut into 1-inch cubes instead. You could also try using smoked sausage or even chicken sausage for a healthier twist.

For those who prefer a spicier kick, add some hot sauce such as Tabasco or sprinkle in more pepper. Alternatively, if you’re one who enjoys a milder taste, adding less pepper or substituting it entirely with other seasonings such as Cajun seasoning could work well.

Moreover, if some of the veggies don’t suit your preference, go ahead and replace them with ones that do. Use a different variety of onion or substitute bell pepper with other types of sweet peppers. Celery, which provides a distinct flavor to the dish, could be replaced with carrots or green beans.

Lastly, if you’re feeling adventurous, try out different types of rice such as brown rice or wild rice for a healthier option or jasmine rice for an aromatic option.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to Southern Jambalaya. Give it your own twist by trying out some of these substitutions and variations that best suit your taste buds!

Serving and Pairing

 Give your kitchen a taste of the South with this authentic Jambalaya recipe.
Give your kitchen a taste of the South with this authentic Jambalaya recipe.

After cooking and preparing this tantalizing Southern jambalaya dish, it’s time to bring out its unique flavors and invite your taste buds on a culinary adventure. The beautiful thing about this recipe is that it’s quite versatile and can be paired with many different sides or drinks.

If you’re looking for a delicious, hearty meal in one dish, then enjoy the jambalaya solo. However, this dish pairs well with different sides. A serving of crusty rolls or French bread provides an excellent contrast to the spicy and savory flavors of the jambalaya. Additionally, steamed vegetables such as green beans, roasted potatoes or broccoli is an excellent side option that will complement the jambalaya’s flavors without overpowering them.

When it comes to beverages, an ice-cold beer or a refreshing glass of iced tea would both perfectly complement this hearty dish. For those who love wine, aim for a rich wine like a bold Cabernet Sauvignon or merlot. If you’re feeling like something stronger, try pairing this spicy southern delight with a glass of bourbon or whiskey.

Overall, there are several ways to serve and pair the Southern Jambalaya recipe depending on your preference. Whichever way you choose to enjoy it, it’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser among family and friends alike. Bon Appétit!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 With each bite, you'll experience a new wave of flavors- it's a true food adventure!
With each bite, you’ll experience a new wave of flavors- it’s a true food adventure!

While Southern Jambalaya is best served fresh, you can certainly make it ahead of time and store it for later. When preparing this dish, consider doubling the recipe to have enough leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. To make ahead, cook the jambalaya as usual and cool it down completely before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep safely in the refrigerator for up to three days as long as it has been stored properly.

To reheat, simply add a few tablespoons of water or chicken broth to the jambalaya and microwave it for 2-3 minutes or until hot. Alternatively, reheat the jambalaya on the stove in a covered saucepan on medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. Avoid overcooking as this can result in dry chicken and mushy rice.

If you’re planning to freeze your jambalaya, keep in mind that rice dishes tend not to freeze well due to their high moisture content. However, if you must freeze your jambalaya simply let it cool down completely then transfer portions into freezer-safe containers or bags. The jambalaya will last for up to 3 months frozen.

To thaw, place the container in the fridge overnight or until fully thawed. You can then reheat your Southern Jambalaya as described above.

Remember that reheating does change the texture of food so if you’re concerned about texture quality, it may be best to only prepare what you need for one meal at a time rather than making large batches to refrigerate or freeze.

Tips for Perfect Results

 If you're a fan of Cajun cuisine and spicy foods, this Jambalaya won't disappoint.
If you’re a fan of Cajun cuisine and spicy foods, this Jambalaya won’t disappoint.

When it comes to Southern Jambalaya, achieving the perfect balance of flavors and textures can be tricky. However, with some helpful tips and tricks, you can create a dish that is both delicious and authentic. Here are some of my best suggestions for getting the most out of your jambalaya recipe:

1. Use quality ingredients: One of the keys to success in Southern cooking is using high-quality ingredients. Be sure to use fresh vegetables, good quality meats such as andouille sausage, cooked ham, or boneless skinless chicken thighs are especially flavorful in this recipe.

2. Spice it up: Don’t shy away from using bold spices and seasonings when making jambalaya. Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, and plenty of pepper are essential to giving this dish its signature flavor.

3. Cook the rice to perfection: Cooking rice may seem like a simple task, but it’s crucial to the success of your jambalaya recipe. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and avoid overcooking or undercooking the rice.

4. Let it simmer: To allow all of the flavors to meld together properly, be sure to let your jambalaya simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes before serving.

5. Make adjustments according to taste: Jambalaya is a versatile recipe that can easily be customized to fit your preferences. Adjust the spice level with hot sauce or Cajun seasoning, add more vegetables for a healthier twist or swap out shrimp for chicken if you prefer.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating an authentic and delicious Southern Jambalaya that will have everyone asking for seconds!


As you prepare this delectable Southern Jambalaya recipe, there might be occasions that you encounter some uncertainties in the process. Don’t worry! In this FAQ section, I will provide answers to some common questions and concerns that may arise while cooking this dish. Whether it’s about finding the right substitution or achieving the ideal texture, these questions and answers will guide you throughout your Southern Jambalaya cooking journey like a pro!

What is the difference between Cajun and Creole jambalaya?

When it comes to jambalaya, the distinctions between the Cajun and Creole versions are clear. The Cajun jambalaya has a rich brown color with meat that is caramelized from the bottom of the cast-iron skillet, while the rice absorbs the flavor and turns a warm hue. On the other hand, Creole jambalaya is characterized by a reddish color, owing to its tomato-based sauce.

What is typically in jambalaya?

Jambalaya, a well-loved cuisine of Louisiana, is a delectable combination of meat (commonly pork, chicken, or rabbit), seafood (shrimp, crab, and crawfish), or a mix of both, accompanied by vegetables, stock, rice, and a variety of flavors. It is a perfectly balanced savory dish that locals and tourists alike crave for.

What are the two types of jambalaya?

When making jambalaya, there are two kinds you can create: Creole and Cajun. Despite both types incorporating the “holy trinity” of onion, celery, and green bell pepper, Creole jambalaya, also known as “red jambalaya,” adds tomatoes while Cajun jambalaya does not.

What kind of rice is best for jambalaya?

When preparing Jambalaya, it’s important to choose the right type of rice. Generally, long grain rice is the most suitable option, although jasmine and basmati can also work well. However, if you prefer brown rice, keep in mind that it may require more liquid to create the perfect texture.

Bottom Line

So there you have it, my fellow culinary enthusiasts – a recipe for a delectable Southern Jambalaya that is sure to leave your taste buds tingling with delight. This dish is perfect for those lazy weeknights when you’re craving something warm and comforting, but don’t have the energy to make a complicated meal.

Using this recipe as a base, feel free to tweak it and make it your own. Add some extra heat with more Tabasco sauce, or switch up the protein and use cajun shrimp or pork instead of chicken and sausage. Regardless of how you choose to customize it, I guarantee this jambalaya will become a staple in your recipe book.

Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients or multiple steps involved in making this recipe. It’s easy, delicious, and once everything is in the pot, it pretty much takes care of itself! Just follow my handy tips and tricks, and before you know it you’ll have an authentic Southern-style jambalaya that would satisfy any Louisianan chef.

So go ahead and give it a try! Whether you’re looking to embrace your inner Cajun or just want to create a dish that’s bursting with flavor, this Southern Jambalaya Recipe is sure to impress even the pickiest of eaters. Trust me, there’s nothing better than curling up with a steaming bowl of jambalaya on a cold winter evening – except maybe a slice of peach cobbler for dessert!

Southern Jambalaya

Southern Jambalaya Recipe

Stick to your ribs cooking, Cajun-style.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 484.6 kcal


  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb cubed cooked ham


  • Cook the onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in two tbsp of the oil in a Dutch oven, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove shrimp mixture and reserve.
  • Add last tbsp oil to the pan along with the rice and cook over med-high heat about ten minutes, until the rice is a light brown, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  • Stir in the broth, tomatoes, salt, pepper, thyme, Tabasco, and the bay leaf.
  • Heat mixture to a boil then cover, reduce hear and simmer, about 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender.
  • Stir in the reserved shrimp and also the ham.
  • Cover and cook until heated through.
  • Remove bay leaf, and serve.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 407gCalories: 484.6kcalCarbohydrates: 34.6gProtein: 35.7gFat: 21.7gSaturated Fat: 6.1gCholesterol: 166.3mgSodium: 1028.3mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 4.2g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Cajun, Creole, Easy, Fruit, Ham, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Pork, Rice, Spicy, Stove Top, Vegetable
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