This quick and easy Chicken Jambalaya Recipe is the ultimate one-pot recipe! It’s ready to eat in 30 minutes and chock full of chicken, andouille sausage, rice, veggies, and Cajun seasonings.
Looking for more one-pot, crowd-pleasing recipes? Then you have to try my One Pot Stovetop Lasagna and Chicken Mushroom Orzo recipes as well!
Your belly will thank you after every bite of this flavorful and mildly spicy Chicken Jambalaya Recipe. Chicken breast, andouille sausage, rice, and veggies all cook together in the same pot and are perfectly seasoned with a custom Cajun spice blend. It’s the easy-to-prepare, crowd-pleasing meal you’ve been dreaming about!
What I love most about this Southern-inspired recipe is that it comes together quickly and easily in one skillet on the stove. All of the smoky Cajun flavors meld together in less than 30 minutes and you don’t need to spend much time on cleanup, either. It’s a satisfying and complete meal you can serve as-is for weeknight dinners, dinner parties, or meal prep.
What is jambalaya?
Jambalaya (juhm-buh-lai-uh) is a classic one-pot dish from the South (Louisiana) with West African, French, and Spanish influence. It’s made by simmering meat (chicken, pork, sausage, and/or seafood), vegetables, Cajun or Creole seasonings, and rice together in water or broth until all of the liquid has been absorbed. The result is a comforting and satisfying meal you can serve for dinner or to a crowd.
Is jambalaya spicy?
It depends on the recipe. The mild heat in my chicken and sausage jambalaya recipe comes from the cayenne and andouille sausage. If you don’t do spicy food, go ahead and omit the cayenne or use a mild type of sausage, like kielbasa or turkey sausage.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Chicken breast - You can use chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs to make this recipe. Check out the Variations section with even more protein options.
- Jasmine rice - This is my go-to but any type of long-grain white rice will work. You can also use brown rice but the liquid ratios and cook time may vary.
- Water - This is used to cook the rice. Feel free to use vegetable broth for more flavor.
- Olive oil
- Andouille sausage - This double-smoked sausage is a popular ingredient in Louisiana Cajun recipes, like gumbo and cornbread stuffing. If you can’t find andouille sausage, use chorizo sausage, kielbasa, or another type of smoked sausage.
- Bell peppers - I like to use a variety of bell peppers, like green, red, and orange, for a colorful and eye-catching presentation.
- Tomato paste
- Garlic - Fresh garlic, preferably.
- Cajun seasoning blend - I seasoned the jambalaya with a homemade blend of onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
- Scallions - For garnish.
How to make chicken jambalaya
The best part about this recipe is how easy it is to make in one skillet! These step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process:
Step 1: Heat the oil in a large skillet. Once it’s hot, add the chicken, onion, and garlic. Saute until the chicken is cooked through and the onion and garlic are fragrant.
Step 2: Add the rest of the ingredients (except the scallions) to the skillet and give everything a good stir. Cover with a lid and cook until all of the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked.
Step 3: Scoop the chicken jambalaya into bowls and top with sliced scallions. Enjoy!
- Use the Cajun/Creole “holy trinity” - AKA celery, onion, and bell pepper. This trio is used as the traditional baseline in jambalaya recipes. Just substitute one of the bell peppers for 2 stalks of celery.
- Instead of Cajun seasonings - Replace the spices in this recipe with a Creole jambalaya spice mix instead. You’ll need onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt.
- Instead of chicken - Make this recipe with the protein of your choice. The popular options are sausage, pork, and seafood, like shrimp, mussels, clams, and crawfish.
- Vegetarian jambalaya - Ditch the meat for even more veggies, like mushrooms, carrots, squash, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.
Jambalaya is already a complete meal because it has veggies, protein, and carbs all in one. Don’t worry about making too many side dishes. Instead, keep it simple with a green salad, like this Kale Pomegranate Salad, or homemade cornbread.
Jambalaya is best eaten as soon as it comes off of the stove because that’s when it’s at its sauciest! Still, the leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.
It’s also a great freezer meal. Pack the cooked and cooled jambalaya into a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the individual servings overnight in the fridge and reheat them the next day.
Looking for more Southern recipes to try?
- Easy 20-Minute Fish Stew
- Southern Black Eyed Peas
- One Pot Shrimp Boil
- Instant Pot Spare Ribs
- Black Eyed Peas and Rice
Chicken Jambalaya Recipe
- 1 lb chicken breast cubed
- 1 ½ cups jasmine rice
- 3 cups water or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 oz andouille sausage sliced
- 3 bell peppers, green red and orange, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- fresh scallions
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a large skillet heat oil. Add chicken, onion and garlic. Sauté until chicken is cooked through (about 8 minutes).
- Add all the seasoning including tomato paste. Also bell pepers, sausage, rice and water. Give it a good stir. Cover and cook on medium-low for 15-18 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and rice is cooked.
- Garnish with fresh scallions and serve.
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