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Cajun Jambalaya Recipe: A Louisiana Classic

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Cajun Jambalaya is a classic dish that brings the bold flavors of Louisiana right to your kitchen. This one-pot meal combines savory sausage, tender chicken, and flavorful shrimp with rice and a mix of veggies and spices.

With roots in French, Spanish, and West African cuisines, this dish offers a rich blend of cultures. The mix of ingredients creates a truly hearty and satisfying meal that everyone will love. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or trying this dish for the first time, Cajun Jambalaya is a perfect way to explore the tastes of the South.

Don’t let the list of ingredients intimidate you—jambalaya is surprisingly easy to make. The steps are straightforward, and the results are both delicious and impressive. Dive into the recipes and tips ahead to create your own delicious jambalaya.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Main Ingredients

  • Pork shoulder: 2 pounds, cut in ¾-inch cubes
    Substitute: Pork butt.

  • Boneless chicken thighs: 2 pounds, cubed
    Substitute: Chicken breast.

  • Smoked sausage: 1 pound, sliced
    Substitute: Andouille sausage or kielbasa.

  • Rice: 2 cups
    Substitute: Brown rice (adjust cooking time).


  • Onion: 1 large, chopped
    Substitute: Red onion or shallots.

  • Bell pepper: 1 large, chopped
    Substitute: Any color bell pepper.

  • Celery: 3 stalks, chopped
    Substitute: Fennel or bok choy stalks.

  • Garlic: 4 cloves, minced
    Substitute: Garlic powder (use half the amount).


  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: To taste
    Substitute: Sea salt and white pepper.

  • Cajun seasoning: 2 tablespoons
    Substitute: Creole seasoning.


  • Vegetable oil: ¼ cup
    Substitute: Olive oil or canola oil.

  • Chicken broth: 4 cups
    Substitute: Vegetable broth or water.

Additional Ingredients

  • Diced tomatoes: 1 can (14.5 oz)
    Substitute: Fresh tomatoes (2 cups, diced).

  • Green onions: For garnish
    Substitute: Chives or parsley.


  • Hot sauce: To taste
    Substitute: Cayenne pepper (a pinch).



  • 1 lb pork, cubed
  • 1 lb chicken, cubed
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 lb andouille sausage, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 tbsp Cajun seasoning


1. Season the Meat:
In a large bowl, combine the pork and chicken pieces. Season with salt and black pepper.

2. Brown the Andouille:
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the andouille sausage and cook until browned and slightly crispy. Remove the sausage and set it aside but leave the drippings in the pot.

3. Cook the Meat:
In the same pot, add the seasoned pork and chicken. Cook until all sides are browned.

4. Saute the Vegetables:
Melt the butter in the pot. Add the diced onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp.

5. Combine:
Return the andouille sausage to the pot with the vegetables. Add the rice and stir to coat it with the mixture.

6. Add Broth:
Pour in the chicken broth. Stir in the Cajun seasoning evenly.

7. Simmer:
Bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer. Cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 25-30 minutes.

8. Finish:
Stir occasionally and check to make sure the rice isn’t drying out. If needed, add a bit more water. Once done, serve warm. Enjoy your Cajun jambalaya!

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

To make your Cajun Jambalaya unique, you can try different meat combinations. Instead of just chicken and sausage, consider adding shrimp, crawfish, or even duck. Each type of meat brings its own flavor to the dish.

Vegetarian Jambalaya is also an excellent option. Replace the meat with extra veggies like zucchini, mushrooms, and okra. You can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

For a spicier kick, increase the amount of cayenne pepper or add some sliced jalapeños.

Feel free to experiment with different types of sausage, such as andouille, chorizo, or even smoked turkey sausage. Each has a unique taste that can change the flavor of your jambalaya.

When it comes to herbs and seasonings, fresh thyme, bay leaves, and paprika can enhance the taste.

Serve your Cajun Jambalaya with a side of garlic bread or a simple green salad to balance the meal.

Cornbread is another fantastic side that pairs well with the rich flavors of jambalaya.

If you want to add a creamy element, a scoop of potato salad on the side is a classic choice in Louisiana.

Top your jambalaya with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or chopped green onions for some added color and freshness.

Enjoy your meal with a cold glass of iced tea or a light beer to complement the spices.

By making these variations, you can create a Cajun Jambalaya that suits your taste and impresses your family and friends.

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.