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The Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya with Incredible Flavor from Minimal Effort: One-Dish Wonder

According to Chef Johan, “Chicken and sausage jambalaya is a flavorful one-pot meal.”

Chicken and sausage jambalaya creates a satisfying meal with chicken, sausage, rice and vegetables simmered together. 

Seeming simple, some subtleties make a big difference like properly browning meats and dicing veggies. 

Using cast iron ensures even cooking and allows maximum flavor development. Learning a few insider tips takes this Louisiana specialty to the next level.

Key Takeaways

Chicken and sausage jambalaya is a hearty one-pot rice dish from Louisiana that combines chicken, andouille sausage, vegetables and seasonings in a tomato based broth. It makes for a flavorful and filling meal.

What Is Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya?

Chicken and sausage jambalaya is a delicious one-pot creole rice dish originating from Louisiana (1). It’s easy to make in just one pot, which makes it perfect for busy weeknights. Using ingredients like boneless chicken thighs and any smoked sausage, along with tomato paste, onions, celery and bell peppers, creates a flavorful easy one pot meal. 

This comforting food combines chicken, the best sausage for the dish, along with rice and tomato-based creole spices into a satisfying meal the whole family is sure to love.

When looking to make a hearty yet effortless dinner on a weeknight, jambalaya is certainly a great chicken option. The long cooking time required helps the ingredients like chicken and sausage, along with the tomato paste used to add deep flavor, fully infuse the pot jambalaya with their flavors. 

Opting for instant rice not only cuts down on cooking time significantly, but also allows the rice to cook seamlessly right in the flavorful liquid instead of on the stovetop, so you don’t have to wait.

A perfect pot of jambalaya takes only about 30 minutes of cooking time to prepare from start to finish. Simply brown the sausage and chicken first, then add in the tomato paste along with aromatic vegetables and creole spices. 

Simmer until fully cooked and the flavors have really combined into this comforting family-pleasing dish. You can make it ahead of time too, to simply reheat for the family on busy weeknights for an easy, filling and comforting weeknight dinner solution. 

As long as you follow the simple steps, this one-pot creation is sure to become a favorite family classic enjoyed often at your table and is guaranteed to have the whole family love this creole specialty.

YouTube video

Credit : Chef Jean-Pierre

How to Make Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Making chicken and sausage jambalaya is an super easy recipe that creates a one-pot meal bursting with comforting flavors. Follow these simple steps to prepare this Louisiana specialty your whole family will love.


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 lb andouille or smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp Creole seasoning
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 32 oz chicken broth


  1. In a large pot, brown the chicken thighs and sausage over medium heat. Then remove and set aside.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper and celery to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and Creole seasoning. Return chicken and sausage to pot.
  5. Stir in rice then pour in broth. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.
  6. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  7. Serve warm as a comforting classic Louisiana meal the whole crew is sure to enjoy!

These easy steps ensure this one-pot jambalaya recipe comes out flavorful every time. Feel free to substitute shrimp or fish for variation. As long as you follow the basic steps, your homemade chicken and sausage jambalaya recipe will be a new family-favorite meal enjoyed often.

Tips for the Best Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

There’s nothing quite like coming home to the familiar aroma of jambalaya simmering away. With just a few careful tips, this Louisiana favorite can become a regular part of your mealtime routine. 

Proper use of cast iron and olive oil is key to developing rich flavor as the ingredients blend together into a satisfying one-pot meal.

  • Use a cast iron dutch oven or heavy pot to cook the jambalaya. This allows for even heating and formation of complex flavors as the dish cooks (2). Heating olive oil in the cast iron over medium-high adds nutritional benefits and creates a non-stick surface for browning (3).
  • Brown chicken and sausage well before adding vegetables to render out fat and deepen meatiness.
  • For rice, long grain white rice works best, fully soaking in flavors without mushiness.
  • Dice all vegetables uniformly for consistent cooking doneness. Adding a green bell pepper contributes grassy undertones and vibrant color.
  • Stir frequently as it simmers to prevent burning or sticking. Stir well so flavors marry throughout.
  • Portion and store cooled leftovers for easy reheating throughout the week, saving time with meal prep this way.
  • Add shrimp towards the very end of simmer just to cook through for maximum tenderness.
  • Check seasoning before serving, as jambalaya lends itself to adjustment based on personal tastes.
Ingredient Purpose
Olive oil High heat cooking medium
Cast iron/heavy pot Even heating and flavor absorption
Chicken, sausage Main proteins; add richness
Long grain rice Best texture absorption
Aromatic vegetables Grassy flavor, color, nutrients
Simmer time Tender textures, blended flavors

While tradition holds it’s made as a one-pot dish, cooking rice separately prevents mushiness if not all liquid is absorbed. Following these tricks makes jambalaya a special comfort your whole family will savor.



Getting creative in the kitchen leads to new discoveries. The chart explores some alternatives for taking jambalaya in different directions. Seeing how ingredients substitute or combine piques the curiosity to experiment.

Chicken and sausage jambalaya

Variation Description
Seafood Jambalaya Add shrimp, crawfish, or crab during last 5 minutes of cooking.
Vegetarian Jambalaya Substitute vegetable broth and leave out meat; add diced zucchini, mushrooms, or tofu.
Mexican Jambalaya Use Mexican seasoning blend instead of Cajun; add diced jalapeño and black beans.
Louisiana Lamb Jambalaya Substitute ground lamb for some of the sausage.
Cajun Duck and Andouille Jambalaya Use duck thighs or leg quarters in place of chicken; cook until very tender.


How do I add rice to chicken and sausage jambalaya?

To add rice to chicken and sausage jambalaya, make sure to use long grain white or brown rice. Add the rice after cooking the holy trinity of onions, bell pepper, and celery and bay leaves. 

Stir well to thoroughly mix with the other ingredients. Simmer covered until the rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes.

How long do I cook the rice for chicken and sausage jambalaya?

For chicken and sausage jambalaya, cook the rice until it is tender but still has a slight bite, about 20-25 minutes. 

Stir occasionally and simmer covered with the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. The rice is done when no crunchy or hard bits remain in the middle and it has absorbed most of the liquid.

What vegetables should I add to chicken and sausage jambalaya?

Traditional vegetables used in chicken and sausage jambalaya include the holy trinity of onions, bell peppers, and celery. Diced tomatoes are also commonly added. 

Using a variety of colors like green bell peppers and green onions adds visual appeal and flavor. Fire roasted diced tomatoes complement the cajun flavors well. Feel free to experiment with your favorite veggies.

How do I cook the sausage for chicken and sausage jambalaya?

First, remove any casings from bulk sausage or cut sausage links into 1/2-inch pieces. In a large pan, cook the sausage over medium-high heat until no longer pink. 

Drain and discard excess grease. You can also bake or broil sausage links until fully cooked before adding to the jambalaya. Pre-cooking the sausage ensures it is heated through before simmering.

What kind of rice should I use for chicken and sausage jambalaya?

Long-grain white rice or brown rice works best for chicken and sausage jambalaya. Long-grain rice has less starch so the grains remain distinct after cooking. White rice absorbs flavors well while brown rice adds nutrition and chewiness. 

Avoid using instant or converted rice which become sticky and mushy. Parboiled rice also holds its shape better than regular long-grain rice.

How long do I simmer chicken and sausage jambalaya?

Once all ingredients have been added to chicken and sausage jambalaya, simmer it covered for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until flavors have blended and liquid has been absorbed. The longer you simmer it, the richer the flavors will become. 

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed before serving. You may need to simmer less if using pre-cooked ingredients like shredded chicken or rice.

How do I store and reheat leftover chicken and sausage jambalaya?

Leftover chicken and sausage jambalaya can be covered and refrigerated for 4-5 days. To reheat, place portions in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high until steaming hot throughout, about 2-3 minutes. 

For the stovetop, stir jambalaya into a saucepan and heat slowly over medium, stirring occasionally, until hot. It also reheats well in a 325°F oven until hot and bubbling, 20-30 minutes.


Chicken and sausage jambalaya is a real one-dish wonder! With just a few simple ingredients, you can stir up a flavorful Louisiana specialty to warmth your family on even the busiest evenings. 

The holy trinity blend of aromatic veggies combines with proteins like chicken and andouille sausage simmered in a rich tomato base. Before you know it, everybody’s bellies will be full and happy!

Personally, I love how this Cajun classic brings folks together around the table. There’s just something comforting about a warm pot of jambalaya on a chilly night. 

Even my young kids gobble it up and ask for seconds. The best part is leftovers reheat just as tasty, so I always make a big batch on Sundays to fuel us through the week. 

With tricks like using pre-cooked rice or meat, even novices can feel like pro chefs. Give this crowd-pleaser a try – I guarantee it’ll become a staple in your home just like mine!

Have you tried making chicken and sausage jambalaya for your family? I’d love to hear how your own recipes and techniques compare in the comments below. 

Feel free to share any tips you’ve learned over the years for making this Louisiana specialty even more flavorful. It’s always nice to get new ideas from fellow jambalaya fans!


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jambalaya
  2. https://healthfullyrootedhome.com/the-best-dutch-oven-jambalaya/
  3. https://www.chefsresource.com/can-you-use-olive-oil-in-cast-iron/

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