Creole Jambalaya is a tomato-based rice dish that is ready in less than an hour and tastes like it has been cooking all day. It has so much flavor – like taking a trip to New Orleans without leaving the house.

At our house, Jambalaya is an entire food group. There are so many different variations and each is delicious.

This Creole Jambalaya is our favorite way to cook jambalaya, and it is a variation of my mother-in-law’s recipe. Because it is a Creole recipe, it has tomatoes in it – so don’t lose your minds at me.

With this recipe, you get so many different bursts of flavor from all of the layers of meat, vegetables, and seasoning – it is so delicious.

two white bowls of creole jambalaya with a wooden spoon
Table of Contents

🥘 Ingredient Notes

a picture of the ingredients in jambalaya, labeled.
  • Butter
  • The Cajun Holy Trinity – Onion, Green Bell Pepper, and Celery
  • Garlic
  • Green Onions
  • Chicken Thighs – I like to use chicken thighs over chicken breasts because they don’t dry out when they are kind of haphazardly cooked in a dish like jambalaya.
  • Andouille Sausage – You can use whatever brand of andouille that you want, but we like to use Veron’s or Richard’s.
  • Diced Fresh Tomatoes or Diced Canned Tomatoes – Both are really good, though if you use fresh tomatoes that aren’t very juicy, you will need to add more liquid.
  • Chicken Broth
  • Spices – Kosher Salt, Cayenne Pepper, and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.
  • White Rice – I like to use a long-grain white rice like Mahatma rice. Short-grain rice will get mushy and basmati or jasmine rice has too much of its own flavor.

🍽 Equipment Needed

  • A large pot
  • A cutting board
  • A sharp knife
  • Measuring spoons

🥣 How to Make It

Jambalaya is a really easy dish to make for how impressive and delicious it is.

First, heat a large pot on the stove over medium heat. While the pot is heating up, dice up your onions, garlic, celery, and bell pepper. (Picture 1)

Once the pot is warm, melt butter. (Picture 2)

When the butter is melted, add (white) onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. (Picture 3 – 4)

Cook until the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent. (Picture 5)

a process collage of images for making jambalaya, steps 1 - 5.

Next, add the green onions, chicken, and diced andouille sausage. (Picture 6)

Cook for about five minutes, until the chicken is mostly white – it is okay if it is not fully cooked. (Picture 7 – 8)

Now add chicken broth and use it to deglaze the bottom of the pot. (Picture 9)

Then add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salt, cayenne pepper, and the bay leaf. Mix everything together and make sure the tomato paste gets evenly incorporated. (Picture 10)

a process collage of images for making jambalaya, steps 6 - 10.

Bring this to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. (Picture 11 – 12)

Finally, add rice and mix to combine. (Picture 13)

Simmer for 25 – 30 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed. (Pictures 14 – 15)

a process collage of images for making jambalaya, steps 11 - 15.

Fluff with a fork and serve immediately. 

a blue and white pot with cooked a blue and white pot with jambalaya in it

🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of rice do you use to make Jambalaya?

When making Jambalaya, you can use any kind of long-grain white rice. Most sticky, short-grain rice varieties will get really mushy in after being cooked for a while, but the long-grain rice holds up well. I don’t like rice like jasmine or basmati because they have a strong flavor so I stick to just plain old Mahatma white rice.

What makes this “Creole” Jambalaya?

Creole jambalaya is a red jambalaya because it is made with tomatoes and tomato paste.

Should Jambalaya be wet or dry?

This is totally a personal preference thing. We like our jambalaya to be sticky and not dry, so it is a little saucy but definitely not soupy. (Less moisture than risotto but not as dry as plain rice.) Great answer, right?

a white bowl of jambalaya
Button linking to the Pinterest page for Southern Bytes.

🥫 Storage/Shelf Life/Reheating

Jambalaya will last 3 – 5 days in the fridge. It reheats best in the microwave or in a covered pot on the stove over low heat.

✏️ Helpful Tips

  • You can very easily double this recipe for a larger group. It makes almost exactly four servings, so doubled it can serve a crowd really well.
  • I love making this recipe with fresh tomatoes from our garden. Since the tomatoes aren’t in juice, I like to add about 1/2 a cup of extra chicken broth to make up for it.
  • Try this recipe using different proteins – a lot of people like to make it with shrimp as well, but my husband thinks combining shrimp and sausage is a crime, so we just stick to chicken and andouille sausage.

🌶️ Other Great Cajun & Creole Recipes

Have You Tried This Recipe?
Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!

📝 Recipe

a white bowl of jambalaya

Classic New Orlean’s Creole Jambalaya (One Pot)

5 from 12 votes
Creole Jambalaya is a tomato-based rice dish that is ready in less than an hour and tastes like it has been cooking all day. It has so much flavor – like taking a trip to New Orleans without leaving the house.
Author: Kari
Servings: 4
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 45 mins

Ingredients  

  • cup butter
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • ½ cup green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups raw chicken thighs, diced
  • 1 ½ cups andouille or hot smoked sausage, diced
  • 2 14 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • 1 cup white or long grain rice uncooked and rinsed

Instructions 

  • Heat a large pot on the stove over medium heat. While the pot is heating up, dice up onions, garlic, celery, and bell pepper.
  • Once the pot is warm, melt the butter.
    ⅓ cup butter
  • When the butter is melted, add diced white onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic.
    ½ cup onion, diced, ½ cup green bell pepper, diced, ½ cup celery, diced, 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • Cook until onions are translucent.
  • Next, add the green onions, chicken thighs, and andouille sausage.
    ½ cup green onions, chopped, 1 ½ cups raw chicken thighs, diced, 1 ½ cups andouille or hot smoked sausage, diced
  • Cook for about five minutes, until the chicken is mostly white – it is okay if it is not fully cooked.
  • Now add chicken broth and use it to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
    1 cup chicken broth
  • Then add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salt, cayenne pepper, Tony's, and the bay leaf. Mix everything together and make sure the tomato paste gets evenly encorporated.
    2 14 oz can diced tomatoes with juice, ⅓ cup tomato paste, 1 bay leaf, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Finally, add rice and mix to combine.
    1 cup white or long grain rice
  • Simmer for 25 – 30 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve immediately.

Notes

Tips
  • You can very easily double this recipe for a larger group. It makes almost exactly four servings, so doubled it can serve a crowd really well.
  • I love making this recipe with fresh tomatoes from our garden. Since the tomatoes aren’t in juice, I like to add about ½ a cup of extra chicken broth to make up for it.
  • Try this recipe using different proteins – a lot of people like to make it with shrimp as well, but my husband thinks combining shrimp and sausage is a crime, so we just stick to chicken and sausage.
Storage/Shelf Life
Jambalaya will last 3 – 5 days in the fridge. It reheats best in the microwave or in a covered pot on the stove over low heat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 753kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 40gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 199mgSodium: 1703mgPotassium: 929mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1218IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Cajun, Southern
Keyword: creole jambalaya, jambalaya, new orleans jambalaya
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

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Hi, I’m Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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