Wondering what to serve with jambalaya? From easy side dishes to tasty side dishes, discover the best side dishes to complement this Louisiana favorite!
Jambalaya is a hearty and flavorful dish that’s popular in Louisiana. The recipe on my site is for Creole Jambalaya, and the Creole dish starts with the holy trinity – diced celery, green bell peppers, and onions – and is cooked with a mix of rice, meat, andouille sausage, and tomatoes. Creole Jambalaya is most popular in New Orleans, where there is more Creole influence. It’s flavored with a blend of spices and lots of tomatoes which gives it a unique and delicious taste.
Cajun Jambalaya can be found throughout the rest of the state and does not include tomatoes, as is traditional with most Cajun dishes.
But what should you serve with either variety of Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya?
This flavorful, filling one-pot meal is perfect for a family dinner or a fun gathering with friends, so if you’re looking to take your jambalaya to the next level, it’s essential to pair it with the best side dishes.
There are many different side dishes that go well with jambalaya. From starchy sides like cornbread and cheddar biscuits to fresh and crunchy salads, there are many options to choose from. Below are a few ideas to get you started:
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Best Side Dishes for Jambalaya
Cornbread is a classic side dish that pairs well with jambalaya. It’s slightly sweet and has a dense, crumbly texture that’s perfect for soaking up the flavorful broth in the jambalaya. You can make cornbread from scratch using one of my cornbread recipes or you can use a mix to make it even easier.
You can make Sweet Cornbread, Southern Cornbread, or Jiffy Cornbread – it’s the perfect side dish to serve with jambalaya and it is so easy to make!
If you don’t want to make anything, you can purchase a loaf of French bread.
Honey butter is a rich and delicious way to really take cornbread over the top. (I love to whip my honey butter to make it light and fluffy.)
Southern-Style Coleslaw is a refreshing and crunchy side dish that pairs well with jambalaya. Made with thinly sliced cabbage and carrots – it’s tossed with a simple dressing made with mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and salt. The crisp and tangy flavors in the coleslaw help to balance out the spicy flavors in the jambalaya.
A Side Salad
A simple green salad is another tasty side dish that goes well with jambalaya. You can use any type of lettuce you like, such as romaine, iceberg, or mixed greens, and toss it with some diced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and sliced red onions. Add a simple dressing or a vinaigrette made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt, and you have a fresh and delicious side dish.
My Royal Street Salad is a blue cheese and bacon chopped salad modeled after the salad from Mr. B’s Bistro, and it goes great with jambalaya.
Caeser Salad is a delicious side that goes with jambalaya. You can buy a premade bagged salad to make it really easy or make your own from scratch if you are feeling adventurous.
Sauteed Squash or Sauteed Zucchini
Sautéed squash is a great side dish for jambalaya because its light and fresh flavor provides a refreshing contrast to the rich and spicy nature of the main dish. The tender yet slightly crisp texture of sautéed squash also adds a pleasing textural element to the meal. (And in the summer, when squash is everywhere, it is a great way to use it up!)
We love to make fresh, seasonal vegetables as a side to serve with jambalaya. I love to roast broccoli or asparagus when they are in season, and we love roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted squash. A vegetable side dish is a light side and is an easy way to add a little more balance and nutrition to an otherwise heavy rice dish.
Creamy Cucumber Salad
Cucumber Salad is a cooling and refreshing side dish to serve with your jambalaya, especially in the summer when you have more cucumbers than you know what to do with.
Cucumber Tomato Salad
You can also whip up a refreshing cucumber tomato salad with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and a red wine vinaigrette. It is an easy salad recipe and it is nice and refreshing.
Mouthwatering Jambalaya Side Options
Cajun Corn Maque Choux
Maque Choux is a traditional Louisiana side dish made with sweet corn, red bell pepper, and onions. This popular dish is like a spicy creamed corn and is so delicious. The sweet taste of the corn combined with the savory elements makes it an ideal accompaniment to your favorite jambalaya recipe.
Collard greens are a classic Southern side dish that complements jambalaya perfectly. Their slightly bitter taste pairs well with the savory and spicy flavors of the jambalaya. Cooked with onions, garlic, and a hint of vinegar or hot sauce, collard greens add a vibrant and nutritious element to the meal. (You can also use sauteed turnip greens or Swiss chard – whatever is in season!)
If you are low on stove space, you can even make your collard greens in an Instant Pot!
Southern Green Beans
Southern-style green beans are a great side dish to serve with jambalaya. Typically cooked with bacon or a ham hock – they have a rich and smoky flavor. Green beans can be made in a slow cooker or Instant Pot. The tender yet crisp texture of the green beans provides a refreshing contrast to the hearty jambalaya. Green beans also add a pop of vibrant color to the plate.
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Perfect Complements for Jambalaya & Tasty Jambalaya Pairings
Fried okra is a popular Southern side dish that adds a satisfying crunch to the meal. The crispy exterior of the okra complements the tender and flavorful jambalaya. The mild taste of okra also serves as a neutral base to balance out the spicy jambalaya.
Hush puppies are small, deep-fried cornmeal fritters that are a staple in Southern cuisine. Their slightly sweet and savory flavor pairs well with the bold flavors of jambalaya. Hush Puppies also provide a delightful texture contrast – crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside – adding a crunchy element to the meal.
Fried Corn on the Cob
This fried corn on the cob recipe is a unique twist on a classic side dish. The corn kernels become caramelized and slightly charred during frying, intensifying their natural sweetness. The crispy and smoky exterior of the corn pairs well with the robust flavors of the jambalaya.
Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob, smothered in butter is also a delicious and simple side to serve with jambalaya.
Fried Squash or Fried Zucchini
Fried squash, typically made with yellow squash or zucchini, is another tasty option to accompany jambalaya. The crispy and golden exterior of the fried squash offers a delightful contrast to the soft and flavorful jambalaya. The mild flavor of squash allows the jambalaya to remain the star of the meal.
Easy Jambalaya Side Ideas
Steamed vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or green beans are a healthy and tasty way to add some color and nutrition to the meal. They also help to balance out the richness of jambalaya, which can sometimes be a spicy dish. (I honestly sometimes will just make one of those steam-in-bag veggie sides to make it easy!)
Biscuits are another staple of Southern cuisine and are the perfect addition to a bowl of Cajun jambalaya. Serve them hot and fluffy, with a bit of honey butter for extra flavor. I love to make jalapeno cheddar biscuits to serve with my jambalaya, but I sometimes just make drop biscuits or frozen biscuits to make it easy.
Garlic Bread or Garlic Toast
Garlic bread or garlic toast would be a delicious and easy side dish that goes great with jambalaya. Simply toast some sliced bread, and then brush it with a mixture of melted butter, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning. You can also add some grated Parmesan cheese on top for an extra flavorful twist.
Exciting Jambalaya Serving Suggestions
These are just a few ideas, but there are many other delicious sides that you can serve with jambalaya. Some other possibilities include roasted vegetables, steamed broccoli, or sautéed spinach. The important thing is to choose sides that you enjoy, and that complement the flavors in the jambalaya.
Flavorful Jambalaya Additions
Whether you’re looking for something sweet, tangy, or crunchy, there is a side dish that will complement your jambalaya perfectly.