We’ve been using this recipe for 15+ years but I had it saved in my physical binder from very early on and it never made it to digital until now!
Jambalaya is a rice dish which originated in the 1700s with a mash up of cuisines, ingredients, and flavours from Spanish, French, German, and African descent slaves (1, 2). There are a few requirements for a Jambalaya: rice, meat and/or seafood, vegetables (specifically the “holy trinity”: onions, celery, and bell peppers), and seasonings. It’s not a soup, Gumbo is a thick stew with similar ingredients but that’s served over rice, while Jambalaya cooks the rice in it.
Jambalaya is pretty forgiving – you can mix it up in so many ways and it’s still Jambalaya. We’ve tried a variety of sausages, with and without chicken, with and without shrimp, more rice (you can add more rice by adding 1 extra cup of water for every 1/2 cup extra rice), more and less seasoning, no heat, lots of heat, etc. One thing that I don’t find often here that I’d love to add is okra. It’s something that we added in Oregon but it’s not common enough here for me to remember to look for it. It’s probably very easy to find in larger metropolitan areas!
Let us know if you’ve tried this and what you think! Have you ever had Jambalaya?
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ to 1 lb smoked farmer's sausage, or preferred sausage cut into coin slices, or diagonally
- 1 onion large, diced
- 1 cup bell pepper diced (any color)
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1 tbps Cajun seasoning or to taste, see notes for recipe link
- 1 cup white long grain rice uncooked
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes approx 20oz/500ml
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbps Chicken Better than Bouillon
- 3 bay leaves large
- 1 lb shrimp 30-40/lb, peeled, de-veined, tails off, cooked or uncooked
- Heat olive oil in dutch oven or large pot over medium heat
- Add sliced sausage and cook for 2 min, then add onions, celery, and bell peppers. Season with Cajun seasoning and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until onions are soft and starting to caramelize.
- Mix in the rice until well combined with sausage, vegetables, and seasoning, then add minced garlic, diced tomatoes, water, Better than Bouillon, and bay leaves.
- Bring to a soft boil and lower heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add shrimp and stir in. If using uncooked shrimp, cook uncovered until shrimp are fully pink and no longer translucent in the middle, about 10 minutes. If using cooked shrimp, cook uncovered until heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves before serving.